Week 11 Predictions

Posted: 11/17/2013 by levcohen in Football

Week 11, with only two teams on BYE (Dallas and St. Louis), has the fullest slate of games in a while, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Three games are getting all the hype, as six teams who have had a lot of success this year and have Super Bowl aspirations face off against each other: San Francisco travels to New Orleans in a clash of arguably two of the three best teams in the NFC. Undefeated Kansas City heads to Denver in a possible decider of the AFC West division and the #1 seed. And on Monday Night Football, for the first time in what seems like forever, ESPN gets a great game with playoff implications, with 7-2 New England traveling to 6-3 Carolina, winners of five straight. Let’s get to the games.

*= upset pick

New York Jets (5-4, 6-3 against the spread) at Buffalo Bills (3-7, 5-5):
Line: Jets favored by 1
Over/under: 39.5
My prediction: Jets- 20, Bills- 17… This is going to be ugglly. The Jets have been the epitome of inconsistency, alternating wins and losses throughout this season. This would break that trend, and I’m hesitant to pick Geno Smith on the road, but then I remember that he is facing another rookie QB, E.J. Manuel, who is without his top two weapons, Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods. Scott Chandler is the top weapon this week. I have Scott Chandler on my fantasy team, so good luck to him, but that’s kind of sad.
Jets cover
Under

Baltimore Ravens (4-5, 4-5) at Chicago Bears (5-4, 2-6-1):*
Line: Bears favored by 3
Over/under: 41
My prediction: Ravens- 24, Bears- 20.. If any defense can get Ray Rice going, it’s the Bears defense, who have been terrible against the run this year. With that being said, I’m not counting on Rice to win the game for the Ravens. I’m counting on the Bears pass defense, which by the way, is also terrible. This isn’t last year’s Bears.
Ravens cover
Over

Cleveland Browns (4-5, 5-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (6-4, 5-4-1):
Line: Bengals favored by 4.5
Over/under: 40.5
My prediction: Bengals- 27, Browns- 20.. The Browns are becoming a trendy upset pick, and I get it. The Bengals look shaky, and Cleveland is coming off their BYE with a competent quarterback. But the Bengals might just be the better team, and I like picking them at home. The upset chatter could easily be right, though.
Bengals cover
Over

Washington Redskins (3-6, 3-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5, 5-5):
Line: Eagles favored by 4
Over/under: 54
My prediction: Eagles- 30, Redskins- 27.. Eagles win, Redskins cover. I still feel the need to hedge my bets when it comes to the Eagles, despite their recent run.
Redskins cover
Over

Detroit Lions (6-3, 5-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6, 3-6):
Line: Lions favored by 3
Over/under: 45.5
My prediction: Lions- 24, Steelers- 17.. I just think that the Lions are the better team, even on the road, despite the Steelers’ storied history. There are rumors about Ben Roethlisberger wanting out of Pittsburgh, and of widespread coaching changes, and I think that will help lead to a Steeler loss.
Lions cover
Under

Atlanta Falcons (2-7, 2-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8, 3-6):
Line: Buccaneers favored by 1
Over/under: 44.5
My prediction: Buccaneers- 20, Falcons- 10.. The Falcons are a mess. The Bucs, coming off their first win of the year, are slightly less of a mess. My advice: Don’t watch this game.
Buccaneers cover
Under

Arizona Cardinals (5-4, 5-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8, 2-7):
Line: Cardinals favored by 9.5
Over/under: 44.5
My prediction: Cardinals- 24, Jaguars- 17.. The line is too high, but the Cardinals are the (much) better football team. Road team wins, but home team covers. By the way, would a 6-4 Cardinal team have a shot at the playoffs? They certainly would in the AFC, and would perhaps be the favorite, but the NFC is much tougher, and they’d probably have to beat out the 49ers, which is not a simple task.
Jaguars cover
Under

Oakland Raiders (3-6, 5-4) at Houston Texans (2-7, 2-7):- Lock of the Week
Line: Texans favored by 10
Over/under: 41.5
My prediction: Texans- 31, Raiders- 13.. Terrelle Pryor is out. Matt McGloin, pride of Penn State, is the Raiders starting quarterback. Matt McGloin wasn’t even a good college QB, let alone NFL. That’s why I’m picking the Texans, with their seven game losing streak, as my lock of the week.
Texans cover
Over

San Diego Chargers (4-5, 5-3-1) at Miami Dolphins (4-5, 4-5):
Line: Chargers favored by 1
Over/under: 45
My prediction: Chargers- 23, Dolphins- 19… The Dolphins are kind of a mess. The Chargers might be too, but the Dolphins are definitely more of a mess than San Diego.
Chargers cover
Under

San Francisco 49ers (6-3, 6-3) at New Orleans Saints (7-2, 6-3):
Line: Saints favored by 3.5
Over/under: 50
My prediction: Saints- 31, 49ers- 21.. I wouldn’t pick any team +3.5 in New Orleans. Not even the Seahawks or Broncos. The Saints are just amazing at home, and I don’t see the 49ers stopping them. Not in the regular season, when it seems like Jim Harbaugh is just letting his players get ready for a playoff run while Sean Peyton’s Saints are gunning for the #1 seed in the NFC. And if they get it, they’ll be as likely as anyone to make the Super Bowl.
Saints cover
Over

Green Bay Packers (5-4, 5-4) at New York Giants (3-6, 3-6):
Line: Giants favored by 3.5
Over/under: 41
My prediction: Giants- 19, Packers- 13.. This number came all the way down from Giants favored by 6, which is why I’m picking the Giants to win and cover. As much as it pains me. Because I think that if New York wins this game, they have a shot at making a run for the division.
Giants cover
Under

Minnesota Vikings (2-7, 4-5) at Seattle Seahawks (9-1, 6-4):
Line: Seahawks favored by 13
Over/under: 46
My prediction: Seahawks- 31, Vikings- 10.. This is going to be alll Seahawks. Or it should be, although it’s possible that the Seahawks will take this win for granted (as they should). On the other hand, they do have a BYE coming up next week, so I think they’ll run up the score in this one.
Seahawks cover
Under

Kansas City Chiefs (9-0, 6-3) at Denver Broncos (8-1, 6-3):
Line: Broncos favored by 7.5
Over/under: 49
My prediction: Broncos- 27, Chiefs- 20.. The half point hook over a touchdown is enough for me to take the still-undefeated Chiefs on the road. The Chiefs actually have the defense that has the best chance at rattling Peyton Manning. They have a great pass rush (Justin Houston and Tamba Hali have more sacks than any other pair of teammates in the NFL), and a deep and terrific secondary that can match up with Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, and Wes Welker. With that being said, this is the first real test for Kansas City, and I think they are competitive in this one but end up losing.
Chiefs cover
Under

New England Patriots (7-2, 5-4) at Carolina Panthers (6-3, 6-3):*
Line: Panthers favored by 3
Over/under: 46
My prediction: Patriots- 27, Panthers- 17.. This was my thought process for this game: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady coming off of a BYE? Check. The Patriots as underdogs? Check. The Panthers coming off a huge win? Check. The Panthers with two huge matchups with the Saints coming up? Check. Belichick in November? Check. I feel pretty confident about this pick.

Upset picks:
Patriots over Panthers
Ravens over Bears

Lock of the Week:
Texans over Raiders

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