Some weeks of the NFL season are just weird. Bettors learned that the hard way in Week 8 of the 2021 season.
Odds are that few gamblers anticipated that the Jets and Mike White would cover a 10.5-point spread against the Bengals. Even fewer expected that they would actually win.
The same can be said about the Saints, who upset the Buccaneers at home despite losing Jameis Winston to a torn ACL. Bettors who live bet that one after seeing Trevor Siemian come onto the field can’t have been happy about that result.
And, of course, how about those that bet the Cardinals moneyline or Cardinals (-3.5) before Davante Adams was declared out? A.J. Green had a chance to win the game for Arizona but inexplicably stopped in the middle of his route. That allowed Rasul Douglas to grab a game-sealing interception with seconds left on the clock in a Packers win.
Yes, NFL Week 8 was certainly weird; but hey, that’ll happen during the NFL season. It’s important not to overreact too much to those closely-contested games. You still have to look at the full resume of a team before deciding to roll with them or fade them, especially as the midpoint of the season arrives.
The Week 9 slate is one of the most balanced ones bettors have seen in weeks. There are only two games that opened as double-digit spreads compared to four in each of the previous two weeks. That makes it easier for gamblers to find some line value, as they don’t need multiple scores in as many games.
Injuries are also playing a key role in some of these games. We’re still waiting to see whether Kyler Murray suits up for the Cardinals after suffering an ankle injury last Thursday. We’re also going to get our first look at the Titans without Derrick Henry available against a formidable Rams defense. So, while the spreads in those games might normally look skewed, it’s because of those injuries.
Knowing all of the latest injury news and trends will continue to be critical to bettors. That’s especially true during bye week season when some teams will be better rested than others.
For more expert NFL predictions, check out Sporting News’ picks straight up and against the spread for Week 9.
WEEK 9 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
NFL odds for Week 9
Below are the latest Week 9 NFL odds, including point spreads, money lines and over-under totals for every game, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Last updated: Wednesday, Nov. 3.
NFL point spreads Week 9
|New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts||IND -10.5|
|Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins||MIA -6.5|
|Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys||DAL -10|
|Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens||BAL -5.5|
|New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers||NE -4|
|Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars||BUF -14.5|
|Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals||CIN -2.5|
|Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints||NO -6|
|Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants||LV -3|
|Los Angeles Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles||LAC -1.5|
|Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs||KC -7.5|
|Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers||ARI -1|
|Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Rams||LAR -7.5|
|Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -6.5|
NFL money lines Week 9
|New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts||IND -560|
|Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins||MIA -290|
|Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys||DAL -450|
|Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens||BAL -230|
|New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers||NE -194|
|Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars||BUF -1100|
|Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals||CIN -152|
|Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints||NO -260|
|Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants||LV -168|
|Los Angeles Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles||LAC -122|
|Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs||KC -350|
|Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers||ARI -118|
|Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Rams||LAR -360|
|Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -290|
NFL over-unders Week 9
|New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts||46.5|
|Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins||46|
|Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys||49.5|
|Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens||49.5|
|New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers||41|
|Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars||48.5|
|Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals||47|
|Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints||42.5|
|Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants||47|
|Los Angeles Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles||50|
|Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs||47.5|
|Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers||45.5|
|Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Rams||53.5|
|Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers||40|
WEEK 9 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
NFL best bets for Week 9
Rams (-7.5) vs. Titans
A 7.5-point spread is an ugly number, but the Rams should have a chance to win this one big because of Derrick Henry’s injury, which figures to loom large for the Titans. After all, he had accounted for nearly 80 percent of Tennessee’s rushing yards and out-carried all other Titans running backs 219 to 11 before suffering a broken foot.
But just how much of an impact will it make? It’s hard to know exactly, considering that he’s missed just one game since becoming the full-time starter in 2019. That said, if you look at the Titans’ performance when Henry hasn’t been effective, it paints a bleak picture for Tennessee.
Since 2019, the Titans have posted a 4-8 record in games where Henry doesn’t run for at least 80 yards. That includes the 38-28 loss they suffered against the Saints in 2019 when Henry sat out with an injury.
It would be one thing to trust the Titans if they had a capable replacement for Henry, but their backfield is in flux. Journeyman Jeremy McNichols and 36-year-old Adrian Peterson figure to be the leaders of the new-look backfield, but both pale in comparison to Henry, who is the NFL’s best running back when healthy.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that they’re taking on a Rams defense that ranks 11th against the run this year (103.4 yards allowed per game) and just added three-time All-Pro Von Miller to their defense? The Rams should have a good chance to render the Titans’ rushing offense rudderless.
Remember what happened last time a good NFC West team did that to the Titans? Henry had a season-low 58 rushing yards and the Titans were crushed 38-13 in Week 1 against the Cardinals.
Ryan Tannehill may be asked to do too much again versus the Rams. He has proven doubters wrong before, but I’m certainly not willing to trust him without Henry at his disposal.
Texans (+6.5) at Dolphins
I know, I know. The Texans have been absolutely terrible this year since they demolished Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence in their Jaguars debuts. Houston has been outscored 220-82 during its seven-game losing streak since then, and there’s nothing worse than betting on a bad team to cover the spread.
But ask yourself this: are the Texans really that much worse than the Dolphins? If you asked anyone this question a couple of months ago, they’d probably look at you like you’re insane. That said, the Dolphins have not lived up to expectations at all this season and frankly, they’re lucky they’re not winless.
The Dolphins, like the Texans, have also lost seven consecutive games since a Week 1 win. The Dolphins victory was of a cheaper variety, however, as the Patriots and Damien Harris fumbled a ball in field goal range to seal a 17-16 win for the Dolphins. Miami did well to make the play, but they were very close to losing — much closer than the Texans were to losing against the Jaguars.
Despite their nearly winless record, the Dolphins have hardly been heavy favorites — or favorites at all — in games this year. But they’re favored by more than a touchdown in this one. It just doesn’t make sense, given that they lost to the two teams on their schedule most similar to the Texans, the Jaguars and Falcons.
It’s also worth mentioning that Tyrod Taylor could return from IR this week for the Texans. He played great in the Texans’ first game and a half of the season and kept them competitive against the Jaguars and Browns. If he plays, he will give the Texans a chance to win outright against the Dolphins, as their offense has been much better with Taylor at the helm.
|Texans offense||Points per quarter|
|With Tyrod Taylor||8.5|
|Without Tyrod Taylor||2.6|
There’s just no reason to bet a bad team like the Dolphins as more than a TD favorite. Maybe Tua Tagovailoa will have a great game, but even if he does, the porous Dolphins defense will let Taylor keep it close, much like Miami allowed Matt Ryan and the Falcons to do just a couple of weeks ago.
Packers (+7.5) at Chiefs
I think it’s fair to say that the Chiefs should be faded until they are able to show some sort of punch and energy on both sides of the ball. For the entire first half of the season, they’ve just been… off. They haven’t played well on defense while Patrick Mahomes and the offense are seemingly taking a step back every week.
MORE: Patrick Mahomes explains issues plaguing Chiefs in 2021
The Chiefs should be able to snap out of their funk soon, but do you really want to rely on them to do that against the Packers? I know that Jordan Love is starting for the Packers, but should the Chiefs really be favored by more than a TD over a Packers team that’s pretty good?
This just seems like a bad spot for the Chiefs. They are coming off short rest and are playing one of the best teams in the NFL. And we’ve seen good NFL teams succeed with their backup quarterbacks this year. Just look at what Cooper Rush and Trevor Siemian were able to do for the Cowboys and Saints last week.
Besides, Matt LaFleur has the Packers playing really well right now. Granted, there was nothing too impressive about their win over the Cardinals — they dinked and dunked most of the game and were lucky A.J. Green froze up like a disconnected Madden controller on Arizona’s last play of the game — but it marked seven straight wins for the Packers and another victory against the spread for the team.
LaFleur has been elite against the spread since taking over as the Packers’ head coach. They are 29-15 ATS under his watch, good for a 65.9 percent cover rate. That’s the best mark in the NFL during that time. They are also 7-3 as underdogs under LaFleur.
Conversely, the Chiefs are just 23-22-1 ATS in that same span and have posted a 10-17 ATS mark since 2020. That cover percentage of 37 is second-worst in the NFL to only the Jets.
One of these days, the Chiefs are going to make those that fade them look foolish. Mahomes and the offense will snap out of their funk, block well, avoid turnovers and penalties en route to a dominant win. But this doesn’t seem like the time for that. Their defense will allow Love to move the ball enough to cover a touchdown-plus spread.
And who’s to say that Love can’t do what Rush and Mike White did last week? He was a first-round pick, after all, so the talent is there. It’s just a matter of whether he’s ready to succeed at the pro level or not.