We had the Green Bay Packers as a moneyline pick last week at over three-to-one and they nearly pulled off one of the upsets of the year. Close doesn’t count in the world of moneylines and NFL betting, though. Nonetheless, let’s see if we can find some winners for Week 9.
The New Orleans Saints are a good football team, but one thing concerns me about betting them this week: their strength of schedule.
When you start to take a look back at who the Saints have defeated, they really don’t have many wins over teams with a winning record. They beat Cleveland and Atlanta, two teams who have looked worse as the season progressed.
The same can be said for the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens. And while the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings have records above .500, both teams are viewed with an air of skepticism.
I’m more inclined to take a shot with the Rams in this spot. They’ve been impressive almost every week except for their road trip to Denver (won 23-20). They are virtually unstoppable on offense and that has to be a concern as they come to play indoors on the Saints fast turf.
The Saints are just 13-14 in their last 27 as a home dog of three or less, and I’m looking for the Rams to add to the negative side of that trend. Bet the Rams -121 with Karamba.
The Lions looked very unprepared against the Seattle Seahawks this past weekend and what’s concerning is a number of those issues could carry over. Notably, the Lions run defense has been nothing short of pathetic this year, giving up 5.1 yards per carry (30th) and 144.6 rushing yards per game (31st).
It’s hard to see the Vikings losing at home if they are able to run the ball and have a balanced offensive effort.
On top of that, the Lions running game really struggled last week, as Kerryon Johnson compiled a total of 22 yards. The Lions have won all three games that he’s had at least 70 rushing yards and lost every time he’s had less.
There’s good reason to think he’ll struggle this week as the Vikings have the league’s fifth-best run defense, allowing just 91.8 rushing yards per game. Take the Vikings -240 with 888Sport.
The Jets and Dolphins are both volatile teams, and so with the Dolphins having already beaten the Jets in New York, it is reasonable to think that the Jets could even the score here in South Florida.
What is also worth citing here in favor of the Jets is that their scoring defense is ranked 19th in the NFL while Miami’s is 27th. The Jets scoring offense is also above Miami’s, 19th compared to 22nd.
These are evenly-matched teams, and the Dolphins are banged up along their offensive line and at a number of other key positions. They’re without quarterback Ryan Tannehill and their top two receivers (Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills).
Miami is a team that’s fallen apart, losing four of their last five games. They have allowed at least 27 points in five straight contests. The Jets – especially with a rookie quarterback – are a dicey bet on the road but this looks like a good spot. Take the Jets +125 with Karamba.
The Falcons are back off of their bye week and they could end up being a handful for the Redskins. Washington isn’t a team that plays well in offensive shootouts and if the Falcons drag it into one, this could be a problem for the Redskins.
One reason to think that could happen is that the Falcons have an excellent passing game. While the Redskins defense ranks well in a lot of categories, the pass defense is the weakness. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 66.3% of their passes (22nd). While the Redskins have 21 sacks on the season, keep in mind that 15 of them came in three games.
Washington has won every game this season when they’ve held their opponent to 17 points or less but they’ve lost the other games when their opponents got above that number. Taking a look at the Falcons, they have scored at least 23 points in five of their last six games.
Look for them to score above that magic mark again and earn the win. Bet Atlanta +108 with 888Sport.
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