2020 NFL Week 11 Game-By-Game Model Projections

Due to an interesting scheduling quirk, we had SIX late afternoon games in Week 10, and the slate delivered!

Not only were some of the early games better than expected, but the late games provided us with plenty of entertainment, including an incredible Hail Mary! Additionally, both the Sunday night game and Monday night game were decided by one score, meaning that we were able to watch plenty of games come down to the wire!

With that, let us examine my model’s projections for every game in the Week 11 slate. My model is able to calculate a team’s chances of winning by using Pro Football Focus grades and coaching adjustments, and from there, calculating the gap between the two teams before covering it into a win probability. In the past, that win probability was used to project a spread, and from there, it served as more a model to pick against the spread.

However, this was never my goal with the model. Rather, I want it to be able to project the estimated margin of victory by each team. Luckily, I have now transformed my model to calculate how much better a team is than average on a neutral field, and from there, those totals can be used to project how much one team will beat another by. Now, I can provide reasonable expectations for you all on how a game should turn out.

If you had been interested in the betting aspect of this model, however, fret not! You can still utilize the difference in margin of victory and spread to find the best values from a spread perspective, while my model now projects recommended money lines and over/under totals. After we go through all the games, I will go over the model’s top bets of the week, so you will want to stick around until the end!

With that addressed, let us get to the Week 11 slate! There are several close matchups taking place this week, including multiple fantastic primetime games. If you like evenly matched, down-to-the-wire games, this should be the week for you!

NOTE: Model will be updated with injury updates, power ratings calculated with injuries in mind

*Odds via Vegas Insider

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Arizona Cardinals (6-3, 17th) at Seattle Seahawks (6-3, 5th)

Photo Cred: OregonLive.com

Cardinals Win Probability: 41.66497985%

At the moment, the Cardinals are currently on top of the NFC West. They’ve already beaten the Seahawks in what was an incredible overtime primetime affair in Week 8, which happened to be Kyler Murray’s best performance of the season. Murray has taken a major step forward in his second season, and a lot of the credit has to go to star receiver De’Andre Hopkins, who should feast against a Seattle secondary that should be without their top two cornerbacks in Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar. Meanwhile, now that rookie Isaiah Simmons has found his role defending the middle-of-the-field for them, their defense has taken steps forward; defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is scheming up pressure from all angles.

Seahawks Win Probability: 58.33502015%

The Seahawks have now lost three of their last four, while Russell Wilson’s MVP odds have gone down significantly. This is not what they had in mind when they looked to be on top of the world with a 5-0 record. However, in Wilson, they still have an elite quarterback to connect down the field with the explosive receiver duo of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Lockett had 200 receiving yards and 15 receptions when these two teams faced off previously, and you’d be crazy to bet on Wilson not bouncing back. Meanwhile, although their defense has been poor this season, they’re still talented enough to not be a liability, while their coaching staff is continuing to maximize on their offense’s ability with an emphasis on early-down passes.

Projected Winner: SEA by 4.41

Projected Spread: SEA (-4)

Spread: SEA (-3)

Moneyline Value: ARI

Over/Under Total Projection: 55.73 (Real O/U= 57.5)

This should be a very entertaining game with a lot of points scored that showcases two of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL. My model is assuming that Dunbar and Griffin don’t play, as if they do, this current spread is far too low. Given that the Cardinals have had the easiest schedule in the NFL, they are clearly overvalued, but they are very lucky to catch Seattle on a short week, given all their injuries. Plus, if there is ever a time to play the Seahawks in primetime, it’s when home field advantage is not a factor. In the end, the better team with the better quarterback should win, but this is be a game that I wouldn’t recommend betting on.

SUNDAY, 1 PM ET

Tennessee Titans (6-3, 7th) at Baltimore Ravens (6-3, 8th)

Photo Cred: Bleacher Report

Titans Win Probability: 50.75714804%

No team has appeared to see their stock fade in the eyes of the public more than the Titans than recent weeks, as they have lost three of their last four. However, at the end of the day, Ryan Tannehill still ranks third in the NFL in expected points added (EPA)/play, and Pro Football Focus‘ opponent-adjusted offensive rankings has them rated fourth in the NFL. When you have a dynamic receiving corps, a productive quarterback, and a sound coverage unit, you’re going to be a successful team. If their third-down and red-zone luck improves defensively, as does their special teams luck, their true talent will start to show in the form of wins.

Ravens Win Probability: 49.24285196%

The Ravens have to play better at some point, right? This is the same team that set the league on fire last season, and they still have the third-best average point differential. They certainly will be motivated after losing in primetime in New England, especially since the Titans eliminated them from the playoffs last season. A smart team with an extra edge is generally a frightening combination.

Projected Winner: TEN by 0.46

Projected Spread: BAL (-1)

Spread: BAL (-6.5)

Moneyline Value: TEN

Over/Under Total Projection: 51.21 (Real O/U=49)

Wait, what? The Ravens are a 6.5-point favorite? Whereas Tannehill ranks third in EPA/play, Lamar Jackson ranks 28th. Baltimore simply cannot pass the ball effectively right now, and there is no reason to believe they will have better luck against one of the better coverage units in the NFL. There likely will be a lot of running in this game, but when games are won through the air, and when these two teams pass, I have far more faith in the Titans. Naturally, Tennessee will continue to miss field goals and have punts blocked, because of course they will. Still, on paper, with no home field advantage, how can one justify this current spread?

Detroit Lions (4-5, 26th) at Carolina Panthers (3-7, 29th)

Photo Cred: Fox News

Lions Win Probability: 60.20985082%

Don’t look now, but the Lions are creeping back towards average……… again! Even without star receiver Kenny Golladay, Matthew Stafford was able to produce against a strong Washington pass defense; his aggressiveness allows the offense to be able to play well without being overly efficient. The Panthers current have the lowest Pro Football Focus defense grade in the NFL this season, so there isn’t any reason to expect a drop-off in performance. Now, can cornerbacks Jeffrey Okudah and Desmond Trufant hold up their end of the bargain on the defense?

Panthers Win Probability: 39.79014918%

The may lack overall roster talent, but the Panthers remain a feisty team. They’re extremely well-coached, and with how well offensive coordinator Joe Brady has fared in his rookie season, they should pick apart the weak-link that is the Lions defense. I definitely believe the coaching advantage lies with Carolina.

Projected Winner: DET by 2.29

Projected Spread: DET (-2.12)

Spread: CAR (-1.5)

Moneyline Value: DET

Over/Under Total Projection: 51.02 (Real O/U: 48.5)

Theoretically, given how poor these defenses are, this should be a close, high-scoring matchup. In the end, the Lions have more overall talent and the more dynamic quarterback, so they should be able to win. With both quarterbacks dealing with injuries, however, as well as several other key players, anything could happen in this game. In a way, this could be the game that dictates head coach Matt Patricia’s future. A loss essentially ends their season, but a win here would put them at .500 with winnable games against the Texans and Bears coming up. Will he be up to the task? Time will only tell, but this will be a fun “talent vs coaching” matchup.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-5-1, 23rd) at Cleveland Browns (6-3,14th)

Photo Cred: The Lines

Eagles Win Probability: 40.09888588%

Despite having all of their key players back from injury, the Eagles still couldn’t manage to beat the lowly Giants, and now sit atop the NFC East with a very alarming 3-5-1 record. On the bright side, they still rank 6th in yards/play allowed, and have a coaching staff that continues to make mathematically-correct decisions that allow them to leverage every small advantage they can. Optimistically, you can also expect them to play up to their talent level eventually.

Browns Win Probability: 59.90111412%

This should be a game that favors the Browns. They have the league’s best offensive line in my opinion, so they’ll be able to neutralize Philadelphia’s main strength- their defensive line. It has been rare for Cleveland to have the quarterback advantage, but that is the case here considering how poorly Carson Wentz has played; I could see edge rusher Myles Garrett feasting if Wentz continues to hold onto the ball and take unnecessary sacks. There isn’t any spot, in fact, where Cleveland doesn’t appear to not have the advantage.

Projected Winner: CLE by 3.97

Projected Spread: CLE (-4.52)

Spread: CLE (-3.5)

Moneyline Value: PHI

Over/Under Total Projection: 48.6 (Real O/U= 45.5)

Neither of these two teams are overly exciting, which you would expect between two teams who are built on the offensive and defensive line and have underperforming quarterbacks. In the end, Cleveland just has more overall roster depth and a much more reliable offense, so they should be expected to win this game. Plus, playing in something other than a torrential downpour ought to do wonders for their passing offense!

New England Patriots (4-5, 15th) at Houston Texans (2-7, 24th)

Photo Cred: Houston Chronicle

Patriots Win Probability: 61.84865614%

Just a couple weeks ago, some claimed the Patriots may be better off tanking. Now, they’re a win away from being .500. Quietly, Cam Newton is Pro Football Focus’ 13th-graded quarterback and 11th-graded passer this season, and that is despite playing games in poor weather conditions and dealing with recovering from COVID-19. Any offense led by Josh McDaniels is going to be innovative, and with timely tricked plays, play-action passes, and designed quarterback runs, he is pulling all the strings; why would that change against a putrid Texans defense. On the other side of the ball, Bill Belichick has his unit playing better, as young players like Chase Winovich and Kyle Dugger have been versatile chess pieces, while getting star cornerback Stephon Gilmore will only help them.

Texans Win Probability: 38.15134386%

Not has gone right for the Texans in 2020, and they don’t even have a pick in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft! Regardless, they still have one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL in Deshaun Watson, as well as multiple playmakers in Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks. Thus, they have a chance in practically any game, and it’s worth noting Watson played very well against Belichick last year. There is a reason they were 2.5-point favorites when this spread first opened.

Projected Winner: NE by 4.55

Projected Spread: NE (-2.66)

Spread: NE (-2)

Moneyline Value: NE

Over/Under Total Projection: 51.3 (O/U= 48)

Major line movements are always scary, but my model has constantly been high on the Patriots, and we are seeing why. They have had a gauntlet of a schedule, yet their coaching staff continues to maximize the talent that they do have. Surprisingly, they have actually been more of an offensive team this season, and at this point, you’d be crazy to not see Cam Newton as a starting quarterback- he has been incredible with little to work with. I am going to trust Bill Belichick over the Texans any day of the week, and I think McDaniels picks apart Houston.

The over/under total here is an intriguing pick for betters. Watson is going to put up points against an average Pats defense, while New England should feast against a weak Texans defense. Thus, the over/under total of 48 is too low, making the over a clear value play.

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0, 4th) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8, 31st)

Photo Cred: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steelers Win Probability: 88.47756925%

They may have not played the toughest of schedules, but the Steelers remain undefeated through ten weeks, which is impressive. Notably, I am very encouraged with how pass-heavy their play-calling has been. Against easy opponents, including a poor Bengals run defense, it would be second nature to run the ball and count on their defense. Instead, they are distributing the ball to Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Eric Ebron, and Ben Roethlisberger is getting rid of the ball quickly. Meanwhile, their defense remains dominant; their pass rush is awesome, but their secondary’s improvement has been extremely significant when it comes to their ability to limit strong offenses. Of course, none of that really matters against the Jaguars this week.

Jaguars Win Probability: 11.52243075%

The Jaguars only lost to the Packers by four, so they have that going for them? Their defense has been surprisingly competent this season, and Pittsburgh doesn’t provide the greatest of threats. Plus, Jake Luton still has a 4.94% big-time throw rate, per Pro Football Focus, meaning that he has the volatility necessary to keep them in these types of games.

Projected Winner: PIT by 15.2

Projected Spread: PIT (-11.44)

Spread: PIT (-10)

Moneyline Value: PIT

Over/Under Total Projection: 45.13 (Real O/U= 47.5)

Given how much the public has loved them and tends to overvalue defense, it is surprising to see that the market actually is underselling the Steelers here. It took turnover luck and a returned punt to keep Jacksonville in that game versus the Packers, and Jake Luton has a 0.8 passer rating under pressure. I’m sure he’ll have loads of fun going up against the league’s best pass defense behind a subpar offensive line and with a middling receiving corps! Both the money line and over/under should be monitored by bettors, as they seem to be labelling the Jaguars as something other than the second-worst team in football with little offensive hope- a clear mistake, in my opinion.

Atlanta Falcons (3-6, 13th) at New Orleans Saints (7-2, 16th)

Photo Cred: NOLA.com

Falcons Win Probability: 52.34418177%

Although the Falcons have a 3-6 record, they have just a -8 point differential, have lost three games in which they had a win probability over 98%, and have dealt with injuries. This is precisely why my model still projects them as an above-average team. Matt Ryan is Pro Football Focus’ seventh-highest graded passer, and with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley now healthy, their offense should go back to being an explosive passing attack. Pro Football Focus’ opponent-adjusted ratings also has their defense ranked 13th, and they get the luxury of catching the Saints in the midst of a quarterback change while they’re coming off of a bye- a perfect situation for them.

Saints Win Probability: 47.65581823%

Losing Drew Brees hurts the Saints, but they also have the league’s best backup quarterback in Jameis Winston. Winston will have plenty to work throwing to Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Cook, and Alvin Kamara, and will benefit from playing for a strong offensive mind in head coach Sean Payton. Meanwhile, the team’s defense has allowed just 13 points in their last two games, as their pass defense has improved mightily. Even without Brees, the talent is still present for them to remain competitive; they went 5-0 without him last year.

Projected Winner: ATL by 1.1

Projected Spread: NO (-0.48)

Spread: NO (-5)

Moneyline Value: ATL

Over/Under Total Projection: 50.7 (Real O/U= 50.5)

Upset alert! Between the market undervaluing the Falcons and not adjusting for the loss of Brees/overvaluing the Saints, this is the perfect combination of a letdown spot. Winston and Brees are dramatically different quarterbacks, so it’ll take time for New Orleans to adjust; Winston did not play whatsoever when asked to come in for Brees last week. You’re not going to benefit from multiple muffed punts and interceptions every week, so I definitely understand my model believes the Falcons are primed to come into the Superdome and shock the Saints.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-6-1, 25th) at Washington (2-7, 27th)

Photo Cred: Cincy Jungle

Bengals Win Probability: 53.8785065%

The Bengals were embarrassed by the Steelers, but that shouldn’t overlook the fact they have been very competitive this season. They have beaten the Titans, nearly beat the Browns and Colts, and have been fun to watch with Joe Burrow running the show. He is coming off of arguably his worst game of the season, yet he has still performed tremendously this season, particularly working the intermediate areas of the field to Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. Meanwhile, their coverage unit is still very respectable with cornerback William Jackson III and safety Jessie Bates III leading the way.

Washington Win Probability: 46.1214935%

Alex Smith is back! He was asked to throw the ball 55 teams against the Lions, but the veteran quarterback held up very well, and even led them on a 24-point comeback. For someone with a conservative mentality, Smith’s 3.28% big-time throw rate is higher than you’d expect it to be, and he isn’t going to make mistakes. On the other side of the ball, Burrow could have to deal with a lot of pressure in what appears to be a mismatch between his offensive line and Washington’s pass rush.

Projected Winner: CIN by 1.01

Projected Spread: CIN (-0.03)

Spread: WSH (-1.5)

Moneyline Value: CIN

Over/Under Total Projection: 45.15 (Real O/U= 46.5)

Smith’s return to football has been tremendous, but the fact of the matter remains that outside of against the Lions, Washington’s offense hasn’t produced. The Bengals have much more offensive talent, and Washington doesn’t blitz as much as teams like Baltimore and Pittsburgh do; Burrow should perform better against more four-man rushes. I love both of these quarterbacks, so I want both of them to perform well, but it appears that Smith’s performance against the Lions has caused on overreaction from the betting markets. Overall, though, this game appears to be a toss-up between two teams that really may be better off losing and improving their draft position.

SUNDAY, 4 PM ET

Miami Dolphins (6-3, 19th) at Denver Broncos (3-6, 22nd*)

Photo Cred: The Phinsider

Dolphins Win Probability: 52.11646054%

Currently, the Dolphins have the fourth-highest average point differential in the NFL, and are currently on a five-game winning streak. Simply put, their coaching staff is incredible. They have invested a lot of resources on the cornerback duo of Byron Jones and Xavien Howard, which has allowed them to be creative when it comes to utilizing different blitz packages to rush the passer effectively. Thus, they continue to confuse quarterbacks, and are able to elevate the talent they have defensively. The same can also be said about their offense. Despite not grading particularly well from Pro Football Focus, Tua Tagovailoa has a 111.4 passer rating when kept clean. They’re utilizing early-down passes, play-action passes, and are moving the pocket with Tagovailoa and having him get rid of the ball quickly to protect their offensive line. In other words, they’re pulling all the different strings to perfection.

Broncos Win Probability: 47.88353946%

Despite losing by 25 points, the Broncos actually only gained 40 yards less than the Raiders; they were doomed by turnovers and penalties. Their defense, led by head coach Vic Fangio, will be Tagovailoa’s toughest test yet; they are performing well at all three facets of play. Plus, maybe Drew Lock’s volatility will work in his favor eventually?

Projected Winner: MIA by 0.77

Projected Spread: DEN (-0.55)

Spread: MIA (-3.5)

Moneyline Value: DEN

Over/Under Total Projection: 45.06 (Real O/U= 45)

This is assuming Lock plays; if he is unable to play due to injury, then the projected outcome should shift a few points in Miami’s favor as the Broncos got a below-replacement level quarterback in Brett Rypein. Tagovailoa’s overall numbers are far better than his Pro Football Focus grade, which is a sign of regression, and if both team’s receive normal turnover luck, this game should be far closer than people expect. What is a certainty, however, is that not many points should be scored.

New York Jets (0-9, 32nd) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-7, 2oth)

Photo Cred: PFF.com

Jets Win Probability: 13.15804149%

Is this the week that the Jets get their first win of the season? For what it’s worth, they were able to score 27 points in their first game with all of their top three receivers healthy, and are fresh coming off of a bye. Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has always been productive when it comes to confusing rookie quarterbacks, so could that play a role against Justin Herbert.

Chargers Win Probability: 86.84195851

Unfortunately for Williams, Herbert has performed tremendously against the blitz this season, and the Jets have no one to cover Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry. This might be the Jets’ most winnable game of the season, yet they’re still overmatched.

Projected Winner: LAC by 8.67

Projected Spread: LAC (-13.4)

Spread: LAC (-8.5)

Moneyline Value: LAC

Over/Under Total Projection: 44.7 (Real O/U= 47)

Despite their 2-7 record, the Chargers aren’t a bad team, as they haven’t lost a game by more than one score all year, and have blown multiple games they should have won. They still have an abundance of talent on the perimeter on both sides of the ball, and I think this could be Herbert’s best game yet as a pro. Then again, this is the Chargers, so if any team is going to find a way to lose to the Jets, it’s probably them!

Green Bay Packers (7-2, 3rd) at Indianapolis Colts (6-3, 10th)

Photo Cred: Colts Wire-USAToday.com

Packers Win Probability: 56.10431197%

With the NFC West battling it out and Drew Brees injured, the Packers have to be considered the overwhelming favorite to be the #1 seed in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams are easily the best performing quarterback-receiver combination in the NFL, and, as a result, they have Pro Football Focus’ second-highest ranked offense, based an opponent-adjusted grades. Oh, and they figure to get receiver Allen Lazard back this week!

Colts Win Probability: 43.89568803%

The Colts are more of an old-school team, but they have gotten away with it due to tremendous coaching on both sides of the ball. Their defense is built to limit big plays, which will be key versus Green Bay’s offense, while they’re the type of team that could give the Packers trouble. Green Bay rightfully has prioritized being strong on the perimeter, yet their run defense and linebackers are a liability to the point it actually makes somewhat of a different. Indianapolis’ offensive line and middle-of-the-field passing game could give the Packers fits, especially since their pass rush isn’t likely to be a factor.

Projected Winner: GB by 3.67

Projected Spread: GB (-0.76)

Spread: IND (-2.5)

Moneyline Value: GB

Over/Under Total Projection: 53.27 (Real O/U= 51.5)

This line has shifted all the way from GB (-2.5) to the Colts being favored by the same amount, which seems like an overreaction to an Indianapolis win vaulted by special teams luck, while Green Bay didn’t look great against the Jaguars. There is no way I would take Phillip Rivers as a favorite over Aaron Rodgers, especially since the Packers have more perimeter talent. It’s not like the Colts have been able to run the ball extremely effectively anyways, so I believe the whole “toughness” expect of this game is very overblown. Bettors should undoubtedly roll with the better passing offense with a lopsided quarterback advantage.

Dallas Cowboys (2-7, 28th) at Minnesota Vikings (4-5, 11th)

Photo Cred: Blogging The Boys

Cowboys Win Probability: 30.74962675%

No team has had a more disappointing season than the Cowboys, as they’ve completely cratered with Dak Prescott getting hurt. However, Andy Dalton will be back under center, which should allow their offense to perform better against a shaky Minnesota secondary. Plus, their defense appeared to be turning a corner, so maybe they aren’t a liability anymore, and they also are coming off of their bye while the Vikings played on Monday night.

Vikings Win Probability: 69.25037325%

The Vikings have struggled with their pass defense, yet they’ve made strides in recent weeks, and the Cowboys have established a run-first philosophy without Prescott; to no one’s surprise, it hasn’t worked for them. Quietly, the Vikings rank first in yards/play this season. Kirk Cousins is a top-ten graded quarterback from Pro Football Focus this season, and he’s benefited from the services of the highest-graded receiving corps (by a wide margin). Against Dallas, they should could continue to feast.

Projected Winner: MIN by 7.23

Projected Spread: MIN (-7.6)

Spread: MIN (-7.5)

Moneyline Value: DAL

Over/Under Total Projection: 49.04 (Projected O/U= 48)

My model and the betting markets seem to be in line on this game, as Minnesota is quickly trending up. With three winnable games in a row, they have a great chance to be 7-5, and should definitely be considered an impact playoff contender. Their offense is very explosive, their defense has crept back towards average, and Dallas remains a mess, even if they should look better than they had before the bye.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Kansas City Chiefs (8-1, 1st) at Las Vegas Raiders (6-3, 21st)

Photo Cred: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Chiefs Win Probability: 71.90173546%

Andy Reid off of a bye? Sign me up! The Chiefs are starting to open up their offense more with an emphasis on early-down passes, and Patrick Mahomes is dominating as a result. Their offense remains the best in the NFL given their incredible explosiveness AND efficiency, and don’t sleep on their defense. They rank 7th in passing yards/attempt, have the third-highest Pro Football Focus coverage grade, and are now fully healthy in the secondary. As always, they are easily the superior teams at all levels in this matchup.

Raiders Win Probability: 28.09826454%

For what it is worth, the Raiders did beat Kansas City in Week 5. While we shouldn’t look at previous results too much, it did demonstrate their feistiness with a well-coached offense; Derek Carr is finally taking shots down the field, and it has paid off. His 5.92% big-time throw rate (per PFF), is significantly better than it has been in previous years, and he ranks 9th in EPA/play.

Projected Winner: KC by 14.11

Projected Spread: KC (-5.98)

Spread: KC (-6.5)

Moneyline Value: Neither

Over/Under Total Projection: 55.98 (Real O/U= 56.5)

I’m sorry, what? The Chiefs were favored by 13.5 points when these two teams faced off in Week 5, so that Raiders win is worth a full 7 points? Remember, home-field advantage isn’t a factor, and Kansas City is coming off of a bye. Las Vegas has relied on running the ball in unsustainable fashion and success in some unstable areas; they were only up 7-3 against the Broncos at halftime with the help of turnovers. Good luck beating the Chiefs twice in a season, given how severe of a talent differential there is between these two teams. With 88% of the money on Kansas City so far, clearly the public agrees.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Los Angeles Rams (6-3, 6th) at Tampa Bay Bucs (6-3, 2nd)

Photo Cred: Rams Wire- USA Today

Rams Win Probability: 44.27925734%

Coming into the season, the Rams were practically an afterthought in the NFC West; the public shine on that had faded. Now, it has been recaptured. They are coming off of a big win against the Seahawks, and they are performing well in stable metrics; Jared Goff’s production, for instance, has come from a clean pocket. Simply put, head coach Sean McVay is a wizard, and I continue him to neutralize Tampa Bay’s strong front seven with a lot of early-down play-action rollout passes. Their defense, meanwhile, has been fantastic thanks to a terrific secondary and coaching, while Aaron Donald should feast on a weak interior offensive line.

Bucs Win Probability: 55.70274266%

My model has continuously liked the Bucs, which makes sense since they consistently grade better from Pro Football Focus than the stats would indicate they should. In the end, talent wins, and they have three elite receivers, a stable tackle duo, and a fantastic quarterback. Tom Brady’s 6.28%: 1.63% big-time-throw rate: turnover-worthy play ratio (per PFF) is incredible, and his underlying metrics indicate even more positive regression in the future. If a quarterback is forced to make a play in this game, I’m taking Brady over Goff any day of the week.

Projected Winner: TB by 4.05

Projected Spread: TB (-3.13)

Spread: TB (-3.5)

Moneyline Value: LAR

Over/Under Total Projection: 52.81 (Real O/U= 47.5)

As indicated by the close spread projection and margin of victory, this is going to be a close game that the markets have done a great job handicapping. In fact, this is a fantastic game! McVay vs Todd Bowles’ defense will be a lot of fun to watch, and both of these two teams have a lot of star talent.

Interestingly, although the spread offers no value, my models believe the Rams have a much better chance of winning than the current money line would indicate. Remember, home-field advantage is not a factor, and the matchups actually favor Los Angeles. The best bet, however, is on the over/under total. It currently sits at 47.5 or 48.5, which is the market overvaluing defense. These are two productive offenses, and with weather not expected to be an issue, I think the over is an easy play for bettors.

Best Model Picks

Although my model is more of a projection model than a betting model, we can still use it to identify the best value picks. To do so, I calculated the average difference from Vegas’ lines and the model’s projections, as well as the standard deviation. Thus, all of these picks are listed because they are one deviation over from the average difference.

SPREAD

  1. KC (-6.5) at LV
  2. TEN +6.5) at BAL
  3. GB (+2.5) at IND
  4. ATL (+5) at NO

MONEYLINE

  1. TEN (+240) at BAL
  2. ATL (+190) at NO

OVER/UNDER

  1. LAR at TB (Over 47.5)

All odds are updated from Vegas Insider as of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Additionally, all advanced metrics are courtesy of Pro Football Focus. Remember, these are based on blind projections, so when it comes to betting on games, please bet responsibility and realize that as a small-sample size sport, anything can happen within one game of football! Hey, that’s the fun of it all; enjoy a great week of football!

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