Cheers to football! With the holidays steadily approaching, it is time for celebrations, gluttony, watching football and last but not least… the occasional adult beverage or two. In my household, that often involves a number of different unique craft beers. Oh, and let us not forget about my Week 11 NFL Picks at The Wife Hates Sports.
The theme for this week will be preparation for celebrations, specifically craft beer. We are talking ABV, but in this case, I mean “Absolute Big Victories”. I will feature a craft beer tied to a region in each predicted pick. Sticking with the theme, I will focus on a six-pack of games, specifically the best bets.
So, suds, suds and more suds – sound good? Of course it does. Well, that is, unless you’re the WIFE that HATES sports, who also happens to HATE beer, too.
What a BUZZ-kill. See what I did there?
Before we move forward with the selections, here are this week’s lines according to CBS Sports, with a few initial thoughts and gut reactions. For the games that simply state “Beer me”, those are my six-pack of best bets, with additional information as to why below.
Week 11 Slate
- Steelers at Browns (-2.5) > even when the Browns win, they lose.
- Bills at Dolphins (+5.5) > Dolphins are playing a lot better. This could be close.
- Falcons at Panthers (-5.5) > Beer me!
- Texans at Ravens (-4) > Destined to be a shootout (and the game of the week).
- Broncos at Vikings (-10.5) > Beer me!
- Saints at Buccaneers (+5.5) > Will the Saints play angry? Which Jameis shows?
- Jets at Redskins (-1.5) > Beer me!
- Jaguars at Colts (-3) > Will Nick Foles be rusty? Can the injured Colts rebound?
- Cowboys at Lions (+4.5) > Beer me!
- Cardinals at 49ers (-11.5) > Cards gave them a game a few weeks back.
- Patriots at Eagles (+3.5) > Beer me!
- Bengals at Raiders (-10.5) > Bengals are a mess, but a spread this big?
- Bears at Rams (-7) > Rams offense – what gives?
- Chiefs vs Chargers – Mexico City (+3.5) > Beer me!
Now, pop open a cold one and let’s make some picks against the spread. Always remember to drink (and pick) responsibly. Here is who KP has with his top Week 11 NFL Picks:
KP’s Crafty Week 11 NFL Picks
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-5.5)
The Game: Atlanta shocked New Orleans last week – and I mean shocked. Now the Falcons face another rival in the Panthers. Losing big TE target Austin Hooper really hurts the Atlanta offense. More focus can be put on Julio Jones and the Hooper mismatches are now gone. Atlanta’s backs are beat up, too. On the other side, the Carolina offense is built around the versatility and potency of RB Christian McCaffrey. With Atlanta down key players on offense, I look to Carolina to wear down Atlanta’s already shoddy defense, specifically its run defense that ranks 20th in the league. CMC will have a monster day (again). Give me the PANTHERS to cover at home.
Pair it With: Yard Breather – DreamChaser’s Brewery – an underrated New England Style IPA and the flagship beer from this local NC brewery that is always on tap and often available in cans. If in the Charlotte area, also look to a number of other breweries, from Resident Culture to Heist and more.
Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings (-10.5)
The Game: With the Vikings, it always starts with Dalvin Cook and a strong run game. Denver is currently a middle-of-the-road 17th against the run and will clearly work to shutdown Cook. That is the key to the game, as the Broncos pass defense (4th in yards allowed) is more than respectable. Denver’s 19 sacks is also a vast improvement after a slow start. Offensively, the Broncos will need production from its run game and another big day from Courtland Sutton, its most consistent weapon. In the end, this feels like a game where the Vikings wear the Broncos down, take control in the trenches and coast to a two-touchdown victory at home. VIKINGS cover.
Pair it With: Todd – The Axe Man – Surly Brewing – this brewery recently distributed in Charlotte and I was lucky to be able to tackle a few of its offerings. This one in particular is a really solid IPA. I highly recommend you knock one down in between SKOL chants on Sunday. Unless you’re a “Packer Backer”, in which… just try the beer out, ok?
New York Jets at Washington Redskins (-1.5)
The Game: Dwayne Haskins has been named the starter for the rest of the season, which is the right move. Still, these Redskins just set a franchise record after going three straight games without a touchdown. The Jets are certainly a hot mess, as well… but how can you pick a Washington team that is unable to move the ball and score points? Derrius Guice is set to return and will share the backfield with Adrian Peterson. The Redskins will most certainly try to establish the run (as they have in recent weeks), but until they can piece together some consistent drives, my picks will go elsewhere. Give me the more talented JETS (yes, I’m actually saying that) to win on the road.
Pair it With: Sell the Team! – Harpers Ferry Brewing – I can’t recommend the actual beer, because I have yet to try it. I can say that it is a West Coast Double IPA that currently receives a 3.82 grade on Untappd, which tells me it is pretty solid. Either way, how can I not highlight it, considering the clever name and overall state of the Redskins and its fan base? Daniel Snyder and Bruce Allen deserve all the criticism that each is getting. A once historic franchise has been driven completely into the ground.
Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions (+4.5)
The Game: Jeff Driskel held his own following the surprise absence of Matthew Stafford last week and he will get another shot to run the offense. But injuries in the run game are also hurting Detroit and its offensive efficiency. It’s really hard to imagine the Lions sticking with a Dallas offense that ranks 3rd in passing offense and 5th in rushing. Plain and simple, Dallas has too much talent for the injury-depleted Lions to be able to keep up through four quarters. COWBOYS cover on the road.
Pair it With: Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) – Founders Brewing – I went with Detroit as opposed to the winning pick here. The Lions deserve a strong beer anyway considering their season and overall history. There are a lot of options here. My taste buds take me to the state of Michigan and Founders, which has a wide range of great beers, including their barrel-aged line. Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) is set to be retired and this could be the last chance you can get it. It is worth honoring and here is the post from Founders mentioning its pending “ride into the sunset”.
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It’s time for CBS’ legendary last call! Yup, this is the last year we plan on making our maple-syrup bourbon barrel-aged chocolate coffee stout (say that 10x fast), so enjoy it while you can. Check in CBS now through 12/31 and earn the “CBS’ Legendary Last Call” @untappd badge! #chaseyourwhatif
New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5)
The Game: The Patriots typically hone in on a key opposing player and shut them down. Coming off a bye, the Pats have had an extra week to prepare that plan (and get healthy, too). The New England defense has been so strong that they often shut everyone down. Sure, Baltimore dismantled the Pats but that was with a more versatile Lamar Jackson and a stronger defense. The Eagles have the offensive firepower to compete, but Philly struggles against the pass. Having a few players back has helped the Eagles defensively, but there are still clear holes. Expect a crisp game plan and a solid day through the air for Tom Brady. PATRIOTS cover on the road.
Pair it With: Julius – Tree House Brewing and Cutting Tiles – Trillium Brewing – There are a ton of great breweries (and beers) in New England. My default is to encourage you to toast some Trillium or Tree House. For a beer that you can get on a fairly regular basis, I’d go with either Julius (Tree House) or Cutting Tiles (Trillium). Each are one of many great IPA’s at these breweries. You can’t go wrong.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Chargers – Mexico City (+3.5)
The Game: Patrick Mahomes vs Philip Rivers? Yes, please. Although, Rivers (14 TD, 10 INT this season) hasn’t exactly had a great year. Injuries to his offensive line – and well, the entire roster – have not helped. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are fading in the standings, despite a far-from-rusty return of its franchise QB. Mahomes faces a Chargers pass defense that is 5th in yards allowed. Also, Melvin Gordon seems to have returned and the Chargers will likely try to use him heavily against K.C.’s 31st ranked run defense. But we know what happens if Mahomes gets going. The Chargers will fight to avoid a back and forth, high scoring game. In the end, I think this becomes a shootout – and for that reason, I like the CHIEFS to cover in Mexico City.
Pair it With: Plaid Habit – Boulevard Brewing – A lot of good options from this brewery in Kansas City, but one that stuck out to me was Plaid Habit, because it really caught me by surprise. It’s an imperial brown ale (13.9%) aged in Canadian rye whiskey barrels. Need I say more? Patrick Mahomes can only be more enjoyable to watch after downing one of those.
BYES: Seattle Seahawks | Green Bay Packers | Tennessee Titans | New York Giants
Feel free to comment with either some of your Week 11 NFL Picks or some of your favorite craft beers from these (or any) regions. I am always up for trying new brews. Oh, and by the way, it would be cool to sync up with some of you on Untappd. Follow me there (@kevinpaul1977).
As always, CHEERS and THANK YOU for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Archives: NFL Picks Against the Spread