Week 11 NFL Best Bets: Why I’m Fading Two Of The League’s Hottest Teams

Written By Eli Hershkovich on November 21, 2021
Week 11 NFL Best Bets

Following the 49ers‘ upset win over the Rams on Monday night, underdogs went 9-5 against the spread in Week 10. They’re now 85-61-1 ATS this season, so how should we approach our Week 11 NFL best bets?

As usual, don’t back underdogs for the sake of the trend. Aim to uncover where the market is overvaluing certain teams instead. Using the aforementioned matchup as an example, many bettors expected Sean McVay’s team to rebound in San Francisco, but the underlying numbers exhibited that Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ defense could both continue to struggle.

Without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s plays. I’m 36-23 overall (+9.67 units) with my NFL bets this season.

Week 11 NFL Best Bets:

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans have won six straight games, covering five of them in the process. They now have the eighth-shortest odds to win the Super Bowl ().

We’ve seen the market drive this spread up after the look-ahead line was Tennessee -10. With the line sitting over two possessions and a key number, there’s value in the road underdog.

For one, Mike Vrabel’s front-seven is severely banged up — highlighted by linebacker Bud Dupree (abdomen). On top of that, it’s still allowing an above-average dropback success rate (SR) during the winning streak.

  • SR showcases whether a play is successful if a team gains:
    • 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
    • 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
    • 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down

When initially diving into the numbers, the Texans rank dead-last in overall offensive SR. But they’re coming off a bye week with quarterback Tyrod Taylor under center, as much of those inefficient numbers are via rookie Davis Mills.

Although Taylor has played in just three games, the veteran is tied for the 14th-highest completion percentage over expected (CPOE) with none other than the Titans’ Ryan Tannehill. Tennessee boasts a top-11 pressure and hurry rate, respectively, but its injuries should lend Taylor more time to expose its secondary. Houston still presents explosive weapons with wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins.

Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith will have his work cut out for him, as they’re yielding the league’s third-highest overall SR. Nevertheless, Tannehill’s passing attack is a bit more limited with wideout Julio Jones (hamstring) on injured reserve.

Eli’s Week 11 NFL Best Bets: Texans +11 (DraftKings Sportsbook — placed at 2pm ET on Tuesday, Nov. 16)
Best Available Line: Texans

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Similar to the Titans, bettors are eyeing the Packers in the Super Bowl futures market with their odds dipping to . The market is also backing Green Bay ATS, bumping the line up slightly from -2 to -2.5.

The Vikings have sneakily showcased one of the NFL’s top defenses, surrendering the eighth-fewest expected points added (EPA) per play. Minnesota safety Harrison Smith (reserve/COVID-19) and cornerback Patrick Peterson (hamstring) are both expected to return for this contest too.

  • EPA is calculated by expected points scored based on the down, distance, and field position at the start of a play — juxtaposed with the play’s conclusion.

Even though Matt LaFleur’s offense has tallied the seventh-highest ranking in that department, it’ll be without star tailback Aaron Jones (MCL sprain), who’s expected to miss one or two games. Jones is averaging the 11th-most yards created per game (55.7) at his position. Despite A.J. Dillon’s presence in the backfield (39.5), Jones is vital playmaker through the air while ranking above-average in pass-protection.

Minnesota is accruing the league’s fifth-highest pressure rate. It should disrupt MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers () if it generates enough havoc once again.

On the other side of the ball, the Packers are allowing the fifth-most EPA per carry and could be without outside linebacker Rashan Gary (hyperextended elbow). Not only does Gary impact their rushing defense, but he and Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby are the only two players to rank top-five in pressures, QB hits and hurries.

Mike Zimmer should have success establishing Dalvin Cook early, which will set-up Kirk Cousins off play-action. Cousins is tallying the 13th-highest completion percentage in that category, and he’ll have an easier time feeding Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen if Cook finds room at the second-level.

As far as the current line, I’m hoping we catch a Minnesota +3. Delaying the bet is a fine strategy with the spread at a dead number.

  • Update: The market is trending towards the Vikings, and I grabbed +2.5.

Eli’s Week 11 NFL Best Bets: Wait on +3, but Vikings ATS regardless
Best Available Line: Vikings

More NFL Week 11 Odds

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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