Spread picks and scores predictions for every NFL Week 11 game

Mike Renner makes spread picks and score predictions for every Week 11 game of the NFL season.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Spread picks and scores predictions for every NFL Week 11 game

As with every week, I’ll be giving a primer of all Week 11 games, as well as highlighting the key match-ups. I’ll give you my picks and how confident I am in each, from a betting perspective. The confidence grade is on our patented -2 through +2 scale.

A positively-graded prediction means that I feel good about the bet. If it’s zero, I’m on the fence. And if it’s negative, I really don’t like the line either way.

Raiders (-1.5) at Lions

The loss of Aldon Smith is quite the blow for the Raiders’ front, but it’s not like they’ll be overpowered by the Lions’ offensive line anytime soon. Even in a rare victory at Green Bay last week, every single Detroit offensive lineman graded out negatively. If the Lions are looking to string together wins for the first time this season, the onus will fall on their defense. And while Darius Slay has only allowed 7 yards in his coverage the past two weeks, the rest of the defense has been far from its 2014 postseason form. Oakland’s Derek Carr has our sixth-highest passing grade, and is so far ahead of Matthew Stafford this year, I can’t go against the Raiders.

Prediction: Raiders 30, Lions 24
Confidence grade: +0.5

Colts at Falcons (-6)

The Falcons’ offense has been unable to consistently score touchdowns ever since they started out 5-0. Over their last four games, they are averaging just 17.5 points per game. Teams have figured out that Julio Jones is the only legitimate receiving threat Atlanta has, and are planning accordingly. The Colts’ run defense is a serious issue, and they’ve lost their best run defender, Henry Anderson, for the season. Indianapolis may be catching the Falcons at the right time, though. Atlanta’s fifth-ranked run blocking line has taken a serious downturn in recent weeks. I see this being a low-scoring affair, and a six-point spread would be high for the Colts to cover.

Prediction: Falcons 21, Colts 17
Confidence grade: -1

Jets (-2.5) at Texans

Houston’s defensive turnaround against the Bengals feels more like an outlier than a trend. There aren’t a ton of holes to find in the Texans’ defense, but where they are susceptible is through the air. That doesn’t bode well going up against New York’s tandem of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. The matchup of the game, though, is whether Houston backup quarterback T.J. Yates can handle the Jets’ complex pressure packages. New York’s pass coverage has taken their lumps in recent weeks, but against a quarterback like Yates, they should be able to get back on track.

Prediction: Jets 24, Texans 14
Confidence grade: +1

Buccaneers at Eagles (-6)

After watching the Eagles offense run under Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez, I’m fairly sure that any drop off will be non-existent, and that Sanchez may even help with their running game. Tampa Bay has had some serious issues all year with gap control from their linebackers, and Philadelphia’s run scheme is designed to expose that flaw—quickly. The only way I can see the Buccaneers coming away with a victory is if Sanchez has himself a classic, multiple-turnover affair, which honestly is too strong of a possibility for me to feel great about this matchup.

Prediction: Eagles 34, Buccaneers 20
Confidence grade: 0

Broncos at Bears (-1.5)

This line is a tad puzzling, because the Broncos success this year had little to do with the play of Peyton Manning and everything to do with their defense, which currently grades out in the top three for run defense, pass rushing, and coverage. Quarterback Brock Osweiler wasn’t all that impressive in cleanup duty last week (-3.1), but he is a former second-round pick who’s been learning under the tutelage of Peyton Manning for three seasons now, and played well enough in the preseason (+1.6) to garner optimism. I’d be more worried about Jay Cutler throwing the game away against the Broncos vaunted secondary than Osweiler’s inexperience.

Prediction: Broncos 24, Bears 20
Confidence grade: +0.5

Rams at Ravens (-3)

I’ve already picked three backup quarterbacks to cover, but Case Keenum doesn’t come close to inspiring enough confidence for me to make it four. In 10 career starts, Keenum has an overall grade of -8.6, with only one game above +1.0. On the other end, the Ravens’ secondary hasn’t lived up to their preseason expectations. Jimmy Smith (-4.3) in particular is having a disappointing season, but Baltimore’s defense as a whole hasn’t been dreadful. The Rams will clearly feed Todd Gurley until they are forced to pass, but the Ravens possess the fourth-graded run defense, which has been improving in recent weeks. If it’s Gurley by his lonesome, it will be difficult for St. Louis to pull out a win on the road.

Prediction: Ravens 17, Rams 10
Confidence grade: -0.5

Cowboys (-1) at Dolphins

Everyone assumes that the return of Tony Romo will sweep all the issues that have ailed the Cowboys under the rug, but there are simply too many negatives for me to feel completely comfortable picking Dallas. Their running backs still can’t break big plays when given favorable looks, and their secondary doesn’t have the talent to hold up playing as much man coverage as they do. That being said, the Dolphins run defense is making me hesitant on my pick. Defensive end Derrick Shelby has been a midseason revelation, grading out in the top 10 for defensive ends and has temporarily been a run stopping improvement over injured star Cameron Wake. But Earl Mitchell’s inability to hold up to double-teams is scary, and he’ll be matched up against un-drafted rookie standout La’el Collins. Mitchell plays solely on the right side against outside zone runs; he’ll likely get caved in every time. This one is really a toss-up for me.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Dolphins 24
Confidence grade: -1

Redskins at Panthers (-7)

Trap game for the Panthers? Kirk Cousins has quietly posted three straight positively graded games, while the Washington defensive line has also developed into one of the league’s best units, with seven players graded at +5.0 or higher (including 3-4 OLBs). With DeAngelo Hall transitioning to safety, the secondary looks to be coming around, as well. None of this means the Redskins will win, however, but it does suggest they’ll put up a scrappy fight.

Prediction: Panthers 28, Redskins 24
Confidence grade: -1.5

Chiefs (-3) at Chargers

Would this Chargers team have a single win if they didn’t have a franchise quarterback like Philip Rivers at the helm? Looking up and down their roster, the Chargers are hopelessly bereft of talent at so many positions, but they’ve still only lost one game by more than one score. I anticipate their second such defeat coming this Sunday. The Chiefs’ defense is once again one of the league’s best, grading in the top 10 for both run defense and pass coverage. The latter just handed Peyton Manning the worst game of his career, picking off four passes along the way. On the opposite end of the spectrum, San Diego grades out in the bottom 10 for run defense and pass coverage. Even if Rivers plays well, I don’t see this ending well for his Chargers.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Chargers 20
Confidence grade: +0.5

Packers at Vikings (-1)

The Packers’ offense has to get back on track at some point, right? It really all comes down to the play of Aaron Rodgers, who continues to miss throws he’s made his whole career. Maybe last week’s success in the two-minute offense will lead to him to taking more chances downfield than he has so far in 2015. All that aside, I don’t foresee the Vikings’ offense putting up any more than their usual 20-or-so points on Sunday. Their downfield passing game has surprisingly gone missing this season; Teddy Bridgewater’s 273 deep passing yards rank 28th in the league.

Prediction: Packers 24, Vikings 23
Confidence grade: -1

49ers at Seahawks (-12.5)

The 49ers may have beaten the Falcons two weeks ago before their bye, but it had little to do with an offensive improvement. While Blaine Gabbert may be a step up from Jimmy Clausen, I anticipate sluggish results to be similar against the Seahawks’ defense—a unit that has clamped down on every subpar quarterback, sans Nick Foles, this year. Even with coverage busts week after week, there is little doubt in my mind that Seattle comes away with the win, the only question is, by how much?

Prediction: Seahawks 23, 49ers 6
Confidence grade: 0

Bengals at Cardinals (-5)

Can Carson Palmer continue his magic against the league’s No. 1 scoring defense? I can’t wait to watch this quarterback duel between two guys no one expected to be playing this well. What I think will prove to be the difference is whichever quarterback gets more out of his run game. Both offensive lines have been fantastic, paving the way for their respective running backs, but with less carries, Giovani Bernard has arguably outperformed Chris Johnson this season. I like the Bengals’ chances of moving the football on the ground more than the Cardinals, especially if Mike Iupati is limited after a scary injury last week—although he is expected to play.

Prediction: Bengals 21, Cardinals 20
Confidence grade: -0.5

Bills at Patriots (-7.5)

The Julian Edelman injury is getting downplayed because the Patriots have been an offensive juggernaut, but there is no “next man up” that can replace all the things Edelman does for New England. He was our 11th-graded receiver this season, and the way he was utilized with Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski was a nightmare for opposing defenses. Obviously, with the way Tom Brady is playing, New England will still be a prolific offense, but I now doubt they can continue their record-setting pace. The Bills have been one of the best teams in the NFL, as long as Tyrod Taylor is at the helm (5-2 with him). He’s currently our 10th-overall quarterback, and has been incredibly efficient with the third-highest accuracy percentage. The Bills lost by eight last time, but with no Edelman, I anticipate a closer affair this time around.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Bills 21
Confidence grade: -0.5

Season Record: 83-63 (69-74-4 ATS)

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Craig W

    Another pick against the Vikings = another win for the Vikings. I like it.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Obviously Rodgers is going to attack early and try to get a lead that will force the Vikes to rely on passing rather that AP. This game will be a good test for the Vikings defense. I just hope this isn’t one of those games that the zebras try to influence.

      • JudoPrince

        The Packers haven’t tested anyone’s D the last 3 games. They should be rather concerned about how to attack Minnesota’s D because those guys are legit this year. I don’t see GB getting any type of early lead this game.

      • RSR1DRIVER

        FWIW, Rodgers has never had a 300 yard passing game vs a Zimmer Defense.
        Vikes-31 Packers-21

        • winner

          no packers are gonna win dick

    • Johnny Dwyer


  • crosseyedlemon

    The Falcons couldn’t beat the Bucs or 49ers but the sportsbooks expected me to take them and lay 6 points? Maybe when hell freezes over.

    • Paige Taylor

      I’ve been surprised by the books wrt ATL as well. ATL is consistently ranked top five in implied point total this year. To say they haven’t lived up to their expectation would be an understatement.

      • crosseyedlemon

        There is really no value in betting on chronic underachievers when there are better options on the board. If I’m going to lay points I think the Jets would be the better investment.

      • Ben M

        It’s so Falcons. Strong start, high hopes, late season implosion. Matty Ice melts in winter for some odd reason. Good on paper does not always translate to good on turf. Falcons are the model of that.

  • BartDePalma

    Romo will be playing after only two days of practice on Thursday and Friday before flying on Saturday.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Romo is a throwback to the old time warriors who you would have to physically restrain to keep them from competing. You need a few guys like this on your team because they inspire everyone around them to play harder.

      • Ben M

        Romo returning to a team that has “bad vibe” written all over it. Cannot imagine one man alone can lift a franchise out of it’s pathos and drama. He’s still a bit new off his injury.

        • crosseyedlemon

          Romo probably won’t be 100% but at this point the Cowboys really have nothing to lose. Just having him dressed for the game might provide a much needed morale boost.

    • Pete

      The intangables of a team change when one of your star players get back on the field….contrary to this article, with Romo back should pump up the offense….besides, they are playing the Dolphins…

  • 30yearsabearsfan

    cutler will revert to who he really is and throw mind numbing interceptions again. he hasn’t beat a winning team this year, but the apologists gush for him anyway. his stats come back to baseline.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think the betting line is an over reaction to the troubles Peyton Manning has undergone. The Broncos defense carried the team earlier this season when the offense was struggling and there is really no reason to think Jay Cutler can magically make the Denver defense look inept.

  • Manny G

    Patriots **LOCK**

    • JT

      That’s what I thought GB was against the Lions last week…

      • Pete

        The Patriots are far superior than the Packers this year, so don’t even go there…any team losing to the Lions has issues…