We are starting to hit the point of the season where the frauds (Falcons, Browns) have exposed themselves, and the real teams (Patriots, 49ers) are distancing themselves from the rest of the NFL pack. That should make betting on the NFL easier, but actually this is some of the toughest betting times you will see all season. The issue is that we are in the middle of bye weeks, teams are losing players to injury, with injury reports getting sketchier and more prone to game time decisions. Also, some teams are just hitting walls and are more willing to scratch out games and get out in one piece.
A perfect example of this was the Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders game last week. I picked the Texans giving seven points at home. The Texans squeezed out a three point victory (I did go 4-2 on the week last week). Deshaun Watson had a good game, throwing for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns. After the JJ Watt injury, though, the team looked ready just to get out of there with a victory. The Texans are obviously playing for a division title, but in a broader sense in the weak AFC, they are just playing to survive. The Raiders were playing to win and threw what they had at Houston. Sometimes, these things are impossible to predict. The best you can do is try to mitigate the circumstances, and make the best bet possible. Lets look at my five best bets in Week 9. [Editor’s Note: Brandon did go 3-2 last week, so if you took his NFL betting advice you made money]
As always, before we get going, always remember to never bet more than you can afford to lose. If you can only afford to bet five dollars this week, then only bet five dollars. Never go in debt, and never get yourself in trouble over gambling. If you think you have a problem, then step away. It’s easier to walk away than to be dragged away.
Sure Thing NFL Bets for Week 9
Indianapolis Colts (+1) at Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m beginning to feel like the Colts are going to be perpetually disrespected in the rankings. So far this season, the Steelers have beaten the Bengals, Chargers, and Dolphins. Those teams have a combined three wins, all of which belong to the Chargers. The Colts already have wins against the Texans and Chiefs in their back pocket this season.
The Steelers might be able to lay claim to a fearsome defensive line, but the Colts offensive line keeps Jacoby Brissett clean. He has only been sacked 11 times this season in seven games, albeit four coming against the Broncos last week. With only three interceptions on the season, Brissett isn’t doing things that would make you believe he is going to make a big mistake. The Steelers thrive on turnovers, and if the Colts don’t give them up, then the Steelers might be hard pressed to move the ball.
When in doubt, just take the better team. With the line sitting at Colts getting a point, just take the Colts straight up, or against the spread, whichever provides better odds.
New England Patriots (-4) at Baltimore Ravens
A lot of people are throwing out the upset potential of the Ravens this week. That needs to settle down a bit. Even though the Patriots have played the equivalent of a Mountain West Conference schedule so far this season, they are only giving up 7.6 points per game, ahead of the pace of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. They are also fourth in the NFL against the run so far this season.
Here is the thing: at the end of the day, would you rather try to be the smartest person in the room, or would you rather make money? I can assure you that Bill Belichick is the smartest man in any room he walks into, and he will have a plan for Lamar Jackson come Sunday. As I say at least once a week, don’t overthink it, take the Patriots giving the points.
Green Bay Packers (-4) at Los Angeles Chargers
Did I miss something? When did everyone up and decide the Packers weren’t a good team? If this spread was nine points, I wouldn’t blink an eye at it. Holy hell, the Chargers just barely beat an imploding Bears team last week, and they have zero home field advantage because they no longer have any fans. Take the Packers giving points and put it into every parlay you can.
Beyond that, it’s almost to the point where we need to appreciate Aaron Rodgers while also wondering how badly he was being held back by noted apple-cheeked goon Mike McCarthy. Rodgers is gaining comfort in this offense and appears ready to make another deep playoff run. This could have just been happening every year if the Packers weren’t completely allergic to free agency and firing coaches for the past decade.
Houston Texans (-1.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars in London
So, remember earlier how I said the Texans were just trying to survive against the Raiders last week? That is doubly so this week. Not only is this a London game, it’s a London early game. These games have two things in common: they are incredibly sloppy and they are played closely.
It’s a shame the English crowd never gets to see teams like the Patriots or at least fun, watchable teams like the Chiefs. If they ever move a team to England, you know they are gonna end up sending a team like the Titans there to create maximum mediocrity so the team can end up more irrelevant than every team playing in Los Angeles currently.
You know who believes in thriving over surviving? GARDNER MINSHEW, BAABBAAYYY!! I actually think we are going to see a relatively high scoring game as the Texans defense gets more patchwork by the week, and the Jaguars defense, much like the rest of the NFL, not really having an answer for Deshaun Watson.
In the end, i’m gonna gamble on magic here, and take Minshew and the Jaguars in Wembley Stadium getting a point and a half.
Dallas Cowboys (-7.5) at New York Giants
The Cowboys are a fraud of a football team, but the Giants can’t stop anyone. They made Matt Stafford look like Peyton Manning. What a dumpy Monday Night Football game. In fact, this is a pretty rough gambling week. It gets like that when bad teams play each other, and you can’t just up and bet against the Falcons.
I’ll take the Cowboys giving points, but won’t feel particularly good about it.
Every week, Brandon releases his NFL Power Rankings at Fancy Boys Club
You can also catch him on Twitter @theBman