Martellus Bennett might have quit on the Green Bay Packers (or not, depending on who you ask), but the NESN.com trio of Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Andre Khatchaturian isn’t about to quit on its obligation to bring you NFL picks against the spread each and every week.
Mike, Ricky and Andre are ready to dive into the Week 11 slate (their picks below), but before they do, here’s how they fared last week.
Mike Cole: 8-6 (66-72-4 overall)
Ricky Doyle: 5-9 (69-69-4)
Andre Khatchaturian: 8-6 (63-75-4
And now the Week 11 picks with lines courtesy of OddsShark.
THURSDAY, NOV. 16
Tennessee Titans at (-7) Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:30 p.m.
Mike: Titans. Logan Ryan is no stranger to Antonio Brown from his Patriots days, and he’ll help the Titans keep the wideout in check here, too. Tennessee will keep it just close enough to cover against a Steelers team that hasn’t really blown out anyone lately.
Andre: Steelers. Big Ben has taken just 11 sacks this year and Tennessee is dead last in sacks, so Roethlisberger should have plenty of time to throw. Defensively, Pittsburgh is second in the NFL in sacks and fourth in yards allowed per play.
Ricky: Steelers. Pittsburgh typically plays well in primetime, and this will be an opportunity for the Steelers to show we shouldn’t read too much into their underwhelming Week 10 performance against the Colts. The Steelers are 16-4-1 ATS in their last 21 games as home favorites of seven points or more, while the Titans are 0-6 ATS in their last six games as road underdogs of seven points or more.
SUNDAY, NOV. 19
(-1) Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Mike: Texans. Both of these teams are bad, so give me the point and let’s move on with our lives.
Andre: Cardinals. Arizona?s losses this year have come against the Lions, Cowboys, Eagles, Rams and Seahawks. That?s some tough competition. They could be with their third-string quarterback, but Adrian Peterson?s two biggest games have come against inferior opponents. Finally, Tom Savage stinks. The Texans are 31st in yards per play since he took over.
Ricky: Texans. Drew Stanton. Blaine Gabbert. It doesn’t matter who plays quarterback for the Cardinals this weekend. Both stink. And that’ll be a problem when the Texans bottle up Peterson and Arizona’s rushing attack.
(-2) Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m.
Mike: Ravens. Vegas is begging us to take the Packers here, but once again, injuries are an issue in Green Bay: The Packers might be without both Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery, and Brett Hundley is hobbled by a hamstring injury.
Andre: Packers. Hundley is showing competence over the last two games. He’s completed 70 percent of his passes and hasn’t thrown a pick. Meanwhile, the Ravens are dead last in yards per play over the last four games and Joe Flacco still has more picks than touchdowns.
Ricky: Ravens. Baltimore is coming off a bye, which usually bodes well for the Ravens, who are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games following their in-season intermission.
(-3) Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
Mike: Bears. The cold and windy forecast favors the better running team, which is Chicago, as Detroit is 30th in yards per carry this season. The Lions also are just 3-11 against the spread in their last 14 on grass.
Andre: Bears. What Mike said. The Lions also haven?t done a very good job protecting Matthew Stafford, who?s been sacked 30 times. The Bears are sneaky good at getting to the quarterback (sixth in sack rate).
Ricky: Bears. The Bears’ offense has been bad, with Chicago scoring more than 17 points only once in its last five games. But the Bears typically are a good bet when they’re getting points at home — four straight ATS wins as home underdogs — so this won’t be a walk in the park for Detroit.
(-7.5) Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Mike: Jaguars. Cleveland has 23 giveaways this season, including 13 in its last five games. And now they get a Jacksonville team that’s third in the NFL in turnover differential.
Andre: Jaguars. This might be another 10-sack game for the Jaguars? pass rush going up against a pretty crappy offensive line. Opposing quarterbacks complete only 58 percent passes against the Jaguars pass rush and it’s hard to imagine DeShone Kizer to fare any better than that rate.
Ricky: Jaguars. The Browns still stink. Maybe they’ll find a way to win a game at some point — next week vs. the Bengals? — but banking on them to do anything positive until proven otherwise is foolish.
(-10.5) Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Mike: Giants. For what it’s worth: Andy Reid-coached teams are just 2-7 against the spread when favored by 10 points or more since the start of the 2009 season.
Andre: Chiefs. Sure, the Chiefs allow a ton of yards, but they also hold opposing quarterbacks to a 54.8 completion percentage, best in the league. The Giants also have the third-worst yards per play differential and the Chiefs are coming off a bye. They?ll be well-rested and their explosive offense, which ranks second in yards per play, will be on full display against a team decimated by injuries.
Ricky: Chiefs. This is a bunch of points, especially with the Chiefs struggling of late. But I literally don’t trust the Giants to care enough come Sunday. This team looks like it has quit, and an early touchdown for the Chiefs could take out whatever wind is in the Giants’ sails following their team meeting this week. And meanwhile…
Los Angeles Rams at (-2.5) Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Mike: Vikings. The Vikings are good at home, especially in the first half, allowing 5.6 first-half points per game at home, which could be key against the NFL’s best first-half team. We haven’t really seen the Rams play from behind this season, so if Minnesota jumps out to an early lead, L.A. will be in an uncomfortable position.
Andre: Rams. Statistically, the Rams have the advantage at quarterback (Jared Goff has more touchdowns, fewer picks and more yards than Case Keenum), running back (in terms of yards per carry), pass rush (Rams are third in sack rate while Vikings are 14th), turnover differential (Rams rank third, Vikings rank 14th) and special teams (Rams lead the league in average drive start).
Ricky: Vikings. Minnesota’s run defense (second in NFL with 3.4 yards allowed per carry) is good enough to contain Todd Gurley, in which case the Rams will face some tough third-and-long situations. Home field plays a big factor here, too, in a matchup of two very similar teams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at (-2.5) Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m.
Mike: Bucs. Because at least they looked a little better with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center?
Andre: Bucs. It’s impossible to find something these two teams do well. However, Miami has the second-worst yards per play differential and the Bucs are getting points, so yeah.
Ricky: Bucs. Why? … Why not?
Washington Redskins at (-7.5) New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m.
Mike: Saints. Washington is just limping to the end of a brutal stretch where it played Philly, Dallas, Seattle, Minnesota and now New Orleans. Saints keep rolling.
Andre: Saints. Drew Brees is on pace to throw the ball 533 times this year — that would be his lowest mark since 2009, when the Saints won the Super Bowl. Since Week 3, the Saints have the highest yards per play differential in football and this exemplifies just how balanced this team is.
Ricky: Saints. The Saints are on pace for more than 2,200 rushing yards this season behind the explosive 1-2 punch of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who should enjoy another nice afternoon in the Big Easy. All five of the Redskins’ losses have been by eight points or more.
Buffalo Bills at (-4.5) Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.
Mike: Chargers. It doesn’t matter who’s under center for L.A. this week. This Bills team was just torched for 298 yards on the ground, which should Melvin Gordon excited. Even if the Buffalo offense dinks and dunks down the field, the Bolts have the NFL’s best red-zone defense.
Andre: Chargers. The Bills’ offensive line allows a sack on nearly 10 percent of dropbacks — not the best news when you’re going up against an L.A. pass rush that’s racked up 29 sacks this season. And for the record, Nathan Peterman completed just 54 percent of his passes in the preseason.
Ricky: Chargers. Benching Tyrod Taylor doesn’t fix the Bills’ defense, which ranks 28th in points allowed per game (28.4), 30th in yards allowed per game (403.0) and 29th in yards allowed per play (6.07) since Week 5.
Cincinnati Bengals at (-2.5) Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m.
Mike: Broncos. Denver has to win again at some point, right? They could have actually given the Patriots a game Sunday night had it not been for special teams issues. They can clean those up, and the Bengals are no Patriots.
Andre: Bengals. The Broncos’ quarterback situation is just too atrocious and the Bengals have allowed the second-fewest yards per play this season. During their five-game losing streak, the Broncos have turned the ball over more than any other team. Vance Joseph is still not having the time of his life.
Ricky: Broncos. The Bengals limp into the Mile High City having lost back-to-back road games to the Jaguars and Titans. If the Broncos can’t win this game, then I don’t know what to tell you.
(-6.5) New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders (in Mexico City), 4:25 p.m.
Mike: Patriots. The Raiders have the worst secondary in the NFL, and Tom Brady has completed more than 70 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no picks over the last three weeks; what am I missing?
Andre: Patriots. How in the world have the Raiders not recorded an interception this season after snagging 16 picks last season? I don’t see them getting their first pick this week either, going up against Brady, who’s absolutely rolling right now. As for the Patriots’ defense, they have the third-best red zone defense over the last three games and haven’t allowed more than 20 points in a game since Week 4.
Ricky: Patriots. Look out. The Patriots are finding their stride, making everyone forget the two losses they suffered earlier this season. This game could be played in Mexico, at the summit of Mount Everest or on the ocean floor. It doesn’t matter. Give me New England.
(-3) Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30 p.m.
Mike: Eagles. It sounds like Dallas won’t have Sean Lee on Sunday, and that’s an issue: The Cowboys have allowed 460 rushing yards in the three games he’s missed or left early this season. Could be Jay Ajayi’s first big game in Eagle green.
Andre: Cowboys. This will be the first time Philly will face a real pass rush since Jason Peters went down, as the Cowboys have the second-most sacks in the NFL. Carson Wentz frequently throws into tight coverage and against a tough pass rush on the road, that could lead to some mistakes. Also, let’s not count out Alfred Morris so quickly. He averaged nearly five yards per carry in the Cowboys’ loss to the Falcons and has nearly seven yards per carry this season.
Ricky: Eagles. The Cowboys could be without their three most important players — Lee, Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott — as they kick off a stretch of playing three games in 12 days. If the Eagles’ run defense is its usual strong self, Dak Prescott will have the weight of the world on his shoulders.
MONDAY, NOV. 20
Atlanta Falcons at (-3) Seattle Seahawks, 8:30 p.m.
Mike: Falcons. Seattle could be without Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman on Monday night — not great, especially against Matt Ryan, who’s quietly turned it around with a 102.7 passer rating in his last four games.
Andre: Falcons. Ryan has been tremendous in outdoor venues this season, with six touchdowns and just one pick. In six career games against the Seahawks, Ryan has 14 touchdowns and four picks. He’s comfortable against Seattle and with the Hawks facing so many injuries, the Dirty Birds should come away with a win.
Ricky: Falcons. The Seahawks have been very undisciplined this season, totaling an NFL-worst 10.4 penalties and 86.7 penalty yards per game (the next-worst marks are 8.1 and 73.9, respectively, held by the Jets). Injuries certainly won’t help, especially against Dan Quinn, who spent two seasons as Seattle’s defensive coordinator and could take advantage of any miscommunication between the Seahawks’ moving parts.