2014 Quick Hitters (Week 11 NFL Picks)
We’re back on track after a successful 10-3 record and revving up for Week 11 NFL Picks. Last week couldn’t have went much better as almost everyone also lost on the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints. After having a couple of mediocre weeks, it felt nice to do some research and get back to winning. Week 11 ratchets the action back up with more games. We won’t see the run-heavy Dallas Cowboys, surprising New York Jets, lonely Jacksonville Jaguars or resourceful Baltimore Ravens as they all experience their bye this week.
*Remember that my picks are straight up (MONEYLINE) and vegas lines are merely used to determine whether I’m choosing an upset, favorite or even pick.
Here are my results on the year:
Overall Record: 96-50-1 (0.653)
Last Week’s Record: 10-3
Record in Thursday Games: 8-2
Record in Sunday Games: 77-38-1
Record in Sunday Night Games: 3-7
Record in Monday Games: 8-3
Record in Upset Picks: 8-11
Record in Even Picks: 21-15
Record in Favorite Picks: 67-24-1
Record in “Toss-Up” Picks: 44-32
Record in “Moderate Confidence” Picks: 46-15
Record in “Lock of the Week” Picks: 6-3-1
*Even picks are classified as opening lines under 2.5 points.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (Thursday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Miami (-4)
The Pick: Miami as a FAVORITE
Reason: I wonder how many people will sway towards Buffalo because of the Branden Albert injury. I’m not saying it’s not a huge injury, especially considering how good the Bills are up front, but Miami’s defense should have no problem killing Buffalo’s offensive line as well. Pair that with homefield advantage on a short week and I’ll take the Dolphins by a smidge.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Vegas Odds: Carolina (-2)
The Pick: Atlanta at EVEN
Reason: Carolina looked like one of the worst teams in football in a road loss at Philadelphia as their defense couldn’t do anything to stop Mark Sanchez. Matt Ryan and company are better on offense and should be able to score too. I’m a little worried about Cam Newton figuring it out against one of the worst defenses in football. Back the Falcons, but with minimal confidence.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Vegas Odds: Chicago (-4)
The Pick: Minnesota in an UPSET
Reason: This is the quintessential toss-up pick as we have the terrible Minnesota offense going up against a bad Chicago defense and a decent Chicago offense going up against a decent Minnesota defense. I’m picking the Vikings because they’re coming off a bye and the Bears seem lost right now.
Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns
Vegas Odds: Cleveland (-3.5)
The Pick: Cleveland as a FAVORITE
Reason: Cleveland shocked everyone last week with an impressive win over the Bengals in Cincinnati. They made Andy Dalton look horrible and I think they can do a lot of the same with Ryan Mallett and his first start in Houston. The Browns are far from flashy, but can do just enough to win at home.
Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs
Vegas Odds: Pick’em
The Pick: Seattle at EVEN
Reason: I’m not saying the Kansas City Chiefs are a bad team, but they probably shouldn’t have won at Buffalo. I also don’t think Seattle is in near the amount of trouble everyone thinks they are. If they can keep running the ball like they’ve been doing lately, they’ll have no problem taking down the Chiefs who are a good team at home.
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
Vegas Odds: Arizona (-3)
The Pick: Detroit in an UPSET
Reason: The fascinating aspect of this game is that the Cardinals and Lions have had success this season in a very similar fashion. Both have struggling offenses that are feeding on the play of their tremendous defenses. I’m giving the edge to the Lions because Calvin Johnson instantly makes Matthew Stafford better. I also don’t trust Drew Stanton to lead this team to victory against one of the best defenses in football.
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Indianapolis (-2.5)
The Pick: Indianapolis as a FAVORITE
Reason: Barring the Broncos going on a mission and killing everyone, this Colts and Patriots match-up could be a preview of the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots got the better of Andrew Luck and the Colts in the playoffs last year, but I think the tables have been turned now. Indianapolis is a tough out at home and I like them to win with a ton of energy from their fans.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (Monday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Pittsburgh (-4)
The Pick: Pittsburgh as a FAVORITE
Reason: Was that the same Big Ben who threw 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions in only two games last week? The Jets’ abysmal secondary somehow stood up against the Steelers and pulled one of the most shocking upsets last week. I don’t think the Titans can do the same thing, so expect the Steelers to put a claim in on their division.
MODERATE CONFIDENCE PICKS
Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints
Vegas Odds: New Orleans (-7)
The Pick: New Orleans as a FAVORITE
Reason: Oh how the Bengals have fallen … There’s no way I’m taking that team to beat a Saints team at home, even if the 49ers came back to beat them last week. The Saints offense is still one of the best in the league and I can’t see Cincinnati standing in their way.
Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams
Vegas Odds: Denver (-8)
The Pick: Denver as a FAVORITE
Reason: Still the best team in football and now they get to face off against the Rams’ Shaun Hill. This should be another tune-up for the Broncos as they get ready for the homestretch before the playoffs. Denver is still focused in my mind because they will need homefield over the Patriots. I like what some of the Rams’ youngsters are doing, but they can’t compete with the likes of the Broncos.
San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants
Vegas Odds: San Francisco (-1.5)
The Pick: San Francisco at EVEN
Reason: Losing Patrick Willis for the rest of the season is a mighty blow to the 49ers, but he wasn’t playing the last few weeks anyways. San Francisco still has a rather decent defense which should be able to hold it’s own against a bad Giants team. New York hasn’t been able to do anything really well this year, so look for them to drop yet another game this week.
Tampa Bay Bucs at Washington Redskins
Vegas Odds: Washington (-6)
The Pick: Washington as a FAVORITE
Reason: I think the Bucs are the worst team in football, so my new motto is always pick against Tampa Bay. I like Washington’s defense as well, so this should be a fairly easy pick with high confidence this weekend.
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
Vegas Odds: Green Bay (-3.5)
The Pick: Green Bay as a FAVORITE
Reason: Everyone talks about the Eagles and their high-flying offense, but it’s been their defense that’s been particularly interesting. As a top-ten unit in the league, they’ve been able to fight through the problems from the offensive line and stagnant running game. Green Bay has figured out how to neutralize some holes in the defense and let their top-notch offense flourish. Don’t fade the Packers at home this week.
LOCK OF THE WEEK PICK
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
Vegas Odds: San Diego (-8)
The Pick: San Diego as a FAVORITE
Reason: Oakland has an okay defense, but it won’t be enough to stop Philip Rivers and the solid Chargers’ offense. The Chargers defense is atrocious, but that doesn’t mean Derek Carr can do enough to win in a shootout on the road. I’ll take the Chargers who will make the Raiders one step closer to the infamous winless season.
Week Eleven Pick Summary: 9 Favorites, 2 Upsets and 3 Even Picks
Let me know where you agree and disagree in week eleven. Good luck and most importantly enjoy the games!