Week 9: Part 1 is live and can be found here. The last seven games for Week 9 are listed below in Part 2.
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Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Texans +5.5 at Dolphins
The Texans covered last week, but it was very much a garbage-time cover, as the Texans scored the final 22 points in the game to cover by a half-point. Since last week, the Texans have shipped off their main RB and opted to go back to Tyrod Taylor at QB. I’m not sure how much competitive juice the Texans have left in them, but they continue to fight each week.
The Dolphins just continue to disappoint. After hanging tough last week, a late pick from Tua secured the win for Buffalo, as well as the 14-point cover. The Dolphins appear to be settling in on the idea of Tua, finally. Now, maybe they can focus on beating the Texans. These teams appear to be equally terrible, so the question becomes more about motivation.
As of Sunday morning, the Texans have 83% of the action. The line opened the week at 6.5 and has dropped to 5.5 and we still have heavy action on Houston. With this game, anything is really possible. I would categorize this game as “off limits” if I were to consider wagering on it, but for those of you wanting action, follow the cash with Houston.
Dolphins 26 Texans 23
Raiders -3 at Giants
The Raiders have been playing better football since the resignation of John Gruden. They’re balancing their offense well, and the defense has looked more competent and motivated as of late. The Raiders are quietly atop the AFC West, as everyone seems to just be waiting for the Raiders to just fall back down to earth.
The Giants probably should’ve won last week, but that’s something we’ve said at least two times before. With the return of a few of the Giants receivers last week, they were able to generate a little offense. Considering how bad their opponent’s defense was, it wasn’t impressive. Now, the Giants will add Kenny Golladay to their group (return from IR). Will it be enough?
Sunday’s numbers reflect the numbers from early in the week. The Raiders have 83% of the cash, as the expectation is that the Raiders will run a balanced attack and the Giants lack the reps and weapons to exploit this Raiders defense.
Raiders 31 Giants 17
Chargers -1 at Eagles
The Chargers are coming off back-to-back disappointing performances. Following the drubbing at the hands of the Ravens, the Chargers blew a first half lead and subsequently lost at home to the Patriots last week. The issues with this team were masked through much of the first month, but now the cat is out of the bag. Will they be able to successfully pivot this week?
We feel we have a pretty good understanding of who the Eagles are now. They’re a team who feasts on bad teams but gets trounced by the good ones. Every season, there are a few of these teams out there. This season, it’s the Eagles and the Broncos. Despite their shortcomings, the Eagles have an opportunity to carry their momentum this week against the reeling Chargers.
This line went from Chargers +1.5 to Chargers -2 and settled at Chargers -1. We know who the Eagles are. They’re a team who takes advantage of bad teams. The question is, are the Chargers actually a bad team or are they just a team slow to pivot? My guess is the latter. Derwin James, Joey Bosa, and Asante Samuel Jr need to step it up today, but I like the Chargers to get it done and so do the cash bettors (83%).
Chargers 30 Eagles 27
Packers +7 at Chiefs
The Packers looked amazing last week, as they dismantled the previously undefeated Cardinals. Since that Thursday night game, the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers to a positive test and now face the reality of starting Jordan Love. For most of the football world, the news of Rodgers has been extremely polarizing. Are the Packers going to navigate it successfully?
Here we are again with the Chiefs. Last week, Pat Mahomes had yet another strange and mediocre game. Luckily, the Giants were so offensively inept, it didn’t end up costing them. Now, the Chiefs are sitting at 4-4 with a difficult schedule ahead. They are in desperate need of breaking out of their funk this week. Unfortunately for them, the Packers defense is no joke.
The initial line was Packers +.5 but that has since shifted to Chiefs -7. The Packers are getting a lot of action (72% as of Sunday morning) and rightfully so. With how much the Chiefs have struggled lately against bad defenses, this line is too big, Aaron Rodgers or not. The Packers rushing attack will keep them close this week.
Chiefs 29 Packers 24
Cardinals at 49ers -3.5
The Cardinals finally lost last Thursday. It was probably overdue, but now their issues have just gotten real. JJ Watt is done for the season and now Kyler Murray (ankle) and Deandre Hopkins likely aren’t going to play. Let me be clear here. If Kyler Murray doesn’t play, I have 95% confidence the 49ers will win and cover in this game. The entire Cardinals offense functions solely due to Kyler.
The 49ers are starting to get healthy again. Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle will be back together this week and they could not be getting the Cardinals at a better time. Last time out, the 49ers hung tough with the Cardinals, losing by only seven in Arizona (with Trey Lance starting at QB). This time around, the 49ers are at home and have the upper hand.
Monitor the status of Deandre Hopkins and Kyler Murray closely. If both are ruled out within 30 minutes of kickoff, be sure to quickly snap-bet on the 49ers before this line blows-up even more. Kyler Murray is the magic in this offense. Without him out there, the Cards are substantially less productive offensively. If Kyler starts, I like the Cards +3.5. If not, go 49ers -3.5.
49ers 24 Cardinals 17
Titans at Rams -7
The Titans probably aren’t going to be the same team without Derrick Henry. In fact, it’s very possible this Titans team, moving forward, end up sliding out of playoff contention. Normally, running backs and their production tend to be replicable, but Derrick Henry’s production and value is truly unmatched in the NFL.
The Rams gave up a nasty back door cover last week to the Texans. Up 38-0, the Rams allowed 22 points in the fourth quarter and blew the cover by a half-point. Despite all this, the Rams got even stronger this week. They added Von Miller to an already stacked defense. As we eclipse the halfway point, the Rams look like a true title contender with a massively talented roster.
Early in the week, the Rams were heavy cash favorites, with 71%. As the week wore-on, the Titans have picked-up much of the handle and now sit as the cash favorites at 67%. Each week, there tend to be a few games I don’t necessarily agree with the sharps on, and this is one of them. Despite the model telling us to go Titans, I can’t pass-up the Rams at home against a Derrick Henry-less Titans team.
Rams 31 Titans 19
Bears at Steelers -6.5
The Bears were even worse than we expected them to be last week. Following an impressive streak of poor offensive performances, the Bears looked shockingly more competent last week on offense. However, their defense had possibly their worst game to date. Even facing a limited QB last week, the Bears let the 49ers absolutely destroy them on the ground.
The Steelers surprised us a bit last week. After losing their kicker to an in-game injury, the Steelers managed to put together some impressive drives down the stretch to bury the Browns. Big Ben is probably on his last leg and this defense definitely still has some holes, but you have to be impressed with what they’re accomplished this season, even with all the personnel issues.
The play here appears to be the Steelers at -6.5. Personally, it’s hard to trust, given the Steelers’ poor offensive line. Then again, it’s hard to trust the Bears defense and Justin Fields. I’m going with the sharps here (68% cash on Steelers).
Steelers 27 Bears 17