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NFL Week 11 Picks Straight Up – Predicted Upsets and Underdogs Showing Value

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Nov 20, 2021 · 6:09 AM PST

Kirk Cousins running with football
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins scrambles up field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
  • Minnesota is a home underdog against Green Bay, despite rating better in most offensive categories
  • The Dallas Cowboys are getting points in Arrowhead; can they topple the Chiefs?
  • Last week’s picks went 1-2, winning us 1.5 units, bringing our season total to +12.09 (13-14 record)

The run of big favorites falling continued in Week 10, as Washington Football team shocked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers saved our picks with an upset in Arizona.

The only massive underdogs in the Week 11 lines are the NFL’s worst teams, so we won’t be looking for any huge upsets. But we’ve got plenty of games that should have playoff implications in our picks, starting with an NFC North clash.

NFL Week 11 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings GB -2.5 +100 Vikings 1
Dallas Cowboys vs Kansas City Chiefs KC -2.5 +145 Cowboys 1
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Los Angeles Chargers LAC -5.5 +215 Steelers 1

Odds as of November 19th at DraftKings and FanDuel

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Vikings vs Packers

The Green Packers already have the NFC North on lock, but this is still a critical game against their division rivals when the visit the Minnesota Vikings as 2.5-point favorites.

We lamented the Vikings bad luck the last time we sided with Minnesota and that’s still the case. With an average margin of defeat of just 3.6 points – including two OT losses – Kirk Cousins and company deserve better than a sub-500 record at the midway point of the season.

Green Bay’s offense hasn’t exactly been on fire over the last month. Part of that has to do with the their stars being sidelined for one reason or another, but even at full strength, the Pack haven’t topped 30 points since Week 3. They also have a history of performing below their average against Mike Zimmer’s D, as outlined here by Arif Hasan. (That includes the last few years when the Vikes D sucked.)

Aaron Rodgers will go this week but Aaron Jones won’t. And as fun as it is watching AJ Dillon’s monster thighs churn, Jones is an integral part to this Packers passing game. Green Bay also has some injuries in the pass rush department, with Whitney Mercilus likely done for the year and Rashan Gary questionable.

Also, for what it’s worth; the 8-2 Packers have a worse DVOA than the 4-5 Vikings.

Look for the Vikings’ luck to turn around here as they make a push down the stretch for an NFC wild card spot.

Cowboys vs Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are back! One win over a struggling Raiders team has people buying back in on the back-to-back reigning AFC Champs. But we’ll find out if the Chiefs have really rediscovered their swagger when they welcome the Dallas Cowboys to Arrowhead as 2.5-point favorites.

Kansas City has been drafting off past success to inflated lines all season, thus they have a dismal 3-7 ATS record. Meanwhile, the very public Cowboys have been killing Vegas with an 8-1 ATS record. So it’s a little surprising the better team is getting points in this spot.

Dak Prescott is among the favorites for MVP with the way he’s been playing in 2021, while Patrick Mahomes has been dealing with an uncharacteristically high number of turnovers. If Mahomes isn’t careful this weekend, he’ll be on the wrong side of yet another Trayvon Diggs highlight.

The Cowboys’ league-leading offense also got reinforcements last week, as receiver Michael Gallup returned to the fold. Look for him to have a bigger role this week with Amari Cooper now out due to COVID.

Historically, buying into the Cowboys just meant heartbreak once the season neared Thanksgiving. But this year’s team really feels different. This is a spot where they can prove that’s the case.

Steelers vs Chargers

With so many teams in the hunt in the AFC, it feels like every week will have several games with playoff implications from here on out, and Sunday Night Football is one of those big matchups. The Los Angeles Chargers are 5.5 point favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers in SoFi Stadium.

I’m not thrilled at the prospect of potentially backing Mason Rudolph in this spot; fresh off a tie with the NFL’s worst team. In fact, there’s a lot of concerning injuries for Pittsburgh.

But this is a vote of confidence in Mike Tomlin. These are the spots he thrives in. When they’re an underdog, Pittsburgh is an NFL-best 18-5 against the spread since 2017, including 14-9 straight-up. One of those wins, came in a very similar spot against the Chargers, on a Sunday Night, with Duck Hodges under center. Steelers fans took over the tiny soccer stadium the Bolts called home: what will this weekend look like?

Regardless of who is playing QB, Najee Harris will be the key to the Steelers’ attack against this league-worst Chargers run defense. If the Steelers can control the ball, that will put even more pressure on a LA offense that is facing tons of questions after starting off the season hot.

Brandon Staley has won a lot of fans with his aggressive decision making, but Tomlin has won a lot of games, period. We’ll roll with the veteran coach to get it done in a huge spot against a young team.

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