Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017 NFL Week 11 Picks

Fresh off my best week of the season that won me the top prize in my picks pool, things are off to a good start again after Pittsburgh took care of business on Thursday. Let the good times roll!
Last week: 11-3
Season total: 76-70

Browns +7.5 versus Jaguars

Cleveland continues to give teams some trouble before falling apart late, but they're getting close and closer to that elusive first W. They probably won't get it here with rookie DeShone Kizer having to face this elite defense with the possibility of two backup tackles starting, but I think they can hang around at home, especially with Corey Coleman coming back healthy.

Saints -7.5 versus Redskins

I was tempted to take Washington because this New Orleans run is bound to end at some point, but with this game in the Superdome, the Saints wins will be marching in a bit longer most likely. The New Orleans defense is up to #5 in Football Outsiders DVOA to go along with the #2 offense thanks in part to remarkable balance since the Adrian Peterson trade.

Chiefs -10.5 at Giants

In case you forgot about Andy Reid's record coming off a bye, it's 16-2 straight up and 13-5 against the spread. New York just lost to the previously winless 49ers to fall to 1-8. Let's not overthink this one.

Rams +2.5 at Vikings

Considering that I streamed Case Keenum in fantasy football last week to great effect, I understand sticking with him as the Minnesota starter in the midst of their five game win streak, but his two interceptions also nearly let Washington come back. Not to go too far down narrative street here, but I think he struggles in this #RevengeGame against his former team, and Teddy Bridgewater will take the reigns against a non-Wade Phillips defense.

Ravens -2.5 at Packers

After their admirable win for pick last week, Green Bay is back at home but without their top two running backs in addition to their star quarterback now. That's probably not going to get it done against this tough Baltimore defense that's had the bye week to prepare.

Dolphins -2.5 versus Buccaneers

Do I really have to pick one of these teams? Neither is inspiring of any confidence on either side of the ball, so I guess I'll take the home team with this small of a spread.

Lions -2.5 at Bears

I know Detroit didn't look great against Cleveland, but they still managed to pull away to win by two scores. This line is surprisingly low when you think about difference in quarterbacks right now, and the Lions run defense is decent enough to not let Jordan Howard beat them by themselves.

Cardinals -1.5 at Texans

Blaine Gabbert! Tom Savage! Get pumped!...or just take the more consistent defense in this battle of abysmal quarterbacks.

Chargers -3.5 versus Bills

I think Sean McDermott is a good coach, but the choice to replace Tyrod Taylor at quarterback doesn't make sense when it was his defense that let him down, especially with a playoff spot still within sight. I was going to pick L.A. as the better team at home here anyway, and this just confirms the choice with their stout defense now facing 5th round rookie Nathan Peterman.

Bengals +2.5 at Broncos

Facing some of the best offenses in the league is a contributing factor, but the vaunted Denver defense has not been performing up to par of late. Combine that with Brock Osweiler still being the starting passer, and I can't trust them laying points, even at home.

Patriots -6.5 "at" Raiders (in Mexico City)

The 6 seed in the AFC is right there for the taking, but having to face New England on somewhat of a neutral field rather than at home is a tough way to make a run. The schedule gets easier for Oakland after this, but I don't think their defense can provide much opposition to Tom Brady.

Eagles -3.5 at Cowboys

I know it's in Dallas, but the team with the best record in the league should be favored by more against a team missing Sean Lee and Tyron Smith. After what Adrian Clayborn did to the backup left tackles last week, just imagine what Philly's ferocious defensive line will do, especially if Jason Garrett still doesn't adjust his blocking scheme.

Falcons +2.5 at Seahawks

Speaking of Clayborn, I was ready to pick Seattle at home since Atlanta's defensive end surely can't repeat his career day again, but the injuries continue to mount for the Seahawks. Kam Chancellor might join Richard Sherman on IR, Earl Thomas is just making his way back from his hamstring issue, and with Duane Brown a gametime decision, Clayborn might actually get a chance to tee off on Russell Wilson like last week. With the way Dan Quinn's current team did against his former employers last year, I'll take the points in what should be a tight one.

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