Fabian Sommer is back and determined to end a losing streak with a money line selection for his NFL Week 11 tip…
Let’s be honest: the season start of this column has been ruthless. The record sits at 2-7 (-5.16u). Some of the losing picks were off by a large margin.
Last year, this column finished at a whopping 13-4-2 record. Last year’s positive variance – or let’s call it luck – has made a 180 turn in 2021.
I usually pick one game on Friday morning that I had already released to subscribers earlier in the week, which is still in the “bettable” range.
Choosing one game per week and going 13-4-2 is insanely lucky. Doing the same the next season and starting 2-7 on a nine-game sample size is a little bit unlucky.
That’s sports betting, and that’s variance. All I can do is try to get back on track on Matchbook Insights.
NFL Week 11 Tip:
Let’s start with the NFC battle that has some wild card implications.
The Eagles’ offense has looked incredibly sharp over the past three weeks, where they rank 1st in EPA/play and 1st in success rate.
Over that stretch, we could observe a particular pattern. After being extremely pass-heavy over the first seven weeks – which was also a result of trailing a lot – Nick Sirianni has shifted his unit to a run-first approach.
Since week eight, Philly has the highest rush rate (63%) on early downs, and they average 0.17 EPA/play on first and second down, which ranks 3rd in the league.
But let’s take a look at which rush defenses they have faced and their respective rankings in rush DVOA, EPA/rush, and running success rate:
- Detroit Lions: 29th / 17th / 13th
- Los Angeles Chargers: 32nd / 32nd / 32nd
- Denver Broncos: 23rd / 23rd / 27th
The Eagles established a new identity while facing some soft run defenses. Let’s check in on their next opponent:
- New Orleans Saints: 1st / 2nd / 1st
From playing against some of the worst run defenses in the game, Philly will face the most robust run defense in the entire league.
New Orleans completely shut down the Titans’ rushing attack – in a game they should have won straight up – and I firmly believe the Eagles will have a lot more difficulties establishing the run game in this matchup.
That matchup should alter their current path of success and put more pressure on Jalen Hurts and the passing attack. Is that the template going forward?
Strategically, the Eagles would want to go into full Buffalo Bills 2020 mode and come out with a pass-heavy approach on early downs.
But I doubt they will since recency bias might cloud their game plan.
Throwing the ball a lot has not worked out properly earlier in the season, but their run-first approach has. So, I’d be a little bit surprised if they wholly altered their strategy.
TE Dallas Goedert was still in the concussion protocol as of Friday morning, but he progressed throughout the week and might end up playing.
The Lions’ offensive line got whipped upfront by Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, and Co. Denver played without their starting left tackle, right tackle, and left guard. Justin Herbert was not touched once by Philly during the game.
The front-four for Philly has been very inconsistent this year. If that unit cannot get disruptive pressure, their back-seven cannot make up for it. On paper, the Saints have a decent offensive line.
LT Terron Armstead is still not practising and might miss another game. RT Ryan Ramczyk hasn’t practised on Wednesday and Thursday because of a knee issue.
He played 100% of the snaps against the Titans, so his absence might have been more about resting and being pre-cautionary. At this point, I’d lean towards Armstead sitting and Ramczyk playing.
Trevor Siemian has looked “okay” so far.
He was not the problem why the Saints lost their last two games. They were dealing with some drops.
Against the Eagles’ cover-2 spot drop defense, HC Sean Payton should scheme up some open receivers on short and intermediate routes where Siemian doesn’t need to hold the ball too long.
The Saints have decent matchups on both sides of the ball, and they are the better team overall.
For instance, Football Outsiders ranks the Saints 8th in overall DVOA. The Eagles come in at 15th. This could be a “wrong team favored” affair.
In recent weeks, some major betting groups have pounded the Eagles, which could be the case again this week.
However, I like the value with the Saints on the money line.
New Orleans Saints ML (2.18)
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