We’re back at it again, with another week of updated figures and projected spreads from our in-house numbers. The NFL's Week 11 is a good one with two key matchups in the NFC and three of the four teams that are on bye have a losing record, which raises the quality across the board.
A week ago our two metrics were back to winning with EW again proving to be the more reliable projection going 8-and-6 overall, while YPP was 7-7. My picks went 1-2 thanks to a half point miss by the Jaguars and newest internet meme Chaz Green.
There are also lots of favorites that are appealing here in Week 11 without many underdogs to chose from, though we did find one we like. With all that, we’re ready to dive back into it to straighten out this damn 14-2-16 record on the year.
Below, as always beside our weekly picks you’ll find our chart with our in-house projected spreads, enjoy.
EW picks of the week
Jacksonville Jaguars -7.5 at the Cleveland Browns
Our numbers keep believing in the Jaguars and we’re following suit despite a disappointing missed cover last week by a mere half point. The thing that should give you confidence in the Jags is that they're a totally different team when they get to play against a poor offense with a shaky quarterback, a profile that the Browns certainly fit.
The aggressive Jacksonville defense can feast on the Cleveland offense and when they’ve faced bottom half of the NFL attacks, they’ve won in close to blowout fashion almost every time - with the exception of their three-point loss to the New York Jets Week 4. Now without left tackle Joe Thomas, the Browns are struggling to pass protect as well which isn’t what you want against this defense, which is leading the NFL in sacks per game.
Even if Leonard Fournette isn’t healthy and the Browns defense has been ok this year there’s just too big of a gap between these two teams to not take the AFC South cinderellas. This is our biggest spread of the week as the Jaguars are favored by -15 per our EW numbers, that’s just too good to pass up in a matchup that on paper seems like an easy bet.
New Orleans Saints -7.5 versus the Washington Redskins
Don’t look now but the Saints are the league’s hottest team and they’re doing it with their running game and defensive secondary (gasp), not what they’ve been known for, but hey, it’s working. Now at home, their pass defense can benefit from the crowd noise of an amped up dome, and it always helps when you can turn to Drew Brees on third downs and can rely on one of the NFL’s best offensive lines.
The Redskins are a scrappy team but injuries to their o-line have really taken their tole. The offense just isn’t dangerous as it was in past years with a limited run game and few receivers that scare you. Washington’s defense has played well but the Saints at home are a tough test and if they get a quick lead can pound teams into submission.
If you can find this line at only a touchdown that would be ideal as I’ll admit that half point scares me but given how both these teams have been trending I’m willing to roll the dice. EW has the Saints as -13.5 point favorites, so a half point or not the numbers are all for it. Even if YPP doesn’t suggest betting on the Saints, those numbers also have New Orleans slightly over the spread. The Saints are now projected to win 12 games per EW while the Skins have dropped to 7 after losing three of their last four.
Los Angeles Rams +2 at the Minnesota Vikings
The Philadelphia Eagles traveling to Dallas to face the Cowboys is seen by most as the game of the week and has been flexed into the Sunday Night Football slot, but per our estimated win metrics there isn’t a better matchup than the Rams against the Vikings.
With LA projected to win 13 and Minnesota 10.5, both these teams have played surprisingly well this season, meaning this game will be pretty important for the NFC’s playoff picture.
This is a big test for Minnesota especially, who have won five in a row thanks to some great play from quarterback Case Keenum and their defense which is always good.
The Rams instead boast the NFL’s highest-scoring offense led by Todd Gurley and Jared Goff who’ve both come into their own this season with several other talented pieces on the offense. What gives us confidence in the young Rams is that the defense has really turned a corner under coordinator Wade Phillips the last month as they’ve allowed an average of 11.5 points per game in their last five. Against a Vikings offense that’s playing great but needs to prove how real they are we’re bigger believers in the Rams who’ve won games more convincingly this season, which is why EW likes them.
It won’t be easy on the road but as underdogs, we believe they can pull through thanks to their young talent and genius DC.
YPP pick of the week
Los Angeles Chargers -4 versus the Buffalo Bills
This is an interesting game as the Chargers keep showing that they’re the best team in the NFL in losing tight games and blowing wins at the last minute, while the Bills will be throwing a new quarterback into the mix.
The argument for Buffalo is that they’ll be re-focused with Nathan Peterman behind center and that their run game will gash an LA run defense that hasn’t been great all year. The argument for the Chargers is that Peterman won’t survive four quarters of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa getting after him, that simple.
The Bills after a promising start to the year just haven’t been a high-enough scoring offense and they’ve seen their defense struggle to keep up with their early season form. Especially against the run Buffalo’s struggled quite a bit the last two games. With a new quarterback on the road against a great pass rush and the ninth-best scoring defense, the Bolts seem like an easy bet if they can just get out of their own way.
BSN ATS’ YPP & EW Week 11 lines
As always injuries are affecting the reliability of some of our lines this week which is why we've adjusted a few below to provide spreads based off of how the Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, and Arizona Cardinals have played with backup quarterbacks - the Cardinals seem like an interesting bet this week once we adjusted our figures. It's also worth noting that injuries on the line and Ezekiel Elliot's suspension have scared us off from taking the Cowboys who both sets of numbers like at least to cover the +4.5 spread.