We are over halfway now through the NFL season and the trade deadline has passed. Teams are now positioning themselves either for the playoffs or the NFL Draft. Last week ended a few yards away from a successful week in my picks, so now we will regroup and turn last week’s 1-3 to a 4-0 this week! Here are my four best bets of Week 9. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Wednesday.
Cleveland (-3) @ Denver O/U 43 4:25PM Sports Authority Field at Mile High
The Cleveland Browns, who have been humbled in the first half of the season, bring their 2-6 record into Denver this week to take on the Broncos. Brady and the Patriots put on a clinic Sunday against the Browns with three quick Browns turnovers. At that point, there was no looking back. The Browns may have found their workhorse with Nick Chubb rushing for 738 yards and 6 touchdowns this season. The problem for the Browns is that the passing game is so out of sync that the offense is getting behind in games, and the Browns must abandon the run game earlier than they would like. When I look at the Browns schedule, this is the “get right” game that the Browns need as the 2nd half of the season starts.
Denver comes into this game off a heartbreak loss to the Colts in Indianapolis. Denver controlled this game for fifty-eight of the sixty minutes before a Jacoby Brissett scramble and chuck to T.Y. Hilton set up the Colts for the eventual game winning field goal. To make matters worse, quarterback Joe Flacco called out his coach saying, “We are a 2-6 football team and we are scared to go for it in a two-minute drill… it kind of feels like we are afraid to lose the game.” It was announced on Monday that QB Joe Flacco is OUT this week with a neck injury, so backup QB Brandon Allen will likely get his first NFL start this Sunday.
With all that, I believe the Browns will get back into the win column Sunday with the help of Myles Garrett and their defense wreaking havoc in the Broncos backfield. Baker and the passing game will start clicking and Odell Beckem Jr. will get back in the endzone in this game. With the mix of pass and run, I see the Browns opening up holes in the Broncos defense. Be wary however of Von Miller, who will be chasing after Baker all afternoon. This game opened up as Broncos (-1) before the new of Flacco being out. Since then, it’s moved to Browns -3, which I can see move up to 4 or 4.5 by Sunday. To note, 71% of the public has sided with the sharps and Browns in this game.
Cleveland is 2-5 ATS this season, while the Broncos are 4-4 ATS.
My Pick: I like the Browns getting back on track this game and covering the -3 if you get it early enough.
Colts @ Steelers (-1) O/U 43 1PM Heinz Field
This game intrigues me more than most. Yes, it may be easier to cover and pick this game due to the fact that the Steelers are my team and I live in Indianapolis, but I see an opportunity for bettors to jump on this game and win some money.
The Colts come into the game leading the AFC South and all the confidence in the world behind a comfortable Jacoby Brissett. Brissett has thrown for 1,590 yards and 14 touchdowns while limiting his turnovers at 3 interceptions. As I mentioned in the previous preview, the Colts came back and defeated the Broncos Sunday to improve to 5-2 this season. The Colts travel to Pittsburgh Sunday where history hasn’t been on their side. The Colts have been outscored 97-17 in the past two games in Pittsburgh. To be fair, that was with the “Killer B’s” of Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown, and this Sunday none of those faces will be on the field. The Colts are 4-2-1 against the spread this season and this game opened as a pick’em before moving to Pittsburgh early Tuesday.
Pittsburgh comes into the game off a win against the winless Dolphins, which wasn’t easy as the Steelers trailed 14-3 late in the second quarter. Pittsburgh got their offense running and forced 3 Dolphin turnovers to take a commanding lead and defeat Miami. The Steelers have backup QB Mason Rudolph getting back to form after being out with a concussion for a couple weeks, which showed early in Monday’s game. Running Back James Conner is questionable after an AC joint sprain late in the game, so it could be a challenge for the Steelers in the running game against a stingy Colts defense.
Pittsburgh is 3-1-1 ATS, while the Colts are 4-2-1 ATS.
My Pick: I think the Colts continue to get haunted (see what I did there…Happy Halloween) in Pittsburgh and lose a close game 27-23. Pittsburgh does just enough to keep pace with the Ravens in the AFC North and cover the spread.
Patriots @ Ravens (+3.5) O/U 45 M&T Bank Stadium (Sunday Night Football)
The marquee game of the week is in Baltimore this week as the undefeated 8-0 Patriots travel to take on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Both of these teams will likely meet again in January on the road to the Super Bowl, so having this mid-season matchup is what the fans love.
This is a prime spot for the Ravens who are coming off a much-needed bye week before facing the undefeated Patriots. The Ravens’ John Harbaugh has been one of the most profitable coaches against the spread during his time in Baltimore. The Patriots are currently the best team in the NFL and have shown it week after week, BUT the Patriots have had a relatively soft schedule to date. The Patriots defense has scored 4 touchdowns which is equivalent to how many they have given up this season as well.
The Patriots didn’t play the cleanest game against the Browns last Sunday, but still easily finished off the Browns. The Patriots allowed the Browns 310 yards and a 5.3 average yards per play compared to their own 318 yards and 4.8 yards per play. The Patriots have shown cracks this season. Lamar Jackson has played like an MVP candidate in the first half of this season and will look to continue the trend Sunday night on a national telecast. Mark Ingram has balanced out this offense and given Jackson’s legs a rest when he’s not scrambling for 15 or 20 yards.
New England opened as a 4 or 4.5 point favorite at most books across the market, but the number now has dropped to 3.5 at the time of this writing. Patriots are 6-2 ATS while the Ravens are 2-4-1 ATS.
My Pick: I like the Ravens +3.5 at home under the lights in this game. New England will likely win, but I can see the Ravens covering the 3.5 thanks to the hook. I’m sure that Bill Belechick will have a game plan to combat Lamar Jackson, but I trust the Ravens to cover, and hell…. they could even win this game since the Patriots have struggled in M&T Bank Stadium in the past.
BONUS: I would even sprinkle some of the moneyline on this for the Ravens +155 to win straight up.
Cowboys (-7) @ Giants O/U 48 MetLife Stadium (Monday Night Football)
One of the greatest rivalries in the NFL takes place on center stage Monday night with the Cowboys traveling to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Football Giants. Judging on history, the Cowboys should be a lock-in this game when playing a divisional opponent. The Cowboys have gone 10-1 ATS against NFC East opponents! This includes five straight wins and five straight covers against the Giants.
Bettors against the Giants at home have made money over the past couple years with the Giants going 2-9-1 ATS.
My Pick: Rivalries are always good and I can see the Giants keeping this thing close, but the Cowboys have the better team and I don’t trust a rookie QB in Daniel Jones in a primetime spot. I’ll take the history and the Cowboys -7 in this one.
This is our “get back” week and hopefully we cash! As always, good luck and happy betting!
RECAP: Browns -3, Steelers -1, Ravens +3.5, Cowboys -7
Season: 1-3 , -2.7 Units
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