Win the Weekend: Fantasy football and betting tips

Want to know the latest trends, matchups and injury news in football? We’ve got you. Want to know where the public has money this week? We’ve got you. Want to know which teams to play, whom to roster in DFS or whom to pick in your Eliminator pool? We’ve got you there, too. Here’s everything you need to know as you prepare for your fantasy football matchups and potential bets on the games this weekend. Odds by ESPN BET.

CFB: Action Report | Analytics Edges | Confidence pool picks

NFL: Injury update | Matchups to exploit | Eliminator Challenge | DFS plays | Analytics Edges | Action Report | Confidence pool picks | Pigskin Pick’em

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College Football

David Purdum’s Action Report

  • The No. 12 Oregon State Beavers were a consensus 2-point favorite over the No. 5 Washington Huskies as of Thursday. If the line holds, it would mark the first game this season that a top-5 team would be an underdog. The Beavers have covered the spread in 12 of their last 13 games as a home favorite. At sportsbook PointsBet (Fanatics), Oregon State had attracted more money on the point spread than any other college football team this week.

  • The total on the Georgia State Panthers-No. 15 LSU Tigers game grew from an opening 66.5 to 72.5 total as of Thursday at Circa Sports. Nine of LSU’s 10 games have eclipsed the total this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

  • The total on the Illinois Fighting Illini-No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes game was sitting at a consensus 30.5 as of Thursday. It’s the eighth straight Iowa game with a total under 40, the longest such streak of any team since 2000.

Seth Walder’s biggest edges from ESPN Analytics

  • No. 6 Oregon Ducks (-23.5) at Arizona State Sun Devils: The Ducks rank sixth in the rankings, but on a play-by-play level, this team has been the second-most efficient squad in the nation after adjusting for quality of opponent and garbage time. That’s a huge leap from Arizona State, which ranks 89th in the same metric. That’s why FPI puts this number at 28.8, well clear of the spread.

  • No.2 Ohio State Buckeyes to reach the College Football Playoff (+150): The Buckeyes have a 41% chance to win their next two games, per FPI. If their playoff hopes hinged exclusively on that, that would make this essentially a fair price — but without value. Except that it’s not impossible that Ohio State loses to the Michigan Wolverines and ends up an 11-1 playoff team. Chaos can happen elsewhere, and while that’s not guaranteed, it’s possible. Ultimately, we’re getting plus money on a bet the Allstate Playoff Predictor says has a 67% chance to happen.

Joe Fortenbaugh’s Confidence Picks

  • Michigan State Spartans (+3.5) at Indiana Hoosiers: Woof. This is a “hold your nose special,” plain and simple. But here’s the thing: As bad as Michigan State has been this season, should Sparty really be a 4-point ‘dog against a team like Indiana? The Hoosiers are off a gut-punch overtime loss to Illinois and, looking back, have closed as a favorite in just seven of their last 32 games. And of those seven matchups as a favorite, Indiana has covered the number only two times. Sparty boasts the better defense and should be able to run the ball here, so give me the points.

  • Old Dominion Monarchs (+6) 6 at Georgia Southern Eagles: This is a good buy-low spot on the Monarchs following last week’s blowout loss at Liberty. But go inside the numbers and you’ll see that Old Dominion is 6-4 against the number this year, with tight losses against good competition like James Madison (lost by 3 points), Wake Forest (lost by 3 points), Coastal Carolina (lost by 4 points) and Marshall (lost by 6 points). Georgia Southern has failed to cover the number in four of its last five outings and actually owns the same yards per play differential (-.4) as Old Dominion, which isn’t a good thing when playing a more favorable schedule.

  • No. 11 Oregon State (-2.5) vs. No. 5 Washington: Who’s interested in some playoff chaos? Undefeated, fifth-ranked Washington actually opened as the favorite here, but the money has been flowing throughout the week to an Oregon State team that performs in vastly superior fashion when playing at home (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) than it does on the road (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS). Additionally, check out the turnover differential posted by these two programs to date, as Oregon State currently sits +10 (T-6 in NCAA) while the Huskies rank T-80 at -1. If I’m right, next week’s playoff rankings will be VERY interesting.




How should fantasy managers handle the Dolphins RBs in Week 11?

The Fantasy Focus crew analyzes what fantasy managers should do with Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane if the latter returns to the field.

Stephania Bell’s injury update

  • De’Von Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins: The speedy back has missed the last four games with a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve, but he benefited from an additional week of recovery with the Week 10 bye. Coach Mike McDaniels commented this week about it being a “sprain-type of injury.” McDaniels went on to say they could have returned Achane sooner in a brace if they really had to minimize his time on the field. “We didn’t really envision him being one that would really flourish with a brace, so we took the time to make sure that we can get structurally completely strong.” Given Achane’s agility and quickness, his need to cut sharply and accelerate, this will prove to be the wiser move for both Achane’s ability to perform at a high level upon return and, hopefully, stay healthy. McDaniel said they will take it day by day as Achane returns to practice, but he said on Monday that Achane was “untackleable.” He said he feels good about where they are with him. If he continues down this path through the rest of the week, it certainly sounds as if Achane will take the field Sunday.

  • Get all the latest injury news here.

Matt Bowen’s matchups to exploit

  • Houston Texans QB C.J. Stroud vs. the Arizona Cardinals‘ zone coverages: Stroud holds a QBR of 75.2, with 25 explosive play throws (completions of 20 or more yards), versus zone coverage this season. He’ll see a mix of split-safety zone and Cover 3 this Sunday against the Cardinals. We should expect Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik to set up Stroud with concepts that create open zone voids at the second and third level of the field.

  • New York Jets RB Breece Hall vs. the Buffalo Bills‘ run defense: Hall has seen 12 or more carries in five straight games, and he gets a matchup versus a Bills defense allowing an average of 4.6 yards per rush. Lean on outside zone run schemes here with Hall, who rushed for 127 yards against Buffalo back in Week 1.

  • For more breakdowns, check out Matt Bowen’s Film Room.

Mike Clay’s Eliminator Challenge advice

  • Washington Commanders (vs. New York Giants): The Commanders were sellers at the trade deadline, but this is still a 4-6 club in the wild-card race in the NFC, so they have plenty of incentive to beat the lowly Giants at home this week. Washington has a 74% win probability, which is easily its highest the rest of the season. It’s also the sixth highest in the league this week, but we’ve already utilized the Dallas Cowboys (88%), Buffalo Bills (83%) and Miami Dolphins (81%), and we will have better opportunities to use the San Francisco 49ers (77%) and perhaps the Houston Texans (75%). Washington should get the job done easily against undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito and the struggling Giants.

  • Follow Clay’s Eliminator Challenge advice all season long and find other tips for Week 11 here.

Al Zeidenfeld’s DFS plays

  • Kyler Murray ($6,100) made his return to the field last week and his double stacks profile to be one of the best value tournament plays in combination this week with so many of his pass-catchers carrying super-low price tags. Marquise Brown ($5,300), Rondale Moore ($3,300) and Trey McBride ($4,400) offer avenues and combinations to correlate through and still have plenty of money to build a secondary stack around one of the premium wide receivers with high team totals, such as Tyreek Hill ($9,300) or Amon-Ra St. Brown ($8,800). Should be a very fun slate for tournament lineup builds.

  • More DFS plays here.



What does Michael Carter’s release mean for Breece Hall in fantasy?

Field Yates explains why Breece Hall is a top-15 fantasy running back in Week 11.

Seth Walder’s biggest edges from ESPN Analytics

  • Giants NT Dexter Lawrence II over 3.5 tackles + assists (-122): My model forecasts 4.4 tackles + assists for Lawrence, and a large part of that is the expected game flow in this game. The Giants are 9.5-point underdogs against the Commanders, and that means Washington — typically a very pass-heavy team — will probably be more run-heavy than usual. That plays into Lawrence’s over.

  • Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love over 19.5 completions (-114): It feels dangerous to take a completions over with the worst QB in the league in completion percentage and completion percentage over expectation from NFL Next Gen Stats. But Love has been better in recent weeks in those categories, and the Packers are more likely to be behind — and thus needing to pass — as an underdog.

David Purdum’s Action Report

  • The line on the Pittsburgh SteelersCleveland Browns game dropped 3 points this week on the news that Cleveland QB DeShaun Watson would undergo shoulder surgery and miss the remainder of the season. Rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson is expected to start for the Browns. Cleveland had been a 4-point favorite, before the Watson news. The line was sitting at Cleveland -1 as of Thursday. The total on the game also dropped significantly and was down to a consensus 33 as of Thursday, the second-lowest total of any game over the last decade, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

  • Games that had attracted the most-lopsided action by money wagered as of Thursday at DraftKings: Raiders at Dolphins (-13.5) — 84% of money wagered on Miami; Cowboys (-10.5) at Carolina Panthers — 78% of money wagered on Dallas; Buccaneers at 49ers (-12) — 75% of money wagered on San Francisco.

  • John Murray, executive director at the SuperBook, told ESPN that he had seen action from sharp bettors this week on the Dolphins, Steelers and Packers.

  • Money has started to pile up on the Texans to win the AFC. “They are now our second-biggest liability to win the AFC,” Tom Gable, sportsbook director at The Borgata, said. “[They’re] down to 28-1.”

Anita Marks’ NFL confidence pool picks

  • Detroit Lions OVER 28.5 total points: Detroit’s offense is averaging 30 points per game over the last four weeks. David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs are a great 1-2 punch in the ground game, and Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown should take advantage of a Bears defense allowing the second-most passing TDs.

  • Steelers (+1) at Browns: How are the Steelers NOT favored here!?! They will face a rookie QB in Thompson-Robinson, who is making his second career start. Pittsburgh is 25-4 straight up against rookie QBs under Mike Tomlin, and the Steelers are 5-0 SU and against the spread vs. the Browns at home in the regular season the last five seasons. T.J. Watt will feast!

Tyler Fulghum’s Pigskin Pick’em plays

This is why we love the NFL. The league is being turned on its head in the critical month of November. The Minnesota Vikings can’t stop winning, even without Kirk Cousins. What a story Josh Dobbs has become this year. And Thursday night’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens seems like a must-win for the Cincinnati Bengals to get their playoff chances off life support. Oh, hello San Francisco. That bye seemed to serve you well. The 49ers are back BACK after the three-game losing streak. Love this game. Love this week. Good luck in Week 11 of Pigskin Pick’em!

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