Ready for Week 9 of the NFL season?
Our staff previews all 11 games on Sunday’s main slate, featuring odds and picks for each.
NFL Odds, Picks & Predictions
Ravens at Colts Odds & Pick
Raheem Palmer: Overall, this game should be decided by whose offense can perform best and I expect a rebound performance from the Ravens offense against an overrated Colts defense.
The Ravens have won nine consecutive road games and currently boast 14-5 SU and 13-6 against the spread (ATS) records over their last 19 road games. Jackson is 12-2 straight up and 10-4 ATS in road games throughout his career, with both road losses coming against the Chiefs.
Baltimore is a big step up in class for Indianapolis, so I’m fading the Colts and playing the Ravens to get their first-ever win in Indianapolis. I’d also recommend adding the Ravens in 6.5-point teasers with the Giants.
PICK: Ravens -1 (up to -2.5) [Bet now at PointsBet]
Seahawks at Bills Odds & Pick
Raheem Palmer: In the 90s and early 2000s, you would often hear about West Coast teams struggling when flying East. Although that trend has been debunked in recent seasons, Wilson’s success flying to the East is nothing short of remarkable.
With Wilson at the helm, the Seahawks have won 10 straight games when flying to the Eastern time zone and are 21-6 straight-up and 18-7-2 against the spread (72%) all time according to our Action Labs database.
Trends aside, I like the Seahawks in this matchup. Although they’re laying three points on the road, it’s fair to wonder what this number would be if Newton didn’t fumble last week and the Bills lost to the Patriots last week — think it would be closer to the dead zone of 4-5.5 rather than 3.
Although the Bills are 6-2 this season, they have a point differential of just -1 with a pythagorean expectation of just four wins. The 4-3 Dolphins, who are second in the AFC East, actually have a higher point differential than the Bills at +58.
Buffalo ranks just 14th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, which is lower than three of Seattle’s last four opponents in Miami (ninth), Arizona (11th) and San Francisco (12th). That means this matchup appears to be a step down in class. I’ll be laying the points with the Seahawks.
There’s also some value playing the over. Although I grabbed it at 52, I would play this up to 54.5.
PICKS: Seahawks -3 (up to 4); Over 54.5 (or better) [Bet now at BetMGM]
Bears at Titans Odds & Pick
Reed Wallach: This is sure to be an interesting tentpole game for each team. The Bears are reeling and facing a bit of an identity crisis, while the Titans are trying to reaffirm the masses that they are part of the elite tier of the AFC.
With a spread hanging around the dead zone of Tennessee -5.5 to a more key number of -6.5, I don’t feel comfortable laying the number with the Titans. I make this spread about -5, and the Tennessee defense can let even a Foles-led offense hang around and stay inside the number.
However, I am comfortable teasing the Titans down inside of a point. There are plenty of teasers out there that go through the key numbers of 3 and 7 — I chose to tease the Titans with the Giants.
PICK: Tease Titans down inside of -1 [Bet now at BetMGM]
Giants at Washington Odds & Pick
Reed Wallach: Not much has changed from when these teams just met in New Jersey and the Giants were able to eke out a close win. It was their only win of 2020 and I am sure they are looking forward to facing this Washington team that is less impressive than the G-Men despite the record difference.
There are different ways to play the Giants as I make this game close to a pick’em anyway — I teased the visiting team with the Titans to get the Giants at +8.5. (You can read my preview on the Titans game here.)
However, playing the Giants on the moneyline is a fine move considering they have more weapons and are going to get up for this game off a sour loss last week in which they arguably outplayed the Bucs,
I don’t see a reason for Washington to be laying points to any team in the league outside of the Jets, and the Giants are in a strong spot to notch another win over their division rival, even if I’m playing it safe.
PICKS: Giants ML +125; teased up to +8.5 [Bet now at PointsBet]
Lions at Vikings Odds & Pick
Michael Arinze: The Lions continue to show that they cannot be trusted at the betting window.
Frankly, it was the way they lost last week that was so disappointing. They seem to constantly find new ways to beat themselves and this game is a coaching mismatch with Matt Patricia going up against Mike Zimmer — Zimmer found a way to keep his team motivated enough to win a road game off a bye despite having only one win on the season.
The Vikings have been the favorites in their last five meetings with Detroit and they’ve won and covered all five of those games. They’ve also rushed for at least 100 yards in each of those games. Last week’s 173 rushing yards could set the groundwork for another Vikings win.
Right now, I’d lean toward the Vikings in this matchup at the current price. The only thing keeping me from firing right now is their patchwork secondary, which likely caught a break last week due to the windy conditions that would have affected any quarterback.
The spread has dropped down to 3.5, so it’s not impossible that we see a 3 before kickoff. At that price, I would certainly be more inclined to play the Vikings. It’s either Minnesota or pass for this bettor.
LEAN: Vikings if spread reaches -3 [Shop real-time lines now]
Panthers at Chiefs Odds & Pick
Bridgewater is 21-5 against the spread as a road underdog, spanning three different teams. He uses his accuracy and ability to avoid turnovers to keep games close.
I grabbed this line at Carolina +12.5 as soon as it was posted, but still like it at +10.5 (shop real-time lines here).
Kansas City will find success running the football, but Carolina’s offensive playmakers are a direct reflection of Las Vegas. The accurate Bridgewater, with explosive wideouts and a workhorse running back returning, should find a way to cover this double-digit spread.
PICK: Panthers +10.5 [Bet now at BetMGM]
Texans at Jaguars Odds & Pick
Phillip Kall: Jacksonville will likely turn to Robinson and its run game to help their rookie quarterback in his first NFL start. But if the Texans’ run defense can play as they did in Week 5, a passing battle between Watson and Luton is likely to weigh heavily in Houston’s favor.
PICK: Texans -7 [Bet now at BetMGM]
Broncos at Falcons Odds & Pick
Mike Randle: I’m backing the team and head coach I trust more, both of which reside in Denver at +4. The Falcons are limited on both sides of the ball and Fangio has shown the ability to scheme up defensive pressure, especially on the road.
It is still worth noting (even though it was under Dan Quinn), that Atlanta has been a terrible home favorite against the spread over the past six seasons.
After winning at New England, and coming off a thrilling comeback against a tough Chargers defense, the Broncos have a chance to win this game outright. The Falcons have seen a slight overall improvement since Quinn was fired, but not enough to lay the four points against a hot and well-coached Broncos team.
I’m taking Denver +4, and would back this line down to +3.5, covering the field goal loss.
PICK: Broncos +4 [Bet now at William Hill]
Raiders at Chargers Odds & Pick
Raheem Palmer: What would this line be if the Chargers didn’t blow a 24-3 third-quarter lead last week?
They out-gained the Broncos in total yards (485-351), got more first downs (28-17) and were superior in third-down efficiency and time of possession. The Chargers were up 24-10 with 1:36 left in the third quarter with the ball in the red zone when a Herbert interception ended a drive that could have all but iced the game.
Looking at the win probability chart of their last four games should tell you just how difficult it is to have a 1-3 record in these games. Nonetheless, we should expect this even out over the long run.
Despite an inability to close games, the Chargers have held leads of a touchdown or more over the Buccaneers, Saints and the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, which says a lot about the overall quality of this team.
With the Raiders playing their second-straight road game and still sporting a patchwork offensive line without Miller and Brown, I like the Chargers to bounce back in this spot — even with the absence of Bosa.
The lookahead line was Chargers -2.5, and I’m personally fading the move as I believe the Chargers are the better team. The Chargers are 19th in DVOA while the Raiders are 24th. I’ll take Los Angeles to bounce back and would play this up to 2.5.
PICK: Chargers -1 (up to -2.5) [Bet now at BetMGM
Steelers at Cowboys Odds & Pick
Brandon Anderson: The Cowboys are really bad. The Steelers are pretty good. Dallas can’t score and doesn’t have an offensive line or a quarterback, or maybe its franchise running back. The Steel Curtain defense has been shutting it down.
This sure seems like an easy call — and that’s why it’s so shocking that I’m taking the Cowboys, based solely on the Steelers’ history of playing way down to its worst opponents under Mike Tomlin.
Pittsburgh is 0-6 against the spread in their last six games as a double-digit favorite. The Steelers lost one outright and won four times by a field goal, three times in the final two minutes. No-name backup quarterbacks repeatedly pushed the Steelers all the way, and Pittsburgh trailed after the first quarter in five of six.
For whatever reason, Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger just continue to come out flat against bad, overmatched opponents. So how do we play it?
A few angles make sense:
- Dallas to cover: Especially at 15.5, you’ve got a lot of margin for error.
- Pittsburgh under 14.5 first-half points: If the Steelers wait until the second quarter to get started, it’ll be tough to score three times.
- Dallas +370 to win the first quarter: It seems crazy, but at implied 21% and with the Steelers’ history, this fits our angle best of all.
- Do NOT tease Pittsburgh: At 15.5, your teaser is not getting you down to 7, and a late one-score Steelers win will not cut it.
- Live bet the Steelers moneyline if they do trail: If our angle is right and Pittsburgh does start off slow, you might see them near even odds with an early deficit. History says they find a way late, so you might be able to double your pleasure.
The Steelers are the far better team. That is clear, but it’s also the problem. Pittsburgh consistently comes out flat in these games.
You can play it “safe” and go for a Dallas cover, but there’s not much profit to be made. I prefer playing one of those first quarter angles and then looking to double down on the angle by live-betting the trailing Steelers if the first bet pays off.
Take a deep breath and buckle up. [Bet now at BetMGM]
Dolphins at Cardinals Odds & Pick
Michael Arinze: This is a fascinating head-to-head matchup between Tagovailoa and Murray.
With the total moving up one point after opening at 48, the market clearly likes the over. Part of that might have to do with the fact that both starting running backs are out with injuries, which bodes well for me considering that I have my eyes on a passing prop in this game.
I like Murray to eclipse Tagovailoa in passing yards on Sunday. For one, the Cardinals are the more likely team to take shots down the field and Murray has performed much better at homer than on the road. Tagovailoa is also likely to face a heavy blitz package from the Cardinals in just his second professional start.
I can’t see Miami opening up the playbook too much given the number of different reads he’ll need to process during the game.
DraftKings lists Murray as a -157 favorite to have more passing yards than Tagovailoa. That number looks short to me and I’m willing to swallow the juice and back Murray in this spot. I’d be fairly comfortable playing this up to -165.
PICK: Murray (-157) To Pass For More Yards Than Tagovailoa [Bet now at DraftKings]