With the 2019-20 NFL season underway, oddsmakers are constantly adjusting lines to account for the performance of players and teams in Weeks 1-10.
Injury updates on star players such as Matthew Stafford (back), George Kittle (knee), and Adam Thielen (hamstring) will soon change the point spreads listed by US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook for Week 11 of the NFL season.
At PlayPicks, we feel confident with the information that we have to start making our picks against the spread.
In this weekly column, we will list three of our best bets against the spread with data to support our picks. Then, we will list the following games on the NFL slate in order of our confidence in analyzing the matchup. Keep in mind that lines can often shift due to weather or other unforeseen issues. Of course, injury news plays a huge role throughout the NFL season, and the status of specific players often bears monitoring until a couple of hours before kickoff.
NFL Week 11 Best Bets
New England Patriots (-4) at Philadelphia Eagles
Don’t bet against Bill Belichick when his team is coming out of a bye week, especially if they took a loss prior to that break. The Patriots have won four of their last five by an average of 18.8 PPG after their bye week and Tom Brady is 13-4 as a starter after the week off. This Sunday they enter a very beatable matchup against an Eagles secondary that is one of the worst in the NFL.
Philadelphia is giving up 239 passing YPG and a 91.7 passer rating to opposing QBs, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. Starting CBs Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby have been routinely burned by above-average WRs and the Pats have a new weapon ready to deploy in Mohamed Sanu. Of course, no one can guard Julian Edelman and the Eagles haven’t really seen him in game action since he missed the 2017 Super Bowl. Brady still threw for 505 yards and 3 TDs against Doug Pederson‘s defense in that game and the Eagles front seven is not on the same level right now. Philly DC Jim Schwartz has depended on the blitz and Brady is a master at beating the blitz.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots league-leading defense will be prepared for a limited Eagles offense that is struggling to run the ball with consistency. Teams that can’t run against the Pats are cooked against a secondary that ranks second in DVOA pass defense and yields a league-low 45.8 passer rating. Stephon Gillmore can lock down one side of the field and Alshon Jeffery (ankle) has been ruled out. That basically just leaves Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert as the downfield weapons for Carson Wentz.
Chicago Bears (+6) at Los Angeles Rams
Still showing more name than game, it’s surprising to see the Rams listed as a touchdown favorite against a capable opponent. The Bears offense is steadily improving and Mitchell Trubisky just shredded an excellent Lions defense with 16-of-23 passing for 173 yards and 3 TDs (131 passer rating) after literally “shutting off the noise” by requesting the TVs be turned off at Chicago’s practice facility. Trubisky went 4-2 with a 70.45% completion rate on the road last year and has a higher rating (88.4) in road games this season. The Rams rank 16th in DVOA pass defense and have routinely been exposed over the deep middle on crossing routes. Chicago has the personnel to take advantage of that deficiency with big-bodied Allen Robinson and speedy WR Taylor Gabriel capable of finding the holes in that Cover 2-based scheme.
But the bigger reason to back the Bears is the deficiencies of the Rams offense. After an historic 2018-19 season running the football, the Rams rank 25th in run play percentage (37.3%) this year. Todd Gurley (knee) is clearly not the same back and he’s averaged a putrid 36.5 rushing YPG over two career meetings with the Bears when healthy. Jared Goff was a world-beater in home games last year, but has a modest 5:3 TD:INT ratio with 9 sacks and 4 fumbles over 4 home starts this season. His top weapon, Cooper Kupp, has missed practice time this week with a stomach illness and Brandin Cooks (concussion) remains out.
The Bears rank seventh in DVOA pass defense and first in open field tackling. They have one of seven defenses with fewer than 10 TD passes allowed this year and neither of these defenses have given up many big plays down the field. Therefore, we expect a low-scoring, close game (40.5 assigned point total) in which the Rams fail to cover or lose outright.
New York Jets (+2.5) at Washington Redskins
As scary as it may be to back the Jets, they have an advantage in terms of personnel against a Washington team that is now quite clearly the worst team in the NFL. The Redskins turn to rookie QB Dwayne Haskins, who owns a 15.5 QBR over 52 pass attempts to open his career.
Both of these teams have above-average defenses when put in the right spot to succeed, but both units have been exposed when their offense can’t maintain time of possession. That should become more of an issue for Washington against a Jets team that ranks second in DVOA rush defense and just held prolific RB Saquon Barkley to 1 yard on 13 carries! Washington has the fourth-highest run play percentage (49.62%) over its last three games and is looking to ride Adrian Peterson under interim HC and former offensive line coach Bill Callahan. That approach should falter against the Jets run defense.
Sam Darnold finally seemed to bounce back from getting spooked by the Patriots, as he completed 19-of-30 passes for 230 yards and a TD in a win over the Giants last week. He’s still absorbed 13 sacks over his last three starts, but Washington is bottom 10 in sacks (21) and ranks 26th in adjusted sack rate (5.7%) on the year. Darnold should have time to throw and Le’Veon Bell should have time to run against a defensive line that stuffs the fourth-fewest running plays.
NFL Week 11 Picks Against The Spread
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacoby Brissett (knee) is expected to return and the Colts should be able to pound the Jaguars with their effective ground game.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at Los Angeles Chargers
The Chiefs defense was a huge letdown in Week 10, but has given Philip Rivers huge problems over the past two seasons. If KC is even passable on that side of the ball, Patrick Mahomes can put up 30-plus points and cover this number on Monday night. The Chiefs speed is even more of a weapon at elevation in Mexico City.
Denver Broncos (+10) at Minnesota Vikings
Backing huge underdogs on the road has paid off most of this season and Brandon Allen seems to have the Broncos offense playing at a high enough level keep them competitive against a struggling Vikings secondary.
Oakland Raiders (-11.5) vs Cincinnati Bengals
With A.J. Green looking prepared to sit out the season, the writing is on the wall for the Bengals. They should start to mail it in and will once again get steamrolled on the ground by Josh Jacobs and the Raiders huge offensive line.
Arizona Cardinals (+9.5) at San Francisco 49ers
Kyler Murray and company are now 7-3 ATS this season, including a comfortable cover against the 49ers two weeks ago. Murray’s mobility allows him to avoid San Francisco’s fearsome pass rush and the Niners offense is less than fearsome with George Kittle, Joe Staley, Matt Breida, and Emmanuel Sanders all likely out.
Houston Texans (+4.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens strength is the strength of the Texans defense. Houston can stop the run and Deshaun Watson should ball out in a matchup between MVP candidates.
Miami Dolphins (+6.5) vs Buffalo Bills
The Dolphins covered a much bigger spread in Buffalo and the Bills are a much worse team on the road. Buffalo has also been gashed on the ground in recent weeks.
Atlanta Falcons (+4.5) at Carolina Panthers
Another NFC South showdown that should go down to the wire. There’s no reason the Falcons can’t ride the momentum of their win in New Orleans into a beatable matchup against the Panthers horrendous run defense.
Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) at Detroit Lions
Matt Stafford (back) is now expected to miss this game and Detroit’s offense should suffer considerably. Even with Stafford the Lions are 1-3 ATS after a loss and 9-11 ATS at home since 2017.
Tampa Bay Bucs (+5.5) vs New Orleans Saints
The Saints should bounce back with a win in Tampa, but it might not be easy against a team with an elite run defense and a dangerous passing game that is clicking right now.