TheLines Staff NFL Week 9 Bets Grid
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Favorite Week 9 NFL Bets
Stephen Andress: Seahawks +2
I am contactually obligated to bet Seattle this week after I was the only member of our staff to move them into the top 10 of our NFL power rankings.
This line implies the Seahawks would be rated equally with the Cardinals on a neutral field, and I patently reject that. Seattle’s offense is accruing the sixth-most Yards Per Play (YPP). Arizona has generated the third-fewest YPP. Even with DeAndre Hopkins’ return making an impact, I have more confidence in Geno Smith than Kyler Murray.
That’s because Seattle defensive unit is blossoming. Over the last three weeks, facing off against Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert and Daniel Jones (Brian Daboll), it’s yielded the second-fewest YPP. Arizona’s defense is below league average both on the season and within the past three games in that department.
If you can’t get there betting the Seahawks straight up, teasing them up to +8 looks good here, too.
Eli Hershkovich: Commanders +3
Mo Nuwwarah: Vikings/Commanders Over 43.5
Usually, I’m not diving too deep into totals as they haven’t really been my strong suit (in any sport) over the years. However, this one between really stood out.
I don’t trust either one of these defenses to stop the opposing passing game. While Washington has quite a bit of talent up front, the secondary looks pretty deficient in terms of talent. Their coverage deficiencies are being masked by playing a weak slate of passing offenses, which you can see by their 28th-place ranking in pass defense DVOA.
My is that they put Kirk Cousins under a ton of pressure. As Eli wrote, Washington has notched the fourth-best pressure rate and may add Chase Young back into the mix.
I also like what Taylor Heinicke has brought to the table since Carson Wentz went down. Wentz seemed addicted to short passes to Curtis Samuel, while Heinicke seems much more willing to attack downfield and get Terry McLaurin involved. To wit, McLaurin averaged eight targets and 93 yards in Heinicke’s two starts after averaging 6.2 targets and 61.2 yards with Wentz.
Heinicke may not be a good quarterback, but he’s at least got the right idea and the right plan of attack. In fact, that aggression can work both ways for the over. He’s willing to attack downfield, and he may make some ugly mistakes that give Minnesota some short fields.
With a beautiful day in the forecast, I can’t see a compelling reason both teams can’t score 20+ here.
Brett Gibbons: Patriots -4.5 (-112)
FanDuel flashed what I deem to be on off-market number on Thursday afternoon. While other books remain steady at Patriots -5.5, the number at FanDuel hit -4.5 with only a two-cent shade in price. In terms of CLV, this was exciting enough to dive on.
The Colts have waived the white flag on their season. Yanking Matt Ryan in favor for Sam Ehlinger for the rest of the season.
Whether or not there were nefarious contract bonus-related reasons is a signal to the NFL that the Colts are done with 202. Now Ehlinger, on his second career NFL start, heads to Foxborough to face a defense notorious for making young QBs “see ghosts.”
Bill Belichick-orchestrated defenses also take away a team’s primary option, which in this case is Jonathan Taylor. He’s once again missing practice with the nagging ankle injury. Even if he plays Sunday, it’s likely not at 100%.
The Colts offense has been dreadful this season, headlined by a terrible offensive line. They’re dead-last in Offensive DVOA while accumulating the second-worst turnover margin. They also rank No. 28 in pressure rate allowed.
On the other side, the Patriots are second in pressure rate, led by Matthew Judon. He leads the NFL with 8.5 sacks and he lines up across from either Matt Pryor (136th out of 140-grade offensive linemen by PFF) or Dennis Kelly (66th out of 78 graded tackles).
It’s going to be a rough weekend for Ehlinger and the Colts. Patriots -4.5 is just the tip of the iceberg in what I’m considering in this game.
Evan Scrimshaw: Seahawks +2
The Cardinals being favored in this game is a steep price, based on what we’ve seen so far this year. The Cardinals are 26th in Offensive DVOA and 27th by PFF’s gradings, but they’re being priced like an elite unit for reasons unknown. Kyler’s been downright bad this season – 23rd by EPA/Play – while Geno Smith is seventh by the same metric.
On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals pass D is abysmal – 23rd by DVOA and 31st by PFF – while the Seahawks have been great through the air. Geno Smith is fourth by the EPA/Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE) composite, the Seahawks are fourth in Pass Offense DVOA and fifth by PFF. The Seahawks should easily put up enough points to be competitive. Their defense, while nothing special, is 11th by DVOA and second in Early Down Successes Rate.
The Seahawks are underdogs because nobody actually believes Geno Smith is this good. That was fair enough for the first few weeks, but the Seahawks aren’t who we thought they were, and pretending they still are is the triumph of bias over facts at this point.
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