Must Bet NFL Picks for Week 11
The tenth week of the NFL 2017 regular season brought some surprises. The San Francisco 49ers got their first win of the season, knocking off the New York Giants. The Cleveland Browns jumped out to a 10-0 lead on the Detroit Lions…only to lose later. The Dallas Cowboys went into the first game of the Ezekiel Elliott suspension and only managed seven points against an Atlanta team that had dropped four of five. Green Bay went to Chicago and won despite using backup quarterback Brett Hundley. What can expect in the coming week? Take a look at our primo NFL picks for this weekend, along with the latest odds for Week 11. Home teams, as always, are in all caps.
Must Bet NFL Picks for Week 11
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 14, 2017
Sunday, November 19
L.A. Rams (+2.5) over MINNESOTA (1:00pm ET, FOX)
The Los Angeles Rams have won four games in a row by a combined 103 points; in those games, they have scored 144 points as quarterback Jared Goff has emerged as a real force in the league. The re-emergence of Todd Gurley at the tailback position has given the Rams true balance on offense, and the only team that has held them under 20 points was Seattle back on October 8. They have scored at least 30 points in six of their nine games so far this season.
The defense hasn’t always been stellar, but they did hold Arizona scoreless and Houston to a single touchdown (although the Texans had backup quarterback Tom Savage at the controls). Wade Phillips brought his coordinator magic to a Rams defense that was already fairly stout, and the result has been the production of a genuine division contender. They head to Minnesota, where the Vikings are also 7-2, and Case Keenum has been a real vision at quarterback after the injury to Sam Bradford. They have won five in a row, including a 38-30 thriller at Washington last week. However, they have not played a team with the offensive prowess of the Rams — and the Rams may also have the best defense that the Vikings have seen. I’m taking the Rams as one of the NFL picks to win this one.
Oakland (+6.5) over New England (4:25pm ET, CBS, in Mexico City)
The Oakland Raiders sit at 4-5 and have lost five of their last seven. They did pull out a 27-24 win in Miami two weeks ago, which gave them the bye week to figure out how to get that offensive mojo from 2016 back. Their defense has not been solid this year either — against Miami, they gave up 24 points to a team quarterbacked by Jay Cutler, and the week before that they gave up 34 points to Buffalo. However, they have shown moxie, especially at home (as in that 31-30 comeback win over Kansas City on October 19). When Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and the rest of the Oakland offense are humming, they are hard to stop.
New England comes in with some real struggles on defense. Yes, they did demolish Denver last week on the road, but the Broncos were playing Brock Osweiler at quarterback. The Patriots have had real trouble stopping the passing game, which is Oakland’s forte. The Raiders come in with a sense of desperation as they try to preserve their postseason chances, and I see them giving the Patriots a real fight. I don’t think I would take Oakland straight up, but I see this game closer than a touchdown.
Philadelphia (-3.5) over DALLAS (8:25pm ET, NBC)
Let’s see. Last week, Dallas mounted a single touchdown on offense against an Atlanta team that was giving up 20+ points to teams like the New York Jets in recent weeks. They were missing left tackle Tyron Smith, and Chaz Green basically looked like he had never played offensive line before. That’s why Dak Prescott spent so much time on his back in the pocket, as the Falcons registered seven sacks coming through Green and Byron Bell. Smith is out with a groin injury and is questionable for Sunday. Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension enters its second week, and the committee of tailbacks (Alfred Morris, Rod Smith and Darren McFadden) assembled to replace him got some decent yards but couldn’t string anything together consistently. Then there’s linebacker Sean Lee. Over the past two seasons, when he has missed games, opponents have averaged almost 35 points per game. When he has played, opponents have averaged about 18 points per game. He will miss next week. Dallas has no depth, and Cowboys fans are seeing how that personnel strategy is working out now.
In come the Eagles, who have not lost since Week Two, when they fell in Kansas City. They beat Denver 51-23 two weeks ago and come out of their bye ready for the Cowboys. The Eagles showed Dallas what you should do when you think you need another tailback — instead of signing a retread free agent, you trade for a stud — which they did, getting Jay Ajayi from Miami. They have a solid secondary and a menacing pass rush — and they will give Dallas a prime-time beating on Sunday night. I’m surprised this line isn’t 11 or 12 points — but I’d take the Eagles for your NFL picks even if it were.