- Gary Porpora
NFL WEEK ELEVEN: BREAKING EVEN ISN'T ALL THAT BAD...
AFTER WEEK TEN
Week Ten Picks: 6 – 6 – 1 2019 Overall Tally: 74 – 71 – 3
Weekly Totals Picks: 1 – 4 Cumulative Totals: 29 – 30 - 1
Weekly Specials 2– 2 Cumulative Specials: 18 – 21– 1
GAME OF THE WEEK 4– 6 LOCK OF THE WEEK 6 – 4
UPSET SPECIAL 4 – 5 – 1 O/U OF THE WEEK 4 – 6
GAME OF THE WEEK
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLEs -3.5 46 [O]
The Patriots were taken to the woodshed in Week Nine as Lamar Jackson and the Magpies spanked them double digit silly at Baltimore.
Don’t read too much into it.
Jackson is tough to handle for teams not accustomed to defending the almost college like offense the Crows have devised to make the best use of the former Heisman Trophy winner—a lot of RPO, Jet Motion, and designed QB runs. It’s an offense that can carry a team to a Super Bowl. The way the novelty of the 46 defense carried the ‘85 Bears to their title.
It can all turn into a disaster with one wrong hit at the wrong time. Michael Vick, RGIII, and this weeks opposing QB, Carson Wentz prove the point. The more a QB rushes in the NFL the more likely he is to get hurt. Since his ACL surgery in 2017, Wentz has taken far less risk and hasn’t quite been the MVP caliber QB he was two years ago. His numbers—nearly every metric—are 10-20% below his pre-ACL stats.
New England’s defense has been consistently excellent all year; Baltimore gained a full yard and a half more per play than the other foes the Pats have faced in 2019—and that may be more important than we think.
NE has played one of the weakest schedules in the league; they’ve taken advantage of it by scoring double-digit victories against everyone except the Bills, who were in the game until the final drive. Still, wins over the Pittsburgh, Jets, (two), Miami, Cleveland, and the worst of the lousy NFC East, won’t scare Philly—or anyone else.
No matter their recent glitches against the run, the Pats defense is the real deal—just as real as the Eagle’s inconsistency. Even with the return of tackle, Jason Peters, from a knee, the Pats will pressure Carson Wentz all night.
Remember, this is a Super Bowl rematch, a game where Doug Pederson pulled off the Philly Special en route to a decisive win over New England.
You gotta believe the Pats want even the small slice of revenge a regular season win provides.
With two weeks to prepare, and his cache of pilfered defensive signals, Belichick will pull off a gimmick play late, then pull away in the fourth quarter—Over the Number.
Patriots 32 Eagles 20
LOCK OF THE WEEK
DALLAS COWBOYS @ DETROIT LIONS -3 48 [U]
If Matthew Stafford was under center, for Detroit, this game would be a much more difficult call.
With Jeff Driskel at quarterback for the Lions it becomes a lock. Not so much because Driskel is incompetent, but because Dallas coach Jason Garret, and his players know the time for Dallas to win is now or Jerry Jones plastic face might split at the seams.
The time for talk and hope and patience is over. The Cowboys field the most efficient offense in the NFL; they gain 6.7 YPP. Dak Prescott has made great strides; the ‘boys average 27.9 PPG and things are starting to click on defense in Big “D”—Dallas is top seven in nearly very important defensive category.
Then why is this obviously talented, productive team 5-4, wallowing in the stench garden that is the NFC East? Because, more than any other team, the Cowboys believe they are far superior to what the rest of the football universe perceives them to be. Their roster says they have more talent than what their performance indicates—or their talent level is severely over-hyped—which is a distinct possibility.
Maybe they believe Jerry Jones’ bullshit that being a Cowboy is a privilege and players should take less money because of that privilege. Rosters and an arrogance borne of wealth don’t win football games. Players with heart and guts win consistently—it’s about time ‘dem Cowboys walked the walk.
The pressure is ratcheting up in Dallas. Jason Garret has been on the hot seat so often the grill marks on his ass are starting to callous.
If these 5-4 Cowboys cannot thump an injury riddled, underachieving, Lions team —Stafford has a broken back, among other ailments—Jones is likely to blow the whole operation up and start over—again.
Wouldn’t that be a glorious development?
We think Garrett, now in his 10th year, has to win at least one playoff game for Jones to consider keeping him on. A .556 wining percentage, a 2-3 playoff record, and only three double digit win seasons means nobody should feel sorry for Garrett when his rump finally does burst into flames.
Calling a LOW with a home dog Lions team desperate for a season saving win, is a gamble, but Matt Patricia is attempting to change a culture that has become accustomed to misfortune, defeat, and mediocrity.
Against a fierce Cowboys pass rush, and Zeke Eliot pummeling a Lions run defense already yielding 129 YPG, that culture ain’t changing this week.
If you watch the incessantly overhyped Cowboys on TV, you might have noticed Jason Garrett has a strange habit of clapping even when his squad is scored upon. Derisive fans, or some of his players have affectionately dubbed their coach ”The Clapper.”
Sooner rather than later the lights will go out.
Take the ‘Pokes to Cover the Chalk going away—Under the Number.
Cowboys 30 Lions 17
ARIZONA CARDINALS @ SAN FRANCISO 49ERS -13.5 45.5 [U]
We grabbed this line early Monday morning and wrote in the Upset Special the same day.
Evidently, the public is following our lead as the spread has shrunk by three points. Our Value pick of the Week.
The Red Birds have hit for us seven of the first ten weeks and we’re pretty confident this week will add to that trend.
First off, the Niners will be playing without their offensive playmakers: RB Matt Breida, TE George Kittle, T Joe Staley, and WR Emmanuel Sanders.
Jimmy Garapollo doesn’t inspire belief in his ability to thrive amidst all that adversity and has never given us the impression he is capable or willing to put an injury racked team on his back and lead them to victory. Without Sanders and Kittle—who had become his security blanket—Jimmy G. doesn’t take the same risk and appears a little gun shy.
Even if we’re wrong on that count, we can be 13 points short of wrong and still win our wager.
Meanwhile, we love us some Kyler Murray who seems to be settling into the professional mindset. The kid’s got some grit—reminds me of Doug Flutie—and a coach with a vision to make him great.
Some trends to chew on:
· Arizona is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
· The total has gone OVER in 4 of Arizona's last 6 games.
· Arizona is 4-13-1 SU in their last 18 games.
· Arizona is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against San Francisco.
· Arizona is 8-1 SU in their last 9 games against San Francisco.
· Arizona is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on the road.
· Arizona is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when playing on the road against San Francisco.
· Arizona is 3-6 SU in their last 9 games this season.
· Arizona is 2-9-1 SU in their last 12 games against an opponent in the NFC conference.
· The total has gone OVER in 5 of Arizona's last 6 games played in November.
· Arizona is 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS in its past 9 vs San Francisco.
· San Francisco is 5-2 SU in its last 7 home games.
· San Francisco is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing at home against Arizona.
· San Francisco is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games this season.
· San Francisco is 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games against an opponent in the NFC conference.
· The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Francisco's last 6 games against an opponent in the
NFC West division.
Wouldn’t surprise us if the Cardinals surprised the Gold Miners with an outright win.
Given the injuries to SF’s offensive playmakers and the lack of same for Arizona, we’re calling the Under.
Niners 23 Cardinals 21
O/U OF THE WEEK
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS -3.5 52 [O]
Patrick Mahomes returns from an ankle sprain against a San Diego team that simply defies description. They’ll bring a HOF caliber quarterback, one of the gams premiere running backs and the defensive talent to compete with anyone. In terms of yardage surrendered on defense and yardage gained on offense per game—and points given up--the Bolts are a top seven team.
You gotta wonder; with that statistical profile, how, on God’s green earth, are the Chargers 4-6? They are living proof of Bill Cowher’s favorite saying about the “fine line” between a bad team and a good team or a decent team and a great team.
The Bolts were in the thick of every game and haven’t lost by more than seven points all year. They can’t call themselves a good team until they consistently live up to their stats.
KC’s four losses eerily mirror those of the Bolts--they've been in every game to the end. All of Andy Reid’s teams are superbly coached. This team has a young phenom at QB returning from an ankle sprain, an offensive attack as potent as any—but a lousy defense that keeps most every opponent in the game till the end.
One stark difference in this game is how the coaches chose to deal with the 7500 foot above sea-level altitude in Mexico City. Reid opted not to break routine and arrive at the venue a couple days before in an effort to play the game before the altitude affects performance. Anthony Lynn had his Chargers practice all week at the Air Force Academy football facilities in Colorado Springs, hoping his guys will arrive in Mexico City already acclimated to the thin air.
One other factor that ended up swaying my call is the fact Los Angeles will be playing its fourth road game in five weeks.
If the altitude doesn’t determine the winner in this one, fatigue might.
Mahomes returns to make a statement to the AFC—and put the Chargers out of their misery. It’ll be a shootout and won by KC with a 65 yard field goal. Play the Over.
Chiefs 35 Chargers 31
NFL Lines For Week 11 - NFL Football Line Week Eleven NFL Line 11/14 - 11/18, 2019
Date & Time Favorite Line Underdog Total
11/14 8:20 ET At Cleveland -3 [U] Pittsburgh 41.5
11/17 1:00 ET Dallas LW -3 [U] At Detroit 47
11/17 1:00 ET New Orleans -5 At Tampa Bay 51.5
11/17 1:00 ET At Carolina -6 Atlanta 51
11/17 1:00 ET At Indianapolis -3 Jacksonville 44
11/17 1:00 ET At Minnesota -10.5 Denver 38.5
11/17 1:00 ET At Washington -1 NY Jets 37.5
11/17 1:00 ET Buffalo -6.5 At Miami 39
11/17 1:00 ET At Baltimore -4 Houston 51.5
11/17 4:05 ET At San Francisco US -13.5 [U] Arizona 45.5
11/17 4:25 ET New England GW -3.5 [O] At Philadelphia 46
11/17 4:25 ET At Oakland -10.5 Cincinnati 48.5
11/17 8:20 ET At LA Rams [U] -6.5 Chicago 42.5
Monday Night Football Line
11/18 8:15 ET Kansas City O/U -3.5 LA Chargers 52 (At Mexico City)
Week 11 Byes: Green Bay, NY Giants, Seattle, Tennessee