Week 9 of the NFL season is a tough one filled with small lines, strange quarterback battles, and a lack of consensus picks.
Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes as a favourite of less than three points?
He’s 16-5-1 against the spread when an underdog or favourite by less than a field goal. Trends can only be considered so much, but when it comes to Mahomes, we can rely on them more than most. He’s more than likely going to keep the Chiefs in the game through to the end and provide the chance for a backdoor cover if not win comfortably.
Strangely, the fact he played out arguably the worst performance of his NFL career last week helps favour him here. Hampered by the flu, playing with the best defence of his career, and sure to improve on Week 8, backing Mahomes is a must in Week 9.
Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill when asked about how to defend the Chiefs when Patrick Mahomes starts to scramble: "What I’ve been telling the guys to do…just find Kelce. Just find Kelce."
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) November 2, 2023
The Miami Dolphins play with the most dangerous offence in the NFL. That in itself means they’re quite likely to be overvalued from a betting perspective. What will fly over the heads of many is the fact that the Dolphins rank 27th in the league in success rate allowed.
Defence: Advantage Chiefs.
Quarterback: Advantage Chiefs.
Indianapolis Colts @ Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers did it for us last week and we’re going back to the well again.
Thomas Brown has this Panthers offence looking a lot better already. They averaged 7.6 yards per passing attempts last week, up from the 5.5 yards they averaged per game up until then. Bryce Young is looking more comfortable and completed 22 of his 31 throws for 235 yards and a touchdown.
Thomas Brown on what he wants to be known for in his first game as the Panthers' play-caller: "Winning."
— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 26, 2023
Meanwhile, Gardner Minshew is doing his bit to keep the Indianapolis Colts offence ticking over. The Colts defence, on the other hand, is really starting to struggle. While they’re the only team in the NFL to have scored 20+ points in every game this season, their defensive unit is falling apart. Injuries and suspensions have decimated them and provide an improving Panthers offence with an opportunity to win back-to-back games. Carolina’s pass rush is one of their few strengths, too.
The Colts have allowed 37, 38 and 39 points in their last three weeks. While the Panthers offence is hardly world-beating, it’s good enough to put up a few points and keep it close if not cause an upset at home. It might be best to hold out for the +3, but +2.5 is still worth the play.
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
It’s the biggest game of NFL Week 9 so it feels right to find a betting angle.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been plugging away. They’ve continued picking up wins without looking great, but have slowly improved each week. Washington pushed Philly hard last week. While there are some concerns about the performance defensively, the offence – A.J. Brown, in particular – propelled the Eagles to victory and to the best record in the league.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys made light work of the Los Angeles Rams. The win made it 11 straight at home but their consistency overall remains a concern.
This game becomes a bit of a trust exercise given how close the two teams are to each other. Both average roughly 28 points per game and feature in the top ten in the fewest yards allowed. With that, the Eagles at -3.5 is the play. Nick Siriani and Jalen Hurts are the better coach and quarterback combination while Brown is one of the form receivers of the NFL.
Philadelphia are the most balanced team in the league, in form and playing at home. If not for a late-game Hurts interception in Week 6 they’d be unbeaten. They should get the job done here and go a long way to winning the NFC East ($1.33).
Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns
To say expectations for new Arizona Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune are low is a gross understatement. A lot of people around the NFL are wondering how he’s there at all. Now, he’s preparing to face Myles Garrett and an excellent Cleveland Browns defence, in Cleveland.
It could get ugly…
Team defense leaders in "Havoc Rate" which takes tackles for a loss or no gain + forced fumbles + INT + pass deflections + pressures divided by total plays
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 2, 2023
Garrett is alongside Micah Parsons as a $3 favourite to win Defensive Player of the Year while the Browns defence ranks 1st in the NFL in pass yards against and 7th in rushing yards against. Tune is going to have a tough time of it. If he isn’t connecting on his throws, they don’t have the rushing game to make up the difference.
Arizona finished up relatively close to the Baltimore Ravens last week but it came as a result of a late comeback that papers over the cracks. In reality, this franchise doesn’t want to win games and the team in its current state, is largely incapable.
Cleveland’s offense isn’t particularly inspiring but we’re trusting a good defence at home against a rookie quarterback here. They’ve kept the Bengals and Titans to three points already this season and are one of the few to have contained the 49ers. Tune shouldn’t be a problem.
Los Angeles Chargers @ New York Jets
Here it comes…
The Zach Wilson overhype is on its way and it’s travelling at warp speed.
"He's maturing right in front of our eyes. And at the biggest moment, he was at his best."
—Rex Ryan on Zach Wilson pic.twitter.com/YQqlf66h7r
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) October 30, 2023
The New York Jets and New York Giants played out the worst game of the season so far in Week 8. Of every winning team throughout the year, the Jets offence put together the worst performance of the lot. Remarkably, performing exceptionally poorly on third down all game, one Wilson pass – albeit in a big spot – is all some people needed to see before wiping the horrorshow they’d just seen from their memory.
A Wilson-led Jets team barely beat Tommy DeVito and a Giants passing game that finished with -8 yards…
Overhype, a win they didn’t deserve and with a quarterback we still can’t trust heading into a primetime game – that’s a spot.
The Los Angeles Chargers haven’t been a great team but have an elite quarterback in Justin Herbert while Austin Ekler is back and getting to his best. Joey Bosa finished with a season-high five pressures last week, too. In keeping the Bears to fewer than 300 yards and grabbing two interceptions, the Chargers defence is on the up.
Los Angeles opened as -2.5 favourites for those that were quick. While it’s drifted out to -3.5 there is every chance it comes back later in the week if enough people get excited about the Jets. Neither team inspires a lot of confidence but it feels like a spot to fade Wilson and New York.