Scott Shapiro's Week 11 NFL 4-Pack
Week 11 got off to a strong start in Seattle on Thursday night as the home team came out on top in a tight one 27-24. I am really looking forward to a strong slate of games this weekend.
Here is my Sunday 4-Pack:
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (O/U 56)
The red-hot Saints, fresh off a 51-14 romp of the Bengals, return to Louisiana to take on an Eagles team that has failed to resemble their championship squad from a year ago.
Quarterback Drew Brees has had an MVP-type season with plenty of help from his star skill-position players Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Brees also boasts a league-high 123.8 passer rating, a completion percentage above 67%, and has his Saints playing as well as any team in the National Football League. They should once again score early and often on Sunday.
The Saints defense has been okay, but not great. Their strength has been stopping the run as they currently rank first in the league allowing just 80.1 yards per game to their opposition. They have not been as good against the pass, but some of that has to do with the fact that they have played with the lead so often in 2018.
The Eagles have not played anywhere close to the level that they did a year ago. Two of the major reasons for that is their inability to run the ball efficiently coupled with a secondary that has been exploited regularly all season. Those issues are likely to occur again in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday. This should result in an onslaught of points from the home team and the Eagles being forced to throw the ball more often than they would prefer.
Those bettors that have played OVER the total in Eagles road games over the past three years have been rewarded handsomely with 14 of the last 18 contests away from the City of Brotherly Love going OVER. Look for the Saints to post another big number against a subpar Philadelphia defense and for Carson Wentz to do all he can to try to keep up.
A high-scoring affair in the Big Easy. My play of the day.
Week 11 NFL Pick- OVER (2 units)
Tennessee Titans (+2) at Indianapolis Colts
I am really starting to buy into this Titans squad as the best team in the AFC South.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota is healthy and making plays with both his legs and his arm. Offseason acquisition Dion Lewis is paying serious dividends both running and catching the ball out of the backfield, and first-round pick Corey Davis is starting to show signs of what the Tennessee front office hoped for when they selected him with the fifth overall pick in the NFL Draft in 2017.
The Titans defense has not received the attention they deserve as they enter Week 11 having allowed the fewest touchdowns in the red zone this year. Last week they held Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to just 10 points. Defensive backs Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan have struggled at times, which is a concern in this matchup, but overall this is a damn good defense.
Tennessee will have its hands full on Sunday with one of the league’s best offensive lines and Andrew Luck running the show, but I expect their offense to move the ball well, use the running game and short passing game to keep Luck on the sidelines, and make enough plays on defense to get a huge divisional road victory.
The Titans go to 6-4 and 7-3 ATS with an outright win in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Week 11 NFL Pick- Tennessee Titans (1 unit)
Arizona Cardinals (-5) vs Oakland Raiders
The Cardinals are just 2-7, but they have shown signs of significant improvement, especially since turning to new offensive coordinator and play-caller Byron Leftwich. The former Jaguars quarterback has run less between the tackles with star running back David Johnson and instead has used D.J. on the outside and, most importantly, as a receiver. Arizona did not win in Kansas City last Sunday but they held their own in Arrowhead Stadium as over two-touchdown underdogs.
On the other hand, the Raiders are every bit as bad as their 1-8 record suggests. They have failed to score a touchdown the last two weeks and simply have looked like a team that has quit on their head coach Jon Gruden.
I am not thrilled to give 5 points with the Cardinals, but this is more a play against the Raiders. Lay the wood until Oakland proves they can get in the end zone.
Week 11 NFL Pick- Arizona Cardinals (1 unit)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (O/U 52)
Tampa Bay may have held the Redskins to just 16 points last Sunday, but keep in mind Washington was without three starters on their offensive line. In their five road games this year the Bucs have yielded 40 to New Orleans, 48 to Chicago, 34 to Atlanta, 37 to Cincinnati, and most recently 42 to Carolina in Week 9. One can argue that their Week 11 opposition is not as strong on offense as most of those teams, but the Giants still have the firepower to score 30 against a defense that could be without linebacker Lavonte David.
New York comes off a road win on Monday Night against the Niners where they yielded 23 points to a Niners offense led by undrafted free agent Nick Mullens. They face a much tougher task in stopping a Tampa offense that has a plethora of pass-catching options for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to turn to. Don’t be too concerned with the fact that the Bucs only put up 3 points last Sunday. They played a solid defense coming off their worst game of the year in Week 9 and still put up 501 total yards. They were just horrific in the red zone.
This game should lack intensity on the defensive end with both teams out of the playoff hunt. Both teams score in the 30’s in a more entertaining game than you might expect.
Week 11 NFL Pick- OVER (1 unit)
Scott Shapiro’s 2018 NFL Record 28-18-4