The Weekly Blitz: 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread for Week 11

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIINovember 19, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 13:  (L-R) David Nelson #86 of the Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson #22 celebrate a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Throughout the season, I pick three NFL games versus the spread with the goal to finish 2-1 (or better) for the week.

Finishing 3-0 against the spread (ATS) last week, I improved to 22-6-2 (78.6 percent) ATS through the first 10 weeks of the season and I have only one losing week this season.

Here are my three Week 11 NFL picks against the spread:

Buffalo Bills (+1.5) over Miami Dolphins

Based on each team's past two games, the Dolphins, who have won two straight, and Bills, who have lost two straight, are trending in the opposite direction. Will that continue? As ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso would say, "not say fast, my friends."

While the Dolphins have allowed the second-fewest rushing touchdowns (three), only three teams have allowed more rushing touchdowns than Buffalo this season. That said, Buffalo has been better against the run (even without defensive tackle Kyle Williams) over their past four games as they have allowed only 3.7 yards per carry during that span. In addition, only the Packers (17) have more interceptions than the Bills (15).

Although Bills running back Fred Jackson has not scored in three weeks and Miami's run defense is underrated, I expect a big week from Jackson, the NFL's leading rusher (917 yards), to help the Bills' offense get back on track. Jackson has four 100-yard rushing games in the past five weeks.

The one exception was against an improved Jets run defense, who have not allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 5. Jackson still finished with 82 rushing yards (4.6 yards per carry) and 120 yards from scrimmage in that game.

Although the 'Fins have a one-game home winning streak, they have won only two of their past 14 games at home.

Atlanta Falcons (-6) over Tennessee Titans

If you're expecting Titans running back Chris Johnson to continue to roll after last week's season-best performance at Carolina, brace yourself.

Here's an interesting stat: The Panthers have allowed an 85-yard rusher in every game this season except one and the Falcons have allowed only one 85-yard rusher (Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy, 95 yards, in Week 2) this season.

Unlike the Dolphins, the Falcons have been tough to beat at home over the past few years. Although they are only 2-2 at home this season, the first loss was to the unbeaten Packers and the other loss was to the Saints in overtime.

For his career, quarterback Matt Ryan is 22-4 at home compared to 16-13 on the road. Almost all of Ryan's numbers are better at home (road numbers in parenthesis): 94.0 passer rating (80.4), 63.7 completion percentage (58.4), 7.37 yards per pass attempt (6.21) and a 40:17 touchdown-to-interception ratio (40:27).

The Falcons are 8-2 against the spread as a home favorite in games with spreads of 3.5 to 10 points and are 18-5 ATS in games following a straight-up loss. Meanwhile, the Titans are 6-13 ATS against teams with a winning record.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+1) over Cleveland Browns

For my third game, I was very tempted to take the Bucs and the 14.5 points, but it's hard to bet against the Packers and Aaron Rodgers, who is making it look way too easy this season.

Instead, I am going with what just may be the most boring game of the day, or even the season, as the Browns and Jaguars have scored 20-plus points in only one game each this season.

The Browns will be without Peyton Hillis for another game and Montario Hardesty is a game-time decision, but I don't expect him to play. Chris Ogbonnaya had a solid game last week against the league's worst-ranked run defense (St. Louis), but Silent G won't be able to get the ground game going against a tougher run defense this week.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew has been extremely consistent this year. Through nine games, Jones-Drew has rushed for 80-plus yards in eight games, which is the most in the NFL. (Fred Jackson and LeSean McCoy have seven 80-yard games each and Adrian Peterson has six of them.) Meanwhile the Browns have allowed the third-most rushing yards (142.8 per game) this season.

The Jaguars are 3-0-1 against the spread in their last four games while the Browns are 1-8-2 ATS in their past 11 home games.

To see the picks of our other two "handicappers," visit the The Weekly Blitz page.

In addition to having tremendous success in picking games against the spread this year, I am currently ranked as the third-most accurate "fantasy football expert" out of all of those tracked by year-to-date through Week 10.

For all of our fantasy football rankings for Week 11, which will be updated later today, visit our fantasy section at

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