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With eight weeks of NFL football behind us, we are starting to see a little more of the picture. In the NFC, it’s looking like the 8-0 Rams are destined for a division title barring a collapse of epic proportions while the Minnesota Vikings don’t appear to be close to being the team they were last year. Of course, Philadelphia doesn’t either. The AFC West is quickly turning into a two-horse race while Houston has emerged as the best team to date in an uncertain AFC South. The AFC North remains up for grabs while the New England appears to have gotten their act together in the AFC East. There are some interesting matchups heading our way in Week 9 which brings plenty more betting opportunities, and we’re going to take a look at some of them. Here are the best bets for Week 9.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
In perhaps the most interesting and meaningful game on Week 9’s schedule, the 4-2-1 Steelers visit Baltimore to take on the 4-4 Ravens. The Steelers have certainly found their stride entering this contest riding a three-game winning streak both SU and ATS. This is a crucial game for both teams and Pittsburgh will be looking for a bit of revenge after falling to Baltimore in Week 4. While the Steelers’ defense has tightened up in recent weeks, the Ravens’ defense took a step back allowing a season-high 36 points to Carolina in Week 8.
The Ravens’ defense seems to have a knack for bouncing back after a rough outing, and they should be pumped up for this one. With such a mediocre offense, the Ravens can’t be expected to suddenly rack up points in this spot. The under is 6-3-1 in the last ten meetings between these teams, and it has prevailed in the previous four straight head-to-head matchups in Baltimore with 37 being the highest total in those games.
My Pick: Under 47.5
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3)
Miami continues to follow a recent trend in which they play much better at home than they do on the road. Nonetheless, they will be a hard team to back having dropped four of their last five both SU and ATS. Meanwhile, the Jets haven’t been much better. Miami has won four of the last five meetings between these two teams and is 3-1-1 ATS in those games. One thing that stands out in the meetings between these teams that are played in Miami is that the over has prevailed in the last three straight games and in six of the last eight. All four of Miami’s home games this year have resulted in the over.
Not that the Jets are expected to go anywhere this year, but this is a game that the Jets really need. They have shown the ability to score points on occasion, and after being held in check by the Vikings and Bears in the last two weeks, this looks like one of those occasions. Meanwhile, Miami should be able to put up their share too.
My Pick: Over 45
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-7)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a bit of a mess right now, and they certainly haven’t been an outstanding road team in the last couple of years. With just a pair of wins to show for their last 14 away from home, they would appear to be an easy fade. However, they are 4-4 ATS in their last eight road games, so some caution needs to be taken even if the Panthers are undefeated at home with a 3-1 ATS record.
A nice combination of a good offense combined with a poor defense can go far in explaining six of Tampa’s seven games going over the total. They have tallied at least 27 points in all but one of their games this year, and they have faced some decent defenses. Add in the fact that 11 of their last 13 road games have resulted in the over and a case can be made for a high scoring game. Carolina has carved up some good defenses including Baltimore’s last week, so that’s another reason that the total of 54 is easily reachable.
My Pick: Over 54
Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks (-1.5)
Seattle has been playing some good football in the past couple of weeks with four wins and four covers in their last five games. The thing is that the Seahawks have yet to beat a team with a winning record which San Diego most definitely is. With that said, San Diego hasn’t beaten anyone with a winning record either.
One of the most significant factors that spread bettors should keep in mind is that Seattle hasn’t been profitable at home and they have been downright terrible at covering as a home favorite. They have just a pair of covers in their last eight as home faves. On the flip side, the Chargers have been a money-making machine on the road over the past couple of years going 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 road games as an underdog.
My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers +1.5