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NFL Upset Picks for Week 11

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Nov 21, 2020 · 9:53 AM PST

Calvin Ridley and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons celebrating on the field.
Can Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense outscore the Taysom Hill led Saints? Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire
  • The Falcons are a live underdog this week with Taysom Hill at quarterback for the Saints
  • Green Bay should also be able to pull off the road upset against Indianapolis
  • Bury last week’s picks that went 0-2 and lost us 3 units. We still have +10.32 units to blow through!

I probably express the sentiment every year, but this NFL season is flying by. It seems like just yesterday that people thought the Dallas Cowboys would be a powerhouse, the Miami Dolphins would be a doormat, and that coaches wearing masks on the sideline was optional.

In what has been a weirder year than usual, we’ve still reached that point in the season where we have a good idea of what all these teams are, or at least what trajectory they’re on for the rest of 2020. After looking at the Week 11 odds, here’s a couple underdogs on the upswing that I really like. (And one insane pick I promised I would make!)

NFL Week 11 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Jacksonville Jaguars PIT – 10 +410 Jaguars 1
Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints NO -3.5 +155 Falcons 1
Green Bay Packers vs Indianapolis Colts IND -2.5 +110 Packers 2

Odds taken Nov. 20 from DraftKings and FanDuel

Steelers Stumble

Loyal readers of this column will not be shocked by this pick, since I told you it was coming last week. The Steelers drubbing of the Bengals did not shake my confidence in Pittsburgh’s ability to lose to bad teams on the road. Meanwhile, the Jaguars were surprisingly game to take on the Packers last week.

The Steelers are currently -10.5 favorites in Duval County. But as I already went over, these big favorite spots are not where you want to back Pittsburgh against the number.

I’m chasing the great Steeler choke job again this week. It’s my white whale. If you don’t want to join me in my Ahabian pursuits, perhaps these other two picks might be more your speed.

Falcons Get Over The Hill

Atlanta was a really enticing play earlier this week when we thought Jameis Winston was going to be under center. A quarterback with the ability to match the Saints 2019 season’s worth of turnovers in a single game would’ve made this a real toss up. But Sean Payton is taking a different approach this weekend.

With Taysom Hill starting now, there’s slightly less value on Atlanta pulling the upset, but the Falcons are still in a great spot to win here.

Hill has never attempted more than two passes in an NFL game. More of a gimmick than a quarterback, Saints fans have grown tired of seeing him get the ball in big spots rather than the teams actual playmakers.

Hill might make an impact as a runner early, but he’s provided no reason to believe he can execute an NFL offense for four quarters. And now that the Falcons defense has reached a base level of competency under Raheem Morris, it could be a long afternoon for Hill.

Atlanta is 3-1 under their interim head coach, allowing 10 fewer points per game while actually holding on to fourth quarter leads.

Even though the Saints have been the superior side over the past few years, the Falcons have still played their rivals tough, splitting their last eight meetings 4-4 straight up.

Back to the Pack

Green Bay was one of our first winning bets of the year, and we haven’t really had a chance to revisit them since. Now that they’re getting points on the road against Indianapolis, it seems like a good time to use some of those units we saved in Week 2.

The Colts had their most impressive showing of the season in Tennessee on Thursday, but when you zoom out on their schedule so far, that’s not saying much. When it comes to stepping up and competing with actual contenders, Indy is 0-1 against teams that are currently in a playoff spot.

Indianapolis teams of old would be a great matchup against the Packers awful run defense, but this year’s iteration isn’t scaring anyone on the ground. The Colts rank 29th in the league in yards per carry and 18th in rushing DVOA.

If this is going to turn into a battle of passing attacks, I wouldn’t take old man Rivers to win a shootout with Aaron Rodgers indoors.

Rodgers is undefeated in three indoor games this season, throwing 11 TDs and zero interceptions. Look for another banner day from the Packers offense as they roll in this one.

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