Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts: 2022 Week 11 NFL Pick

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1)

The Eagles lost their first game of the season last week at home against the Washington Commanders, but that was primarily because the Commanders converted 13 of 22 on third and fourth downs and won the turnover battle by two, allowing Washington to win despite losing the first down rate battle by 8.09% and the yards per play battle by 1.54. Losses like that tend to be a complete fluke, as first downs and yards tend to be much more predictive than turnover margins and third and fourth downs. 

Even after losing the turnover battle last week, the Eagles still lead the league in turnover margin, having a +15 turnover margin across their 8-0 start, and, while turnover margin isn’t predictive, the Eagles also rank 4th in schedule adjusted efficiency, which is much more predictive, and they rank even higher in my roster rankings, which they lead, in part due to the fact that they are one of the healthiest teams in the league. They also have history on their side, as teams tend to bounce back in a big way after a big upset loss like the Eagles had last week (11-point favorites), with teams covering at a 57.7% rate after a loss as favorites of 10 points or more.

The Eagles’ loss last week moved this line from favoring the Eagles by 9.5 to favoring them by 6.5, a big swing, and one that was not justified, as my calculated line still has the Eagles favored by 9.5 points, even before taking into account that they’re in a great spot to bounce back after getting upset last week. The Colts pulled the upset in Las Vegas last week, but they still rank just 24th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 3.5 points below average, and I’m still skeptical of interim head coach Jeff Saturday long-term. The Colts could also be without starting right tackle Braden Smith after he tweaked his back in practice on Friday and my calculated line would increase if he didn’t play, as he’s arguably their best offensive lineman. There isn’t another game I like more than this one this week, so I’m locking in the Eagles at -6.5 as my Pick of the Week.

Philadelphia Eagles 27 Indianapolis Colts 16

Pick against the spread: Philadelphia -6.5

Confidence: Pick of the Week

Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens: 2022 Week 11 NFL Pick

Carolina Panthers (3-7) at Baltimore Ravens (6-3)

This line is pretty high, favoring the Ravens by 12.5, but I don’t think it’s high enough, as this is a matchup of among the best and among the worst teams in the league, with the better team, the Baltimore Ravens at home. The Ravens have three losses, but all came by four points or fewer and all came after blowing 4th quarter leads, with the Ravens leading the league in percentage of time leading per game. In terms of point differential, the Ravens rank 6th at +39 and in schedule adjusted efficiency they rank 3rd, about 7.5 points above average.

The Ravens have done that despite having several key players miss time with injury and now, coming out of their bye week, they are as healthy as they have been in weeks. Stud tight end Mark Andrews, top running back Gus Edwards, stud left tackle Ronnie Stanley, stud defensive lineman Calais Campbell, starting edge defenders Justin Houston and Tyus Bowser, and starting cornerback Marcus Peters have all missed time with injury thus far this season but have since returned and will play this week, for a Ravens team that ranks almost ten points above average in my roster rankings. They’re also in a good spot coming out of the bye, with Jim Harbaugh being 21-11 ATS with extra time to prepare in his career as Ravens’ head coach.

The Panthers, meanwhile, have played slightly better in recent weeks after a 1-5 start, but they are still just 3-7 and they go back to quarterback Baker Mayfield this week, losing PJ Walker due to injury, a key absence considering he has been their quarterback for their recent slight offensive improvement. Even with slightly better offensive play in recent weeks, the Panthers still rank 31st in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency across the season, about five points below average, leading three of the Panthers’ seven losses coming by 14 points or more and four of seven coming by at least 10 points. 

Carolina’s defense is what has kept them somewhat competitive in some games, ranking 14th in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency, but they’re not healthy right now, with starting interior defender Matt Ioanndis and starting cornerback Donte Jackson both out this week. They could get starting safety Jeremy Chinn back this week, but, if not, they’ll not only be without him, but they’ll likely be without the two players they have used most in his absence, Myles Hartsfield and Juston Burris, leaving them very thin at safety. 

Even if Chinn does play, he might not be 100% and the Panthers will still be at least four points below average in my roster rankings, fourteen points below the Ravens, giving us some line value with the Ravens as 12.5-point home favorites. This line is too big for the Ravens to be worth a big bet this week, but they are bettable at that number, even with Chinn’s possible return. I want to lock this in now because the line could increase to 13 or higher if Chinn is ruled out before gametime. This is likely to be a blowout victory for the Ravens either way.

Baltimore Ravens 27 Carolina Panthers 10

Pick against the spread: Baltimore -12.5

Confidence: Medium

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers: 2022 Week 11 NFL Pick

Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6)

The Steelers are just 3-6, but they’ve faced one of the toughest schedules in the league, facing a .500 or better team in seven of their nine games. When strength of schedule is factored in, the Steelers actually rank 15th in overall efficiency, right about below average, and they’ve done that without their top defensive player and reigning Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt for most of the season. In fact, this will be the Steelers’ first game with both Watt and arguably their second best defensive player Minkah Fitzpatrick both in the lineup at the same time since week 1.

The Bengals are better than their 5-4 record as well, with an average margin of victory of 14.0 points per game, leading to them ranking 5th in the league with +43 point differential and ranking 6th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about four points above average. They’re going in the wrong direction injury wise though, missing top wide receiver JaMarr Chase and top cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, leading to the Bengals only having a three point edge over the healthier Steelers in my roster rankings. 

With the Steelers being at home, it’s hard to justify them being 4-point underdogs and my calculated line suggests they should be underdogs of just 1 point. With that in mind, the Steelers are worth betting this week, though this will be a smaller play because the Bengals are in a great spot off of a bye, as road favorites of 3.5 or more cover at a 62.6% rate after a bye. The Bengals don’t deserve to be favored by that many points though, so I’m still pretty confident in the Steelers keeping this close and potentially pulling the home upset.

Cincinnati Bengals 24 Pittsburgh Steelers 23

Pick against the spread: Pittsburgh +4

Confidence: Medium

Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills: 2022 Week 11 NFL Pick

Cleveland Browns (3-6) vs. Buffalo Bills (6-3) in Detroit

This ends up being a neutral site game for the Bills, with their matchup against the Browns being relocated to Detroit because of a snowstorm in Buffalo. Despite that, the Bills are still favored by 7.5 points, suggesting they’re that much better than the Browns. The Bills do typically blow out their opponents, with an average margin of victory of 21.1 points across 18 wins over the past two seasons (18-10), but they haven’t been playing as well as late due to injuries on defense. Already without talented safety Micah Hyde, the Bills are also without talented edge defender Gregory Rousseau and, while they get back their other talented safety Jordan Poyer this week, they will be without stud linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. 

The Browns, meanwhile, are relatively healthy and, while they are 3-6, they have been relatively competitive in most of their losses, with four of six coming by three points or fewer. My calculated line still gives us some line value with the Bills as 8-point neutral site favorites, but that’s barely anything and the Browns are in the better spot as well, with the Bills having to play again in a few days on Thanksgiving, with favorites covering at just a 44.6% rate all-time before a Thursday Night Football game. This is just a low confidence pick, but I like the Browns for pick ’em purposes.

Buffalo Bills 30 Cleveland Browns 24

Pick against the spread: Cleveland +7.5

Confidence: Low

Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers: 2022 Week 11 NFL Pick

Tennessee Titans (6-3) at Green Bay Packers (4-6)

In ordinary circumstances, I would like the Packers a lot this week. The Packers are a disappointing 4-6 and their 21st ranked schedule adjusted efficiency suggests they’ve played at about the level their record would suggest, but it hasn’t helped that they’ve only had four games at home, with their other six games, including a neutral site game, played away from Lambeau. The Packers routinely have among the biggest home/road splits in the league, in large part due to Aaron Rodgers’ having a much bigger home/road split in terms of QB rating than the average quarterback, and this year isn’t an exception, as they are 3-1 with a +6 point differential in their true home games, as opposed to 1-5 with a -37 point differential away from Lambeau.

The Packers are just 2-2 ATS at home this year, but that’s largely due to them being overrated to begin the year, which is not the case anymore now that they are 4-6, and if you look at Rodgers’ entire career, the Packers are 48-21 ATS in Lambeau in games that Rodgers starts and finishes, which is very encouraging for their chances of covering the spread against the Titans this week. Putting the Packers at even more of an advantage is the fact that they’re hosting this game on a short week, against a non-divisional opponent who isn’t familiar with them, a very tough situation for a road team, with non-divisional road underdogs covering at just a 37.1% rate all-time on Thursday Night Football.

It might be surprising to see the Packers favored by a full field goal at home over the Titans, considering the Titans are two and a half games better in the standings, but, in addition to the Packers having a huge homefield advantage on a short week, the Titans also haven’t played as well as their record would suggest, with all of their wins coming against teams that are .500 or worse and their average margin of victory being just 6 points per game. That’s despite the fact that the Titans have benefitted from a +3 turnover margin, which is not predictive week-to-week. In terms of schedule adjusted efficiency, which is much more predictive week-to-week, the Titans rank just 29th, about 3.5 points behind the Packers.

My roster rankings have a smaller gap between these two teams, but the Packers are still clearly the better team in that aspect as well. The Packers are far from healthy, missing two of their most important defensive players, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and edge defender Rashan Gary, but the Titans aren’t healthy either, missing a pair of starting offensive linemen Taylor Lewan and Ben Jones, a pair of key edge defenders Bud Dupree and Harold Landry, talented starting safety Amani Hooker, and top linebacker Zach Cunningham. Overall, I have the Packers two points better than the Titans which, when combined with their significant homefield advantage, gives us significant line value with the Packers at just -3.

However, there is one significant problem with the Packers this week, which is that they are playing on a short week after an overtime game, a spot in which teams are just 2-21 ATS all-time. That makes sense, as teams are exhausted after overtime games and understandably find it tough to get up for another game just a few days later. There are a lot of reasons to take the Packers, but playing on a short week after an overtime game makes them unbettable. In fact, I am actually going to take the Titans for pick ‘em purposes, though this is a no confidence pick and I might change to the Packers depending on the final injury report. 

For the Packers, their two starting offensive tackles David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins and their best wide receiver Randall Cobb are all questionable, while stud Titans interior defender Jeffery Simmons is questionable as well. If all of the questionable Packers play and Simmons doesn’t, that would cause me to change my pick, but this is a no confidence pick either way, with both sides having good arguments for and against them. A push is also a strong possibility, given how many games are decided by exactly a field goal.

Green Bay Packers 20 Tennessee Titans 17

Pick against the spread: Tennessee +3

Confidence: None