The 49ers will travel to Mexico to play the Cardinals in Week 11.
The 49ers will travel to Mexico to play the Cardinals in Week 11.

NFL Week 11: Best Bets, Picks and Predictions

Your boy is down bad after the last two weeks. I’ve lost five straight NFL best bets to bring my season-long record to 18-18-1. It has certainly been frustrating because when I’ve leaned into narratives, I’ve often been on the wrong side. And then when I trust what the numbers say the edges should be, it’s the narratives that take over, a la Aaron Rodgers owning the Cowboys and Tom Brady being undefeated overseas.

Alas, I’ve picked myself up off the mat with a fresh set of leans and NFL best bets. You won’t offend me in the slightest if you opt to auto-fade everything.

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Leans:

1. Titans +3.0 at Packers

I’d make this play if it were on a Sunday, but I’ll avoid backing a road team on a Thursday night. The smartest way to bet this game is probably to take the under 41.0

2. Steelers +4.0 vs. Bengals

I could see this game playing out the same way as Bengals-Browns in Week 8. In that game, Cleveland’s pass rush absolutely dominated the game with the Browns embarrassing their division rivals. That could happen again here with Pittsburgh as a home underdog and T.J. Watt back healthy. I’ve just been wrong on too many Bengals games to fire on this one. If I play it, the Bengals win by three touchdowns. If I avoid it, Pittsburgh will have a chance to win outright.

3. Eagles -6.5 at Colts

I want to see another week of what the Jeff Saturday-led Colts look like. This could be a smash spot for Jonathan Taylor as well against an Eagles defense that misses Jordan Davis in the middle of its defensive line. Still, I view this as a great bounce back spot for Philadelphia.

4. Chiefs -5.5 at Chargers

The Chiefs refuse to cover spreads, and the Chargers might get Keenan Allen and/or Mike Williams back on Sunday. Those factors are enough to keep me away from this one.

Best Bets:

18-18-1

1. Rams +4.0 at Saints

No Cooper Kupp in this one, but Matthew Stafford will be back, and this feels like an egregious overvaluing of the Saints. These are two really bad teams, but I can’t find a number that justifies New Orleans as this big of a favorite. New Orleans ranks 31st in ESPN’s pass rush win rate metric which should help offset the reality that Los Angeles’ offensive line is terrible.

2. 49ers -4.5 1H at Cardinals (in Mexico)

I’m going with the first half play to avoid the backdoor cover. This will be an immensely pro-49ers crowd in Mexico. We’ve seen that San Francisco’s defense is dominant. I’m banking on the offense starting to click with all the weapons healthy, and Kyle Shanahan figuring out how to spread the ball around enough to Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and Co. The Cardinals rank 29th in total DVOA, including 28th on offense and 21st on defense.

3. Jets +3.0 at Patriots

I love the Jets getting points here. Sure, New England won by five on the road against the Jets just a couple weeks ago, but that game was turned on its head by an overturned Jets pick-six. The Jets rank ninth in total DVOA to New England’s 12th. I’m going to go down narrative street here as this is a potential statement game for Robert Salah’s club as the Jets are yet to get much respect nationally for their 6-3 start despite beating the Bills prior to their bye week.