Road to 272 Bets - NFL Week 9 Picks for Every Game

BetSided's Iain MacMillan breaks down his best bet for every NFL game in Week 9.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws as he   s pressured by Cincinnati Bengals defensive
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws as he s pressured by Cincinnati Bengals defensive / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

When Week 9 is in the books, we'll officially be halfway through the NFL season. We have to make the most of every week because we're going to blink and the season's going to be over.

If you don't already know, I bet on all 272 NFL regular season games. In Week 8, we went 8-8 (-0.19 units) which brings my season-to-date record to 62-58-2 (+1.3 units).

If you want to know the rules I'm following for this, I broke them down in the Week 1 edition of this article. Also, you can look back at my full record so far this season over at Betstamp.

One of the best ways to help out your chances of being profitable when you bet on the NFL is to have an account at as many different sportsbooks as possible to make sure you get the best odds you can. That's why I recommend opening an account at Caesars Sportsbook.

If you click the link below to sign up for an account, you'll get your first wager on Caesars, up to $1,000!

There are four teams on a bye this week, so we have 14 games to bet on. The teams on a bye are as follows:

  • Denver Broncos
  • Detroit Lions
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • San Francisco 49ers

NFL Week 9 Best Bets for Every Game

Titans +3 (-115) at Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to be one of the most tough teams to handicap. You don't know when they're going to decide to show up and it seems like it doesn't matter who their opponent is, they're going to play them tough.

With that being said, I have to trust the numbers and the numbers say they aren't a good football team. They're 28th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play this season at -1 with only the Panthers, Bengals, and Giants ranking worse. The Titans rank 21st in that stat at -0.2.

The Steelers' biggest weakness, especially on defense, has been their inability to stop the run. They rank 27th in opponent yards per carry, allowing 4.5 yards per rush. A lot of their success on defense comes from forcing turnovers, but 2.1 takeaways per game isn't sustainable.

It's hard to evaluate Will Levis after just one game, but if he looks anything like he did against the Falcons, there's no world in which this Titans team should be set as underdogs. I'll gladly take the three points.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs UNDER 51 (-110)

I know it's a boring bet to place in a game between two of the most fun and exciting offenses to watch in the NFL, but I think it's the move.

The Chiefs secondary has been one of the best in the league this season. They're allowing just 5.5 yards per pass attempt and they're second in opponent dropback success rate and third in opponent EPA per dropback. Now, the counter point is they've been bad when it comes to stopping the run, but even if the Dolphins decide to turn to the run game, that's going to keep the run going and limit their explosive plays.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs offense undeniably has some issues. They're scoring 23.4 points per game and just 19.7 points per game over their last three, with two of those contests coming against a bad Broncos defense. We shouldn't continue to evaluate this team like they're the same offense they have been the past number of years.

I don't think this is going to be the offensive shootout a lot of people may expect. With the total in the 50s, I'll take the UNDER.

Rams +3 (+100) at Packers

I'm going to hope that Matthew Stafford is healthy enough to play in this game, but even if he isn't I just can't lay a field goal on this Packers team. Their offense has been atrocious, specifically the play of Jordan Love. They have the second-worst completion percentage in the NFL, completing only 57.87% of passes. Now, they face a Rams defense whose biggest strength might be preventing completions, ranking seventh in opponent completion percentage at 60.84%.

The Rams may find success running the football in this game as well. They've run the ball on 47.43% of plays over their last three games, the seventh highest rate over that stretch. Stopping the run is where the Packers struggle on defense, ranking 25th in opponent EPA/Rush and 18th in opponent rush success rate.

With the spread being set at the magic number of 3, I'll take the Rams to cover as underdogs of a field goal.

Commanders +3 (-105) at Patriots

This game is similar to me as the Rams vs. Packers. It's a matchup between two bad teams, so I'll take the side that's getting a field goal worth of points.

If you look at EPA/Play, only the Jets and the Giants have had a worse offense this season than the Patriots. Now, that offense is about to get even worse with the news their only competent receiver, Kendrick Bourne, is going to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

Washington, at the very least, has talent and weapons on offense and a solid running game. They can also get after the quarterback on defense, ranking 10th in sack percentage.

I'll once again take the three points with the underdog.

Buccaneers vs. Texans OVER 40 (-110)

These two teams are similar in a lot of ways. Neither team has found any success running the football this season but moderate success throwing the ball. Their defenses are the opposite, being able to stop the run but getting beat up through the air at times.

That means the game is shaping up to be a good OVER bet.

73.9% of the Buccaneers' offensive yards come through the air and 72.2% of the yards gained by the Texans come that way, which are the third and sixth highest marks in the NFL.

Defensively, they rank 22nd and 23rd in opponent yards per pass attempt giving up 6.7 and 6.9 yards per throw. They're also 19th and 20th in opponent EPA per dropback.

To put all of those numbers simply, we have two passing offenses facing defenses who struggle stop the pass. To me, that screams OVER.

Cardinals +8 (-110) at Browns

As good as the Browns' defense has been, their offense isn't nearly good enough for me to lay eight points on them, no matter who they're playing. Deshaun Watson is the 26th-ranked quarterback this season and P.J. Walker is the 36th-ranked quarterback, according to, so nobody who starts at QB for them, I'm not too concerned.

Cleveland ranks 29th in yards per play, gaining just 4.6 yards per snap. Only the Bengals, Panthers, and Giants average fewer yards per play. No offense that bad should be favored by more than a touchdown.

Let's also remember the Cardinals are actually extremely effective at running the football, ranking second in the league in yards per carry averaging 5.1 per rush. They can do enough to keep pace with the Browns. I'll take the points.

Bears +7.5 (-110) at Saints

We have to do our best not to buy too much in on the Saints after one good offensive performance against the Colts. Let's remember their season-long numbers where they're just 22nd in yards per play (5.0) and 16th in EPA/Play.

Believe it or not, the Bears actually lead the NFL in opponent yards per carry, allowing just 3.3 yards per rush and 2.3 yards per rush over their last three games. They're also third in both opponent rush success rate and opponent EPA per rush. I don't know if I can't trust the Saints to win by more than a touchdown if they're not able to get anything going on the ground.

I'll take the points with the Bears on Sunday.

Seahawks vs. Ravens UNDER 43 (-110)

Everyone's going to be talking about Dolphins vs. Chiefs and Bills vs. Bengals, but this might be the game I'm looking forward to the most this week.

This game is a case of strength vs. strength for both teams, which may result in it being a low-scoring affair. We know nobody runs the ball more than the Ravens, with 51.08% of their plays being run plays. Now, they take on a Seahawks defense that's third in opponent yards per carry (3.6) and fourth in opponent rush success rate.

On the flip side of things, the Seahawks get the majority of their offensive yards by throwing the ball, but now they face a Ravens defense that's first in opponent yards per pass attempt (4.6), second in opponent EPA per dropback and fourth in opponent dropback success rate.

All of that may add up to this being a defensive battle.

Falcons -4.5 (-110) vs. Vikings

It's hard to justify a bet on the Vikings. We're talking about an offense on the road without Justin Jefferson or Kirk Cousins. Unless they make a big move at the trade deadline, Jaren Hall, the rookie fifth-round pick from BYU will get the start. Yes, the Falcons were torched by a rookie last week, but we can't put Hall in the same category as Will Levis.

The Falcons may just be better than their record indicates as well. They're 12th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at +0.2, but they need to stop turning the ball over. Their 30th ranked average turnover margin per game of -0.9 is killing them this season.

I'm going to back the Falcons and hope they can get to the Vikings' rookie quarterback early and often.

Colts -2.5 (-115) at Panthers

The Panthers got their first win of the season, but I'm not convinced they can do the same thing against the Colts. They still rank 30th in Net Yards per Play at -1.2 while the Colts are 12th at +0.1.

Look for the Colts' running backs to have a big game this week. The Panthers are 32nd in opponent EPA per rush and 31st in opponent rush success rate. Meanwhile, the Colts average 4.5 yards per rush which ranks sixth in the NFL.

This is a much worse stylistic matchup for the Panthers than last week's game when they faced a Texans team that can't run the football. Now, the take on a Colts team that is just as effective through the air, but also has a solid running game to compliment it.

I'll back the Colts to win and cover the short spread.

Giants +124 vs. Raiders

The Raiders are the worst coached team in the NFL and I have no desire to bet on them for the foreseeable future, especially when they're set as favorites.

The Giants get Daniel Jones back this week, which should give their offense a boost. Furthermore, their defense has completely come alive lately. Over their last three games, the Giants are giving up just 4.4 yards per play, that's the second best mark in the league over each team's last three games.

On top of that, they're averaging 3.3 sacks per game over that stretch.

The Raiders are a dumpster fire and seem to be imploding with Davante Adams voicing his frustrations. Meanwhile, the Giants have a breath of life. I'll take them to win this game outright as my upset of the week.

Eagles -3 (-105) vs. Cowboys

It's a classic NFC East showdown between the Cowboys and Eagles and I'm going to stick to my opinion that Dallas isn't nearly as good as its public perception seems to be. They beat up on bad teams, but the only time they played a good opponent this season, they lost 42-10 against the 49ers.

Their defense, specifically their pass rush, has been strong but their defense has struggled when it comes to stopping the run. They're 29th in opponent rush success rate and their defensive metrics don't look nearly as good when you exclude the turnovers. I expect the Eagles to be able to run the ball successfully against them.

Let's remember that despite having the easiest schedule in the NFL to start the season, the Cowboys are just 10th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at +0.2. The Eagles will establish themselves as the kings of the NFC East once again.

Bills vs. Bengals OVER 48.5 (-110)

I have been anti-Bengals all season as I felt even their wins weren't impressive. But, last week I said that the bye week may have come at the perfect time and Joe Burrow may start to look like his old self again. That's exactly what happened in Week 8 against the 49ers, having by far is best game of the season. His grade for the game was 88.6, 10 points better than his next-best start this season.

With that being said, the Bengals defense still struggled, giving up 8.2 yards per play. Their defense is now 31st in the NFL in that stat. So, I can trust their offense again but I'm still weary about their defense.

The same can be said for the Bills, who are an extremely dominant team offensively, but has some red flags and key injuries they're dealing with on defense.

So, I'm going to do what I think is the safest bet to make and that's taking the OVER on Sunday Night Football.

Chargers -3 (-110) at Jets

It's time to sell high on the New York Jets. Sure, they won three straight games. Big whoop. They stink. They're 31st in the NFL in EPA/Play and dead last in success rate. Their offense converts just 22.99% of third down opportunities and as bad as the Chargers defense has been, they've been solid on third down, keeping teams to a third down conversion rate of just 37.65%.

Make no mistake about it, the Chargers have stumbled early in the season in a tough schedule, but their offense is still one of the best in the league and they showed last week against the Bears what they can do against bad football teams.

I can't imagine a world where the Jets offense can keep pace with Justin Herbert and company. I'll back the Chargers to win and cover.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!