NFL Week 11: Our best bets, picks for every game

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

November 20, 2022 08:24 AM
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NFL Week 11 best bets

Welcome to Week 11 of the 2022 NFL season.

Throughout the season, our VSiN experts will combine to give their best bets on every game. Check back for more picks as we get closer to kickoff.

Odds are from DraftKings (unless noted) as of Thursday night. Go to VSiN.com for Betting Splits for each game and live odds across the NFL market.

Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens (-13, 41.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: Parity is alive and well, even though the public perception out there is that there's a wide gap between the haves and have-nots. We feel validated in that belief by the fact that double-digits underdogs are 9-4 ATS against the closing lines so far this season with three outright upsets.

The Ravens usually lead by double digits in every game, but their defense has given up a lot of leads this year.

The Panthers are playing better despite trading away RB Christian McCaffrey and are coming off a mini-bye after upsetting the Falcons 25-15 in the Week 10 Thursday nighter. I actually like the move to start Baker Mayfield over the injured PJ Walker as I believe that gives them the best chance to cover.

Pick: Panthers +13

Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills (-7.5, 47) in Detroit

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Tuley: I’m certainly tempted to fade the Bills again as I’ve cashed by going against them each of the last three weeks with the Packers, Jets and VIkings. As I’ve written before, they tend to play close games, but while Nick Chubb and the Browns’ running game gives them a chance to shorten the game and stay close, I’m just not comfortable trusting Jacoby Brissett to keep up with Josh Allen.

I think this is a good spot to start our Week 11 teaser portfolio with two-team, six-point teasers. Now, while this is a “Wong teaser” (I like to call them “advantage teasers”) as we capture the key numbers of 3 and 7, moving the favorites down hasn't been as strong this season. Regardless, I’ll pair this with my preferred dog teasers on the Raiders +8.5 at the Broncos and Vikings +7.5. Another possibility is teasing the 49ers down from -8 to -2 vs. the Cardinals in Mexico City on Monday night, though that’s a less-desirable play as I like the Cards as a live dog.

This game has been moved to Detroit because of a huge snowstorm hitting the Buffalo area, but that doesn’t really lessen the Bills’ chances to bounce back with at least the outright win here.

Pick: Bills -1.5/Raiders +8.5 Teaser

Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5, 43) at Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: It will be interesting to see if the Colts got just a one-game bump with the shot in the arm from Jeff Saturday and the naysayers that came along with his appointment as interim head coach or if we may see a different team going forward. One thing we should see regardless is a better offense. With Matt Ryan back at the helm and Saturday’s knowledge about offensive line play, the Colts had their best offensive output in four games and third-best performance of the season.

The Eagles were exposed a bit defensively by the Commanders on Monday night. Philadelphia’s interior defense had problems stopping the run in the absence of tackle Jordan Davis. Meanwhile a solid Colts rushing attack woke up from its slumber in their win against the Raiders. Maybe Las Vegas isn’t the best barometer because the Raiders have one of the worst defenses in the league, but Philadelphia is last in rushing success rate against and 31st in Rush EPA against.

Philadelphia looked a tad disjointed on offense and we’ll have to see if wide receiver A.J. Brown gets back into the fold a bit more this week, but the reality is that quarterback Jalen Hurts needs to be better and more involved. After rushing for 266 yards over the first five games, Hurts has managed only 88 yards on the ground over the last four. He may get the green light to do more with his legs this week as the Eagles look to get back in sync. The Colts haven’t seen many running quarterbacks this season, so that could be an area the Eagles look to exploit.

I would anticipate more scrambles from Hurts and continued success from the Colts to the point where this game goes over 44.

Pick: Over 44

Wes Reynolds: Jeff Saturday became Jeff Sunday is his debut as Colts interim head coach. While many will discredit the Colts’ victory over a near bottom-of-the-barrel Raiders club, Indianapolis arguably played its best game of the season, especially offensively. The much-maligned offensive line, the highest paid unit in the league, had its best showing, allowing just one sack. It created holes for Jonathan Taylor, who had 83 of his 147 rushing yards before contact. The team also responded to Matt Ryan regaining his starting QB role after being benched three weeks ago. 

Now the Colts get an Eagles bunch off their first defeat of the season. They also get to face an Eagles defense that was on the field for 83 snaps against Washington on Monday night and on a short week. Philadelphia is 28th in Rush Defense DVOA, which is why they signed both Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh off their couches this week to help this unit out with Marlon Tuipulotu joining rookie standout Jordan Davis on IR. 

Perhaps the Saturday-led Colts are just a one-week wonder, but they got some “feel good” after a chaotic last few weeks and should give a big effort in Saturday’s second game as head coach. Meanwhile, the Eagles have to deal with adversity for the first time this season.

There are a couple of 7s back in the market, but even at 6.5, the Colts seem to have some momentum for the first time all season.

Pick: Colts +6.5 

Femi Abebefe: The 1972 Miami Dolphins can go ahead and pop open some bottles of champagne after the Eagles lost outright as 11-point favorites on Monday night. Philly losing was probably bound to happen, but a concerning trend popped up in the defeat.

Once again, the Eagles struggled to defend the run. The Commanders took the ball out of the air, running for 152 yards on 49 carries. Now it wasn’t the most efficient run game by any means, but each one felt like a body blow to an Eagles defense that couldn’t get off the field. Washington dominated the time of possession 40:24 to 19:36.

Philly will certainly be tested against the run this weekend as they visit All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor and the Colts. Typically I’d back Indy in this spot, but I’m actually going the other way. The Eagles coaching staff has shown the ability to make in-season adjustments going back to last season, and I trust they’ll get the run defense fixed.

I’m also not willing to buy into the Jeff Saturday-led Colts. Not just yet. Last week's win over the disaster Raiders didn’t impress me. Additionally, Matt Ryan returning as QB1 is good against most teams, but I think this game could get ugly if the Eagles get out to an early lead because of the Colts’ struggles in pass protection.

After a shaky couple of weeks, I think the Eagles get back to their dominant first-half ways and unleash their pass rush on the immobile Ryan.

Pick: Eagles -6.5

Washington Commanders (-3.5, 40.5) at Houston Texans

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Wes Reynolds: Hold your nose here for the ultimate sell-high spot with the Commanders. Credit to Washington for a good game plan to keep the high-powered Eagles off the field as the Commanders controlled the time of possession 40:24-19:36. However, they also were outgained 5.6-4.1 yards per play. 

On the other hand, the Texans, while failing to cover, outplayed the Giants at MetLife Stadium last Sunday. Houston averaged 6.4 yards per play to the Giants’ 5.5. However, the Texans went just 1-for-6 in the red zone while the Giants converted both of their opportunities, and that was the difference in a 24-16 loss for Houston. 

Washington ranks 25th in Offense DVOA, and it is difficult to lay points on the road with a club that does not get margin on opponents. This is also a brutal spot off short rest in a second consecutive home game. Taylor Heinicke is 3-1 as a starter but has been an underdog in all four games. How will he and the Commanders handle the role reversal in their biggest favorite role of the season?

Pick: Texans +3.5

Danny Burke: Betting against the Texans run defense has been an absolute cash cow this season. On average, Lovie Smith’s crew is allowing 182 total rushing yards (32nd) and 5.2 yards per rush attempt (29th). Plus, according to DVOA metrics, the Texans rank 31st against the run. Opponents are running the ball 35 times per game against Houston, which is the most in the league. It’s obvious what their weakness is and opponents are consistently exposing it. The Commanders will look to do just the same.

Brian Robinson has emerged as the top back in D.C., as he is averaging over 15 carries per game. Utilizing Robinson against a weaker run defense in Philadelphia clearly worked on Monday Night Football, as the Commanders dominated time of possession and it resulted in a win against arguably the best team in the NFL. Well, now you’re going against arguably the worst team in the NFL, with an even weaker run defense. I’m expecting a heavy dose of Robinson, and won’t be surprised to see him rush for over 90 yards on 20-plus carries.

Play: Brian Robinson Over 63.5 Rushing Yards (-115)

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-3, 38.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: Two brilliant defensive minds have had extra time to figure out their game plans as the Jets and Patriots square off for the second time in less than a month. The Patriots won the first game 22-17 despite being outgained by 99 yards. Zach Wilson passed for 355 yards with a net of 334 on just 20 completions as the Jets found some explosive plays. I wouldn’t expect that to be the case again.

Even with that 300-yard performance, Wilson has faced the Patriots three times and has only 616 yards on 45-of-84 passing with two touchdowns (both in that Week 8 game) against seven interceptions. The Patriots have allowed only 18.4 points per game this season and the Jets have been held under 20 points in each of Wilson’s last three starts.

When these teams played on Oct. 30, Robert Saleh dialed up a great scheme against Mac Jones and the Patriots. His defense racked up six sacks and held New England under 300 yards. Extra days of rest and recovery for the players mean extra days for the coaching staff to put together a plan for the next game. Saleh will throw in some new wrinkles, but he was plenty successful with that last one.

The weather in Foxboro calls for wind gusts in the 20-25 mph range, which should also keep this game under the total.

Pick: Under 38

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Femi Abebefe: It’s not the sexiest matchup from an offensive standpoint, but it might be the most impactful one in terms of the AFC playoff picture. With both teams off the bye, I’m expecting to see good efforts from the Jets and Patriots.

When you look at the rosters, there’s no question the more talented team is New York. We saw the Jets’ ceiling on full display as they upset the Bills at home before the bye week. Buoyed by a number of high draft picks and high-priced free agents, the Jets have become one of the surprise stories of this NFL season.

However, despite all of that, this is something I like to call a “show me” game. The only glaring weakness on the Jets happens to be at the most important position — quarterback. Can second-year signal caller Zach Wilson limit the mistakes against a Bill Belichick-coached defense?

I’ve seen nothing in Wilson’s career that tells me he can, so I’m going to fade him at these numbers until I do. The Jets have done everything in their power to make life easy for Wilson, but he just can’t get out of his own way. Knowing that, I’m sure Belichick and his staff have been crafting a defensive game plan to make Wilson see ghosts.

New England’s offense isn’t a world beater by any stretch of the imagination, but we’ve at least seen Mac Jones play at a winning level in his career. The same can’t be said for Wilson.

Pick: Patriots -3

Detroit Lions at New York Giants (-3, 45)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: The Giants deserve more respect in the betting markets. As somebody who does use yards per play and yards-per-play differential a lot in the handicapping process, there are some important distinctions that need to be made before using that stat to formulate the argument for regression. The Giants have been outgained by 220 yards on the season. They are -0.7 yards per play. They are 7-2 with a +14 point differential. All of those stats suggest that what they are doing is unsustainable and they are going to regress.

Take a deeper look at the Giants, though. They’ve run the ball 90 more times than their opponents. Opponents have thrown the ball 61 more times with 18 more completions. That will create a YPP difference because it’s easier to gain yards through the air than it is on the ground. In the fourth quarter, specifically, the Giants have run on 112 of their 178 plays (62.9%), leading to just 4.48 yards per play. They’ve squatted on the leads they’ve had and tried to take up as much clock as possible in close games. Their average drive length is the third-longest in the NFL, so they move methodically, which works to their advantage.

The Giants also have just eight turnovers this season, so they’ve taken great care of the football, which has been a huge difference-maker. They’ve also had the second-best TD% against in the red zone at 38.2% and are also second in third-down conversion rate against at 32.7%. They do a lot of the little things well and pay close attention to detail. Even though there are a lot of signs of regression from a statistical standpoint, this team can be an outlier and should continue to be against the Lions.

Detroit has given up 6.5 yards per play and ranks last in EPA/play, 30th in Success Rate against and Dropback EPA, 29th in Dropback Success Rate and in the bottom five in both Rushing EPA and Success Rate. They’re also merely average offensively, with Jared Goff heading outside yet again to play in cold conditions.

The Giants may be a regression candidate, but the Lions aren’t very good, and this price is too cheap on the home team.

Pick: Giants -3

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-4.5, 38.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Danny Burke: It appears that Rams QB Matt Stafford is on track to play in this one. Stafford is certainly a better option over John Wolford, but at the end of the day, does it really matter? Stafford’s No. 1 target, Cooper Kupp, was just placed on the IR. Los Angeles’ offense was completely one dimensional when Kupp was playing, so now what is their offense going to look like without its one and only threat? 

Conversely, it’s not that Andy Dalton is any better, but at least he spreads out his throws. And, most importantly, at least they have a dynamic running back in Alvin Kamara, who can hurt you in both the run and pass game. All Dalton has to do is not get flustered and force anything. He should be able to accomplish that against a Rams defense that has regressed a ton and is allowing opposing QBs to complete about 68% of their passes. As long as Dalton doesn’t feel the pocket consistently collapsing on him, then he should be able to limit his mistakes.

So it’s a fairly solid matchup in the sense that the Rams are hurrying QBs on 2.7% of their dropbacks (31st) and have a pressure rate of 13.3% on their dropbacks (31st). If Dalton plays within himself, the Saints can get on the right track in this game. 

Play: Saints -3

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, 50)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Femi Abebefe: I can’t believe I’m writing this sentence, but the most exciting team in the NFL might be the Chicago Bears. The Bears’ turnaround on offense has been one of the most fun storylines at the midway point of the season.

Last week, I faded the Bears because I didn’t like them in the favorite role. Now they’re back to the underdog role against a bad team in the Falcons. In thinking about the game and using market-based power ratings, I just don’t get how oddsmakers could get to the line of 3.5.

While Chicago’s defense has been atrocious for much of the season, Atlanta hasn’t been too far behind. We just saw the Falcons get the ball run down their throats last Thursday night by the Panthers. What do you think Justin Fields and this Bears offense is going to do?

This feels like another high-scoring affair (similar to Lions-Bears last week), where the last team with the football wins. Neither defense is good enough to build a margin, and the backdoor will likely stay open. After fading Fields last week, I’ll back the second-year quarterback with the points this week in a game that could easily go either way.

Pick: Bears +3.5

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Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3, 41.5)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Femi Abebefe: If this were the WWE, I think we’d dub this game a potential “Loser Leaves Town” match. Raiders coach Josh McDaniels and Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett have already been given the dreaded vote of confidence just half a season into their tenures.

These teams have been nothing short of disappointing this year, and in the Raiders’ case, likely hit rock bottom last Sunday after losing to a team that hired its interim head coach out of the ESPN studios. True story.

After the loss to the Colts, franchise quarterback Derek Carr was emotional when addressing the media, using his press conference as a chance to rally the troops. This weekend, we’ll find out if his message was heard in the locker room.

When thinking about this game, the best unit on the field is without question the Broncos’ defense. Unfortunately for Denver, the worst unit on the field is the Broncos’ offense. Led by quarterback Russell Wilson, the Broncos’ offense has been flat-out offensive.

In addition to their normal offensive woes, there’s a chance the Broncos will be without wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. Not to mention a number of injuries up front on the offensive line that had Wilson running for his life last Sunday in Tennessee. This week they’ll face a much easier defense, but I’m not sure they have the ability to take advantage.

In a division matchup between two bad teams, I’ll take the points and pray the variance goes my way.

Pick: Raiders +3

Dallas Cowboys (-1.5, 47.5) at Minnesota Vikings

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Wes Reynolds: Somehow, someway the Vikings managed to win in Buffalo last week. Per Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders, the Bills had a 98.6% Post-Game Win Expectancy based on the stat splits of the full game:

Bills: 6.75 yards/play, 55% success rate.

Vikings: 6.18 yards/play, 41% success rate.

Vikings recovered all four fumbles (2 of their own and 2 by the Bills). 

The Vikings have now won seven consecutive games by one score or less:

Week 3 vs. Detroit, 28-24 (down 10 in fourth quarter)

Week 4 vs. New Orleans (London), 28-25 (FG with :24 left to win)

Week 5: vs. Chicago, 29-22 (scored winning TD with 2:26 left after giving up 18-point lead)

Week 6: at Miami, 24-16 (outgained 458-234 by the Dolphins without Tua Tagovailoa)

Week 8: vs. Arizona, 34-26 (+2 turnovers, Minnesota +8 on the year, which is 2nd in NFL)

Week 9: at Washington, 20-17 (down 10 in fourth quarter, FG with :12 left to win)

Week 10: at Buffalo, 33-30 OT (Buffalo fumbled in end zone after stuffing Minnesota on fourth-and-goal at the 1). 

There is something to be said for making your own breaks. and Minnesota has done that to a degree. However, as you can see, they have gotten a great deal of dare I say, luck, these last several weeks. The Vikings are 8-1 and in the No. 2 spot on the NFC, yet they rank 17th in Overall DVOA. 

Meanwhile, the Cowboys are fourth in Overall DVOA despite playing 5.5 games with Cooper Rush at QB. In terms of estimated wins from Football Outsiders, Dallas is at 7.7 while Minnesota is at just 4.5. The two offenses are relatively equal, although Dallas is 12th in DVOA (keep in mind with Rush at QB for 5.5 games) and Minnesota is 17th. Defense is the bigger discrepancy here with Dallas at No. 2 DVOA and Minnesota at No. 19. The Cowboys’ defense is second in the league with a 29.6% pressure rate while the Vikings are 30th in pressure rate allowed. Dallas also rates 10th in yards-per-play margin, while Minnesota rates 22nd. 

It is understandable that the Vikings are tempting at 8-1 and as a home underdog especially with Dallas off a tough OT loss at Green Bay and the Thanksgiving Day game coming up. However, the Cowboys are the better team under almost all of the metrics. They also may have the friendlier looking injury report with Ezekiel Elliott practicing while arguably the best three Vikings players — WR Justin Jefferson, OT Christian Darrishaw and LB Za’Darius Smith — all have shown up on the injury report this week. 

Pick: Cowboys -125 ML

Cincinnati Bengals (-4, 41) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Tuley: The Bengals have battled through the “Super Bowl loser hangover” as they lost their first games of the season to these same Steelers and the Cowboys, but they’re 5-2 SU since and 6-1 ATS with the only bad game in that stretch being a 32-13 loss at the Browns as they’re hoping to keep that momentum going until WR Ja’Marr Chase can return from his hip injury.

Meanwhile, the Steelers have had an up-and-down season at 3-6 SU and 4-4-1 ATS, though we’re certainly encouraged by that Week 1 upset in Cincinnati and we love getting points in rematches where the dog actually showed they can beat the favorite. The Steelers are also coming off a 20-10 win vs. the Saints in which they played their first complete game since their Week 6 upset of the Buccaneers as 9.5-point home dogs.

We also like the Steelers as home underdogs are 29-22-4 ATS (56.9%) with 23 outright upsets this season. And that doesn’t include last week when the Steelers, who were short home dogs most of the week vs. the Saints and actually closed as 1-point home favorites. The Steelers are 1-0-1 ATS in the games where they have closed as home dogs, including a push in a 17-14 loss to the Patriots in Week 2 and the 20-18 upset of the Bucs. The Bengals are just 2-2 SU and ATS as road faves with wins at the Jets and Saints but losses at the Cowboys and Browns.

Pick: Steelers +5

Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5, 50.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

Sunday, 8:25 p.m. ET

Wes Reynolds: In Week 2, the Chargers were 3.5-point underdogs in Kansas City and got in the backdoor late for the cover in a 27-24 loss, but they were arguably the better side for most of that game. Now they are getting close to a touchdown (I took +7 at open) after getting 7 at San Francisco — which most have power-rated at least within striking distance of the Chiefs (even with the 44-23 Week 7 loss vs. Kansas City) — last Sunday night with hardly any available receivers. 

Speaking of available receivers, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are both back practicing this week, and it’s possible that one or both return for the Sunday night game. Meanwhile, on the Chiefs’ side, Mecole Hardman, Marques Valdez–Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster have all missed practice this week. 

Justin Herbert certainly needs his weapons, particularly Allen, back at receiver. Herbert has had success against Kansas City. While only 2-3 SU, he’s 4-1 ATS vs. the Chiefs and his three losses have been by three, three and six points in overtime. 

You are paying too much of a premium here laying it with Kansas City. 

Pick: Chargers +6.5

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