It’s that time of the week once again! Week 9 of the NFL season is here, which means it’s time to run the board with an NFL betting primer presented by SuperBook Sports! If you are looking for a new sportsbook to bet with in Colorado, look no further than our friends at SuperBook Sports!
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The overall goal of this primer is to paint a picture of the weekend NFL betting slate so you can dive into it with your head on straight. Sports betting is here, and if you are going to bet, you might as well get an edge, right?
Manage your bankroll. Stick to your units. Watch the lines.
We are at the halfway portion of the season, and it’s been a wild year of NFL betting to this point. The trade deadline has come and gone, and quite a few players have shifted around the league and in life. Von Miller is a Ram. Odell Beckham Jr. is on the open market. Henry Ruggs III is no longer a Raider. Kyler Murray is hurt, and Jameis Winston is out for the season. All of this will have an impact on the league and the betting lines moving forward.
Let’s go ahead and tackle Week 9.
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints: ATL +6.5, NO -6.5, o/u 42
The New Orleans Saints will be without Jameis Winston, and old friend Trevor Siemian will be under center once again. This line stumps me at first glance. While Siemian is a competent quarterback, I’m not sure why New Orleans is a near touchdown favorite in a divisional matchup. The Saints have some issues, and with a total of 42, I can’t touch New Orleans here. The Falcons are capable of running up the score, having scored 25+ points in three of their last four games, with the lone exception being last week against a strong Panthers defense. The Saints are on a three-game winning streak and are riding high after taking down Tom Brady. This is a sell-high spot for me on a Saints team that I think has played above their pay grade. The under has cashed in 5 consecutive games between these two teams.
Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars: BUF -14.5, JAX +14.5, o/u 48.5
I rarely touch these big spreads and typically advocate for points or pass. Just not worth touching this game when there is so much more on the slate.
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals: CLE +2.5, CIN -2.5, o/u 47
The Browns head across town to take on the Bengals. Less than a week ago, many were talking about the Bengals like they would win the AFC North, but after a brutal loss to the Jets the jury is still out on the Bengals. I think Cincy is a good squad with a bright future, but I think they are public darlings. Remember, they lost to the Bears and showed some struggles on Thursday Night Football against the Jags.
I can understand them being the favorite, all things considered, but there will be little-to-no home-field advantage for the Bengals here. I am going to lean towards taking the points here even though the Browns have had a tumultuous week with the OBJ drama. The Bengals are a good story and a team with a bright future, but the Browns are looking to make the playoffs and hopefully make a deep run. The Bengals have been fun, but it’s time they come back down to earth, and I think a second consecutive loss could be looming. I like the Browns at +3 and might buy the half-point, but I do believe they are the better team outright.
Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys: DEN +10, DAL -10, o/u 49.5
MY Dallas Cowboys will look to keep things rolling against the lowly Broncos. Typically, this is my favorite week that comes around every few years because I get to talk shit with Broncos Country, but this really isn’t much of a competition, and I’ve come around on the Broncos recently. It sounds like Dak Prescott will be good to go, which is bad news for a team that took an emotional gut-punch trading away their leader and franchise icon this week. The Cowboys are rolling right now and have shown no signs of slowing down. Their win last week against the Minnesota Vikings was telling, and they should be able to take care of business against a Broncos team that is clearly building for the future. The spread is relatively large, but the Broncos are just so vulnerable on defense. I already have the Cowboys tied up in a teaser as I’m not too fond of the idea of lying the points here despite Dallas’ perfect ATS record.
The Broncos have done an excellent job at limiting turnovers, which has been the driving force in some of the Cowboys’ covers. To me, this comes down to the state of the Broncos locker room. If they are locked in and ready to go, then I can make a case for the Broncos. The look-ahead line for this game was Dallas -7.5, but after the Cowboys beat Minnesota and Von was traded, we have seen the line move.
Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins: HOU +5.5, MIA -5.5, o/u 46.5
The return of Tyrod Taylor. Before getting hurt, Taylor was off to a furious start, throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions while posting a passer rating of 122.9. Miami had lost 7 in a row after defeating the Patriots in Week 1. It was an awkward week in Miami with the passing of the trade deadline. This team still appears to be in a state of disarray, although they did manage to keep things close against Buffalo last week. This feels like a weird spot for Miami to be more than a field goal favorite. They have lost 7 games in a row and have looked like one of the most dysfunctional teams in the NFL to this point.
It is interesting that these two teams will play right after the trade deadline after rumors continually linked quarterback Deshaun Watson to Miami. I don’t like the spot for Miami, so I’ll definitely be looking at the Texans getting 5.5 points. Their defense is a little bit suspect, but the Miami office is far from synchronized at this point. And let’s not forget this is the same team that lost to the New York Jets. Texans or pass for me.
Las Vegas Raiders @ New York Giants: LV -3, NYG +3, o/u 46.5
Despite all of the turmoil that has surrounded the Raiders organization, they find themselves with a 5-2 record and a prime position to make a run at the playoffs should they continue to win. While the Chiefs and Chargers are both struggled recently, the Raiders have been the most consistent team across the board in the division this season, which is genuinely insane when you consider they lost their head coach a couple of weeks ago, and now will be down one of their top receivers. I am very interested in seeing how Henry Ruggs’ loss will impact the Raiders, Derek Carr in particular. I will say, through all the adversity that this organization has been faced with, Carr has gone about it in a highly professional way. You can see that he is a good leader for that locker room, and I believe his leadership, along with some of the other influential players in that locker room, are responsible for “why” things have yet to unravel for this team. The way the Raiders have been playing through it all is telling. This team has some tenacity. Now they get to go to New York to take on the football Giants as a road favorite.
Not gonna lie this line scares me, but I’m down on the Giants even though They played a competitive game against the Chiefs on Monday night football. The reality of the situation is that this is a short week for a Giants team with plenty of flaws and struggles to score points. We know that the Raiders can run up the score, and so long as the departure of Ruggs is not overly critical. The Raiders should be able to figure out a way to win this game on the road and cover the spread. I like betting on a team that plays with a chip on their shoulder, and considering everything the Raiders have faced this year. I’m not gonna fade them in a winnable game on the road. The road team has covered in four of the last five head-to-head matchups between these two.
Minnesota Vikings @ Baltimore Ravens: MIN +6.5, BAL -6.5, 49.5
No surprise here, but the Minnesota Vikings continue to fall short of expectations. I am a Cowboys fan, and I was generally shocked they could not find a way to win that game last week at home with that Prescott out. Now they get to face a Baltimore Ravens team that is coming off of a bye, and most recently got throttled at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. You best believe there is still a sour taste in many Ravens’ mouths, and I think they can come out slinging against Minnesota. The Vikings have a pretty good defense, but Lamar Jackson has shown that he can bob and weave his way around any defense to become effective either as a passer or a runner. That said, I always wonder when, or if, this Vikings team will ever get their head on straight. Because when they are playing their best football, they are an electric team that can run opponents into the ground.
The conservative play style of Minnesota has hurt them in the past, and they are going to need to be anything but conservative this week against Baltimore. If the Vikings give it their best shot, they can win this game outright and cover the spread at home, but the Ravens have proved to be the more consistent team over the course of the first eight weeks of the season. That said, last time out against Cincinnati was the Ravens’ worst performance of the year, so they will need to bounce back to take care of business on the road in Minnesota. Not the easiest task in the world, but one I think the ravens are certainly up for. If the Vikings come to play, I can absolutely see this game being a shoot out, so I’ll also take a look at the over of 49.5 in this game as the over has cashed in the last four consecutive head-to-head matchups between these two teams.
New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers: NE -3.5, CAR +3.5
I get Carolina has been bad recently, but are we forgetting how solid their defense is? The Patriots head to Carolina riding high after their thrilling upset victory over the Los Angeles chargers last week. Now, they will take on a Panthers team with one of the best secondaries in the league and features former New England Patriot Stephon Gilmore. The Panthers defense is only allowing an average of 19.9 points per game, which ranks 5th in the NFL. Additionally, they limit opponents to just 295.6 yards per game, which is the second-best mark in the entire league. So what I’m trying to say is the Panthers’ offense has undoubtedly been the problem, not the defense.
We will need to keep an eye on this game is who will be the starting quarterback for the Panthers. It looks like it will be Sam Donald, in which case that would give an edge to New England, but if the Panthers decide to rock with PJ Walker, that could give Carolina an edge in my opinion. We have seen Bill Belichick feast against young quarterbacks this season. As a matter of fact he has only beat young quarterbacks the season, besting the Jets twice, the Davis Mills led Texans, and last week against the Justin Herbert led Chargers. The Panthers have won the previous five games outright against New England, and I like them as the home dog this week. New England has talent, but the thought of selling high on them after their short victory last week in Los Angeles is pretty enticing. Carolina finally got back into the win column last week, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 19-13. New England is averaging 25.8 points per game this season, and if Carolina’s defense can continue to play the way that it has, I like the Panthers to cover the spread at home. Their defense should be able to make life tough on rookie Mac Jones, and they are riding high after getting the dub last week.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Philadelphia Eagles: LAC -1.5, PHI +1.5
This is one of those lines that seem too good to be true at first glance. How on earth are the Chargers this short of a favorite on the road against a pitiful Eagles team? I understand the Chargers have not looked great over the last three weeks, but I still think their upside is 3 to 4 times higher than anything the Eagles have on their roster. This is my heart talking here, but I’m going to be hammering the Chargers at first glance.
Now let’s take a look at the matchup a little bit more. The Eagles’ defense can be decent at times, but collectively it’s not one of the better units in the NFL right now. They allow an average of 23.9 points per game, which ranks within the league’s bottom half. Additionally, Philadelphia has struggled this season in the red zone and on third down, which are two areas of the game in which Justin Herbert should take advantage.
This is a big public play here to back the Chargers, but I really just do not understand this line. The last three head-to-head matchups between these two teams has resulted in the total going over. You are essentially asking Justin Herbert to go on the road and get a win against a team that I think the Chargers are better then. Now, the Eagles have a pretty stout home-field advantage, and perhaps Herbert is a bit rattled by the hostility of playing in Philadelphia. That said, I’m not going to let that emotion-based the way that I take a look at this game, and I really just think that the Chargers are the better side here, and when you look at the line, I don’t understand how you can play anything but the Chargers in the spot. I might look like a total clown come Monday, but as a Friday afternoon, I’m all over the Chargers.
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers: AZ +2, SF -2, o/u 45
I’m going to say that if you want to bet the 49ers this game, you better do it as soon as you read this article because this line will continue to creep up.
As of Monday morning, we saw the line holding firm at San Francisco -1.5, but that has spiked, and the number will probably continue to inflate considering everything that the Cardinals are currently dealing with. The biggest question from Arizona this weekend in San Francisco will be the status of quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray hurt his ankle late in the game against Green Bay last week. If Kyler Murray does not play, you will see this line balloon possibly all the way up to San Francisco -7. Kyler Murray is that much of a factor for this Arizona team. He has yet to practice this week, although head coach Kliff Kingsbury has made it known that he feels comfortable playing his quarterback despite the lack of practice throughout the week. So even if Kyler Does play this game, he is sure not to be 100%. The Cardinals have been one of the more interesting stories in the NFL this season, but I wonder if that loss to Green Bay has any lasting effects on the team. Arizona in San Francisco class back in Week 5, and the Cardinals managed to escape with a 17-10 road victory. Now, this game we played at home for Arizona, but this will be a much different team in San Francisco with Jimmy Garoppolo under center as opposed to rookie Trey Lance.
Arizona is 4-0 SU and ATS on the road this season, but I think reality will hit them hard again this week. I think the 49ers are frauds in general, but I’ll go ahead and back them here this week against the Cardinals.
Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs: GB +7, KC -7, o/u 48.5
This was supposed to be the marquee game of the slate. An incredible matchup featuring two of the greatest quarterbacks that we have seen in the last decade. Now, with Aaron Rodgers sidelined due to COVID, we get to see the heir apparent in Jordan Love make his first career start for the Packers. He will have to travel to Kansas City and take on the Chiefs, which is no easy task all things considered. I know the Chiefs have not been the best team this season, but they still have one of the higher ceilings of any team in the NFL. I believe the Chiefs are going to snap out of this slump sooner or later, which makes betting on them a bit difficult because I always think they can flip the switch. This game was virtually pick ’em before the Rogers news came out, which is such a shame because that would’ve been a fantastic game to bet in, but such is life.
This is a simple one for me. I like plenty of other plays on the slate this weekend, and wow, this is a really enticing game. I’m not gonna go crazy here. I’ve been burned too many times with the Chiefs against the spread, and while the young buck will be starting for Green Bay, I just do not feel comfortable laying these points with Kansas City even though they’re at home. Points or pass for me. This is one of those rare games I’ll be able to watch without a betting interest due to my natural curiosity with Love. I get he is inexperienced, but Kansas City has shown nothing to warrant having confidence betting on them when they are laying a touchdown, even at home.
Last week the Packers were able to sneak out a win without some of their best players. Can they do it again without their BEST player now?
Sunday Night Football
Tennessee Titans @ Los Angeles Rams: TEN +7.5, LAR -7.5, o/u 53
Von Miller‘s Rams debut. Let’s get this one out of the way. I am 100% going to throw a unit on Von Miller to record a sack. I am so excited to see how this Rams defense plays now that they have a game-changer in von Miller. They were already stacked, and now add a former Super Bowl MVP who can still bring a lot to the table at age 32.
It would be interesting to see what this line is if Derrick Henry were around. This line has ballooned due to the Henry situation, but the Titans are currently on a 5–0-1 run ATS vs the Rammies. I have lost some money betting against the Titans in each of the last three weeks, and I am prepared to do it again. The Rams for my pick to come out of the NFC this season, and I think adding Von Miller to the mix only ups their chances. Their defense is stout, their office is electric, and they have one of the best young head coaches in the game. Los Angeles has pushed their chips all in on a pursuit for a championship this season, and this game against the Titans will be their first opportunity to showcase just how real they are on a national stage. I know they beat Tampa Bay earlier this year, but now that we are at the halfway point of the season, the league is as a whole is beginning to round into form. I think a strong showing from the Rams goes a long way in solidifying them as one of the top teams in the NFC.
Monday Night Football
Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers: CHI +6.5, PIT -6.5, o/u 48
All right, here’s a somewhat decent Monday night football game. The Bears are one frustrating team, but they have experienced a little bit of success historically against the Steelers. In the last three matchups between Chicago and Pittsburgh, the Bears have won and covered the spread in all three games. They dropped a winnable game last week against San Francisco as a home dog, and now have to travel to the Steel City to take on a hot Steelers team. If you have read the primers in past weeks, you know that I’m bullish on Pittsburgh. I am a big Mike Tomlin fan, and he has managed to rally the troops after a rough start to the season. Last month, the Steelers win against the Broncos kick-started a three-game winning streak that will be on the line this week against Chicago. Pittsburgh has looked strong the last three weeks, winning in a variety of ways.
As much as I like the Bears’ potential, they have shown little to be desired on the football field this season. Matt Nagy hast to go and the Bears need to figure out a way to move forward with a new plan with Fields. As with most Monday night football games, I’m hoping that I don’t have to chase here, but I’m inclined to leave the points here with Pittsburgh at home as I’ve trusted the Bears and its come back to bite me in the ass. If Chicago plays up to their potential, they can stick around in this game, but they haven’t really shown an ability to just that the last few weeks.