NFL Betting Odds: Week 9 Line Movements and Last-Minute News
We are essentially at the half-way stage of the NFL season, and we've been subjected to all kinds of football teams. We have our terrible teams like the Dolphins, Redskins, Bengals and Jets, who are in a neck-and-neck race for the first overall pick. We have two undefeated teams in the Patriots and 49ers and then we have the rest of the league, which is a complete crap shoot on any given week. As for the product, penalties are up, pass interference challenges are a waste of time, and we are still stuck with the same five commercials during a prime-time broadcast.
But the main storyline at the halfway stage has to be injuries. We've seen just about every team lose a vital cog to their team, including but not limited to Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Tyreek Hill, J.J. Watt, Nick Foles, Cam Newton, Kerryon Johnson, and Davante Adams. That's a pretty talented list of professional football players that are missing or have missed significant time.
Here's to hoping that the back half of the season goes smoothly and that no team's playoff - or Super Bowl - hopes are dashed by injuries.
As always, here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 9.
Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars +1.5, 46.5 : For starters, this game is taking place at Wembley Stadium in London. For Houston, they come into this game on the heels of a 27-24 win against Oakland. In that game, they lost J.J. Watt once again to a torn pec and that will be a major hit to the defense. The Jags come into this game off two straight wins, albeit against the lowly Jets and Bengals. Minshew-Mania has cooled off a bit, but from what we understand this is still his team even when Foles is healthy enough to play again. This line opened up as Texans -3 and has been quickly bet down to Texans -1.5 , and we believe that move is justified. The last time these two teams hooked up was in Week 2 (Minshew's first start) and the Jags gave the Texans all they could handle only to lose 13-12. We don't see the Texans being able to get separation in this game and believe Jacksonville has the defense in place to contain Watson. From a totals perspective, this line has dropped half-point to 46.5, and we like the under to hit in this spot.
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos +3.5, 39: This game has been one of the biggest movers on the board as the Broncos opened up as a one-point favorite before the Joe Flacco injury news broke. Since then, the point spread has jumped the fence, and the Browns are now sitting as 3.5 point favorites. Full disclosure - I liked the Browns far before the Flacco news broke, so this move is warranted. Sooner or later, the Browns are going to put together a full 60-minute performance. Denver will have to rely on Brandon Allen (sixth-round pick in 2016 out of Arkansas) to navigate the pressure of making his first NFL start against a defense that ranks among the top-10 in passing defense and third-down conversation stops. As for the total, this game opened up at 43 but has since been bet down to 39, which is surprisingly now the lowest total on the board this week.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins +3, 42.5: At what point do we get to stop talking about the Jets and the Dolphins ? I mean it's a complete waste of time, but these are two teams who just bring intrigue to every game they play. The Dolphins suck and are tanking - we get that, but they've covered the spread in three straight games (good teams win, great teams cover). The Jets opened up as 6.5-point favorites but have been quickly bet down to three-point favorites. There's nothing really to like about the Jets game as they've been outscored 62-15 in their last two losses. The total intrigues me the most as it's been bet up from 41 to 42.5. And, quite frankly, we don't see why. Both offenses are terrible. And with both teams almost actively trying to lose, why would we be bank on offensive competency to help us win a bet? Both teams will try to run the football, and as such the clock will keep ticking.
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens +3.5, 45: Stepping in front of the freight train that is the New England Patriots is always a recipe for disaster. But at some point, the freight train is bound to lose some momentum, and no better place to do it than Baltimore, where offensive production goes to die. Look, this spread opened up as Patriots -6.5 but has been bet down to Patriots -3.5 as almost the entire sharp community is riding the Ravens and their possession-based offense. When you think about it, it does make sense. The Ravens have the personnel in place to run the football effectively and limit Tom Brady's time on the field to make big plays. We know the Patriots defense has scored a bunch of touchdowns, but the law of averages says they have to regress at some point during the season. Add the fact that Lamar Jackson doesn't throw the ball all that often, and the Ravens have had an extra week to prep for the Patriots, and we think the Ravens are a live dog in this one. As for the total, it's dropped a point-and-a-half to 45.
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