Week 11 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Woodhull)
Here are my Week 11 NFL picks against the spread:
Minnesota Vikings +12.5 (over Seattle Seahawks)
So, here’s a little known fact: Seattle is not a very good run defense. These types of things tend go unnoticed when you are racking up midseason wins against mediocre teams that can’t run the ball like Atlanta (dead last in the NFL in rushing), and Arizona (24th in the NFL in rushing offense). Sprinkled between those two games were two victories Seattle eked out against the 4-6 Rams and 1-9 Bucs, in which they gave up over 400 yards rushing to those two teams.
What is also missed among the midseason grind is that the Seahawks haven’t beaten a team with a winning record other than the Cardinals (surprising team even to be at .500) since back in Week 2 when they won the showdown game against the 49ers.
Seattle is an exceptionally difficult team at home and I’m not sure Minnesota can stop the Seattle offense. Even if the Vikes can’t pull off the upset, however, getting nearly two touchdowns makes this a sure bet on game that will be closer than most expect.
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Kansas City Chiefs +7.5 (over Denver Broncos)
That extra half point is just toying with me. I’m not sure if I like the Chiefs to win outright, but I do expect a close game and getting over a touchdown gives me some confidence in the Chiefs.
I don’t believe in the talk about Andy Reid being great with an extra bye week; that’s more representation of having perennially good teams in Philly. But what I also don’t believe in is the concern about the Chiefs playing a “weak” schedule. Lest we forget, divisional rivals play all the same teams except two. And although the Chiefs by some measures have had the easiest schedule through 10 weeks, the Broncos have had the second easiest.
Functionally on the field, the Chiefs team is a real bad matchup for the banged-up offensive line of Denver. The hype tends to go to edge rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston (rightfully both great players), but the difference maker is the nose tackle, Dontari Poe. He’ll bring pressure up the middle, which will disrupt the hobbled Peyton Manning. The best way to stop a great pocket passer like Manning is in the middle of the line, where KC will have the advantage.
I could see this game ending with Peyton Manning two-minute drill for the go-ahead score, but if that’s the case, my 7.5 points will good for the cover.
San Diego Chargers -2.5 (over Miami Dolphins)
This is strictly a play on the current state of dysfunction in Miami. There’s a lot to be said for when the players hit the field that they are solely focused on the game, but I think that’s only true for clubs that are strong-willed and have great veteran leadership.
For example, the Patriots were able to put all the attention of the Aaron Hernandez situation behind them and were ready to play from Week 1. This Dolphins team, though, doesn’t have the same strength in the clubhouse and it was their own lack of oversight and leadership internally that led to the mess.
On the field, the Dolphins aren’t very good to begin with. I think the Fish were found out weeks ago when losing back-to-back games to the Ravens and the Bills. They happened to get lucky against a banged-up Bengals team. The Chargers are the better team and the tight 2.5 point spread isn’t enough to change my thoughts.
Five of our contributors make three weekly picks ATS every week and they will be posted here.