Here are some week 9 NFL bets and after this week, we will have officially hit the halfway point of the year.
We are coming off the week of “the backups” where Mike White, Trevor Siemian, and Cooper Rush all picked up wins.
Week 8 was certainly weird but no need to overreact; context is important and we need to look at the entire picture.
Parity is an all-time high – four teams in the AFC have two losses while another four teams in the NFC only have one loss.
Week 9 is one of the more balanced and even slates. There are only two double digit point spreads and plenty of games within a field goal.
Let’s jump into it:
NFL Week 9 Best Bets
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Rams -6.5 Titans
I got this line on Monday when the news about Derrick Henry surfaced. The line has since moved to -7.5, which is an ugly number but I still feel decent the Rams cover here.
It’ll the first game where Von Miller plays for his new team – the Rams may just be the Super Bowl favorite and for good reason.
GM Les Snead has constructed the team in a way to pass the ball efficiently on offense while stopping the pass effectively on defense – a blueprint for team building in 2021.
Without Henry at the forefront, the Titans lackluster defense will be on the field for longer stretches against this high octane group.
Ryan Tannehill has proven to be competent but I’m not sure he’s ready for life after Henry. He’s grown to be dependent on play-action. AJ Brown is a bright spot for Tennessee’s perimeter but it’s nothing Jalen Ramsey can’t handle.
Rams should roll here.
Panthers-Patriots Under 43
This is another line that’s moved all the way down to 41.
News on Saturday made it official that Sam Darnold would get the nod after going through concussion protocol while Christian McCaffrey will make his return from the IR.
Darnold’s had a tale of two seasons – he started out 3-0 and the Panthers looked the part of an NFC contender. Since then they’ve gone 1-4. Over that span, Darnold is 27th in EPA (expected points added) per play and 31st in CPOE (completion % over expectation).
Up next? Darnold gets to go up against Bill Belichick – the same man who he saw ghosts against:
Darnold is 0-3 in his career against Belichick with a 49.3 completion % and 42.0 QB rating. Having CMC back should help, but coming off a soft tissue injury, I expect him to be pretty limited here.
On the other side, the Patriots offense has been coming along as of late. But this Panthers defense has been borderline elite. With Brian Burns and Haason Reddick leading the charge up front coupled with Stephon Gilmore getting his revenge game, the Panthers defense should be able to keep this one close.
AJ Dillon Over 35.5 rushing yards
Dillon has slowly gotten more work as the season’s gone along.
I expect this trend to continue – without Aaron Rodgers, expect Matt LaFleur to get more conservative and lean on his big bruiser, Dillon.
This is a guy who’s run for over 59 yards in three of his last five. Give me Dillon to smash this against KC’s porous run defense.
Mark Ingram Over 28.5 rushing yards
New Orleans newest addition should see an uptick in snap share.
In his Saints debut, he saw 29% of the snaps while logging 27 rushing yards against one of the best run defenses we’ve ever seen in Tampa Bay. Sean Payton knows he needs to keep his prized possession, Alvin Kamara, healthy – Ingram should see more action here.
Atlanta’s run defense has the appearance of a stingy run defense but if you look closer, they’ve gotten away with playing weaker offensive lines. When they’ve played elite run blocking OLs like Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, they’ve been handled.
With Siemian getting the start, expect Payton to lean on his ground game even more than usual. New Orleans still has an elite unit in the trenches and there’s potential for a positive game script here.
Jordan Love Over 8.5 rushing yards
Another Packers rushing prop here – with Chris Jones back in the iDL and Frank Clark improving at the EDGE, Love could be pressured a decent amount. And with pressure comes scrambles.
In Love’s first career start, there is potential for a negative script with plenty of passing in the second half. Expect a lot of 2nd and 3rd and longs where Love will resort to his legs. He isn’t a superior athlete but he definitely isn’t a statue either. Having run in the 4.7s, he’s a sneaky good athlete who should be able to clear this number with ease.
Tyler Conklin Over 32.5 receiving yards
I love Conklin in this spot. This is a really nice matchup against Baltimore.
The Ravens have always been a blitz-heavy team under DC Wink Martindale.
In 2021, they’ve allowed the most receiving yards to tight ends including monster games from CJ Uzomah, Mo Alie-Cox and Noah Fant. Expect Conklin to be a nice outlet to Kirk Cousins on certain plays today.
The Vikings have been a primarily 11 personnel team with Conklin logging 78% of the offensive snaps. The Vikings are one of the more balanced teams in football and do a great job setting up big plays down the field with their play action pass attack.
This may just take one big play. Hammer Conklin with this number here.
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