The Backdoor Cover - NFL Week 9 Picks
By: Josh Gamble
*All lines are accurate as of Saturday afternoon*
Seahawks (-3) @ Bills – Over/Under 55
I do not care who they are playing, give me Russell Wilson every time the line is at a field goal or less. Josh Allen has come back down to earth after starting the season looking like a potential MVP candidate. The Bills have not looked good lately. They have looked like a different team the last 4 weeks or so. When I first looked at this line, I immediately thought it was a trap. As I thought more about it, this game looks so obviously like a trap that I think that is actually not. Vegas wants this game to look like a trap to entice people to take the Bills. The heavy amounts of cash on the Seahawks only helps to reaffirm my gut feeling. I am taking the Seahawks.
Broncos @ Falcons (-4) – Over/Under 49
I could give you a long drawn out explanation as to why I am staying away from this game, but I won’t. Both of these teams are terrible and I would advise everyone to stay away.
Bears @ Titans (-6.5) – Over/Under 47.5
The Bears and the Titans have been two of the more frustrating teams through the first half of the season. They show flashes of being legit playoffs teams only to come out the next week and lay an egg. The line and the total have both gone up 1 point since open. This is based largely on the amount of tickets on the Titans and the over. The public loves this combination this week. The sharp money is on the exact opposite, the Bears and the under. If you are the type that likes to fade the public then those should your plays this week. There are too many question marks each week for both of these teams for me to place any bets confidently.
Lions @ Vikings (-4.5) – Over/Under 50.5
This game hinges largely on whether or not Matthew Stafford plays this week. Every indication as of now is that he will play. He needs to have 5 days of negative tests in order to be eligible to play. As long as this happens, he will play with no practice as opposed to handing the keys over to Chase Daniel. Cash and tickets are both on the Vikings to cover while there is a split on the total. Cash likes the under and tickets like the over. What I am about to say is coming strictly from my gut and my experiences with the Lions. This is the type of game that the Lions usually win. The Vikings should be red hot after their win last week and not many people are giving the Lions much of a chance. Those are usually the situations where the Lions flourish. I may put down a small bet on the Lions moneyline this week, but I am not recommending you do so.
Photo courtesy of stampedeblue.com
Ravens (-1) @ Colts – Over/Under 47.5
This is one of the more intriguing matchups this week. This could have serious implications on the AFC playoff seeding. Both defenses are certainly above average, which is why you see the total as low as it is. That being said, I love this game to hit the over. After the offensive performance last week, the Ravens may be starting to hit their stride. Both the cash and the tickets agree with this assessment as you are seeing a heavy lean on the over in this game. This matchup is too close, in my opinion, to find any value in the line.
Panthers @ Chiefs (-10.5) – Over/Under 52
As each day goes on, it looks increasingly likely that Christian McCaffrey will play this week. How much he will play remains to be seen. There has been heavy cash and tickets on the Chiefs. The biggest question in this game is, how will the Panthers zone defense hold up against Mahomes and company? Clearly, the betting public is assuming it will not do too well. I tend to agree with them and I like taking the Chiefs and laying the points. The real bet to me in this game is the total. The Chiefs should have no problems with the Panthers defense. The key to hitting the over is whether or not the Panthers can score enough points. Getting McCaffrey back should definitely help. Take the over.
Texans (-7) @ Jaguars – Over/Under 50
This is a strange game from a betting perspective. The Jaguars are playing a quarterback very few have ever heard of. Both defenses are toward the bottom of the league. No one quite knows what to make of the Houston Texans. All of these things are evidenced in the betting trends for this game. Both the public and sharps like the Texans laying the points, but both are also throwing darts at the Jaguars moneyline. This is very indicative of the betting public’s trust in the Houston Texans. I just think there are too many question marks in this game to take either side or staying away from the total, as well.
Giants @ Football Team (-2.5) – Over/Under 43
Throughout the course of this week, this line has come down from 3.5 to its current number of 2.5. There is a modest lean for both cash and tickets on the Giants and the points. Personally, I just do not see a ton of value in the line as it sits right now. If you jumped on the +3.5 for the Giants earlier in the week then you definitely have more value. This game will feature two of the worst offenses in the NFL, hence the total of 43. The public is undeterred by this as most of the action has been on the over. On the other side, the cash has been heavily on the under. I am staying away from this game completely.
Raiders @ Chargers (pk) – Over/Under 53
This game has been hovering anywhere between and pick em and 1.5 since the beginning of the week. There is a heavy lean on both cash and tickets on the Raiders. That being said, I just do not see much value on the spread or the total. I do not trust either of these teams enough to bet them.
Photo courtesy of steelerswire.usatoday.com
Steelers (-14) @ Cowboys – Over/Under 43
Yes, you read that line right. The spread is only 14 points in this game. Yes, I said only. This is the line that jumped off the page when I first checked the lines earlier this week. The Cowboys are playing Garrett Gilbert at quarterback and Elliot may not play. The Cowboys are going to get destroyed in this game. Take the Steelers.
Dolphins @ Cardinals (-4.5) – Over/Under 49
There were a lot of tickets on the Dolphins earlier this week which is not surprising based on their win last week. My problem here is they scored 2 non-offensive touchdowns in the game and Tua did not look sharp. Personally, I am holding any bets for or against the Dolphins until I can see at least another game of Tua. That being said, the cash and tickets are both on the home favorite. If you are looking to bet this game, taking the Cardinals and laying the points is certainly the play. I just do not feel comfortable enough with the Dolphins to do that.
Saints @ Buccaneers (-4) – Over/Under 50.5
The two oldest quarterbacks in the league will square off against each other on Sunday night. From a pure entertainment standpoint, I am really looking forward to this game. From a betting standpoint, I am staying away from it. The public has a slight lean on the Bucs while the cash has a slight lean on the Saints. If you are one to fade the public, the Saints are the play.
Patriots (-9) @ Jets – Over/Under 41.5
Blech. Both of these teams are bad. Really bad. Run away from this game as fast as you can.
As always, make sure you follow me on Twitter @Jtothe_ROC where you can get up-to-date information and plays. Specifically, if I have any plays for Thursday night games, that is the place to get it. I am always happy to answer any betting questions anyone may have. Good luck and let’s cash those tickets!
Official Card for Week 9
Packers -7 (posted on Twitter)
Steelers -14 (2 units)
Seahawks -3 (2 units)
CAR/KC O 52
BAL/IND O 47.5