Week 11 of the 2021 NFL season is here, and it should produce less blowouts than Week 10. Things kick off on Thursday Night Football with a potentially lopsided game between our Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. It should improve from there, however, with a good slate of games including Cowboys at Chiefs, Cardinals at Seahawks, and Packers at Vikings.
I was awful last week—there were a ton of upsets and blowouts, even more than I predicted—with a very poor 6-7-1 record. That brings me to a very mediocre 29-26-1 record on my (shortened) season. At this point I’d say don’t take my advice if you’re doing any sports betting. Clearly these picks are for entertainment purposes only! At any rate, let’s see if I can keep my (barely) winning record going in Week 11.
Thursday Night Football: New England Patriots (6-4) at Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
The pick: Patriots (-300)
Spread: Patriots -6.5 | Over/Under: 47 | Moneyline: Patriots -300, Falcons +235
The end of a brutal three-game stretch for the Falcons awaits on Thursday night against the red-hot Patriots, who have won their last four games by a margin of 150-50. New England is rounding into form at the perfect time, and rookie quarterback Mac Jones is growing quickly. Atlanta was badly exposed by a playoff-bound Cowboys team, and I fear the same could happen against the Patriots. This is a bad matchup for the Falcons on offense and defense, and New England rarely has let down games.
New Orleans Saints (5-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)
The pick: Saints (+110)
Spread: Eagles -2 | Over/Under: 43 | Moneyline: Eagles -130, Saints +110
I gave the Saints the kiss of death by picking them over the Titans last week, and I’m going to continue to do that this week against the Eagles. Every time Philadelphia looks like they can be trusted, they seem to blow it. Reminds me of another NFC bird team. New Orleans isn’t particularly scary with Trevor Siemian at the helm, but I think they find a way to win on the road this week.
Miami Dolphins (3-7) at New York Jets (2-7)
The pick: Dolphins (-180)
Spread: Dolphins -3.5 | Over/Under: 44.5 | Moneyline: Dolphins -180, Jets +155
Miami has had a string of stronger performances in recent weeks in large part due to their defense improving. Talent was never the issue for the Dolphins—they simply weren’t playing well. That’s changed over the past two games, as Miami has allowed just 19 points. While the offense is still unreliable, they do get to face the flailing Jets this week. New York made the puzzling decision to go to Joe Flacco this week after Mike White predictably fell back to earth. I’m taking Miami here because I trust their defense and coaching staff more.
Washington Football Team (3-6) at Carolina Panthers (5-5)
The pick: Panthers (-160)
Spread: Panthers -3 | Over/Under: 43 | Moneyline: Panthers -160, WFT +140
Two frisky yet underachieving teams meet in Week 11 in the WFT and Panthers, and this one is pretty tough to predict. On the one hand, Cam Newton’s return to Carolina’s offense makes them a much better team. On the other, Washington did just pull off the upset over Tampa Bay. The Panthers are a legit defense, and I think the offense with Newton at the helm is at least functional enough to keep them in games. Washington is a high-variance team, but I think we see the lesser version on Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts (5-5) at Buffalo Bills (6-3)
The pick: Bills (-310)
Spread: Bills -7 | Over/Under: 49.5 | Moneyline: Bills -310, Colts +245
The Bills have to be very, very careful at this point in the season. After building a commanding lead in the division, they’re just a half-game up on the Patriots. Another test approaches in the Colts, who have been unpredictable but have managed to find ways to win close games. Buffalo’s defense is one of the best in the NFL, which will give them an edge every week, but the offense needs to be more consistent. I think they’ll come away with the home win on Sunday.
Detroit Lions (0-8-1) at Cleveland Browns (5-5)
The pick: Browns (-525)
Spread: Browns -11 | Over/Under: 43.5 | Moneyline: Browns -525, Lions +385
The Lions will avoid a winless season in 2021 with the tie they managed against Pittsburgh last week, but an 0-16-1 finish would be even stranger. Meanwhile, the Browns were just obliterated by the Patriots to the tune of 45-7. This is setting up to be a steamrolling by an angry Cleveland team, which should be getting Nick Chubb back for this game.
San Francisco 49ers (4-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7)
The pick: 49ers (-290)
Spread: 49ers -6.5 | Over/Under: 45 | Moneyline: 49ers -290, Jaguars +230
Just when you start to count the 49ers out, they come roaring back with a big upset win over the Rams. Kyle Shanahan’s team has been one of the biggest enigmas of the 2021 season, but they’ve got an opportunity to re-establish themselves as a Wild Card contender with a game against the Jaguars this week. Jacksonville has been more competitive lately, upsetting the Bills and playing a close game against the Colts. I still think the Jags are among the weakest teams in the NFL, so I’m taking the 49ers here.
Houston Texans (1-8) at Tennessee Titans (8-2)
The pick: Titans (-435)
Spread: Titans -10 | Over/Under: 44.5 | Moneyline: Titans -435, Texans +330
One of the most lopsided matchups of the week, the Titans finally get a break from a truly brutal stretch of their schedule: Tennessee played the Bills, Chiefs, Rams, and Saints over the past 5 games and went 5-0. The Titans have established themselves as one of the few consistently good teams in the league, despite their injury situation. Meanwhile, the Texans are arguably the worst team in the league. This one’s easy...or it should be.
Green Bay Packers (8-2) at Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
The pick: Packers -120
Spread: Packers -1.5 | Over/Under: 47.5 | Moneyline: Packers -120, Vikings +100
Despite Aaron Rodgers missing practice this week, it is believed he will play against the Vikings this week. The Packers certainly didn’t look sharp in Rodgers return against Seattle, and they’ve got another difficult test this week against a divisional opponent in the Vikings. Minnesota is one of the most maddeningly inconsistent teams in the league this year, but they always seem to find themselves in close games. This one is likely to be close as well, but I’m thinking the Packers take care of business here.
Baltimore Ravens (6-3) at Chicago Bears (3-6)
The pick: Ravens (-220)
Spread: Ravens -5 | Over/Under: 45 | Moneyline: Ravens -220, Bears +180
The Ravens flopped in a big way on Thursday Night Football, failing to get anything going offensively against the Dolphins. They face another capable defense in Chicago this week, and the Bears have been playing better on offense in recent weeks as well. Baltimore is reeling from even more injuries, but I still like them to handle the Bears—who are improving with Justin Fields at the helm, but are still a deeply flawed team.
Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (5-4)
The pick: Bengals (-115)
Spread: Bengals -1 | Over/Under: 50.5 | Moneyline: Bengals -115, Raiders -105
Yet another toss-up game is on the slate in Week 11, this time between two slumping teams in the Bengals and Raiders. Cincinnati looked like one of the biggest surprises in the league after a hot start, but has since lost back-to-back games against the Jets and Browns. The Raiders, meanwhile, have continued to be largely what they’ve always been: a mediocre team. I like the Bengals to get back on track here.
Arizona Cardinals (8-2) at Seattle Seahawks (3-6)
The pick: Cardinals (-130)
Spread: Cardinals -2 | Over/Under: 48.5 | Moneyline: Cardinals -130, Seahawks +110
This looks like a potentially underwhelming matchup between two teams with banged-up QBs in Kyler Murray (who may or may not play) and Russell Wilson. Wilson certainly looked out of sorts against the Packers last week, and Murray has missed the previous two games. The Cardinals have shown they can win without Murray against poor teams, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to do it this week. I’m picking Arizona under the assumption that Kyler plays—if not, I’ll be picking the Seahawks.
Dallas Cowboys (8-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
The pick: Cowboys (+120)
Spread: Chiefs -2.5 | Over/Under: 56.5 | Moneyline: Chiefs -140, Cowboys +120
The game of the week by far features a dynamic offensive matchup between the Cowboys and the Chiefs. While Kansas City’s offense has been stuck in the mud at times this season, they exploded against the Raiders last week. Dallas did the same, obliterating the Falcons before halftime. This could be one of the highest scoring games of the year, and I actually like the Cowboys a little bit better in this one.
Sunday Night Football: Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-4)
The pick: Chargers (-260)
Spread: Chargers -5.5 | Over/Under: 47 | Moneyline: Chargers -260, Steelers +210
There are few teams more boring to watch right now than the Steelers, especially with Mason Rudolph at the helm. Add to that matchup an underperforming Chargers team that I want to love, and you have a recipe for a weird game. I keep trust Los Angeles to get it, and they keep burning me. Maybe this will be the last time, but I just can’t pick the Steelers if Roethlisberger isn’t playing.
Monday Night Football: New York Giants (3-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
The pick: Bucs (-510)
Spread: Bucs -11 | Over/Under: 49.5 | Moneyline: Bucs -510, Giants +375
Tampa Bay just lost against another frisky NFC East team in Washington—will they do it again this week? I doubt it. While the Giants have been the NFC South’s (aside from the Falcons, somehow) kryptonite, none of the teams are the equal of the Bucs right now. This Tampa team isn’t as elite as they were a year ago and have been battered by injuries, but I still think they avoid back-to-back losses and take care of business in prime time.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.