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Week Eleven Picks

November 17th, 2016

Dear god, I just keep getting worse.

I wrapped up week ten with records of 8-6 straight up, 6-8 against the spread. Ugh. I guess it could have been a lot worse considering that the favorites went 6-6 straight up, 3-9 against the spread (with two games going off even). But still. Ugh.

I head into week eleven at 87-58-2 (.599) straight up, 66-79-2 (.449) against the spread. Are you impressed by those numbers? Because I’m not.

So, you know, here’s what you really, really shouldn’t expect this week.

New Orleans (+3.5) at Carolina
I don’t know. I guess in a short week I have to take the hideously unbalanced team that’s playing at home over the hideously unbalanced team playing on the road. Right? Carolina by three.

Tennessee (+3) at Indianapolis
If I were smart, I’d take the squad that already took game one of the season series on the road to close it out with a win at home. And that’s how you know I’m not smart. I just think the better team’s got to win one out of two. Titans by four.

Jacksonville (+6.5) at Detroit
One of these teams may accidentally mount a ground attack this week. And that team will be the Lions. Detroit by eight.

Tampa Bay (+7.5) at Kansas City
If the Chiefs are going to be taken seriously, they’re going to need to prove that they can put away aggressively mediocre teams like the Buccaneers. I think they’ll do just that. Kansas City by 10.

Chicago (+7.5) at NY Giants
The Giants aren’t a great team. But the Bears will make them look like one. New Jersey by 13.

Arizona (even) at Minnesota
I don’t think I can confidently pick either of these teams to win. So I’ll take the Vikings to find a way to lose. Again. Arizona by a point.

Buffalo (+2.5) at Cincinnati
I was going to say that neither of these teams is going anywhere, but that’s not really true. The Bills are going home to Buffalo. That should be a treat. But at least they’ll be going there with a win. Buffalo by a field goal.

Baltimore (+7) at Dallas
One suspects the Cowboys may have a tough time getting their running game going against the Baltimore defense. If that’s the case, it’ll be interesting to see how the Dallas offense responds. As long as they can put up 17-20 points, which I expect they will, it should be enough. Given that, you know, Baltimore doesn’t really have an offense. Cowboys by four.

Pittsburgh (-8) at Cleveland
How do you snap a four-game losing streak? Play a team that’s rocking an 11-game losing streak. It’s a pretty solid formula. Steelers by two touchdowns.

Miami (-1.5) at Los Angeles
Well, I suppose Jared Goff was going to have to start running for his life at some point. It’s tough to scheme against a QB without film to study, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dolphins gave up a few big passes early. But they’ll catch up by the second half. Miami by six.

New England (-13) at San Francisco
Assuming Tom Brady finishes his career with the Patriots (not that I’m arguing this is necessarily a safe assumption), this will be the only game he ever plays in his home town against the team he grew up rooting for. That might not mean a whole lot. It might matter more that the Patriots have to be angry at themselves over last weekend’s lackluster loss and looking for a chance to right the ship. And it certainly matters a lot that the 49ers are a hopelessly weak team. Oh, and look at the big three predictive stats: scoring differential, Patriots +9.6; passer rating differential, Patriots +23.0 (that’s completely insane); takeaway-giveaway differential, Patriots +1. Gronk or no Gronk, New England wins this one by 20-ish.

Philadelphia (+6.5) at Seattle
I don’t think for a second that the Eagles offense is going to be able to overcome the Seahawks D. Seattle wins 19-13.

Green Bay (+2.5) at Washington
I don’t have an ounce of faith in either of these teams. Racists are at home, so I’ll go with them. Washington by a point.

Houston (+5.5) vs. Oakland at Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
I hope the people of Mexico City enjoy offense. Because that’s likely to be all they get in this game. Oakland wins a high-scoring game by a touchdown.

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