NFL Picks Week #11 (2021 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #11)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Wednesday November 17th, 2021 at 11 AM Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
We came back strong with the NFL picks last week with 2 wins and 1 loss, including the 5-star pick that hit! Good job by the Detroit Lions who beat the spread by 9.5 points in Pittsburgh.
Overall this season our record against the spread (ATS) now stands at 21-12-1, which amounts to a 64% winning rate.
I have provided you with exactly 3 NFL picks for many consecutive weeks, but this time I’m glad to announce that I have found what I believe are 5 good value wagers for Week 11. Let me reveal them to you right now!
PICK #1 (4 STARS): NEW ORLEANS SAINTS +1.5 AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
In their first seven games, the Eagles were throwing the ball fairly often and many people questioned their gameplan, arguing they should be more run-oriented. That led to a 2-5 record.
The coaching staff finally realized they were better off keeping the ball on the ground. Over the past three games, Philadelphia has rushed the ball 125 times versus just 56 pass attempts. That has led to a 2-1 record.
The bad news is the Saints defense is #1 in the entire league in terms of yards-per-rush average. That is a very bad matchup for the Eagles, and it’s one of the main reasons I like the Saints in this spot.
We also have the revenge factor going our way. Indeed, the Saints lost 24-to-21 last year in Philly.
History also suggests taking road underdogs after they suffer a road loss. This strategy has produced a 160-97-5 record ATS over many years. I suspect that the general public overreacts to the outcome from the previous week, and it is reflected in the line. Since New Orleans lost in Tennessee last week, they qualify under this betting system.
There are many trends favoring the Saints. Let me mention a couple of them:
- New Orleans is 24-8 ATS as road underdogs;
- Philadelphia holds a 3-8 record ATS as favorites, including 1-5 as HOME favorites.
I’m a bit worried about the Eagles being 0-4 this year at home. They will be super motivated to get that first win in front of their home crowd. That prevented me from rating it five stars.
Still, my money is on the Saints as 1.5-point underdogs in Philly.
PICK #2 (3 STARS): UNDER 46 POINTS 49ERS-JAGUARS
The line opened with a total of 46 and it was still the case at the time I wrote this article, but some sportsbooks are dropping it to 45.5 or even 45. Don’t be surprised it if goes down to 44.5 eventually, and that’s why I acted early in the week to place my bet.
The Niners are another team that needs to run the ball in order to be successful. They did so on 44 occasions against the Rams last week versus just 19 passing attempts. It generated a great result via a 31-10 victory against their division rivals.
The gameplan should be the same, even if they are facing a weaker opponent. San Francisco wants to limit the number of passes thrown by Jimmy Garoppolo, who can be turnover prone at times.
The Jaguars are also much more effective running the ball than passing it. As a matter of fact, they are surprisingly occupying the 2nd rank in the NFL in terms of rushing yards per attempt this season. Things are ugly when throwing the ball, as evidenced by their 31st rank in terms of passer rating.
In other words, both teams have strong intentions of running the ball. As you already know, more runs means more time running out the clock since you have less incomplete passes that stops it.
My NFL statistical model anticipates a total of 42.6 points in this game. I really like the under to hit in this Niners versus Jaguars matchup.
PICK #3 (2 STARS): INDIANAPOLIS COLTS +7.5 AT BUFFALO BILLS
I’m sure you can see me coming once again with my famous “revenge factor”! But this time it goes up a notch since the game in question concerned a playoff game. Remember how the Colts were defeated 27-24 in the Wildcard round last year. Indianapolis still has this loss in mind, and they will be out for a little payback.
The Colts have lost five games this year, but their largest margin of defeat was just 12. They lost a couple in overtime, and another one by a field goal. They are not an easy prey and I think they are certainly capable of keeping this game within a touchdown.
Indy has also been a very solid road team in recent years. They are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as a visiting team, and 9-4 ATS on the road when facing a team with a winning record.
Granted, the Bills have been extremely good at beating the spread as home favorites. In fact, they are 9-3-1 under such circumstances, which is pretty impressive.
However, I’ll still go with the Colts as 7.5-point underdogs. Running back Jonathan Taylor has been an absolute beast by averaging 122 rushing yards in his five most recent matches, while also punching the ball in the end zone on seven occasions during that stretch. He should allow the Colts to keep Buffalo’s high-octane offense on the sidelines for a good portion of the game.
PICK #4 (2 STARS): WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM +3.5 AT CAROLINA PANTHERS
The big X factor in this game is obviously Cam Newton. He seems likely to grab the starting job this week. How will he do back with his former team? In my opinion, he may do fairly well, but asking him to win by 4 points or more is far-fetched.
Both teams are coming off big wins. On one hand, the Football Team pulled off the upset over the Tampa Bay Bucs. On the other hand, Carolina stomped the Cardinals 34-10 in Arizona.
I like how these teams are matching up. Carolina is more proficient offensively when running the ball, but that turns out to be Washington’s strength on defense. They have been much more susceptible against the pass this season. Obviously, I’m worried about the loss of stud defensive end Chase Young.
On the other side, Carolina’s defense has done a very fine job defending the pass in 2021. However, Washington does better on the ground, so I believe they will be able to do enough to either win the game, or lose by a maximum of three points. I’m taking my chances with Washington here.
PICK #5 (1 STAR): NEW YORK GIANTS +11 AT TAMPA BAY BUCS
My biggest source of concern is this: I hate betting against an elite team coming off a loss, especially in a focus game played on primetime television.
However, I am backing the Giants due to several other factors. First, Tampa’s secondary is really banged up and Daniel Jones is capable of taking advantage of this weakness. Richard Sherman is pretty likely to miss the game. He wasn’t playing at a very high level, but that’s just another guy in the secondary who won’t be on the field for the Bucs, and they will need to replace him with an even weaker player.
I think the Giants will score a bare minimum of 17 points in this game. That means that even if Tampa scores 28 points, the bet would not even lose. Of course, the Bucs have the firepower to score more than 28, but I would not be surprised if the Giants score between 20 and 30 points either. It will make it very hard for Tampa to cover such a large point spread.
The Giants defense has held its ground recently. In their last three games, they faced the Raiders, the Chiefs and the Panthers. We are talking about two good offenses, and yet they surrendered an average of just 13 points in those three matchups.
Don’t forget that the Giants are coming off their bye week, so they will be well-rested. They are also 5-0-1 ATS in their last six trips in Tampa Bay, and 5-2 on Monday Night Football.
At the time I wrote this article, all signs point towards the return of running back Saquon Barkley on the field. If he suits up for the game, I like this betting pick even more.
You want more NFL betting tips? All right, let me give you a few leans then.
Please note that I am not betting those plays; I don’t like them enough to put money at risk. I am sharing them with you just for fun.
- Chicago Bears +6 vs Baltimore Ravens (Justin Fields came alive as a downfield passer in his last game in Pittsburgh. Maybe things will start clicking for him. The Ravens disappointed in a big way in Miami last week. They have won by a touchdown or more just two times this season. so that seems like a big spread to me, especially on the road.);
- Minnesota Vikings +2.5 vs Green Bay Packers (Dalvin Cook is facing the 26th defense in terms of yards allowed per carry. The Vikings are 19-6-1 as home underdogs. It’s hard to bet against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, so that’s why it is classified as a lean only.);
- Dallas Cowboys +2.5 at Kansas City Chiefs (The Cowboys defense ranks 4th in terms of passer rating allowed this season. Dallas has beaten the spread in 8 of their last 9 games overall. K.C. has failed to beat the spread the last five times they were home favorites, and they are 3-13 ATS following a win.).
Wow, we covered a lot of stuff this week, I hope you enjoyed it!
Enjoy your weekend my friend, I’ll talk to you again next week!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)