Holy crap was last week a wild ride. The Bills losing in epic fashion to the Vikings, the Packers finally showing signs of life, and the Eagles taking their first loss of the season (which I like semi-predicted last week). Somehow, I was still able to go .500 with my picks despite all the craziness last week, so I’ll count that as a win. But based on the picks I’m about to make for this week, things could get even crazier. I like nine of the 14 underdogs against the spread this week. And while some of them aren’t huge dogs by any means, I still think things could get a little wild this week. Well, without further ado, here are my underdog-heavy picks for week 11 (wow, I can’t believe we’re already at week 11) of the NFL season.
Tennessee Titans (+3) over Green Bay Packers
I mentioned in the intro that I liked a lot of the underdogs this week. Well, this one shouldn’t really count as an underdog pick. I’m happy that the Packers had a get-right game last week, but I’m not yet buying that they have fully turned it around. Meanwhile, the Titans are good. That is something we know for sure. They’re not going to be thrown off by any cold weather that may be in store at Lambeau because that weather will just help Derrick Henry evolve into his final form. They also aren’t going to let the Packers run the ball that well, and I’m not sure if Christian Watson has another three-touchdown performance in him. If Green Bay is truly back then it should win this game, but I still have my doubts, so I’m taking the Titans, especially as an underdog.
Baltimore Ravens over Carolina Panthers (+13)
I said things might get crazy this week, but I’m not talking Panthers-beating-the-Ravens crazy. But I do like the Panthers to keep this game within 13 points though. The Ravens are beat up right now and Lamar Jackson may end up throwing the ball to a lucky fan that gets chosen to line up at receiver. Honestly, the Ravens should just go full service academy and run the triple option if Mark Andrews is too injured to play. I think the Panthers are just solid enough to keep this game from entering blowout territory but at the end of the day, Jackson is going to do his thing and make sure his team gets the win.
Buffalo Bills over Cleveland Browns (+7.5)
Since implementing my always-pick-the-Bills strategy I have been getting those games wrong because the Bills have actually been losing. So, I’m going the other way this week and picking the Browns to cover. I’m not feeling lucky enough to predict a Browns win, but I think they can keep this one close, or at least score a late touchdown to make it look close. The Browns can control the game on the ground with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, which will limit the number of times Josh Allen and the offense gets the ball. That is the strategy to prevent Buffalo from scoring, especially when your defense is not very good, which is the case for the Browns. This game won’t be pretty, but it may be fun to watch if there are several feet of snow as the forecasts are saying. Snow games are the best games to watch, but they also lead to low-scoring games, which would lend itself toward a Cleveland cover.
Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) over Indianapolis Colts
If I know anything about football, or sports in general, this game is going to be a slaughter for a couple of reasons. The first is that the Eagles are going to be pissed after losing their first game of the season last week and are going to come out hot. They also may play a bit more freely without the pressure of being undefeated weighing on them. Additionally, the Colts got the interim coach boost last week and were able to beat the Raiders but that usually doesn’t last longer than one game. They also are experiencing a big upgrade in opponents from the Raiders to the Eagles. This game isn’t going to be fun for the Colts and I give my condolences in advance to any Colts fans that suffer through this contest.
New York Jets (+3.5) over New England Patriots
Crazy things happen in 2022. Saint Peter’s beats Kentucky in March Madness, Elon Musk takes over Twitter, and I actually feel more confident in the Jets than the Pats. The Jets are a pretty good team this year, maybe not on offense, but that defense is legit. The Patriots, on the other hand, don’t really seem to be heading in any particular direction. There’s a weird quarterback controversy between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe and things just aren’t the same in New England. This game has all the makings of a close, down-to-the-wire matchup, which is why I like the Jets as underdogs. I think this game comes down to a game-winning field goal, meaning the Jets will cover, but I also think the Jets will be on the right side of that field goal and get the win.
Houston Texans (+3.5) over Washington Commanders
I actually believe far more in the Commanders than the Texans. They have some players that I like such as Terry McLaurin, Montez Sweat, and Taylor Heinicke. But here’s the thing, the Texans are going to win a few more games. I just don’t see them finishing 1-15-1. I don’t want to ever pick the Texans, mainly because I think they’re the worst team in the league, but they’re going to win eventually. So why not this week? The Commanders aren’t very good either, although they did just beat the Eagles, but I think that could work against them this week. How is a team supposed to get excited for a game against the Texans when they just knocked off an undefeated division rival? I think the Commanders come out flat, which gives the Texans just enough to barely sneak out a win.
Los Angeles Rams (+3.5) over New Orleans Saints
There is no more apt demonstration of how bad the Rams’ season has gone this year than the fact that they are underdogs against the Saints this week. A Saints team that is coming off a loss to the freaking Steelers no less. Everybody is aware of how bad it’s getting in Los Angeles, especially with Cooper Kupp now on the IR and Matthew Stafford dealing with his own injury issues. But I still don’t think they are worse than the Saints. I still have plenty of faith in the Rams’ defense, particularly against a team led by Andy Dalton that has had its fair share of injuries at wide receiver. I could see both teams failing to reach 20 points in this contest for sure, but if one of these teams does score in the 20s, I have more faith in it being the Rams.
New York Giants (-3) over Detroit Lions
Every once in a while I’ll use some rational thinking when making these picks. It’s not often, but it does happen. This is one of those picks. Although the fun Lions seemed to return last week in their comeback win over the Bears, I’m picking the Giants in this one. The main reason for that, other than them just being the better team, is that the Giants are coming off the bye week, which can be a huge tactical advantage. They will have more time to prepare for their opponent and their players will have an extra week to rest up and get healthy. Also, I’m not sure the Lions would be capable of tackling Saquon Barkley even if they were playing 1-on-11, so that should help the Giants win on Sunday.
Chicago Bears (+3) over Atlanta Falcons
The Bears are my new team that I just can’t help but pick every week. I should be disappointed in them for collapsing last week and losing to the Lions, but just like a cute little puppy, I can’t stay mad at them. Maybe it’s because Justin Fields is lowkey saving my fantasy season right now, but I just can’t quit the Bears. It also helps that they are playing a Falcons team that I was not a fan of to start the season and still am not fully believing in. the Bears are truly turning things around, thanks to Fields, and these are the types of games that they will win as a result. The Falcons’ offense just doesn’t seem to be threatening enough to keep up with the Bears who figure to rack up points against a bad Atlanta defense. but even if the Falcons do end up winning, they tend to play close games so the Bears should still be good to cover with that +3 line.
Denver Broncos (-2.5) over Las Vegas Raiders
There are only a few teams that I would pick the Broncos, as favorites, over this season and the Raiders are definitely one of them. Las Vegas is bad. Like, lose-to-an-interim-coach-that-has-never-coached-in-the-NFL bad. The Broncos are also bad, but they aren’t that bad. They will have also had the bye week, which I explained earlier can be a huge advantage. I don’t think one week off is enough to fix one of the worst offenses in the entire league, but maybe it was enough to get Russell Wilson and some of his receivers on the same page. But the good thing is, even if the Broncos’ offense didn’t get things figured out over the by week, they can do so on the field against the Raiders and their terrible defense. I am going to try to watch as little of this AFC West garbage game as possible, but if I do catch some of this game, I expect to see the Broncos winning.
Minnesota Vikings (+1.5) over Dallas Cowboys
We all saw what the Vikings did last week, right? Even though that game was incredibly fluky the Vikings still took down the Bills and proved they are a good team in the process. I do think both of these teams are good, but I just think the Vikings are better. Justin Jefferson is one of the best receivers in the game and is playing out of his mind. That matchup between him and Trevon Diggs will be fun to watch. The Cowboys certainly have game-changers of their own, namely Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence on the defensive line. Those two could definitely lead their team to victory if they can consistently take advantage of an average Minnesota offensive line and an immobile Kirk Cousins. But the Vikings’ offense is more dynamic at the moment than the Cowboys’ offense and points win games, so I’m going with the Vikings.
Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
For a long time, the Steelers were basically locks to beat the Bengals, but that time has passed. Pittsburgh is now the struggling team that is trying to figure out a way to be successful. The Bengals haven’t been the same team we saw in the playoffs last year, but they are still good. Joe Burrow is still good, Tee Higgins is still good, and Joe Mixon is still good (which he reminded us of by having a dominant performance last week). The Steelers are not good, so the good team should probably win. But there are reasons to have reservations about Cincinnati in this game. Ja’Marr Chase will probably miss this game again as he deals with a hip injury. The Bengals’ offensive line can still be problematic, and the Steelers can certainly exploit that with T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, and Alex Highsmith. I don’t think this game will be a blowout because Mike Tomlin will know how to keep it close against a divisional opponent, but I am expecting the Bengals to show why they are the better team and get a much-needed win for their playoff push.
Kansas City Chiefs over Los Angeles Chargers (+5.5)
These two teams played a great game when they met in week two, with the Chiefs narrowly earning a three-point victory. But if you remember that contest, the game was essentially won by a 99-yard pick-six by Kansas City’s Jaylen Watson (Go Cougs), which probably isn’t going to happen again. But what may happen again, and what I’m predicting will happen again, is a close game. The Chargers are very much banged up and not playing their best football at the moment, but divisional games always seem to reinvigorate teams. Plus, Los Angeles needs this game much more because it is battling for a wild card spot. With all that said, I don’t think the Chargers are going to win, just keep it competitive. The Chiefs are just too good and I don’t really feel like picking the best football player on the planet to lose. Patrick Mahomes himself is enough to win basically any game so as long as at least a few receiver play well enough to complement Travis Kelce then I don’t see the Chiefs losing very many games going forward, including this one.
San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) over Arizona Cardinals
I’m not sure where this game would have to be played for me to pick the Cardinals (maybe Mars), but Mexico City, where this game is taking place, is definitely not it. Even if we knew for a fact that Kyler Murray would be under center for Arizona, which we don’t, I still wouldn’t pick them. So, if you’re telling me that there is a chance that Colt McCoy starts against this vaunted San Francisco defense, I’m taking the Niners for sure. There is also no way the Cardinals can slow down the 49ers’ offense. The only way I see them not putting up a crazy amount of points is if Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk all forget their passports and can’t make it to the game. And even then, I would still have faith that Jauan Jennings, Elijah Mitchell, and Ross Dwelley could get the job done. This is the part of the season where the good teams separate themselves from the not-good teams. And since I believe the 49ers fall into the former category and the Cardinals fall into the latter, give me San Francisco to win easily.