We're a week into the second half of the 2023 NFL season and the Road to 272 Bets marches on. If you don't already know, I'm placing a bet on the side or total for all 272 regular season games.
We finished 7-7 (-0.4 units) last week which brings my season-to-date record to 77-71-2 (+2.22 units)
If you don't already have accounts at several sportsbooks, you're leaving money on the table by not always getting the best odds. This week, a few of my bets, including my big upset pick, were placed at Caesars Sportsbook.
If you click the link below to sign up for an account at Caesars, you'll receive your first bet on Caesars, up to $1,000!
For the third-straight week, there are four teams on BYE so we have a total of 14 games to bet on. The teams on bye are as follows:
- Atlanta Falcons
- New Orleans Saints
- Indianapolis Colts
- New England Patriots
NFL Week 11 Best Bets for Every Game
Bengals vs. Ravens prediction
I'm not going to change my evaluation of this Ravens team based on their Week 10 loss to the Browns. They still out-gained the Browns 6.1 yards per play to 5.0 yards per play, but were on the wrong end of some ill-timed turnovers and allowed the Browns' offense to keep too many drives alive.
The Ravens still enter Thursday Night Football ranking second in the league in Net Yards per Play at +1.5, while the Bengals are still second last to only the Giants at -1.2. Cincinnati has some serious issues defensively, ranking 18th in opponent EPA/Play and 30th in opponent success rate. They're also giving up 6.1 yards per play, the second most in the league.
More importantly, they're giving up 5.0 yards per rush, which is a death sentence against this Ravens offense.
Even if you believe in the Bengals offense, you have to be extremely concerned about the fact this game features a top 3 defense on one side and a bottom 3 defense on the other. Give me Baltimore to win and cover.
Pick: Ravens -3.5 (-110)
Titans vs. Jaguars prediction
I've been trying to tell you guys this Jaguars team has a lot of issues, especially offensively. They were on full display in Week 10 against the 49ers. Obviously, the Titans aren't nearly as good a team as the 49ers, but I don't think the difference between these two teams isn't big enough to warrant a 6.5-point spread.
The Jaguars are 23rd in EPA/Play, 20th in yards per play, 25th in third down conversion rate, and 29th in red zone touchdown percentage. Those aren't the kind of numbers that make me want to lay 6.5 points on a team. Overall, these two teams are 22nd and 23rd in Net Yards per Play so they are very comparable in a lot of ways.
I'll gladly take the points with the Titans in what seems like a bit of a buy low spot after two tough losses.
Pick: Titans +6.5 (-105)
Chargers vs. Packers prediction
You can like the Chargers offense as much as you want, but I hesitate to lay points on them in any game that's not against one of the dumpster fires of the NFL. I don't think a road game in Green Bay is one of those games.
The Chargers defense is 28th in EPA/Play and dead last opponent yards per pass attempt, giving up a disgusting 7.5 yards per throw. If Jordan Love can thrive against any defense in the NFL, it's the Chargers.
Let's give some credit to the Packers' defense as well. Their lack of takeaways hurts them in some of the more advanced metrics, but they're sixth in the NFL in opponent yards per play (4.9) and they're allowing just 6.1 yards per throw, which may cause some issues for Justin Herbert.
I'll take the field goal with Green Bay.
Pick: Packers +3 (+100)
Giants vs. Commanders prediction
I cringe any time I hit the "submit" button on a bet on the Giants. I know Tommy DeVito might be the worst quarterback in the NFL and they have an average scoring margin of -14.7 this season, but I just can't imagine laying 10 points on this Commanders team no matter who they're playing.
Washington is 27th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at -0.6 and also rank 20th in EPA per play and 31st in opponent EPA per play. Most importantly, they're allowing teams to average 4.4 yards per carry against them so the Giants running the ball on nearly every play may actually work to some extent.
A double-digit spread is a big deal in an NFL game and I simply don't think the Commanders are deserving of being favored by that number.
Pick: Giants +10 (-110)
Raiders vs. Dolphins prediction
If you want to talk about a team being deserving of a double-digit favorite, it's the Miami Dolphins. Despite a few hiccups when they've played strong competition, they still lead the NFL in Net Yards per Play at +2 and are averaging a blistering 7.1 yards per play offensively.
The vibes have been high in Vegas since the firing of Josh McDaniels, but the vibes can only take you so far. The Dolphins can attack opposing defenses in so many ways and Aidan O'Connell, while effective at times, won't be able to do enough to keep pace with the Dolphins.
It's time for the Dolphins to remind everyone just how good they are.
Pick: Dolphins -11.5 (-110)
Cardinals vs. Texans prediction
The Texans are for real. There are some fraudulent teams out there, but the Texans aren't one of them. They enter Week 11 in a playoff spot and are eighth in the league in Net Yards per Play at +0.4. They certainly have some issues defensively, but those issues aren't a concern for me when they host this Cardinals squad.
I'm not a Kyler Murray believer and last week's performance against the Falcons doesn't change my opinion of him. People forget just how mid he was last year before getting injured and I'm not ready to give him his flowers after one strong performance.
Let's not forget how bad this Cardinals defense is as well. They're 29th in opponent EPA per dropback and 31st in opponent dropback success rate. C.J. Stroud is poised for another huge game and I think he can lead Texas to a win and cover in this inter-conference battle.
Pick: Texans -4.5 (-105)
Bears vs. Lions prediction
It's been a long time since I've taken a shot on a huge underdog, so I'm going to do it here. That's right, I'm going to back the Bears to beat the Lions in the upset of the week.
Do I think the Bears are the better team? Absolutely not, but I think there are some makings of an upset when you look at the underlying numbers in this game. First of all the Lions defense has been a below average unit at best this season, ranking in the bottom half of the NFL in EPA/Play, opponent success rate, and opponent yards per play.
Let's also give some props to Chicago. After being a complete dumpster fire early in the season, the Bears are quietly becoming an average team in the league. They're 10th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play over their last three games. A big part of that has been thanks to their defense which has allowed 4.7 yards per play over that stretch, the seventh-best mark over each team's last three games.
Fortune favors the bold. Let's take the Bears to win outright.
Pick: Bears +400
Steelers vs. Browns prediction
I even called it last week that the Steelers were going to once again win and cover despite getting outplayed all game and they did exactly that. They've been outgained in every game this season and are 28th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play, but are somehow 6-3. The Mike Tomlin voodoo is real and I'm done betting against it.
This time, I'll take the Steelers with the points as I think the Browns are another fraudulent team at 6-3. There's no doubt the Browns defense is elite, but their offense is one of the worst in the NFL ranking 26th in EPA per play, 28th in success rate, and 30th in yards per play.
Everyone is praising Deshaun Watson for having a good start against the Ravens. Is completing 58.8% of passes for 6.3 yards per throw, one touchdown and one interception a great performance? Absolutely not.
I'll take the points with Pittsburgh and I'm sure that now that I'm betting on the Steelers instead of against them, they'll lose in a blowout.
Pick: Steelers +4 (-108)
Cowboys vs. Panthers prediction
The Panthers have the worst record in the NFL and the Cowboys have beat up on bad teams all season. So, why am I betting on the Panthers to cover you might ask? That's a great question.
If there's ever been a buy low/sell high moment, it's this game. The Cowboys have looked dominant over the past number of weeks and the Panthers have looked like the worst team in the NFL. With that being said, Dallas has struggled a bit when playing on the road this season. Its Net Yards per Play drops from +1.8 at home to +0.1 o the road.
The Cowboys have also had some issues stopping the run this season, ranking 31st in opponent rush success rate. If the Panthers are smart, they'll stick to the run game and try to slow things down while keeping the Cowboys' offense off the field.
The strength of the Panthers' defense is the ability to stop the pass, ranking 12th in opponent yards per throw and 14th in opponent dropback EPA. That could work in their favor consider 68.9% of the Cowboys' offensive yards come through the air.
Give me the 11 points with Carolina on Sunday.
Pick: Panthers +11 (-110)
Buccaneers vs. 49ers prediction
I think the spread in this game is set at the correct number so instead of betting on a side, I'm going to take a look at the total and bet the OVER instead. I'm surprised it's set at a low mark of 41.5 considering the 49ers' offense has been the better of the two units this season.
The 49ers are averaging 6.4 yards per play, the second best mark in the NFL, while their defense is allowing 5.0 yards per snap and 5.9 yards per snap over their last three games. The same thing can be said for the Buccaneers who are 23rd in opponent yards per play, giving up 5.4 yards per snap.
Baker Mayfield and this receiving core can do enough to contribute to the OVER in this one and the 49ers offense will continue to roll against a toothless Bucs' defense.
Pick: OVER 41.5 (-110)
Seahawks vs. Rams prediction
I don't know why, but I think I believe in this Rams team more than any other person who watches football. Now, coming off their bye week, I'll bet on them again.
Despite winning last week, we're seeing some regression from the Seahawks in their past few games. Over their last three games, they're 19th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play and one of their most concerning statistics has nothing to do with that. It's their third down conversion rate on both sides of the ball.
The Seahawks are converting just 31.48% of third downs offensively, which is the third worst mark in the NFL. The Rams, meanwhile, are converting 42.06% of their third downs, the 10th best mark. They have the same issue on defense, allowing their opponents to convert 45.45% of third downs against them, which is tied for the second worst mark in the NFL.
It's tough to win games when you continuously struggle on third downs on both sides of the football.
I'll back the Rams to get the job done at home in what is expected to be Matthew Stafford's return to the lineup.
Pick: Rams +100
Jets vs. Bills prediction
The Bills may be officially broken and while I'm not ready to bet against them when they host the Jets, I certainly won't be betting on them either. Instead, I'll take the UNDER and root for defense in this one.
The Jets' defense has awakened and has become to dominant unit it was a year ago. They've allowed teams to gain just 3.5 yards per play in the NFL over their last three weeks, which is the best mark in the league over that stretch. They're also now fifth in opponent EPA/Play and third in opponent success rate.
Then there's the Jets offense that still ranks 31st in EPA/Play and dead last in success rate. If there's a picture perfect UNDER team, it's the New York Jets.
I can't trust the Bills offense, which is all out of sorts, against this Jets' defense but I also can't trust the Jets offense in any sense. Therefore, the UNDER is the play.
Pick: UNDER 40 (-110)
Vikings vs. Broncos prediction
The Broncos are not the same team they were at the start of the season. Their defense has been leagues above where they were and their offenses has started to click. Now, they get to return home against a Vikings team that is in an all-time sell high spot with Joshua Dobbs at quarterback.
Call me a hater, but I refuse to believe Dobbs is going to continue to play at this level. There's a reason he's been traded around by multiple teams and then struggled with the Cardinals after a couple of decent performances to start the season. Playing the Broncos on the road is going to be a rude awakening for him.
I'll take Denver to win and cover as short favorites.
Pick: Broncos -2.5 (-120)
Eagles vs. Chiefs prediction
Monday night will have the game of the year for us as we get treated to a Super Bowl rematch in prime time! I bet on the Eagles in the Super Bowl, but I'm going to back the Chiefs to win in cover in the rematch.
The Eagles haven't impressed me this season despite having the best record in the league. They're just 11th in the league in Net Yards per Play at +0.2 and have shown a ton of holes, especially defensively. They're just 19th in opponent EPA/Play and 17th in opponent success rate. The Chiefs' defense ranks fourth and fifth in those two stats, respectively. They're also allowing teams to convert 42.61% of third downs against them, which is 25th in the NFL.
The Chiefs offense has struggled to score, but they're still fifth in the league in yards per play and sixth in EPA/Play.
At the end of the day, the biggest difference in this game is the two defenses and it's the Chiefs' who have been much better on that side of the ball. I'll take them to win and cover the short spread at home.
Pick: Chiefs -2.5 (-118)
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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