Welcome to the Week 9 edition of Beating the Spread. I’ll be filling in for Jeff Berckes for a few weeks, though he will still be contributing his picks.
The following lines were captured on Wednesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.
Week 9 betting lines:
|Date||Away Team||Home Team||Line||O/U|
|Thursday, October 31||SF||Ari||SF -7||43|
|Sunday, November 3||Hou||Jax||Hou -3||47|
|Monday, November 4||Dal||NYG||Dal -9||47|
|Analyst||Jeff Berckes||Erik Smith||Tom Schweitzer|
|Pick #1||MIN +3.5||CLE +1||JAX +3|
|Pick #2||PHI -3||PHI -3||PIT Pick|
|Pick #3||SEA -5.5||NYG +9||OAK Pick|
|Pick #4||BAL +6.5||HOU/JAX over 47||LAC +4|
|Pick #5||NYJ/MIA Over 41||BAL +6.5||NYG +9|
Jeff Berckes: I could use a big week. Let’s start with a road dog. I know Kansas City played well against Green Bay last week, but the Vikings defense is going to benefit greatly from the film that Matt Moore gave them. The Vikings are on a roll, I’d be willing to bet the money line so I’ll happily take MIN +3.5. As much as it pains me, I don’t like how the Bears match up against the Eagles. They’re simply not playing well enough to take advantage of the Eagles secondary. The Eagles finally woke up last week and I have to wonder if they’re ready to go on a run (PHI -3). While the Seahawks haven’t been as dominant at home as they were years ago, I’m surprised they’re only laying 5.5 on a mercurial Bucs team that has to fly across the country. Give me SEA -5.5. The game of the week is in Baltimore who is getting 6.5 against the mighty Patriots. I’ve made no secret that I love the Ravens this year and I think they can make a real game of it here with a small chance of winning outright. Lamar Jackson can start to grow his legend here (BAL +6.5). Finally, I could see some points being put up in that Jets – Dolphins game and was surprised to see the line at a lean 41. Two bad teams squaring off, regularly giving up 30 points per game. That’s good enough for me to close out the week (NYJ-MIA over 41).
Erik Smith: I know the Browns are a mess, but getting them as an underdog to a 6th round rookie quarterback from the 2016 draft just feels like a no-brainer. Brandon Allen has no career NFL snaps and is just a placeholder until Drew Lock returns from IR. Signed on September 1st by the Broncos, Allen isn’t even one of those bad backups that have mastered their offense. If the Browns can’t figure out how to win this one, regardless of how talented the Denver defense is, it is time to make some major changes (CLE +1). This Bears versus Eagles game is a bad matchup for Chicago. The way to beat the Eagles defense is through the air, and in case you haven’t heard Mitchell Trubisky isn’t playing well. I expect the Bears to run headfirst into the Eagles strength on defense while trying to establish David Montgomery, giving the Eagles several drives to jump out to a lead. Once Trubisky is playing from behind, the floodgates may open. Getting DeSean Jackson would add some much-needed speed to this Eagles offense, and Miles Sanders is making big plays most weeks. PHI -3 is the pick. I understand that the Giants aren’t a good team, and Daniel Jones has been up and down, but giving the Cowboys nine points in a road divisional game just seems extreme. The Giants hung in there on the road in Detroit last week, and I expect them to do the same this week, even if it happens on a late backdoor cover. NYG +9. With the loss of J.J. Watt and a banged-up secondary, I think this Texans defense is on the verge of collapse. We all know how dangerous Deshaun Watson is, so if Gardner Minshew can get the ball to his playmakers I think we have a shootout on our hands. I’ll take HOU/JAX over 47 points scored. Finally, I think the Ravens find a way to defend their home turf to keep the game within a field goal. This will be an interesting test, as the Patriots defense has been otherworldly but has also faced an all-time easy schedule. Baltimore’s secondary is getting healthy, and whether this game ends up being low-scoring or a shootout, I think the Ravens can adapt to keep it close at home. Give me the points, BAL +6.5.
Tom Schweitzer: The Jaguars were a 2-point conversion away from beating the Texans in week 2, in which case I think the Jaguars might be a favorite in London this weekend. That week 2 game was Gardner Minshew’s first start. He’s shown continuous improvement since then, the Texans are now without J.J. Watt, and the Jags have a slight advantage playing in their home-away-from-home. I think we see a Jaguars (+3) victory. The Steelers have four losses, but they’re all losses to likely playoff teams (NE, SEA, SF, BAL). They still nearly beat Seattle despite losing Big Ben mid-game and they played the 49ers closer than anyone else this year. I think they’re about even with the Colts, mostly because their defense is sneaky good, which means this line should be closer to Steelers -3 than Steelers pick. The Raiders (pick) are much better than their record shows and are finally getting healthy on offense, just in time to take advantage of a Lions secondary that just traded away their best safety and maybe without their best corner due to injury. If you’re feeling dangerous, parlay the Raiders with the over because I think the Lions will be able to move the ball too. Another team getting healthier is the Chargers (+4), who finally got Russell Okung and Melvin Ingram back in the lineup last week. If Matt Moore and the Chiefs can play toe-to-toe with the Packers, I think the Chargers can too. I expect a Green Bay win, but Chargers cover. Last up, I think Dallas has shown that they can’t be trusted as a road favorite. They’ve lost outright as road favorites twice and were lucky to cover on the road against the Redkins. The Giants (+9) are a bad team, but they’ve got enough playmakers on offense to keep this game close.
What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)