NFL Betting Plays and Predictions ‚Äď Week 11

November 20, 2020

Thanks for stopping back for Week 11. This week has a bit of a different feel than previous weeks, particularly from the perspective of totals, as I believe we have easily the fewest amount of 50+ point total thus far this season.

Is it a coincidence that this is happening when weather starts playing hell with given games, particularly those in cold weather cities? Maybe, but weather has already struck some games this year, particularly in Cleveland.

The Browns last two home games have been truly plagued by wind, leading to low scoring affairs and their home game this week is sure to be a wet one. Wind could also play a factor, but that is currently not a certainty. We have also seen some defenses gel together over the course of the season after the absence of training camp, but we have also seen a handful implode.

This week was the toughest yet as I looked to the best plays to make. After running through the list of games, there was not a single total on the slate that jumped out as a point of attack. I did find two sides I was very interested in playing, and then on Friday morning the news cycle brought about another play during the writing of this piece.

Of course the big piece of news Friday morning was that the Saints would be passing over Jameis Winston and playing Taysom Hill in relief of Drew Brees. This creates a play in this game, but it just might not be on the side you’re probably expecting. Let’s get to the NFL picks and predictions of the week.

This Week’s Betting Plays

MatchupBetting Play
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans SaintsSaints -3.5
Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis ColtsPackers +1.5
Miami Dolphins at Denver BroncosDolphins -3.5
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Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Betting Play: Saints -3.5

1PM EST
Opening Line: Saints -7.5 and 52.5
Current Line: Saints -3.5 and 50

Without skipping a beat from the intro, we dive right into this game. We knew Drew Brees was going to miss this game for the Saints, and the assumption was that Jameis Winston would step in while Taysom Hill still ran a separate package of plays, as he does with Brees.

The news broke Friday morning that Winston would not be part of the game plan and that it would be Hill full time under center.  I was wholly uninterested in the Saints with Jameis taking snaps, but that takes a full turn with Hill. Jameis is an inaccurate turnover machine that simply does not fit with the Saints skill player grouping.

We saw last year the terrible spots his turnovers put his defense in, and the difference is quite apparent with the play of the Buccaneers defense this season vs last. That was my worry for the Saints this week, but that worry has been alleviated. Now, is Hill an accurate passer? No he is not. But that is not what makes him effective. He is dual threat in the mold of some combination of Tebow and Lamar Jackson, and he and Kamara will make the offense hum. I certainly do not believe him to be any worse than Lamar Jackson as a passer, so the 2019 Ravens offense with better RB play might be a good measuring stick, and we know how effective that offense was.

The Saints defense has certainly picked up their play in recent weeks, allowing just 16 points combined in their last two wins. This is a bit of what I was talking about in the intro when I said some defenses were coming together later in the season, and that is not shocking given the timeline of 2020.

The Saints have forced seven turnovers in those last two games, after just two combined takeaways in their previous five games. The turnovers are a sign the Payton defense is playing at a higher level, and has been fairly consistent in his tenure when the team as a whole is playing at a high level.

The Falcons have also steadied their ship in 2020 after a disastrous start, partly because they moved on from the incompetent Dan Quinn at head coach. They have improved what started as a woeful defense, but the matchup with the current version of the Saints is going to be a problem for them. The steady ball control style while still bringing dynamism with Hill is going to grind down the Falcons defense, and they will be forced into a pass happy game plan. That is when the pass rush pressure on Ryan will begin to bring the sacks and turnovers and the Saints pull away in this game.

The opening line was accurate and the movement has created quite a value with the Saints, who will be our point of attack in this game. I think the figure could even get smaller, so it may be worth a dice roll to wait until Sunday to see is we can get added value on a shrinking line.

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