Week 11 Rankings & Game Flowbotics
As usual, my weekly picks against the spread and Week 11 rankings are below. The picks and ranks are informed by the matchup data from my Game Flowbotics spreadsheet. Here’s a link to this week’s edition:
I’m on the road for work this week. Here are this week’s rapid-fire picks:
PIT at CLE (-3), 40.5-Point Over/Under
Pittsburgh, the better team by DVOA is getting points? Sure, I’ll fade home field advantage. Meanwhile, the Steelers also own the matchup’s biggest mismatch: their fourth-ranked pass defense against the Browns’ 24th-ranked pass offense. This is a serious test for Baker Mayfield.
The Pick: PIT (+3)
DAL at DET (+3.5), N/A Over/Under
The Cowboys have the top offense in the NFL, and Matthew Stafford might not be under center for the Lions. I hope Jeff Driskel doesn’t go out and scamper all over this wood I’m about to lay.
The Pick: DAL (-3.5)
HOU at BAL (-4), 48.5-Point Over/Under
Baltimore rates better than Houston by DVOA in both offense and defense, and that’s only worth one point on top of the standard three at home? Home field advantage feels discounted. Houston off bye, but Baltimore is rolling.
The Pick: BAL (-4)
NYJ at WAS (-1), 38.5-Point Over/Under
Against the Jets’ second-ranked rush defense, this is a rough week for Derrius Guice to return, especially with Adrian Peterson still bogarting carries. New York’s run defense contributes to their 11th-ranked overall defense, which is this matchup’s only above average quadrant:
(Remember negative values are bad for offense, but good for defense, and zero is roughly average.)
The Picks: NYJ (+1)
ATL at CAR (-5.5), 49.5-Point Over/Under
Kyle Allen isn’t a world-beater, but he can hang with Atlanta’s second-worst pass defense and second worst pass-rush. The Falcons stack up much better against the run (10th in DVOA), but Christian McCaffrey has matchup immunity. Maybe Matt Ryan and company can keep this close, but I foresee a letdown after proxying their 2019 Super Bowl last week in New Orleans.
The Pick: CAR (-5.5)
ARI at SF (-11.5), 45-Point Over/Under
Of the bottom-eight teams in DVOA, the Cardinals are effectively tied for the best average point differential (with Cleveland for what it’s worth). Translation: Arizona is a spread-covering machine. This matchup’s implied totals tell the story. They peg a 28-17 result in favor of the Niners, but the Cards have only been held to 17 or fewer points three times this season. San Francisco will the theirs, but so will Arizona.
Original Pick: ARI (+13.5)
Current Pick: ARI (+11.5)
NE at PHI (+3.5), 44.5-Point Over/Under
Tom Brady’s diet probably doesn’t lead to much salivating, but I bet the Eagles’ secondary looks pretty appetizing. All together, this contest features the best team in the league coming off their bye and only needing to win by four. Let’s not overthink it.
Original Pick: NE (-3)
Current Pick: NE (-3.5)
On to the weekly rankings…