Eli’s Week 9 NFL Picks: My 2 Favorite Spread Bets

Written By Eli Hershkovich on November 6, 2022
NFL Picks

After going 31-19 (62.0%) through the eight weeks, let’s aim to keep things rolling. Below are my NFL picks for Week 9 odds — centered around two wagers against the spread.

As always, these are bets I have wagered my own money on. There won’t ever be a bet I post about that I also haven’t made.

Join our Discord betting channel (under the #roles server) to receive an immediate notification when I bet anything, including college basketball oddsClick on any of the odds to place a wager on these NFL picks.

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Minnesota Vikings at Washington Commanders

The Vikings are 6-1 straight up, but they’ve notched five straight, one-score victories despite getting outgained in Yards Per Play (YPP) in three of them. Positive variance has gone their way of late, yet how long will it continue?

Here’s a hint. T.J. Hockenson, the former Lions tight end who they acquired before the trade deadline, isn’t the answer.

Controlling The Line of Scrimmage

Even though Minnesota has generated a top-15 Dropback EPA to date, its passing attack is easily stymied when Kirk Cousins is under duress. He isn’t just below league average in that regard. His accuracy rating under pressure ranks No. 31 among fellow quarterbacks.

Specifically, the Vikings’ interior offensive line is most susceptible in passing situations. Right guard Ed Ingram is the lowlight, as he’s accrued the sixth-lowest pass-blocking grade at his position (via Pro Football Focus).

Unfortunately for Kevin O’Connell’s unit, the Commanders are manufacturing the fourth-highest pressure rate (26.0%) while blitzing lower than the league average. Their stout defensive front may inherit an upgrade in the form of Chase Young, too, who returned to practice this week after suffering a torn ACL and MCL last season.

Assuming Young, Daron Payne & Co. get home, the duress on Washington’s exploitable secondary will be mitigated.

Trusting A Resourceful Backup

After replacing Carson Wentz (finger), Taylor Heinicke has tallied the 13th-rated Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE) amid a two-game stretch. Not only does this metric incorporate associated factors that make a pass more or less likely to be completed, but it also isn’t adjusted to an opponent’s defensive stature.

Heinicke’s standing is neither mind-blowing nor an indication of long-term stability. Nevertheless, his average productivity is in for another treat, squaring off against Ed Donatell’s vulnerable shell zone coverage.

The Vikings are yielding the 10th-highest Dropback Success Rate (SR), as the absence of an elite coverage corner can only be masked to a certain extent. If Heinickie receives support from his ground game, which has its own opportunity for an efficient outing against an equally exposable group, the Commanders should accumulate their fair share of explosive plays.

NFL Picks Conclusion

If you couldn’t tell (or if you foolishly don’t subscribe to our aforementioned Discord channel yet), I’m on Commanders +3.5. The hook is valuable, yet I’d still bet this point spread down to +3 for Cousins’ return to FedEx Field.

Beat The Closing Line Podcast: NFL Week 9 Betting Breakdown

To listen to the audio-only version of this episode, subscribe to “Beat The Closing Line” on Apple Podcasts.

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Las Vegas Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars

Betting on either on these teams isn’t for the faint of heart, especially when a key number isn’t involved. However, market steam towards the Raiders is the trigger — for what should be a miserable viewing experience if you decide to watch.

Fade Post-London Teams?

The betting market has a perception that teams, which don’t have a bye week after just playing overseas, will struggle in their following matchup. Jet lag, an arduous travel schedule, and time zone switch are all viable ingredients.

But history has failed to present these results, as these teams have gone 3-5-1 ATS (37.5%). The Packers represent the lone outlier this season, yet Aaron Rodgers’ injury, a depleted receiving corps, and their inability to command the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball played a role as well.

Misinterpreting Las Vegas

This headline could appertain to vacationers who are scarred by Sin City, but we’ll stick with professional football for now.

While Josh McDaniels’ team has “underperformed,” regression was plausible after a wild-card berth in 2021. The Raiders went 7-1 straight up in one-score games, and they were fortunate to face an assortment of backup QBs along the way.

Couple that with McDaniels’ questionable play-calling and a suspect defense. Hence, they scuffled to meet the market’s overpraised expectations. Enter the Jaguars, which have racked up for consecutive losses — even with manufacturing a YPP edge in three of them.

Trevor Lawrence’s ineptitude has undoubtedly influenced each of these outcomes. His CPOE ranks ahead of just four current starting QBs with at least 100 snaps (Russell Wilson, Davis Mills, Justin Fields, and Zach Wilson).

With that being said, Lawrence will take on a Las Vegas secondary that’s surrendering the second-highest Dropback EPA across the NFL — with the Lions right behind them. Similar to Minnesota, its run defense is below league average, too.

Assuming he and Doug Pederson find a way to take advantage, Jacksonville possesses an obvious opportunity to right the ship.

NFL Picks Conclusion

Assuming the Jaguars’ pass rush makes an impact against the Raiders’ subpar offensive line, I’m comfortable backing them ATS. They’re also a viable teaser leg if you’d rather be less risk-averse.

Additional NFL Picks

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS

After betting the Packers in Week 8, I’m going back the well to continue to sell Aaron Rodgers & Co. The Lions should have plenty of success on the ground against a bottom-five rushing defense across every metric, setting them up to dictate the clock. Green Bay will be without linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, too, which is a source for even more concern in that department.

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