NFL Predictions Week 11: Picks and Odds Advice for Latest ScheduleNovember 18, 2018
If the Week 11 NFL odds, per OddsShark, come close to fruition, we should be expecting many close games and a handful of shootouts.
All 12 games on Sunday and Monday feature spreads at 7.5 points or fewer. In addition, six of the 12 matchups have over/under totals of 49.5 points or higher.
That would make for an exciting week of football, but if this season has taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected. It's also taught us that over/under totals never seem high enough given the way some teams are scoring.
In any case, here's a look at some Week 11 picks, alongside further analysis on two contests.
Carolina Panthers (-4.5, 49.5 O/U) at Detroit Lions: Carolina -4.5
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-4, 43.5): Baltimore -4
Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3, 49.5): Dallas +3
Houston Texans (-3, 42.5) at Washington Redskins: Houston -3
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5, 46.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars: Pittsburgh -5.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (-2.5, 52.5): New York -2.5
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-1.5, 50.5): Indianapolis -1.5
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-7, 45.5): Los Angeles -7
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals (-5.5, 41): Arizona -5.5
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (-7.5, 56): Philadelphia +7.5
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-2.5, 44.5): Chicago -2.5
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5, 63): Kansas City +3.5
Take Advantage of the Vikings at Bears Line
The Chicago Bears' season can be split into two parts.
The first contains five games and features healthy edge-rusher Khalil Mack dominating his competition with seven sacks. The team was 4-1 during those contests, with the lone loss coming at the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay needed a magic act from signal-caller Aaron Rodgers in that one. The 14-year pro and certain Pro Football Hall of Famer led his team to a 24-23 win on a sprained knee after overcoming a 20-0 third-quarter deficit.
In other words, the Bears' only 2018 loss with a healthy Mack occurred because one of the game's best all-time greats pulled off one of the finest moments of his career.
The second features four matchups with either an injured Mack or sans a sidelined Mack. The ex-Oakland Raider suffered an ankle injury in Week 6 against the Miami Dolphins but played through it for that contest and Week 7 against the New England Patriots. Both games were losses, and the team allowed 69 points during that span. Mack then sat for two weeks to rest up (both Bears wins).
He's good to go now and proved as much when he sacked Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford twice and accrued six total tackles in a 34-22 win in Week 10. Check out this one sack in particular:
It's safe to say Mack is past the ankle injury. That's not a good sign for the Minnesota Vikings, who are rolling into a tough road environment on Sunday Night Football.
The Bears are an interesting pick against the spread because the line has dropped a half-point to 2.5, meaning Chicago backers can win with a field-goal victory. That's an enticing play given Mack's dominating performances when healthy.
Pick The Philadelphia Eagles to Cover at the New Orleans Saints
Eight of the Philadelphia Eagles' nine 2018 games have ended with seven-point deficits or fewer. The lone exception was a 34-13 win over the New York Giants.
Granted, Philadelphia hasn't played a team the caliber of the 8-1 New Orleans Saints, but the Eagles have enough offensive talent to keep this one close.
In particular, the connection between quarterback Carson Wentz and tight end Zach Ertz should give the Saints some significant problems. Ertz is unstoppable, with 75 catches for 789 yards and five touchdowns. His 75 percent catch rate is a career-high total, and he's seen an average of 11 targets per game.
The Saints can't just double-team Ertz and expect to get away with it, as the Eagles have solid pass-catchers in wideouts Alshon Jeffery (33 catches, 389 yards, four touchdowns in six games), Golden Tate (46 receptions in eight games) and Nelson Agholor (46 catches in nine games). Philadelphia could also call on tight end Dallas Goedert, who is the owner of 18 receptions on just 21 targets.
Wentz is also enjoying an efficient season, as he has career-highs in completion rate (71.0 percent), yards per attempt (8.0) and quarterback rating (108.5).
Against a Saints defense that allows 25.8 points per game (a bottom-10 ranking), the Eagles could do some damage, especially with Saints rookie defensive end Marcus Davenport (four sacks) out with a toe injury.
The Eagles' offensive efforts may not be enough to knock off the high-octane Saints (first in points per game) on the road, but Philadelphia can hang within one score. Therefore, taking Philadelphia to cover is the pick here.