NFL Week 9 Line Movement: Jets And Bills Get Love With Big Moves

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on November 7, 2021
NFL Week 9 spreads

Each week during the 2021 NFL seasonTheLines will examine how the coming week’s NFL lines have changed relative to preseason or prior expectations. Often, early lines can give an objective look at teams’ relative talent levels, absent week-to-week recency bias when the weekend results take hold. Let’s take a look at NFL Week 9 spreads and see which numbers have changed and, potentially, why.

Tracked lines below come from FanDuel Sportsbook, which provide the basis for our Week 9 look-ahead lines. Prices are -110, unless otherwise noted.

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Two Big Moves On Two Big Week 9 NFL Spreads

Two of the biggest NFL Week 9 spreads saw pretty sizable moves. In one case, the favorite’s price increased, but in the other, the market showed surprising respect for a previously disrespected QB.

GameLook-Ahead LineNov. 2, 6 p.m. ET
NY Jets at Indianapolis ColtsColts -14Colts -10.5 (-108)
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville JaguarsBills -11Bills -14.5 (-114)

Jets At Colts

Last week as documented in this very space, the market gave a resounding opinion: new Jets QB Mike White was going to be in way, way over his head. Sure, the Bengals spanking the Ravens played a part. But the market had every reason to doubt White after he “led” a 40-point loss to New England.

No longer. After White torched the Bengals — previously solid on D — for 405 yards and 3 TDs, the market shifted this number well down.

The Colts performed about as expected in a narrow OT loss to the Titans that could have gone either way.

So, we can feel fairly certain this adjustment stems from newfound confidence in White. He definitely made some big throws under pressure. No doubt, he looks better than his pedigree as a former fifth-rounder with no on-field experience until 2021.

Still, keep in mind that the Bengals were in a less-than-ideal spot. They played their third straight road game, were coming off a monster win, and had almost zero tape on the opposing QB. White may turn back into a pumpkin at any moment.

Bills At Jaguars

The Bills did not have a particularly impressive Week 8 performance. While they wound up covering in gross fashion, this still only gained 5.3 YPP against Miami. The Dolphins boasted a good defense on paper before the season started but things haven’t really worked out there as they rank 27th in EPA/play even after this game.

The defense remained dominant but how impressive is shutting down this pitiful Dolphins passing game?

Something’s been amiss about this Bills offense but it’s certainly hard to find fault in the defense. That unit should have an absolute field day against this abominable Jaguars offense. They nearly got shut out by the previously struggling Seahawks.

Add that to maybe the worst home-field advantage and the Bills’ clear willingness to keep trying to scoring when the game is in hand, and you get a recipe for a line move. The market thinks the Bills run away with this one by more than two scores.

Other Big NFL Week 9 Spread Moves

Several other NFL Week 9 spreads saw movement through key numbers.

GameLook-Ahead LineNov. 2, 6 p.m. ET
New England Patriots at Carolina PanthersPatriots -2Patriots -4
LA Chargers at Philadelphia EaglesChargers -3.5Chargers -1.5
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ersCardinals -3Cardinals -1 (-105)
Tennessee Titans at LA RamsRams -4Rams -7.5

Patriots At Panthers

The Panthers’ offensive futility continued despite grabbing a win against Atlanta on the road. Sam Darnold has another awful game throwing. When he did fire a decent pass in recent weeks, DJ Moore has dropped it as often as brought it in.

The team’s best play has been Darnold faking a handoff and running an end-around. That’s the state of this Panthers offense and it’s a major issue.

Meanwhile, the Patriots seem to have something genuinely cooking. They have played mostly solid football for five straight games. The defense has done well to contain some high-volume passing offenses. The offense looks a bit lacking in explosiveness but the staff seems to manufacture enough via the run and play-action.

The Panthers figure to have a very tough time moving the ball here. They have a QB who admittedly found himself baffled by Bill Belichick’s defenses in the past, and nothing appears to be clicking even against weak defenses there.

The line move certainly appears sensible at first glance.

Chargers At Eagles

Speaking of Belichick bringing young QBs down a notch, he did just that against the Chargers. For two straight years, he has handed the ascendant Justin Herbert humbling losses. This year was no 45-0 demolition, but Herbert still found himself leading a garbage-time drive just to book a three-point loss.

How much of the Chargers’ hot start was a mirage based on running above expectation in high-leverage spots? After riding the daring decision-making of Brandon Staley to a big comeback against Cleveland, the team has gone 9-for-29 on third- and fourth-down plays the past two weeks. Meanwhile, their opponents went 15-for-31.

The Eagles were looking pretty lost themselves for a bit. They rebounded from back-to-back pastings at the hands of the Bucs and Raiders to spank the woeful Lions.

If you don’t think such a thing matters, it’s a good time to buy the Chargers low.

Cardinals At 49ers

Arizona turned in one of the more disappointing performances of Week 8. They managed to lose at home to a Packers team absent three of its top four receivers.

Has the shine finally come off a team that won every one of its games and covered most of them before that? It certainly appears that way, as while the 49ers did grab a win, they did so against the lowly Bears. And it hardly came in convincing fashion as they needed a late charge to pull away.

These teams did meet a few weeks ago in Arizona in what turned into a defensive struggle. The Cardinals covered in a 7-point win but needed a goal-line stand to do so. That came against Trey Lance. Jimmy Garoppolo brings a bit more juice as a passer and won’t have to worry about JJ Watt.

Titans At Rams

The Titans received some devastating news after Week 8. Superstar RB Derrick Henry will miss weeks if not months after breaking a bone in his foot. Henry has been a rock for the Titans, as productive and present as any player.

How much is a running back worth to the spread? All of the analytics and discourse in recent years around NFL football would tell you, “not much.”

We’ll now find out whether Henry is the exception. The team’s offense took off when they elevated Ryan Tannehill to the starting QB a couple of years ago. But, how much of his improved performance came due to his new ecosystem that included Henry?

Certainly, the Rams have done little to dispel market confidence recently, but they haven’t exactly faced a murderer’s row of opposition. A worrying matchup will see the threadbare Titans secondary try to cover Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.

One More NFL Week 9 Spread Move Of Note

GameLook-Ahead LineNov. 2, 6 p.m. ET
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans SaintsSaints -5Saints -6

This one is interesting because of how it differs from most market reactions following QB injuries. Most of the time, losing the starting quarterback will result in the market dinging the team in question several points. Superstar QBs causing the line to move as much as a TD isn’t unheard of.

However, following the loss of Jameis Winston to an ACL tear, the Saints saw their handicap increase this weekend against Atlanta.

Amazingly, replacement QB Trevor Siemian likely wouldn’t even be the top backup if everyone were healthy. Most likely, Taysom Hill would step in if he wasn’t on IR at the moment.

Nonetheless, Siemian did finish off the Bucs, so perhaps the market took some confidence from that.

NFL Week 9 Spreads, Movement Tracker

GameLook-Ahead LineNov. 2, 6 p.m. ETNov. 7, 10:15 a.m. ET
NY Jets at Indianapolis ColtsColts -14Colts -10.5 (-108)N/A
Houston Texans at Miami DolphinsDolphins -6.5Dolphins -6.5 (-114)Dolphins -5.5 (-105)
Denver Broncos at Dallas CowboysCowboys -7Cowboys -9.5 (-114)Cowboys -9.5 (-114)
Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore RavensRavens -5.5Ravens -5.5 (-106)Ravens -6 (-114)
New England Patriots at Carolina PanthersPatriots -2Patriots -4Patriots -3
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville JaguarsBills -11Bills -14.5 (-114)Bills -14.5 (-112)
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati BengalsBengals -2.5Bengals -2.5 (-118)Bengals -1.5 (-115)
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans SaintsSaints -5Saints -6Saints -7 (-105)
Las Vegas Raiders at NY GiantsRaiders -3Raiders -3 (-105)Raiders -3 (-105)
LA Chargers at Philadelphia EaglesChargers -3.5Chargers -1.5Chargers -1.5 (-105)
Green Bay Packers at Kansas City ChiefsChiefs -2.5Chiefs -1Chiefs -7 (-115)
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ersCardinals -3Cardinals -1 (-105)49ers -4
Tennessee Titans at LA RamsRams -4Rams -7.5Rams -7 (-115)
Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers -4.5Steelers -6.5Steelers -6.5 (-112)
Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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