VSiN’s NFL expert offers up some selections for two of Sunday’s games on the Week 11 slate:
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-10.5, 44.5)
The Texans are off of their bye, which, admittedly, has not been great for teams this season. Teams off the bye are 5-11 ATS, and 3-9 ATS if you eliminate games with both teams off the bye. A lack of offensive rhythm has been the root cause of the problem.
A team like Houston never had any to begin with, so I’d be less worried about that. In fact, I’d actually have a higher projection for their offense here with Tyrod Taylor in his second game off the injury. He threw three picks and was sacked five times in the start against Miami. He’s had some more time to work with the first team in practice now.
This is more of a fade of the Titans than anything else. Tennessee is being asked to cover as a double-digit favorite while gaining 4.6 yards per play against the Saints and 3.5 YPP against the Rams. Houston’s defense isn’t on that level, but the Titans clearly miss Derrick Henry, and teams are not worried about Ryan Tannehill with the way that he’s been playing.
Julio Jones is on IR and A.J. Brown is still not healthy. Eighteen different players have a reception for the Titans because they still can’t figure out what works at the wide receiver position or the tight end spot. Brown is the only player with more than 25 catches, while backup running back Jeremy McNichols (who is out with a concussion), is second with 25 catches.
This is just not an efficient enough offense to trust laying a number like this in what amounts to a bad spot with New England on deck and a lot of close, emotional games of late.
Pick: Texans + 10.5
Baltimore Ravens (-5.5, 45) at Chicago Bears
The Ravens are really fortunate to be in the position that they are. Despite allowing 6.2 YPP on defense, Baltimore has the best second-down defense and the top red-zone defense in the league. Without those two things, it’s fair to wonder what this team’s record would actually look like.
Lamar Jackson is a special player, but we are seeing signs week after week as to why Justin Fields was one of the top prospects in the 2021 draft. Fields has 26 carries for 186 yards the past three weeks and has made some really special throws while working with a below-average set of pass-catchers.
Baltimore’s defense has missed a ton of tackles and has allowed the most yards per reception and most passing yards per game in the league; the Ravens’ seven takeaways are tied for the second fewest in the league. The Bears’ offense may not be the best equipped to take advantage of these things, but the Ravens are ripe for regression on third down and in the red zone.
Rather than attack the side here, since this game does have the chance of getting out of control, the Over makes some sense. Both defenses miss a lot of tackles and have to face mobile QBs, who make it hard to defend wide receivers for long stretches. Chicago has allowed at least 29 points each of the past three games and Baltimore has allowed 31 or more in four of nine games. With a low total here of 45, points are a definite possibility.
Pick: Over 45