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NFL Tips & Preview – Week 9

The weekly preview runs into the endzone with NFL tips for the eight standout fixtures of Week 9, headlined by a high-profile showdown between Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers. 

NFL Tips – Indianapolis Colts V New York Jets

11:20 (AEDT), Fri 5th Nov @ Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

History: Played 75: Colts 43 V Jets 32

Last meeting: September 27, 2020: Colts 36 d Jets 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium

Final Thoughts: Indianapolis Colts are 3-5 at the halfway point of the season but get a gift-wrapped opportunity at home to regain some momentum. After a pair of big wins over the Texans and 49ers, the Colts lost an OT heartbreaker to the Titans, 34-31, after coughing up an early 14-0 lead. Carson Wentz threw agonisingly costly intercepts in the fourth quarter and overtime.

The 2-5 New York Jets pulled off one of the upsets of 2021 – and one of the long-suffering franchise’s most memorable wins of recent years – with a come-from-behind 34-31 defeat of the in-form Bengals. Fill-in quarterback Mike White threw for over 400 yards (the first Jets QB in more than 20 years to do so) and three TDs.

There seems little chance White and the Jets get the same leeway from the desperate Colts’ secondary, however. The Colts will be looking for a bounce-back performance from Wentz, but their ground game led by Jonathan Taylor should be too much for a Jets outfit that gives up a shade under 29 points per game.

Tip: Line/Total Double – Colts -8.5/Over 38.5 @ $2.25

NFL Tips – Cincinnati Bengals V Cleveland Browns

05:00 (AEDT), Mon 8th Nov @ Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati

History: Played 95: Bengals 51 V Browns 44

Last meeting: October 25, 2020: Browns 37 d Bengals 34 at Paul Brown Stadium

Final Thoughts: A massive showdown in the ultra-competitive AFC North between two Week 8 losers.

The 5-3 Cincinnati Bengals came back to earth after their 41-17 smackdown of the Ravens, crashing 34-31 to the lowly Jets last week. Inexplicably, the Bengals defence allowed a back-up QB in his first start to throw for 400 yards, while their own shot-caller, Joe Burrow, came up with some crucial errors.

The 4-4 Cleveland Browns came up short in a division duel against the Steelers, losing 15-10. Baker Mayfield, hampered by a shoulder problem, couldn’t get the job done and the Browns have now scored 17 points or less in four of their past five games.

The Browns have won five of the last six between the division rivals. Last season they prevailed 35-30 in Cleveland and 37-34 in Cincinnati. Each of the teams’ last seven encounters have produced 44 points or more.

Last week notwithstanding, the Bengals have more going for them – particularly with Mayfield less than 100 percent fit – and should take the vital W at home ahead of their Week 10 bye.

Tip: Handicap – Bengals -2.5 @ $1.90

NFL Tips – Carolina Panthers V New England Patriots

05:00 (AEDT), Mon 8th Nov @ Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

History: Played 7: Panthers 4 V Patriots 3

Last meeting: October 1, 2017: Panthers 33 d Patriots 30 at Gillette Stadium

Final Thoughts: A pivotal clash between a pair of 4-4 teams.

Carolina Panthers snapped a four-game slide with a 19-13 victory over the Falcons last week. It was their first win since Christian McCaffrey broke down with a hamstring injury – and the star running back looks unlikely to return this week, while QB Sam Darnold has been limited in practice.

New England Patriots have clawed back to relevance in the AFC East, recording three wins and an overtime loss to the red-hot Cowboys in the past four weeks. After demolishing the Jets 54-13, the Pats edged a handy LA Chargers outfit 27-24. Mac Jones continues to feel his way into the NFL and wasn’t particularly impressive against the Chargers, but Damien Harris (80 yds, 1 TD on 23 carries) was impressive and Adrian Phillips’ pick-six proved crucial.

The Patriots are starting to look like a Bill Belichick-run team again (despite the obvious absence of megastar quotient) and they should be too good for the undermanned Panthers.

Tip: Handicap – Patriots -3.5 @ $1.89

NFL Tips – Baltimore Ravens V Minnesota Vikings

05:00 (AEDT), Mon 8th Nov @ M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

History: Played 6: Ravens 3 V Vikings 3

Last meeting: October 22, 2017: Vikings 24 d Ravens 16 at U.S. Bank Stadium

Final Thoughts: The 5-2, AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens had the Week 8 bye to contemplate their woeful 41-17 loss to the Bengals. The result halted a five-match winning streak and the Ravens will be eager to prove it was a mere blip in an otherwise outstanding season to date.

Minnesota Vikings have arguably been better than their 3-4 record might suggest, dealt a tough schedule. But they will be disappointed to not have taken advantage of facing a Dak Prescott-less Cowboys last week, going down 20-16 as their defence buckled in the latter stages.

The Vikes won three of their previous four games but this is a bad spot to be facing the Ravens in Baltimore. Expect a emphatic statement from the chastened home side.

Tip: Margin – Ravens 14+ @ $2.97

NFL Tips – Kansas City Chiefs V Green Bay Packers

08:25 (AEDT), Mon 8th Nov @ Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City

History: Played 13: Chiefs 7 V Packers 5 (1 Tie)

Last meeting: October 27, 2019: Packers 31 d Chiefs 24 at Arrowhead Stadium

Final Thoughts: The first career meeting of Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers has been scuttled by the latter testing positive for COVID-19.

The Chiefs may have saved their season with a nail-biting 20-17 eclipse of the also-ran Giants, but the 4-4 heavyweights have a long way to go before they can re-enter the title contender conversation. The Mahomes-led offence continues to be a mistake-addled mess bearing little resemblance to the unit that has dominated the NFL for the past three seasons.

The 7-1 Packers, meanwhile, are absolutely flying, chalking up their seventh straight win and handing the Cardinals their first loss courtesy of a 24-21 result in Phoenix last week. Despite missing their best two wide receivers, the Packers pulled off a win that underlined their character and depth, as well as Rodgers’ leadership.

The heavyweights have met just once in the past five seasons, with the Packers snaring a 31-24 win in Kansas City in 2019. Matt Moore was filling in for Mahomes that day.

Rodgers’ absence provides the Chiefs with a massive – and much-needed – leg up. Whether they can capitalise is another matter, though, and I’ll take the Packers with the points.

Tip: Result – Packers +7.5 @ $1.89

NFL Tips – San Francisco 49ers V Arizona Cardinals

08:25 (AEDT), Mon 8th Nov @ Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco

History: Played 60: 49ers 32 V Cardinals 28

Last meeting: October 10, 2021: Cardinals 17 d 49ers 10 at University of Phoenix Stadium

Final thoughts: All eyes will be on how the 7-1 Arizona Cardinals respond to their first loss of the season, going down to the under-strength Packers 24-21. Kyler Murray (274 yds, 0 TD, 2 INT) was hampered by an ankle problem endured his toughest outing of 2021; he’s expected to back up but will be a game-time decision.

The 3-4 San Francisco 49ers’ playoffs chances are hanging by a thread, but they snapped a four-game losing run with a 33-22 defeat of the Bears in Week 8 with an 18-point fourth quarter. Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t fire any touchdown passes but he rushed in a pair of TDs, while WR Deebo Samuel (171 yds on 6 receptions) and running back Eli Mitchell (137 yds, 1 TD on 18 carries) were the heroes in a perpetually inconsistent 49ers offence.

Murray’s fitness is the potential wildcard, but I’ve got far more faith in the Cardinals’ ability to bounce back from a loss than I do in the 49ers’ capacity to grab back-to-back wins or knock off a contender.

Tip: Result – Cardinals @ $1.83

NFL Tips – Los Angeles Rams V Tennessee Titans

12:20 (AEDT), Mon 8th Nov @ SoFi Stadium, Inglewood

History: Played 13: Rams 8 V Titans 5

Last meeting: December 24, 2017: Rams 27 d Titans 23 at NRG Stadium

Final Thoughts: One of the marquee matches of the round, with the 7-1 LA Rams hosting the 6-2 Tennessee Titans – both teams coming in hot on four-match winning streaks.

The Rams are locked in a fierce battle with the Cardinals for the NFC West title. They’ve cruised to comfortable wins over lightweight opposition in the past few weeks, including a 38-22 beatdown of the terrible Texans. Matt Stafford’s MVP-contending campaign rolls on, throwing for 10 touchdowns in the past three games and 22 for the season (and just 4 interceptions).

Meanwhile, the Rams have added Von Miller to an already high-performing defence in a huge trade move.

The AFC South-leading Titans have beaten a better calibre of opposition in recent weeks, edging the Bills and Colts by identical 34-31 scorelines (the latter in overtime) either side of a 27-3 rout of the Chiefs. But the gloss of the win over the Colts was well and truly rubbed off by Derrick Henry’s foot injury diagnosis; he’s set to miss 6-10 weeks.

Henry’s injury puts the onus on QB Ryan Tannehill – who has passed for 10 TDs and 7 INTs in 2021 – to drive the offence. He may ultimately be up to the task, but a first-up assignment against the Rams secondary without his spearhead shapes as a tough one.

Tip: Handicap – Rams -7.5 @ $1.93

NFL Tips – Pittsburgh Steelers V Chicago Bears

12:15 (AEDT), Tue 9th Nov @ Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

History: Played 27: Bears 19 V Steelers 7 (1 Tie)

Last meeting: September 24, 2017: Bears 23 d Steelers 17 (OT) at Soldier Field

Final Thoughts: Week 9 concludes with a key assignment for the 4-3 Pittsburgh Steelers, who are still in the fight for the AFC West title after three straight wins over the Broncos (27-19), Seahawks (23-20 in OT) and Browns (15-10).

Their trademark defensive might underpinned the win over the Browns, but veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger also produced some clutch moments.

The 3-5 Chicago Bears are on a one-way track to 2021 also-ran status courtesy of three straight losses, including a 33-22 defeat to the 49ers last week that saw them leak 18 fourth-quarter points. The positives came in the form of quarterback novice Justin Fields, whose 103-yard rushing performance including a sensational touchdown.

But this will be a tough match-up for Fields and the Bears’ offence, with the Steelers’ miserly secondary giving up the fourth-least points per game in the NFL.

Tip: Margin – Steelers 1-13 @ $2.45

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