2012 NFL Week 11 Picks – FootballSunday, November 18, 2012 9:40
Game picks for the 2012 NFL season Week 11.
Weekly NFL ATS Picks
For the first time in the 2012 NFL season, I have put together two good weeks picking against the mobsters in Vegas. Just so you know, I’m really not disparaging these guys who come up with the spreads, but if you look at how accurate they are, you have to wonder if they aren’t touched by some kind of mystical hand…
From what I’ve gleaned in my three years picking against the spread, if the NFL plays 14 games the numbers usually breakdown like this:
- There will always be 1 to 3 “outlier” games that defy the spread, meaning the team favored by five points wins by 14 or more, a field underdog wins by ten…etc…
Last week, Baltimore smeared Oakland +32…The Vikes, –2.5 dogs, won by 10…The home-dog Bengals destroyed Big Blue by more than two touchdowns…
- It seldom pays to bet against almost any home dog…
In Week 10 there were four home underdogs and two of them defied the spread in a big way…The Eagles were the only home dogs to not cover in Week 10.
- Any point spread above 12 is usually a dog winner…
Especially if the game is between division rivals. Last week, the Rams played the Niners to a tie and the Chiefs engendered heart attacks all over Pittsburgh by taking the home team to overtime.
The trick for a successful handicapper comes with knowing team tendencies in certain situations and knowing every team.
The Chiefs historically play the Steelers close. Who knows why? This year, as in 2009 the Steelers lost very close games to teams they should have beaten. They aren’t the only “good” team that plays down to the level of their opponents.
Yet when you really look at many of those kinds of games throughout the NFL, the losers very often get a touchdown and/or kick return called back because of stupid penalties, or drop an easy pick six–and usually dominate the stat sheet.
Note how I made sure to qualify all this wonderful “knowledge with” words like “usually,” “seldom,” and “almost.”
There are weeks where one teams great/lousy performance is simply inexplicable.
To me, it all comes down to what you know. For example, the Week 11 Thursday Nighter was an easy call for me. Buffalo had New England on the ropes the previous Sunday and the Fish were embarrassed at home by a supposedly bad Titans squad. You gotta figure–division rivals, Miami in the cold, Buffalo unpredictable–it’s going to be close, right?
Special teams were a wash because both teams handle that facet of the game pretty well–I thought a kick or punt return could come into play.
If a contest is that close, I look for players who have been hot and C.J. Spiller filled that bill–no pun intended. If its still close, I look to whichever team has the better QB.
Let’s review my Week 10 tallies and see what knowledge I can use to divine the spreads for Week 11…
Week 11 Picks
Last Week: 9 – 5 = .642 (Specials: 3 – 1)
Overall Tally: 71 – 73 – 2 = .493
Specials: 23 – 16 – 1 = .589
GAME OF THE WEEK (4 – 6)
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Evidently Vegas and the betting public believe Big Ben’s right shoulder is worth 7 points…
- Before Big Ben’s injury = Steelers –3.5
- After injury = Steeler +4
The conventional–or is it hackneyed–wisdom on this or any intense rivalry is that the records and personnel don’t count, and you can throw away the stat sheet.
Not so fast.
In almost every contest these two teams have played in the last decade, both were playing with top five defenses. The Rat Birds had an edge in the ground game with Ray Rice, the Steelers’ edge was Big Ben over the young–yet to blossom–then, finally mature, but still not elite, Joe Flacco.
This game the Ravens stink on defense with injuries to both corners and the great Ray Lewis. Ed Reed is always around the ball, but has lost a step. They face the league’s best pass defense, best overall defense and top-five-in-nearly –every-major-category defense.
Here are the numbers Ravens fans should worry about: 214…165…230…121…145 = the yardage Flacco has thrown against teams with passing defenses ranked 12th or better. The exception are the 22nd-ranked Browns, who played Baltimore the second time with a much healthier secondary–but the Brownies are eighth in intercepting the ball.
Quoth the Ravens: Until the Monday Night choker in which Pittsburgh almost gagged up their playoff hopes, the Steelers had given up more than 94 rushing yards once…to Oakland (119) and 60 of those yards came off an early TD romp by Darren McFadden.
Losing Big Ben makes this a pick ‘em game.
I’ll take the home dog Steelers.
(By the way, if I were betting, I’m lovin’ the Under–40–in this baby, too.)
STEELERS 19, RAVENS 13
LOCK OF THE WEEK (6 – 4)
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions +3
The Pack comes off a bye with one of the league’s most consistent and productive quarterbacks, playing on one of the NFL’s most stable franchises, for one of football’s finest coaching staffs.
Detroit hosts their bitter rivals as a desperate team due to lack of in-game discipline–er, coaching–erratic quarterback play from Matthew Stafford, and a mediocre defense.
In nine games, the Lions boast only one quality win–against Seattle…
PACKERS 31, LIONS 20
UPSET SPECIAL (7 – 3)
Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers -6
The Under is a better bet than the upset, but the Bears have the look of a team that is peaking at the right time of the year and just might win the Lombardi. On Monday Night they played a talented Houston team to the wire even after Jay Cutler was head-banged and left the game in the third quarter. Last week, I called Chicago a mirage, but they showed a lot of grit against what I see as a legit Super Bowl prospect in Houston.
And, the 49ers are not as good as most people think.
The NFC West is weak, although Seattle has been a pleasant surprise–and when will Alex Smith achieve the consistency John Harbaugh keeps talking about?
The Bears can make teams pay for their mistakes like no other team in the league. It will be a tight game–another Under call–but the Bears will cover the bloated line due to Cutler’s absence.
DA BEARS 17, NINERS 15
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK (6 – 3 – 1)
Well, my first choice was Tampa Bay visiting the Panthers with the Under, but the more I looked at it, the more I just wasn’t feelin’ it.
I do love the Rams’ play of late, but I think they might be a touch tapped out after the sister-kisser with the Gold Miners last week.
Conversely, I’m betting if the Jets players, who tossed Tim Tebow under the proverbial Greyhound, have no shame, they ought to know what desperation feels like–if for no other reason than to write another episode for the soap opera that is Jets football.
“They” often say a football team takes on the personality of their coach. It seems the entire Jet organization has “Ryanitis”–from Woody Johnson on down to the anonymous and gutless players who betrayed Tebow–they can’t keep their mouths shut.
This week they’ll come together against the Rams and in endless post-game interviews tell us they are a shoe-in for the Super Bowl.
Fly my lost Airplanes…fly…
JETS 24, RAMS 13
As usual, my picks are in italic below…
NFL Lines For Week 11 – 11/15 – 11/19, 2012
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|√ 11/15 8:25 ET||At Buffalo||-1||Miami||45|
|11/18 1:00 ET||At Washington||-3.5||Philadelphia||44|
|11/18 1:00 ET||Green Bay LW||-3||At Detroit||52|
|11/18 1:00 ET||At Atlanta||-9.5||Arizona||44|
|11/18 1:00 ET||Tampa Bay||-1.5||At Carolina||48|
|11/18 1:00 ET||At Dallas||-7.5||Cleveland||43.5|
|11/18 1:00 ET||At St. Louis O/U||-3.5||NY Jets||38.5|
|11/18 4:25 ET||At New England||-9.5||Indianapolis||54|
|11/18 1:00 ET||At Houston||-15||Jacksonville||40.5|
|11/18 1:00 ET||Cincinnati||-3.5||At Kansas City||43.5|
|11/18 4:05 ET||New Orleans||-5.5||At Oakland||55|
|11/18 4:25 ET||At Denver||-8||San Diego||48.5|
|11/18 8:30 ET||Baltimore||-4 GW||At Pittsburgh||40|
Monday Night Football Line
|11/19 8:40 ET||At San Francisco||-6 US||Chicago||37.5|
Bye Weeks: Minnesota, NY Giants, Seattle, Tennessee
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