Let's just forget about an in-depth recap of my recommendations for Week 8 special NFL props at Bovada as Aaron Rodgers, Colt McCoy and the Carolina offense all were no help! Win some and lose some. Here are your Week 9 NFL picks.
Will Any Quarterback Throw for At Least 400 Yards This Week?
Yes is -150 on NFL odds and no +110. Week 8 was definitely dominated by some of the NFL's best quarterbacks. For example, Tom Brady threw for 354 yards (and five scores) and that was just the fifth-most yardage for the week. Ben Roethlisberger approached the NFL record with 522 yards in a blowout of the Colts (Big Ben is first player ever with two career 500-yard passing games), Rodgers had 418 yards in a blowout loss in New Orleans, Nick Foles had 411 yards in a close loss at Arizona, and NFL passing leader Andrew Luck had 400 in that loss in Pittsburgh. It was the most 400-yard games in a single day in NFL history.
NFL free pick: No. True, that Peyton Manning-Tom Brady duel looks enticing and both those guys could throw for 400 yards. Still, it seems no should be the favorite here as it's not that easy to do. No one had 400 yards in Weeks 6-7. Or Weeks 2 & 4.
How Many Quarterbacks Will Throw for More Than 4,000 Yards This Season: 'Over/Under' 9.5
Both options are -115 at sportsbooks. Just for a point of reference of how things have changed in the NFL in leaning toward offense, Hall of Famer Joe Montana never threw for 4,000 yards in his career. Terry Bradshaw was never close. Neither was Troy Aikman. Just to name three. Last season, nine quarterbacks reached that mark. Ryan Tannehill and Joe Flacco were less than 100 yards away. To reach 4,000 yards, a QB must average 250 yards on the nose while playing all 16 games. So far, 16 guys are at that 250 per game mark but that includes Kirk Cousins and Kyle Orton, who have no chance at 4,000 yards as they were/are backups. Probably not Carson Palmer, either, after missing a few games injured.
NFL free pick: 'Over' on NFL odds. Barring injury, these guys appear 4,000-yard to be locks: Luck, Drew Brees, Manning, Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Rodgers, Brady. Almost surely Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Foles and Tony Romo will also get there.
Will Blake Bortles Throw a Pick-six in Week 9? Will He Lead the League in Interceptions in 2014?
No is -1000 and yes is +600 on the first NFL prop at sportsbooks, and no is -300 and yes +200 on the second. The Jaguars rookie has thrown at least one interception in every game. Last week the Dolphins returned two for scores so hence this prop. The Steelers returned one on Oct. 5 in Jacksonville against him. The Colts returned one on Sept. 21 when Bortles relieved Chad Henne at halftime. The Jags are in Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bengals have picked off nine passes this year but not returned one.
NFL free pick: That it's a road game would seem to make it more likely Bortles throws one with crowd noise. It's worth a roll of the dice. Assuming Bortles isn't hurt or pulled this year, he has a good chance to lead the league in interceptions. His 12 are two ahead of No. 2 Geno Smith, and Smith probably on the bench for good. Take yes.
Total Rushing Yards for Arian Foster This Week: 'Over/Under' 100.5
Both options are -115 on NFL odds. The Cowboys' DeMarco Murray hogs all the publicity among running backs this year as he has set an NFL record by rushing for at least 100 yards in eight straight games to start the season. Murray is the +200 second-favorite on Bovada's NFL odds to win NFL MVP behind Peyton Manning (+150). Foster has been nearly as good as Murray. Foster has rushed for at least 102 in six of seven games. He did sit one out injured. Foster's 109.4 rushing yards per game ranks 10th overall since 2004 should he finish at that number. Murray is at 131.8 yards. Houston hosts Philadelphia on Sunday. The Eagles allow 116.7 yards per game on the ground.
NFL free pick: 'Over.' Houston will want to slow the Philly up-tempo offense as much as possible and that means plenty of running the ball.
Will the Broncos and Patriots Play in the AFC Title Game?
Yes is +350 and no -500 on Bovada NFL odds. I'm shocked that yes is such a big underdog. Of course Denver visits New England on Sunday, with the winner getting a potentially crucial head-to-head tiebreaker. If these teams get the top two seeds in the AFC, as they did last year, it's hard to see anyone beating them in the divisional round.
NFL free pick: Yes is tremendous value here.