#NFL Week 9 Sunday Previews

(5-2) Ravens -1 @ Colts (5-2): 47.5

Line all over the place, -2.5 to +1.5 at points, now back to -1. The Ravens have scored in all bar one quarter, last week vs the Steelers.

A big big game for both sides here, the Ravens loss to the Steelers last week put them 2.5 games back in their race for the AFC North which may already be too far with the unbeaten Steelers having a soft remaining schedule, but it’s essential they win this one to keep up the pressure on them and I think they’ll bounce back. They were the better team last week but mistakes cost them dearly.

They face a good Colts defense ranked 4th vs the pass, 5th vs the run. Which worries people, but they ran for 265 yards last week against the best run D in the league so I think Gus Edwards and JK Dobbins will be fine on the ground this week too. They basically need to not turn the ball over, which could be an issue as Lamar Jackson has not been throwing well this year, should have had multiple INTs vs the Bengals, finally had them vs the Steelers and the Colts lead the league with 11 interceptions this year.

Marquise Brown was on twitter crying about not getting the ball after that loss last week, he deleted the tweet but obviously isn’t best pleased about the situation, that could go either way, he gets force-fed the ball or ignored. Who knows.

The Colts need the win to try and create some distance at the top of the AFC South after the Titans lost two in a row. They’re a tough team for me to judge. They’ve got the best offensive line in football yet the run game isn’t very. Taylor has been disappointing and left halfway through last week with an injury, seems to be fine to play this week. It meant more Nyheim Hines catching out of the backfield and worked well for them.

The passing game runs mainly through the tight ends and the Ravens LB corps is very good so should match up well in the middle of the field. Marcus Johnson is the deep threat for them and has been putting up yards, TY Hilton hasn’t. Michael Pittman should be a week healthier which should help them through the air at least.

I can’t see the Ravens losing two games in a row. The Steelers are, by record, the best team in the league this year. The Colts aren’t up to their standard

  • Ravens win and cover
  • Gus Edwards anytime TD – 3.5 (888)

(3-5) Panthers +10 @ Chiefs (7-1) :52

The Panthers welcome back Christian McCaffrey, they lost both games he played at the start of the season before winning a couple with Mike Davis back there. I’d assume CMcC comes back and takes his usual work-horse role but they have said they’ll try and keep Davis with some touches, he has earned them.

A decent matchup for their passing game so shouldn’t be a worry in taking Robby Anderson, the other two are a little more difficult, DJ Moore didn’t get a reception until 5 mins from the end of their games vs the Falcons, while Curtis Samuel was used frequently. So I’m befuddled there. I think they’ll score points, I just don’t know who will get them. Probably CMcC.

The Chiefs are having a quiet season despite rolling over most teams they’ve played. Mahomes is 21:1 after 5 TDs against the Jets last week. Surely it will be more of the usual for them this week? Hill, Kelce and possibly an increased role for Hardman again after he had the most receptions of his career with 7 for 96 and a TD last week. Sammy Watkins is out again, so I’d imagine he’ll keep his role.

The run game became a little more muddled with the addition of Lev Bell, but he was shit on the ground against his former team last week. Both he and Clyde have a good matchup here as the Panthers are bottom 10 vs the run this year. I’d assume a 65-35 split in the backfield, but then Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson might get touches too. It’s messy.

Chiefs win, probably cover, lean to the over.

(5-3) Bears +6.5 @ Titans (5-2): 47

The Bears are one of the least entertaining teams in the league but somehow managed to piece some offense together at the end of last week to force overtime. They win their games by having a very good defense and it was working for them for a lot of the season.

It looks like they won’t be able to bench Nick Foles even if they wanted to as Trubisky did his shoulder on his one snap last week, so it’s Foles. It’s Allen Robinson. He’s basically the only man to look at on the offense, he’s had a tough life in the NFL catching passes from Blake Bortles, Mitch Trubisky and now Foles, but has put up yards and TDs. His 3 scores this year have all come from Foles with a couple of 100 yard games in there too, he should do well against a poor Titans defense who have no ability to rush the passer. Darnell Mooney has a couple of TDs, and Cole Kmet is getting increasingly involved in the passing game.

David Montgomery is distinctly average, but will get the carries. He won’t do much with them, but they’ve got no-one else back there.

The Titans redzone efficiency is their main calling card but it wasn’t there last week, they want to get the lead and run Henry but they need a decent defense to do that. Henry is of course a beast and will get his, he usually finds the endzone, D’onta Foreman actually got a lot of touches in their loss to the Bengals last week, could be one to keep an eye on at a price, although he doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere

Corey Davis has been getting a lot of the ball in the passing game, he had a big game last weekend while AJ Brown can take it to the house from anywhere if he gets space. They’ve used them two more in the redzone and gone away from the tight ends who got them wins at the start of the season with AJB out of the line-up. Firkser actually seems to get a fair few targets now.

Bears have scored nearly as many 4th quarter points as the rest of the qtrs conmbined. They’ve scored once in 8 3rd quarters. – The Titans should win the game, they’ve been close in all their wins this year though so I’d have to take the Bears on the spread if I had to pick one. Lean unders.

  • Titans -0.5 third quarter handicap – 2.10 (365)

(3-4) Broncos +3.5 @ Falcons (2-6): 49

Total dropping, Broncos come in a scooch.

I’m not sure why the total is dropping on this one, I fancy it to be a high scoring affair. Drew Lock and the Broncos were abysmal for 3 quarters against the Chargers last week, yet somehow scored 21 in the 4th quarter to win by a point. Lock seems to be targeting the tight ends a lot with Albert Okwuegbunam (spelt without checking) highly targeted without Fant there, scored last week, while Fant had 9 targets catching 7 in their comeback win. The Falcons are poor vs the tight end so I fancy them to have good games again, ole Berty O is second in Redzone targets from just 3 games while Fant leads the team there. Philip Lindsay looks like he’ll be playing with Melvin Gordon the lead back still. Somehow.

The Falcons are probably without Calvin Ridley who will be a game-time decision so, all on on Julio Jones. That’s fine, he’s the best WR in the league. Don’t @ me. It looks like Christian Blake is the Ridley replacement with Russell Gage keeping roughly the same role as usual, but it probably means a bump for Hayden Hurst in the passing game. Todd Gurley leads the league in rushing TDs this year despite not really looking all that explosive, they limited his snaps on a short week last game, I’d assume he’ll be a full role in this one though.

Nothing on the spread, lean Falcons but two tough teams to judge. But I like the Over

Albert Okwuegbunam anytime – 11/2 (888) happy with 9/2 at 365 too.

(3-4) Lions +4 @ Vikings (2-5): 52

Another two teams who are tough to judge. The Lions have scored first in every game this season, a lot of the time getting out to 14 point leads before spunking them away. They’re without Kenny Golladay for this week and probably more and that hurts them significantly. I like Marv Jones who scored twice last week but he is better with Kenny G there. TJ Hockenson had scored in 3 games in a row before last week so worth a look, and the running game remains frustrating, just give the ball to Swift 20 times a game and be done with it.

Last week was a Mike Zimmer fever-dream, just run the ball. Dalvin Cook scored on the first 4 drives for his team, all of their 28 points came from him. They might be able to do similar in this against a poor Lions defense, but it’s a dome so throwing the ball will be easier, and I guess that’ll be Thielen, Jefferson, Cook, Irv Smith probably in that order of targets. I said last week Irv has been targeted more, and I’m writing that game off due to the weather, I hope he picks up his target share again this week.

https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nfl/lions-vs-vikings-nfl-week-9-picks-and-game-predictions/153970/

Nothing on spread, lean to the Vikings and over.

Irv Smith o2.5 receptions – 2.00 (365) (also 4/1 anytime isn’t bad)

(1-6) Texans -6.5 @ Jaguars (1-6): 49.5

Texans opened 6.5, have been 7 for a few days, snipped back to 6.5 now.

Fairly simple handicap for me here, the Texans aren’t as bad as their record, they’ve had the toughest schedule so far, their one win came easily against the Jaguars. I expect them to repeat that against a rookie QB. Deshaun Watson is a very good QB, his WRs should be able to get open and he’ll find them, David Johnson should have a decent game too.

The Jags are seeing what they’ve got in Jake Luton, a 6th round rookie who looks like a proto-typical QB. I won’t say I know how he is, but the reports on him say that despite his size he doesn’t attack downfield too much and locks on to his targets. I’ve no idea what to expect from him. So it will likely be a lot of James Robinson against the worst run D in the league.

Texans win and cover. Lean over the total.

James Robinson o3.5 receptions – 2.00 (365)

(1-6) Giants +2.5 @ Washington (2-5): 43

Had to write about this thing for SBR. I’m not writing any more about it.

https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nfl/giants-vs-washington-nfl-week-9-picks-and-game-predictions/153979/

(6-1) Seahawks -3 @ Bills (6-2): 55

Game of the week? Probably between this and the Ravens game. Should be a cracker with decent weather in Buffalo this week. This really messes with my AFC bias. I think the AFC is a better division and that instantly puts me down on NFC teams facing them. Saying that I think the Seahawks are the better team in this matchup, however, they’re on the road west-to-east for an early kick off… Ups and downs in my thinking.

The Seahawks dealt with the 49ers easily last week and their WR duo is playing better than any in the league at the moment, DK is a beast and Lockett can blow up on any given week. I think this week is more of a Lockett game with Tred White probably on DK and the Bills very poor against the middle of the field meaning more for Lockett and probably the tight ends. That position seems to have changed in focuse too with Will Dissly out-snapping Olsen last week against the 49ers, and when he’s healthy he’s in with a fairly good chance of scoring.

They’re once again without Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde at RB, so it looks like it will be a mix of Deejay Dallas who was “adequate” last week, Travis Homer, mainly a third down back and Alex Collins who they’re calling up from the practise squad. I actually like Collins from the three but his role is unknown.

They’ve been terrible on defense but Jamal Adams is back for this one, and Carlos Dunlap might help them get some pass rush.

The Bills have been disappointing in recent weeks. 24,18,17 and 16 points in their last 4 games. The passing game isn’t clicking as it was, but the run game seems to be getting better with Zack Moss healthy and being used in the redzone. Devin Singletary probably still the man between the 20s.

They are getting back to full strength in the passing game with John Brown back. He’ll still be second or third behind Stefon Diggs who is the most targeted player in the league this year but with decent weather I like Smokey to get a few receptions this week. Gabriel Davis seems to get a TD called back every week at the moment, and they brought back Dawson Knox from IR last week to help at TE.

The Bills defense was expected to be one of the better units but it really hasn’t been, so I’d expect both teams to put up points here.

I like the Seahawks to win and cover, they’re the better team. Got to lean over the total. Dissly is a decent price at 5s.

Tyler Lockett anytime – 11/10 (PP)

(4-3) Raiders -1 @ Chargers (2-5): 52.5

Money all week for the Raiders, now favourites on the night.

The Raiders have done better than I thought they would by now, they had a rough start to the schedule and are here with a winning record. Josh Jacobs had 32 carries last week but is on the injury report once more, I don’t think that woill slow him too much. Derek Carr has been pretty decent with people to actually throw the ball to. They want to be Waller, Ruggs and Jacobs really, but Agholor has chipped in with some big catches.

Justin Herbert has been great since his debut, throwing at least 3 TDs in each of his last 4 games for them. He’s got the arm and mobility and has looked great. He’s not to blame for them not closing out games. His favourite target is obviously Keenan Allen who has had… 65 targets in the 5 games he’s completed with Herbert at QB. That’s a remarkable amount. Jaylen Guyton is a deep threat and Mike Williams will catch anything within about 5 metres of him. Justin Jackson leads the way on the ground despite Troymaine Pope randomly getting a ton of touches last week, Pope probably misses out this week.

The Chargers are impossible to bet on, they can’t close out games. Chargers/Raiders HT/FT is probably a sensible look with the way their games have gone this year so far. Should be points here.

Slight worry on Allen as he had a sore throat and needs to pass a covid test before the game, if he plays I like the following bets, if not then don’t touch them.

  • Justin Herbert o261.5 passing yards – 1.83 (Skybet) – He’s gone over this in EVERY game he’s played.
  • Keenan Allen o6.5 receptions – 1.73 (skybet)

(4-3) Dolphins +5.5 @ Cardinals (5-2): 49

The Dolphins defense won the game for them last week against a static Jared Goff. I over-looked them and I’m sorry for that. I was right that they wouldn’t do much on offense though, they didn’t need to. Tua Tagovailoa completed 12 of 22 attempts for 93 yards. It was all he had to do, so basically we still have no idea whether he can do it in this league or not, or who his favourite targets are, the 3rd string TE Durham Smythe led the team in yards with 16. The run game is a mess this week, Breida and Gaskin are out, so Jordan Howard? They don’t like him, so maybe Salvon Ahmed? Fuck knows, I’ll be honest I’m not sure who the 4th or 5th string Dolphins RB is.

That same defensive plan won’t work against the most mobile QB in the league in Kyler Murray (yes, more than Lamar), he’ll be wanting you to blitz so he can scramble free, he’s scored 7 TDs in 7 games this year, of course the one he failed to find the end-zone was the one I tipped him for. He may well run more tonight with Kenyan Drake missing his revenge game. It means Chase Edmonds will be the main back with, I assume, Eno Benjamin behind him. The passing game goes mainly through Deandre Hopkins although Christian Kirk has had more in recent weeks.

I’ve got to tkae the Cardinals coming off a bye. They’re a fairly unique team to plan for and while I think Flores is a great coach I think Kyler will get the job done.

  • Longshot on Eno Benjamin anytime at 13/1 on PP
  • Kyler Murray anytime – 2.10 (most sites)

(7-0) Steelers -14 @ Cowboys (2-6): 44

Cowboys could become the first team to go 0-9 ATS.

Steelers win. On paper they’re the best team in the league.

Cowboys are starting AAF leading passer Garrett Gilbert. Zeke might be out. they’re dreadful.

Only worry in the Steelers not covering is that they tend to play down to their opponents, especially on the road. They should have a field day but I won’t take them as 14 pt favourites.

(5-2) Saints +4 @ Bucs (6-2): 50.5

Line dropping all week, was 5.5 at times.

A cracking end to the Sunday entertainment, the winner here probably takes the NFC South, and surely the oldest QB combination in NFL history with a combined age of 84

The Saints should welcome back their best 2 WRs with Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both expected to start in this one. They’ve been grinding out wins without them, mainly on the back of Alvin Kamara who’s been phenomenal so far (although hasn’t scored in a few weeks) – He’s a running back who’s 16th in receiving yards this year as well as being their main man on the ground. Jared Cook has himself a few TDs and Tre’quan Smith will like a little less attention on him after being the main WR in recent weeks.

They’ve been poor on defense though which is the main worry here.

The Bucs are clicking. Tom Brady has done what he was brought in to do, kept the ball safe, made the plays and moved them down the field. His connection with Gronk seems to be back having provided TDs for 3 games in a row now. He spreads the ball around his talented WR corps and with Antonio Brown expected to start in ace of the injured Chris Godwin he’s got probably another reliable (on the field) target. Scotty Miller has been good for them, Mike Evans is great but just doesn’t see the targets he used to, still scores TDs mind you.

It looks like it’ll be more of Leonard Fournette on the ground than Ronald Jones, but they’re happy with either, makes it tough for bettors and fantasy players but works for them.

Arguably the best defense in the league?

Saints won the opening game of the season between the two, if they win this one the division will be theirs to lose. I can’t pick a winner but I think it will be close. I want the Saints to win but realistically it should be the Bucs.

Pats -9.5 @ Jets: 41

Line going up, Darnold doubtful with shoulder. The worst Monday night game in recent history.

Summary (2 pts bets unless stated)

Spreads

  • Ravens -1
  • Texans -6.5
  • Seahawks -3

TD Scorers

  • Gus Edwards – 3.4 (888) – happy with 3.1 on PP
  • Albert Okwuegbunam – 5.5 (888) – happy with 4.5 on 365
  • Tyler Lockett – 11/10 (PP) – NAP – 5 Points
  • Kyler Murray anytime – 11/10 (PP)

Props

  • Irv Smith o2.5 receptions – 2.00 (365)
  • James Robinson o3.5 receptions – 2.00 (365)
  • Justin Herbert o261.5 passing yards – 1.83 (Skybet)
  • Keenan Allen o6.5 receptions – 1.71 (Skybet)
  • Titans 3rd quarter handicap -0.5 – 2.10 (365)

Good luck with your bets this week, no real weather issues this week so hopefully things go a little more to plan.

Adam.

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