Week 9 is here so lets look at updated SU & ATS records, Injury information, relevant Series Trends, Point Spreads & Totals, and as always, some sage early week NFL picks.
Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals -10, 46
The Cleveland Browns (2-6 SU, 4-4 ATS) head downstate to Cincinnati on Thursday evening to face the Bengals (7-0 SU, 6-0-1 ATS) in this AFC North Buckeye State Week 9 showdown at Paul Brown Stadium in which QB Andy Dalton (20-13-3 ATS) and the hosts will try to stay unbeaten while Josh McCown and the visitors will try to keep their fading season alive. Last year in this game here in the Queen City, the Browns upset the Bengals 24-6 as 3-point underdogs while Cincinnati and QB Andy Dalton (20-13-4 ATS on Road) got revenge in Cleveland in Week 16, shutting out the host Browns, 30-0 and getting 2½ points as an underdog to boot. On Thursdays, Cincinnati (198 PF-132 PA) is 4-4 SU and 4-4 ATS while Cleveland (167 PF-216 PA) is 3-4 SU, 5-2 ATS and 3-1 ATS on the Road on Thursdays. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lined this one an aggressive Bengals -10 in its NFL Games of the Year while the Advanced Line here was 9½. The Over (46) may be worth some consideration in this one. Expect the Browns to push Cincy.
Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers -4½, 47½ (5Dimes)
So Steelers starting QB Ben Roethlisberger is back from his Injury, but Pittsburgh (4-4 SU, 5-2-1 ATS) lost RB Le’Veon Bell for the season after he suffered a nasty right Knee Injury in Sunday’s 16-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field in the Steel City on Sunday in Week 8, so facing this hot Oakland Raiders (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) team as well as dealing with the rest of the season without the electric Bell will be quite the challenge although Pittsburgh does have capable RB DeAngelo Williams and the Steelers were reportedly going to look at Isaiah Pead today (Monday). The Steelers are just 1-5 ATS the L6 against the Raiders although when these two historic AFC teams last played here in Pittsburgh (2010), the Steelers rolled to a 35-3 victory as 7-point favorites. Oakland will be traveling east and losing 3 Hours going from California to Pennsylvania (PST to EST) meaning that QB David Carr and the Raiders will be playing at 10 a.m. their time. This could be a hard game for the Steelers (168 PF-147 PA), as you can’t lose a guy like Bell and not have it affect the team’s Productivity, Depth at the positions and overall Team Psyche. The Raiders (178 PF-173 PA) played another impressive game on Sunday in Week 7, humbling the New York Jets, 34-20 as Carr threw for 333 yards and a career-high 3 TDs. These two teams have similar numbers with Pittsburgh #5 in Yards Per Play (6.0) and Oakland #8 (5.9) and the Steelers tied for 13th in Turnover Margin (+2) and the Raiders tied for 8th (+3). This seems like it could be Underish (Steelers 1-7 O/U).
NFL Pick: Raiders & Steelers Under 48 (Pinnacle)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets No Line
The New York Jets (4-3 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS) to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon in this inter-divisional AFC tilt and important game for the hosts from the context that they need to bounce back after being humbled by the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday, 34-20. Jacksonville and QB Blake Bortles (3-2-1 ATS Road) should be very well-rested (13 Days) here coming in off their Bye week while the Jets will be returning home on a 3,000-mile flight from Oakland and will be playing on the standard 6 Days of Rest. When these two last met in 2012, the then Rex Ryan-coached Jets beat and covered ATS against the Jaguars in Jacksonville 17-10 as 2½-point favorites while the last meeting between the two here at MetLife in Jersey was in 2009 where Jacksonville won outright, 24-22 as 6½-point underdogs. The Jaguars are 4-1 ATS the L5 games here at MetLife against the Jets and 6-2 ATS in the L8 in this series overall. Those were different Jets teams though. A real tough call. And the Advanced Line was (Jets minus) 8, so you can see how the nasty New York Loss combined with the fact that starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Torn Ligaments; Questionable) got hurt and backup Geno Smith—who also got hurt (Abdomen, Shoulder; Questionable)—had to come in have affected perceptions (3½-point difference) of this Point Spread number. So will New York give Rookie (Baylor) Bryce Petty a whirl or will they try to sign a Free Agent? Rumors the Jets would be going after former Texans QB Ryan Mallett were sort of pooh-poohed immediately after surfacing. So like many teams in the NFL, the upstart Jets have a QB problem and with that uncertainty, comes uncertainty in the betting marketplace. If Fitzpatrick is healthy and can go, the Jets (-4½) looks decent. With Smith it looks like a Wes Craven film. A line should come out around Wednesday.
St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings -2½-115, 40 (BetOnline)
The St. Louis Rams (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) and stud Rookie (Georgia) RB Todd Gurley head to the TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday in Week 9 to face Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings (5-2 SU, 6-1 ATS) in a big NFC inter-divisional game and important one for both sides. When these two teams met last, the Vikings beat the Rams last season in Week 1, 34-6 in St. Louis and covered as 3-point dogs. Minnesota is 4-1 ATS the L5 against the Rams but the Vikings are just 1-4 ATS the L5 here against St. Louis in Minnesota. The Rams could definitely go in here and go crazy and pull off the upset with the game meaning so much to them living in the rugged NFC West. St. Louis (135 PF-125 PA) clobbered the 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday in Week 7 action as Nick Foles (14/23, 191 yards, TD) didn’t have to do too much as Gurley ran wild once again, WR Tavon Austin (4 Receptions, 98 yards, TD, 24.5 ypc) had another nice day and the St. Louis Defense (Tied for #6 in TO margin, +4) was brilliant as usual. And the Vikings (147 PF-122 PA) also won on Sunday, defeating the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago, 23-20 as Vikings K Blair Walsh booted a 36-yard FG as time expired for the Win and RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 103 yards. The Advanced Line from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here was Minnesota -3 Even.
NFL Picks: The visitors St. Louis may be worth a look on the Moneyline (+130, SportsInteraction) in this game.
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills -3, 44
The Miami Dolphins (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) head north to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo next Sunday afternoon to face the host Bills (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) in a massive AFC East meeting for both teams and what ultimately could be a really tough and possibly season-ending Loss for the losers here. When these two met in this game last season in Buffalo, the Bills rolled to a 29-10 victory in Week 2 as modest 1½-point favorites while in the game in Miami Gardens last season, the Fish won (and covered) 22-9 as 3½-point chalks. Because of some Geographical realities (Miami is Hot and Buffalo is Cold), the Home teams usually fare really well both SU and ATS in this series. The Bills are 4-1 ATS the L5 against Miami in this series including a 41-14 humbling in Miami Gardens in Week 2 earlier this season. When these two met in this game last season in Buffalo, the Bills rolled to a 29-10 victory in Week 2 as modest 1½-point favorites while in the game in Miami last year, the Fish won 22-9 as 3½-point chalks so because of some Geographical realities (Miami is Hot and Buffalo is Cold), the Home teams usually fare well both SU and ATS in this series. This one looks like a great scheduling spot for host Buffalo and possibly the beginning of a big second-half slide for Miami, who were blasted by the Patriots, 36-7, in Week 8 action after registering Wins over lowly Tennessee and Houston. The Bills come in well-rested (13 Days) off their Bye week after suffering a tough Loss to the Jaguars in Jacksonville, 34-31 in Week 7. Head Coach Rex Ryan looks like he may be starting QB Tyrod Taylor and OT Seantrel Henderson back in the lineup Sunday according to reports (Monday) and like G John Miller and maybe even WR Sammy Watkins, so, Buffalo (176 PF-173 PA)could be lying in wait for Miami (154 PF-173 PA) at Ralph Wilson on Sunday. The Advanced Line out last week had Buffalo as 2½-point favorites here.
NFL Pick: Buffalo Bills -3 (Pinnacle)
Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints No Line
The Tennessee Titans (1-6 SU, 3-4 ATS) head to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday to face the New Orleans Saints (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS) in a Week 9 game inter-conference game from Bourbon Street. As far as the (lack of a) Point Spread, the health and availability of Tennessee starting QB Marcus Mariota (Knee, Questionable) is the hold-up here as the Oregon Rookie and #2 overall Pick in the NFL Draft missed his second straight game on Sunday when the Titans lost to the Texans, 20-6 at NRG Stadium in Houston in Week 8 action. Backup Zach Mettenberger (22/31, 171 yards, 0 TDs, 1 Interception, 11.7 QBR) was less than impressive, so expect Titans Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt to try to get Mariota back this weekend if he’s even close to being ready. When these two last met in 2011, the Saints won 22-17 in Nashville, slightly covering as 3-point favorites 17-22 while in the last meeting here in the Big Easy, the underdog Titans won outright, 31-14 in 2007 as 4½-point underdogs. The Titans are 3-1-1 ATS the L5 meetings with QB Drew Brees and the Saints. Expect the Who Dats to open around 3- to 6-point favorites vs. whomever starts at QB for Tennessee when a line does finally open up. On Sunday, New Orleans scored 52 points and beat the New York Giants in OT at Home, 52-48 as New Orleans QB Drew Brees (40/50, 511 yards, 95.7 QBR) threw for an amazing 7 TDs for the hosts who now boast the same SU Record (4-4) as the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers. There was no Advanced Line here with the status of Mariota in question for Tennessee’s Loss to the Texans on Sunday. A good game to back the Over also. Take the Saints here no matter what when a number appears.
Washington Redskins vs. New England Patriots -13½
The thought here is that this (Point Spread) won’t go down, but will likely go up some like all Patriots games at Home in new England, so laying the lowest number early on the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) is advised if you plan on backing the favorite here on Sunday afternoon. Patriots QB Tom Brady (70-48-5 ATS at Home)—who has a sparkly 59.3% ATS winning percentage at Home—here against Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Sunday in this Week 9 inter-conference game. The last time these two teams met was in 2011 when the host Redskins covered by ½ point, getting 7½ points in a 34-27 Loss in Landover while the last meeting here in New England was in 2007 where the then Joe Gibbs-coached Redskins were blown out, 52-7 as 15½-point underdogs. This one could potentially be another big blowout as Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and Brady (NFL-fastest 2.10 seconds Passing Release Time) continue to pursue the valuable Home-field Advantage in the AFC and maybe an unbeaten Regular Season on the way. They have been down the road before and it’s hard to see who is going to beat this team and when. The Advanced Line here was (New England minus) 12½.
NFL Pick: New England Patriots -13½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Green Bay Packers -1½, 45½ (CG Technology) vs. Carolina Panthers
QB Aaron Rodgers (32-27 ATS on Road) and the Green Bay Packers (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) head to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte next Sunday to face the host Carolina Panthers (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS; vs. Colts on Monday Night Football; Panthers -5, 46 MGM Mirage) in massive NFC showdown which will have great significance in the chase for Homefield Advantage in the conference. Both teams will be without their best WRs (Jordy Nelson, Kelvin Benjamin) here who are out for the season after injuring themselves in a costly Preseason. The last time these two met was last season where the Packers rolled as 6½-point Home favorites, 38-17, while in the last meeting here in North Carolina, Green Bay won 30-23 in 2011 but failed to cover as big 10½-point Road favorites. The Packers will be coming in off a game at Denver against the Broncos and are 5-2 ATS the L7 on the Road in Carolina (162 PF-110 PA). The renowned Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook NFL Games of the Year opened the Packers up as 4½-point favorites in this showdown while the Advanced Line in this one was -3. In action on Sunday, the Packers (174 PF-130 PA) were humbled in Denver as Rodgers was held to 77 Passing yards. Probably a better game to watch than on which to wager.
Atlanta Falcons -5, 45 (Pinnacle) vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Atlanta Falcons (6-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) and QB Matt Ryan head west to Levi’s Stadium and Santa Clara, California to face the San Francisco 49ers (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS; at Rams Sunday) and Colin Kaepernick in an inter-divisional NFL meeting. The last time these two met, the 49ers won 34-24 but failed to cover as massive 14½-point favorites in 2013 in San Francisco (Candlestick Park). The Falcons are 3-1-1 the L5 games overall against San Francisco and Atlanta is 3-1 ATS the L4 on the Road here in The City By The Bay. Note here that Atlanta will be losing 3 Body Clock Hours travelling from Georgia (ET) to California (PT), although the 4 p.m. (late afternoon) start isn’t as bad and West Coast teams travelling east and playing in the East always seem to have it the toughest. On Sunday in Week 7 action, the Falcons (213 PF-173 PA) were upset by the Buccaneers, 23-20 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta while Kaepernick and the 49ers (109 PF-207 PA) were trounced 27-6 in St. Louis in and NFC West affair. In the Loss, San Francisco RB Reggie Bush was hurt slipping out-of-bounds on the wicked concrete of the Edward Jones Dome and he may have a season-ending (left) ACL tear and the 49ers are reportedly looking at Ben Tate today (Monday). The Advanced Line was (Falcons minus) 5 here but the thought is that even as bad as they have played, San Francisco can win this one as the sire often carries great weight and Atlanta and Ryan (32-30 ATS on Road) and WR Julio Jones will be a long, long way from Home. But the Falcons rank #7 in Yards Per Play (5.9) and the 49ers rank an NFL-worst (#32) in YPP with an anemic 4.7 YPP average. And that was with RB Carlos Hyde (Stress Fracture, Out) RB Bush (ACL, Possibly Out for Season) and Rugby player RB Jarryd Hayne (Released) on the San Francisco Roster. The team decided to go with Practice Squad RB Kendall Gaskins over the 27-year-old Australian Hayne (8 Rushes, 25 yards).
New York Giants -1 -120, 47½ (5Dimes) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The New York Giants (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS) and QB Eli Manning head to the Sunshine State in Week 9 to play the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4 SU, 4-3 ATS) and Rookie (Florida State) QB Jameis Winston in this NFC inter-divisional affair Week 9 affairs on Sunday. The last time these two played, the Giants won 41-34 at Home at MetLife Stadium in 2012—but failed to cover by ½ point as 7½-point favorites—while in the last meeting here at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (2009), New York NFC and then DE Michael Strahan shut out the Buccaneers, 24-0 and covered as 6½-point chalks. The Giants are 3-1 ATS the L4 in this series. On Sunday, Tampa Bay (163 PF-199 PA) upset the Falcons at the Georgia Dome, 23-20 in OT while the Giants (215 PF-208 PA) lost by 3 to the Saints (42-49) in a high-scoring affair in the Superdome in The Big Easy as New Orleans QB Drew Brees tossed 7 TDs. The Advanced Line here was -2½.
NFL Pick: Giants & Buccaneers Over 47 (Pinnacle)
Denver Broncos -3½ (Station Casinos) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning and the still unbeaten Denver Broncos (7-0 SU, 5-1-1 ATS) head to familiar Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to face the Colts (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS; at Panthers on Monday Night Football; Panthers -5, 46 MGM Mirage) in this AFC showdown on Sunday afternoon in Week 9 in the Hoosier State, Indiana. When these two heavyweights last played, the Broncos eliminated the Colts in the first round of last year’s playoffs in Denver, 24-13, covering as 9½-point favorites (by 1½) in the Rocky Mountains while the last time these two met in Naptown where the IndyCars do really rapid 2½-mile laps every May, Denver won 39-33 but got nipped by the ½ point as 6½-point favorites in 2013. This may be an entertaining game but provides a tough handicap with the Broncos Offense a big question mark under former Colts QB Manning and Indianapolis an enigma of sorts with a seemingly lame duck Head Coach (Chuck Pagano) just trying to get through the season. The SuperBook made the host Colts 1-point favorites in its NFL Games of the Year while the Advanced Line was Broncos -3, so we can all see how much the Bubble has burst in term of Colts perceptions. Luck is incredibly average out of the AFC South and is injured and far from being on the same level as elite NFL QBs like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. With the Broncos humiliating the Packers in Denver on Sunday night and with the best and most athletic Defense in NFL with players like Von Miller, Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, Vance Walker and Chris Harris, Jr. the Broncos (168 PF -112 PA) are in a much better head space and groove right now than the sputtering Colts (147 PF-174 PA) and look like the play here. Note, Denver 1st Quarter Unders are now 7-0 ATS this season heading in here.
NFL Picks: Denver Broncos -3 (Station Casinos), 1st Quarter Under 7½
Philadelphia Eagles -2½ -120, 44½ (The Greek) at Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys (2-5 SU, 2-5 ATS) have L4 straight without starting QB Tony Romo (Eligible to return Nov. 22) available, and here at Home at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sunday against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) and Head Coach Chip Kelly in this Week 9 NFC East matchup from AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sunday Night Football, it almost seems like a must-win game for the hosts as even in the struggling NFC East, a 2-6 record will make it hard to bounce even when Romo returns and this semi-talented team makes its presumed 2nd-Half run. When these two met in Week 2 in Philadelphia earlier this season, the Cowboys won 20-10 as 7-point underdogs and Dallas is now 4-1 ATS in the L5 meetings overall with the Eagles but just 1-3 ATS the L4 here in Jerry World. Philadelphia (160 PF-137 PA) comes in here off their Bye week and 13 Days of needed Rest and may be facing third-string QB Matt Cassel for Dallas (133 PF-171 PA) here in primetime next weekend. The Eagles already showed the Cowboys who’s boss in this division earlier this season and may have to remind this Walking Wounded team again. The Eagles are 11-12 ATS under the Sunday evening spotlights while America’s (Former) Team, the Cowboys, are 13-10 ATS at Home on Sundays, although no doubt those Dallas Rosters were healthier than this beat-up bunch of boys. Here in its NFL Games of the Year, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook made the visiting Eagles 4-point favorites while the Eagles were -2½ on the Advanced Line. Philly seems like the better team now, despite their own issues.
NFL Pick: Eagles -2½ (The Greek)
Chicago Bears vs. San Diego Chargers -4, 49½ (5Dimes)
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) head west to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Sunday to face QB Philip Rivers (41-34-1 ATS at Home) and the Chargers (2-6 SU, 3-5 ATS) in the Week 9 end-cap on Monday Night Football and yet another TV game which looked so much better to the Big Wigs earlier this year. The last time these two teams met, the Bears won 31-20 at Home at Soldier Field in Chicago, covering ATS as 4-point favorites in 2011 while the last time these two met here in Southern California, the Bolts won 14-3 in Week 1 of the 2007 Regular Season, covering as 7-point chalks. The Bears are 6-2 ATS in the L8 meetings in this series and are 11-12 ATS as Road Underdogs on Monday Night Football while San Diego 4-4 is ATS as Home favorites. Bears RB Matt Forte is Out for this one while Chargers WR Keenan Allen is listed as Questionable. Chicago (140 PF-202 PA) comes in off a Loss to the Vikings at Home at Soldier Field on Sunday on a last-second Blair Walsh 26-year FG while San Diego (191 PF-227 PA) fell to the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, 29-26. If you are in need of a Point Spread laugh, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here in Sin City’s annual NFL Games of the Year odds for this game had the Chargers as 10-point favorites—the Advanced Line here was San Diego -4. Chicago may push the Chargers here, but the 2-Hour (CT to PT) Time difference should help the hosts and makes this one untouchable although there could be some points scored.
NFL WEEK 9 OPEN DATES: Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks
NFL WEEK 9 OPENING LINE PICKS: Steelers-Raiders Under 48 (Pinnacle); Bills -3 over Dolphins (Pinnacle); Giants-Buccaneers Over 47 (Pinnacle); Broncos -3½ over Colts (Station Casinos), Broncos-Colts 1st Quarter Under 7½; Eagles -2½ over Cowboys (The Greek)