Week 11 Football Pick’em Contest Strategy & Advice (2022)

Week 11 of the 2022 NFL season is here, and we have several value favorites showing up in your pick'em pools.

Dallas takes on the 8-1 Vikings (Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire)

Week 11 in NFL pick’em contests has brought the cold weather with it. We’ll try to heat up, as we have plenty of key games this week.

In these columns, we explore strategies to maximize your edge in NFL and college football pick’em contests. We also provide some of the rationale behind picks potentially recommended by our premium product.

We plan to periodically update to this post through Sunday of Week 11, so check back for updates. Here’s what’s available now:

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Tuesday 11/15

NFL Week 11 Early Value Picks

Here are some value picks we are seeing early on for Week 11. We are having team meetings in person this week for longer-term website planning, so the summaries will be short for this week’s games.

New Orleans Saints (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

Spread: -3.5
Win Odds: 66%
Pick Popularity: 54%

The Saints aren’t a popular favorite at 3-7, but the Rams aren’t exactly hitting on all cylinders. They’ll also now be without star WR Cooper Kupp, which has made the Saints a bigger favorite.

Dallas Cowboys (at Minnesota Vikings)

Spread: -1.0
Win Odds: 51%
Pick Popularity: 25%

The Vikings are 8-1, but the Cowboys are the slight favorite, and a very unpopular one here. Minnesota just won a wild game in Buffalo after trailing late and has now won seven straight games, all of which were decided by a single score.

San Francisco 49ers (vs. Arizona Cardinals in Mexico)

Spread: -8.0
Win Odds: 78%
Pick Popularity: 83%

The betting markets love the 49ers right now, and Arizona QB Kyler Murray’s status is still to be determined after he missed last week’s game. This one is a higher win-odds game where the the 49ers are less popular than some other teams that have much lower win odds. That means they can actually provide some differentiation at higher confidence in confidence-point pools.

Detroit Lions (at New York Giants)

Spread: +3.0
Win Odds: 40%
Pick Popularity: 10%

The Giants are being picked by a whopping 90% of the public this week, but the line is only at three points. They’re another team with an extreme close-game record inflating the public’s perception, as they are now 7-1 in games decided by one score.

Green Bay Packers (vs. Tennessee Titans)

Spread: -3.0
Win Odds: 59%
Pick Popularity: 58%

The Packers finally got a win in overtime versus the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday, but the Titans have enough popularity here that sticking with the Packers has some value on the favorite.

Tuesday 11/15

Week 10 Results Summary

With favorites losing half the games outright in Week 10, it was a relatively better week for spread picks than game-winner picks.

Game-Winner Pools

In game-winner pools, the public averaged 6.8 wins out of 14 games in Week 10.

Overall, our season-long “Max Profit” picks finished just below the public at 6.2 wins. Several of the smaller favorites with split popularity lost. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh did win after moving to a pick’em and then closing as the favorite on Sunday, but most subscribers got New Orleans as the pick if they did not refresh on Sunday.

Weekly picks finished above the public at 7.3 wins, as some of the value upset picks hit. Detroit, Indianapolis, and Washington were some of the heavily picked wins in Week 10.

Spread Pools

The public finished right at .500 in Week 10 in spread pools, averaging 7.0 wins in 14 games.

Our pick recommendations in season-long pools had a pretty good week with 9.0 wins on average, outpacing the public by two wins. Weekly picks, which tend to also account for public pick popularity more to differentiate, also finished ahead of the public at 8.7 wins on average.

We should note that individual entries could have differing results because of differences in line value in specific contests. There were a lot of lines around a field goal this week that fluctuated with line movement, and the individual picks varied depending on which side of three points a contest had.

We also saw big movement back and forth in some games, including wild swings in Buffalo-Minnesota and Rams-Arizona with evolving QB news.


Important Notes About Picks We Highlight

Keep in mind three things about picks we highlight in this article:

  1. Optimal pick’em contest strategy balances risk and potential reward.
    Maximizing your odds to win a pick’em pool generally requires exploiting the best opportunities to differentiate your picks from your opponents’s picks. Ideally, you want to fade the public while taking on minimal additional pick risk to do so. For example, taking a betting market favorite being picked by less than 50% of your opponents is usually a great opportunity.
  2. Not all of the picks we highlight are suitable for all pools.
    Don’t be surprised if our Football Pick’em Picks product doesn’t recommend several of the picks we mention in this post for your pool specifically—especially the upset picks. The best pick strategy for you depends on a number of factors such as your pool’s size, rules, and prize structure (a concept that’s covered in part by our article on season vs. weekly prize strategy).
  3. Picks we highlight may no longer look compelling by game day.
    We analyze and write about picks using data (e.g. win odds and pick popularity) current at the time we publish this article, but that data can change before kickoff. For example, key player being ruled out or a shift in public sentiment about a team can erase the differentiation value that a pick initially offered.

We’ll provide periodic updates in this post if major data changes occur for picks we’ve mentioned, so make sure to check back. However, there’s a much better way to stay on top of changing data trends throughout a week, which all sharp players need to do.

Our Football Pick’em Picks product automatically imports the latest win odds and pick popularity data multiple times per day. You can see the latest information in the Data Grid.

After you generate customized picks for your pool, you can also update those pick recommendations whenever you want via the My Pool Picks screen. The updated picks will incorporate the most recent data we have.


About Our Pick’em Pool Advice

What makes pick recommendations from our Football Pick’em Picks product different from other sites is that it isn’t generic.

In any given week, the best picks for your football pool depend on a number of variables. Your pool’s size, rules, and prize structure all influence strategy, as do factors like your current place in the standings and how many weeks are left.

So many different scenarios exist that it’s impossible to give pick advice that makes sense for every one. An underrated 6-point underdog could be a great pick in a big weekly prize pool and a terrible pick for a small season-long pool where you’re currently in the money.

Technology to the rescue

As far as we know, we’re the only site that has built algorithms to evaluate all these strategy factors and provide you with customized pick recommendations every week.

The result? Every year, an average of 71% of our subscribers win a prize (season-long or weekly) in a football pick’em contest.

If you want to see all the Week 1 picks we recommend for your football pick’em contest, use our Football Pick’em Picks product.

Why we write this column

At the same time, we know our subscribers like to understand the rationale behind picks our product may recommend, especially when those picks go against the grain. So over the years, we’ve started to write more about the “whys” behind our approach.

This column can also help educate our readers with pick’em pool strategy. We highlight tactics proven to result in more pick’em pool wins over the long term and point out common pitfalls to avoid.

We hope you enjoy reading, and we encourage you to check out more of our football pick’em strategy articles.

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