NFL Picks: Great NFL Bets on Bad Teams Week 9

Nila Amerova

Friday, November 1, 2013 3:09 PM GMT

Week 9 of NFL betting is set to get underway so join us as we scour through the matchups slated for the weekend in search of good bets on bad teams in order to deliver the best value football picks.

Week 8 was happily successful for this particular weekly NFL instalment in the comprehensive suite of football handicapping articles available for your reading and betting research pleasure at SBR Forum.

That’s the so-called pat on the back out of the way, so now let’s see if we can be equally successful for our Week 9 NFL picks. Here goes...

Minnesota Vikings +10.0 vs. Dallas Cowboys -10.0

At first glance, this football betting spread seems about right. The Vikings (1-6, 0-3 away) are plagued by an atrocious defense and they are 2-5-0 ATS overall, 1-2-0 on the road. Meanwhile, if you’ve been shading the Cowboys at home on the spread as your NFL pick over the course of the season, you’ve been doing rather well, cashing in nicely as they are 4-0 ATS at home.

Such a hefty spread means they’ll need to contain Adrian Peterson (128 carries, 571 yards and 6 TDs), and that may be possible given that the star running back has just 150 yards on 36 carries over his last three games, largely due to an ineffective passing game that ranks 30th overall more than anything else. It doesn’t help matters either that the Vikings are still pondering (no pun intended) the QB situation, debating between starting Josh Freeman or Christian Ponder, which, partly in turn, has sportsbooks listing Vikings as the hefty +375 underdogs to win this game.

That said this might just be too many points for Dallas Cowboys to cover no matter which QB gets the start, because, let’s face it, Cowboys have their own troubles on defense but have been able to get away with it by a solid offensive output. So we are going out on a bit of a limb here, going against the betting odds,  and taking the Vikings to cover.

NFL Picks: Vikings to cover at +10.0

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Baltimore Ravens -135 vs. Cleveland Browns +115 

Baltimore Ravens are 3-4, 1-3 away this season, which is a rather disappointing record to say the least. Did they really win the Super Bowl last year?

Cleveland Browns aren’t doing any better however with a 3-5, 2-2 home record. So this is one of those bad to worse cases and that is set on rather tight NFL odds, making it a bit challenging to decide where the value NFL pick is. But here goes anyway. 

What is going against the Browns in the overall football betting market here is the fact that they have lost three in a row and that the QB situation looks to be doomed for the season. So it’s not surprising then that most are expecting them to continue their skid and they are listed as the +115 underdogs for the home win.

Still, the Browns lost to Kansas City Chiefs, the only undefeated team in the NFL, 23-17 last week. That they managed to keep the game close enough is a positive that they can look to build on here. Jason Campbell moreover also showed encouraging signs, throwing for 293 yards and 2 TDs – nowhere more so than when he brought the Browns to within a field goal in the third quarter.

Keep in mind as well that the Ravens, who are coming off a bye week, haven’t been punching at their Super Bowl weight-class; not when they are enjoying their worst start to a season since Harbaugh took over in 2008. Frankly, the only thing that has kept the Ravens semi-competitive this season is a solid defense. Flacco hasn’t been great at all and especially not on the road this season (is he ever?), and so, the Ravens are only marginally favoured here to win outright at -135.

The spread for this game is also tipped very low at 2.5 in favour of the Ravens, which just further highlights the expectation of a close game. What this adds up to is value on both sides of the coin. We agree that it might be a close one indeed, so close however that we think the Browns have a real shot to get one over the Ravens entirely. That’s why we’re picking the Browns to mastermind the upset win at home at +115.

NFL Picks: Browns to win straight up at +115

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