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Week 11 NFL Picks Against the Spread

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NFL Football

Nov 20, 2020 · 1:00 PM PST

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill warming up
New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) warms up before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Chicago Bears in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
  • Week 11 of the 2020 NFL season continues Sunday, November 22nd
  • Our Best Bets were 2-1 in Week 10 (15-15 overall, -1.39 units)
  • Read below for analysis on the Week 11 NFL slate and our favorite ATS picks

After sweeping our Sunday best bets in Week 10, we were on the wrong side of an atrocious Monday Night Football game to finish the week at 2-1. A winning week squares our overall record at 15-15, but we’re still down 1.39 units on the season.

Week 11 is shaping up as a good week to target underdogs, starting with the 3-6 Atlanta Falcons visiting the 7-2 New Orleans Saints. With Drew Brees sidelined, Taysom Hill will make his first career start, while former number one overall pick Jameis Winston will reportedly not be apart of any offensive packages.

Week 11 ATS Picks

Matchup Spread Pick Units Risked
Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints NO (-5) ATL (+5) 1
Philadelphia Eagles vs Cleveland Browns CLE (-3) PHI (+3) 1
Green Bay Packers vs Indianapolis Colts IND (-2) GB (+2) 1

Odds taken Nov. 19th at FanDuel. See bottom for rest of Week 11 Picks.

Pick #1: Falcons Surprise Saints

New Orleans is currently a 5-point favorite over Atlanta in one of the highest total games on the slate. Most people assumed Winston would draw the start, but the Saints surprised everyone on Friday announcing Hill as their guy.

The 30-year-old has thrown just 18 career passes in four seasons in New Orleans, and wasn’t exactly a star QB prospect coming out of Brigham Young. He completed just 58.2% of his throws at BYU, compiling a 43-31 TD-to-INT rate.

He’s much more likely to run the ball, which is a huge downgrade to the Saints skill position stars. Hill has averaged 5.5 yards per carry over 98 career rushes, and the New Orleans offense is now likely to resemble something that Tim Tebow used to quarterback nearly a decade ago.

The Falcons meanwhile, have made great strides since Dan Quinn’s firing, winning three of five games. Atlanta has allowed only 22.6 points per outing during that stretch, which is an 11.9 point improvement from its first four contests of 2020.

After missing the Falcons last game, Calvin Ridley appears set to return to bolster the Atlanta passing game, which is in a plus spot. New Orleans boasts the league’s 21st ranked coverage unit according to Pro Football Focus, and have been torched by the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert and Teddy Bridgewater this season.

The Falcons may be 3-6, but it’s important to remember that they had a win probability north of 90% in the 4th quarter of three of their losses. I like them to cover here and maybe even win outright.

Pick #2: Eagles Upset Browns

Our underdog theme continues with our second pick, as we’ll target the Philadelphia Eagles catching 3-points in Cleveland.

Philly has been a disappointment so far at 3-5-1, but despite having three fewer wins than the 6-3 Browns, the two teams have virtually the same point differential (-29 vs -28). The Eagles offense has been a hot mess in 2020, averaging just 22.6 points per outing, but the defense has kept them in most games.

Philadelphia is generating pressure at the NFL’s sixth highest rate, and have held enemy running backs to 3.37 yards per carry. That spells trouble for the Browns, who want nothing more than to run the ball. Cleveland is running at the league’s third highest rate, and if the Eagles can neutralize Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, they could have a field day against Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield is one of the most pressure sensitive QB’s in football, ranking 38th out of 39 qualified quarterbacks in passer rating under pressure. He’s been sacked on 16% of his drop backs under duress in 2020, has a 1-4 TD-to-INT rate, and a measly 40% completion rate.

The Browns defense meanwhile, isn’t nearly as strong as the past two weeks might suggest. Both their Week 9 and Week 10 games were played in severe wind storms, which caused the total in both contests to plummet. Prior to those outings, they were surrendering 31.6 points per game and are not a unit to be feared.

Pick #3: Packers Over Colts

Our final underdog of the week is the Green Bay Packers, who are currently 2-point ‘dogs to the Indianapolis Colts. This is simply a case of taking the better team, with the better quarterback.

Indy will be a trendy pick after blowing out Tennessee in Week 10, while Green Bay struggled with 1-win Jacksonville.

The Packers currently own the NFC’s number one seed, are PFF’s second highest graded offense, and rank 3rd in points per game.

The Colts on the other hand, may be 6-3, but have just one quality win. They fell flat against Baltimore two weeks ago, and Phillip Rivers is still incredibly turnover prone. Rivers has thrown five of his seven interceptions in games Indy has lost, and the Packers will be getting back their top two cornerbacks (Jaire Alexander and Kevin King) for this game.

Week 11 Quick Picks

  • Washington (-1.5) vs Bengals: Washington finally has competent QB play with Alex Smith under center, and boast a pass rush that should give Joe Burrow fits.
  • Panthers (+2.5) vs Lions: Carolina has covered five of its last eight, is rated higher by DVOA, and should have Teddy Bridgewater under center.
  • Texans (+1.5) vs Patriots: New England hit its ceiling last week versus Baltimore and falls back down to earth against Houston.
  • Jaguars (+10.5) vs Steelers: Mike Tomlin’s team is 1-10 ATS as a double-digit road favorite since he took over.
  • Titans (+5) vs Ravens: The line opened at Baltimore -6.5 and has bee moving towards Tennessee ever since. The Ravens d-line is extremely banged up which spells trouble against Derrick Henry and company.
  • Miami (-3.5) vs Broncos: Tua Tagovailoa improves to 4-0 as a starter against a lousy Denver squad.
  • Jets (+9.5) vs Chargers: LA is going to be one of most popular survivor picks this week and it’s almost a lock that they’ll have everyone sweating this game until the very end.
  • Cowboys (+7) vs Vikings: Let down game for Minnesota after a big win on Monday night. Dallas meanwhile, comes in fresh off a bye and should get Andy Dalton back at QB.
  • Chiefs (-7) vs Raiders: The reigning champs extract revenge after an upset loss to Las Vegas earlier this season.
  • Rams (+4) vs Buccaneers: Tom Brady reportedly goes to bed at 8:30 pm. No wonder the Bucs are 0-3 ATS in primetime this season.
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