Here Are Our 2015 Week 11 NFL Picks Against the Spread
Ever year some college friends and I head to a college football game in a different part of the country. We move around from school to school to enjoy the individual atmosphere each school offers. We’ve also made a habit of chasing a great game, which is why we’re heading to Columbus this weekend. We were originally planning on going to Eugene to see Oregon host USC, but both teams took nose dives and we decided to call an audible. (As it turns out both teams are now ranked in the top 25 so the game got a little better.) Instead we’re heading in the same direction as College Gameday to see Michigan State visit Ohio State. Unfortunately Michigan State’s weird loss to Nebraska made this game a hair worse than what it was supposed to be, but it still should be quite the contest. (If there are any Ohio State fans or alumni reading this, feel free to add some suggestions for bars and restaurants near campus in the comments section.)
I’m just hoping to see better football than what I watched last weekend during the 1 p.m. slate. It was the worst collective three hours of football I have watched all season. It starts with the abomination that was Green Bay and Detroit. What was projected to be a shootout turned out to be a toilet bowl affair. Dallas vs. Tampa Bay was not much better. When the only touchdown of the game comes in the final few minuse then the game was not a good one. The Eagles came out firing and then dropped trou for the last three quarters. Even Mark Sanchez couldn’t save them. Cleveland, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Tennessee each couldn’t surpass 14 points. When the defining moment of the game is that Jacksonville won because Baltimore committed a penalty on what should have been the final play of the game, it’s not a good Sunday.
Let’s do better.
Locks of the Week:
CAROLINA -7 over Washington
It’s hard to argue with what the Panthers are doing these days. They’ve covered seven of nine games this year, which means they’re not just beating teams, but beating them in style. Carolina comes in as the 14th most effective passing offense in the league according to Football Outsiders despite not having any quality receivers. We knew they’d have a running game and they’re certainly proving that. Kirk Cousins is in for a wakeup call against the second best passing defense according to FO. Washington also hasn’t won a road game this year, losing each game by an average of 12 points.
J.Camm’s pick: Carolina
SAN DIEGO +3 over Kansas City
I love San Diego in any home spot when they’re not favored. You’ve seen me play against them when they’re giving points, but you have to love Philip Rivers when they’re getting them. Kansas City’s pass defense isn’t as good as the numbers show because they haven’t faced quality passing offenses in recent weeks. They’ll be exposed again on Sunday.
J.Camm’s pick: San Diego
ARIZONA -5 over CINCINNATI
This may be seen as an overreaction to Andy Dalton and Cincinnati’s dud on Monday night football and that’s definitely part of it. It’s also a team in a short week traveling to the West Coast. It’s also Andy Dalton’s history against a rabid blitzing defense in a big game. I need him to prove to me he can do it. Cincinnati came back to beat Seattle, but Seattle clearly isn’t what we hoped they’d be and that game was at home. Other than that Cincinnati’s best wins are beating Buffalo when E.J. Manuel started and Big Ben in his first game back. I need to be impressed.
J.Camm’s pick: Arizona
Trap Game of the Week:
MINNESOTA PK over Green Bay
Something’s obviously wrong with Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers was finally listed on the injury report this week with a shoulder injury. Is that the reason Green Bay’s offense has looked off for weeks now? Or is it all the sex? The offense line sucks again, which seems to happen every year. The running game is in shambles because James Starks literally breaks no tackles and Eddie Lacy is fat. Even the defense is falling apart. Now’s not a good time to take on Minnesota who seems to just doing enough to win each week. I’m not sure why. The metrics certainly don’t know why given that Minnesota is ranked 19th in Football Outsiders DVOA.
J.Camm’s pick: Green Bay
Rest of the Picks:
BALTIMORE -2.5 over St. Louis
I was about to write about the pain it caused me to pick Case Keenum on the road, but then I couldn’t pull the trigger. I may regret it, but at least I’ll sleep well at night. Baltimore is beaten through the air, not through the ground. Case Keenum can not make that happen. The Ravens also have the offensive line to stop the vaunted Rams pass rush as Baltimore is 6th in the league in pass protection. Let’s see how Baltimore loses this one!
J.Camm’s pick: Baltimore
Indianapolis +6 over ATLANTA
Maybe the bye week fixed Atlanta’s offense. They certainly weren’t cranking leading up to it as they only averaged under 17 points a game in their previous four games. The Colts actually looked alright without Andrew Luck in the first two games it happened this season, so I’m riding Matt Hasselbeck and Frank Gore into a cover.
J.Camm’s pick: Indy
N.Y. Jets-2.5 over HOUSTON
Want some narrative street? How about Ryan Fitzpatrick returning to face his former team with a much better team? Houston’s win against Cincinnati will be their Super Bowl, so expect a letdown off a short week in this one.
J.Camm’s pick: NY Jets
Tampa Bay +7 over PHILADELPHIA
Mark Sanchez may make the Eagles offense more explosive, but he’ll also make it more prone to turnovers. Tampa Bay’s forced 16 turnovers so far this season, so there’s a good chance Sanchez throws at least one if not two interceptions. Jameis Winston also has shown a lot of testicular fortitude in helping Tampa Bay win three of the last five games.
J.Camm’s pick: Tampa Bay
Oakland -1 over DETROIT
I’m a sucker for the Raiders even though they lost their last two games. Last week did not bring me any closer to thinking Detroit was any good. Like with Houston, the Lions are in a perfect letdown spot.
J.Camm’s pick: Oakland
Dallas PK over MIAMI
Tony Romo is back so Dallas is going to start winning again, right? He’ll need to shake off some rust, but the offense can’t be any worse after only putting up six points last week. Home field advantage means nothing for Miami here. They’re 4-6 in their last 10 home games, including losing three of their last four. Neither team does much defensively, so this could turn into a shootout.
J.Camm’s pick: Dallas
CHICAGO -1 over Denver
Thus begins the Brock Osweiler era. Ironically it comes in Jay Cutler’s first game against the team that drafted him and Cutler’s been playing the best football of his career in recent weeks. The Broncos pass rush may not find home in the same way St. Louis didn’t get to Cutler last week. The Bears defense has been the issue this year, but will Osweiler really cause it problems?
J.Camm’s pick: Chicago
SEATTLE -12.5 over San Francisco
The 49ers have combined for 13 points combined in their last games against Seattle. Is Blaine Gabbert going to improve on those numbers? Somehow I don’t think so. The 49ers have lost their four road games this year by an average of 22.25 points. Seattle may not be the team we hoped they were, but they’re certainly good enough to run away with this one.
J.Camm’s pick: San Francisco
NEW ENGLAND -7 over Buffalo
We all know how good New England’s offense is. The Patriots offense lost Dion Lewis and still scored 27 against the Giants. How many can they score against Buffalo without Julian Edelman? Look for New England to go for a run heavy approach in this one against 29th run defense according Football Outsiders. The injury of Kyle Williams doesn’t help Buffalo’s cause. New England killed Buffalo with the pass last time, but I see them flipping the script here. Rex Ryan’s post-game press conference will include more than one profanity.
J.Camm’s pick: Buffalo
This Week: 1-0
Last Week: 7-7