NFL Picks Week #11 (2019 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #11)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Wednesday November 14th, 2019 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
PICK #1: Houston Texans +4 at Baltimore Ravens (rated 4 stars)
The Ravens have impressed a lot of people, including myself, with their three most recent wins: 30-16 in Seattle, 37-20 against the Patriots and an easy 49-13 victory in Cincinnati last week.
Lamar Jackson is such a different animal. No other quarterback matches his elusiveness. He is a lot of fun to watch!
However, I like the Texans to cover the spread here. DeShaun Watson is also very good and he can make plays out of nothing. Plus, he has more experience.
The Texans are a very solid team and you couldn’t tell they had lost J.J. Watt after allowing just three points to the Jaguars in their last game.
Obviously, I also like the fact that Houston is coming off its bye week. They have had plenty of time to analyze game tapes.
PICK #2: Oakland Raiders -10.5 vs Cincinnati Bengals (rated 3 stars)
Many of my betting angles are involved in this matchup. Let’s kick off with the ones favoring the Bengals.
Oakland may let down a little bit after an emotional meeting with the Chargers. Also, Cincy will be motivated to make amends after a disastrous performance against the Ravens last week.
That being said, there are quite a few things to like about the Raiders.
First, they get three extra days of rest after playing the Thursday night game. Also, they will be at home for the third straight week. Not much traveling there!
Last year, Cincinnati beat those same Raiders by a 30-to-16 score. Payback time?
This game has all appearances of a sandwich game for the Bengals. Indeed, they faced Baltimore last week and are awaiting the Steelers next week.
Finally, I’d like to mention how Zac Taylor’s squad will be traveling through three time zones to face Oakland.
PICK #3: Carolina Panthers -5 vs Atlanta Falcons (rated 3 stars)
I tip my hat off to the Falcons for such an impressive performance in New Orleans last week. It must have been great relief for head coach Dan Quinn, who is certainly on the hot seat.
With that win out of the way, I expect a letdown for Atlanta, especially against a team that simply cannot drop this game. The Panthers are sitting at 5-4, and with such a crowded playoff race in the NFC, this is a must-win game for Carolina. They won’t let their feet off the gas.
The revenge factor comes into play since the Panthers lost both meetings to Atlanta last season. As a matter of fact, the Falcons won by a 7-point margin in Atlanta and by a 14-point margin in Carolina. That’s not gonna happen this year.
PICK #4: Denver Broncos +10.5 at Minnesota Vikings (rated 2 stars)
In his first NFL start, Brandon Allen did a lot of good things in a 24-19 win over the Browns. His arm strength is average, but he showed good poise and accuracy. Playing in a hostile environment like Minnesota won’t be easy, though, but at least he got two weeks to get ready for this matchup.
Denver stayed home for four of their past five weeks, while the Vikings had some traveling to do recently. Minnesota could letdown a bit after a key meeting in Dallas last week.
Wide receiver Adam Thielen did not practice Thursday. Will he be good to go on Sunday? His status seems pretty unclear right now. The Vikings might elect to sit him out, since they are facing a weaker opponent and have their bye week upcoming.
PICK #5: Washington Redskins -1.5 vs New York Jets (rated 1 star)
This is a non-conference road game for the Jets, which will definitely look much less motivating than facing their neighbors from New York, the Giants.
The Redskins are coming off their bye week, which is always a big plus.
Dwayne Haskins had been awful this season, but he played his best football of the season in Buffalo. He completed 15 of his 22 passes for 144 yards, and most importantly he did not turn the ball over. He kept Washington in the game, but this time they’ll need to punch the ball in the end zone instead of settling for field goals.
LEAN #1: Jacksonville Jaguars +3 at Indianapolis Colts
I’m really looking forward to seeing Nick Foles at quarterback for the Jaguars. He suffered a broken clavicle in Week #1 and had to be replaced by Gardner Minshew.
The backup QB with the mustache did very well at times, and not so good at others. After a bad performance in London against Houston, Doug Marrone decided to make the switch.
Both teams have very comparable defenses with 21 points allowed per game. Their offenses are similar too, maybe with a slight edge to Indy. But who knows what’s going to happen with Foles under center. Jacoby Brissett is expected to be back at quarterback, but his top target, T.Y. Hilton, seems like a long shot to suit up this Sunday.
I expect a very tight divisional game, in which case I’ll go with the Jags as 3-point dogs.
LEAN #2: Miami Dolphins +6.5 vs Buffalo Bills
Buffalo’s last four games have not been very impressive. First, a difficult win at home over the Dolphins, a game they could have easily lost had Tre’Davious White not intercepted a pass at their own 2-yard line in the third quarter. Then, a horrible loss against the Eagles, followed by a more or less convincing win over the Haskins-led Washington Redskins. Last week, Buffalo lost 19-to-16 at the Browns in a fairly ugly game.
Obviously, the Bills offense is still learning and struggling to put points on the board. Earlier in the year, their defense was stellar, including an awesome performance against New England. Not anymore. The run defense is struggling quite a bit, making Adrian Peterson looking like a younger version of himself.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins are doing the exact opposite: they are improving from week to week. Ryan Fitzpatrick gives them a chance to win every week. He is a fierce competitor. Miami was supposed to be tanking this year, but they have now won two games in a row. The crowd will be into it, facing division rivals and trying to get payback after the Week #7’s loss.
It seems pretty hard to pick a team with a mediocre offense to win by 7 points or more on the road, so I’ll go with Miami +6.5 points at home.
Have a nice weekend!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)