Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Underdogs That Will Cover Your Bet
Backing the underdog in the NFL—especially at home—is one of the best gambling strategies you can employ.
While blindly betting teams that are getting spotted points will get you in trouble, a quick look at the board, followed by some analysis and common sense, will have you in a much better position to cash your ticket at the end of the day.
Let’s take a look at the complete schedule of games in Week 9, highlight the best ‘dogs to back and more.
|Away Team||Home Team||Line||Prediction (ATS)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Miami Dolphins||CIN -1.5||MIA|
|Atlanta Falcons||Carolina Panthers||CAR -7.5||CAR|
|Minnesota Vikings||Dallas Cowboys||DAL -10.5||DAL|
|New Orleans Saints||New York Jets||NO -4.5||NO|
|Tennessee Titans||St. Louis Rams||TEN -3||STL|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||KC -3||KC|
|San Diego Chargers||Washington Redskins||PK||WAS|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Oakland Raiders||PHI -3||OAK|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Seattle Seahawks||SEA -16.5||SEA|
|Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||BAL -3||CLE|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||New England Patriots||NE -6.5||NE|
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||IND -1||IND|
|Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||GB -11||CHI|
MIAMI DOLPHINS (+1.5) over Cincinnati Bengals
The ‘Phins are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots and are below .500 for the first time this season. The Bengals utterly dismantled the New York Jets on both sides of the field and put together arguably their finest game in Week 8.
So why would you pick Miami in this one? It’s simple: location. This game takes place in South Beach, a tough stadium that should be extra difficult for a road-averse squad like Cincy to win at.
The Bengals are just 2-2 on the road in 2013 and should drop even further after failing on Thursday Night Football. Sufficiently long road trips on short rest certainly don’t favor the visitor, especially one that hasn’t found great success away from Paul Brown Stadium.
As long as Miami can protect the quarterback and avoid the devastating turnovers that wound up costing it in the game against New England, there is a good chance that the ‘Phins move to 4-4 on Thursday evening.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (+3) over Philadelphia Eagles
Just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers how difficult it was to come into the Black Hole as a favorite and walk out with a win. Oakland’s Week 8 opponent was bruised and battered throughout the afternoon this past Sunday, leaving Northern California with a loss—something I predicted would happen last week.
While lightning doesn’t often strike twice, this Raiders team is sufficiently underrated and continues to get dismissed by the public and linesmakers. Oakland is once again getting points at home, this time against another subpar squad from the state of Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia mustered a meager seven points in Week 8, preceded by a three-point outing in Week 7. Head coach Chip Kelly’s high-powered offense is nowhere to be found, especially not with third-string quarterback Matt Barkley running the show.
With Michael Vick tweaking his hamstring again whilst playing ineffectively this past Sunday and Nick Foles sidelined due to a concussion, the Eagles had to rely on Barkley to move the chains and score points.
That didn’t happen, and the team once again sputtered, this time against an opponent with one of the league’s poorest defenses.
The Raiders are definitely going to capitalize on this revolving door of inconsistent quarterbacks and end up obliterating whoever trots out under center in this one. As long as the O-line can protect Terrelle Pryor, good things are going to happen and Oakland will win this one straight up without difficulty.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (+3) over Baltimore Ravens
The Browns discovered that they could move the chains and remain competitive with Jason Campbell under center, pushing the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs to the brink in Week 8.
Which team will cover?
The latest Cleveland signal-caller finished with 293 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-36 passing. One of those scoring passes came on a flea-flicker that went 39 yards to emerging superstar receiver Josh Gordon, and another came on a dump-off to unheralded Fozzy Whittaker.
It’s an intriguing Browns team that refuses to quit, even though the odds are stacked against it. If Campbell can continue to play like this and the defense can step up, there is a good chance that Cleveland finishes better than projected.
The Browns have a chance to raise some eyebrows as early as Week 9, when they host the Baltimore Ravens, the defending Super Bowl champs and AFC North rivals.
The Ravens had a much-needed bye in Week 8, but that likely won’t improve their poor play away from Maryland. Their only road win of 2013 came against the Dolphins and shows that this unit just doesn’t travel well.
That’s in stark contrast to last year’s group, which won four playoff games on the road to capture the championship. It’s clear as day that this isn’t the same team, and the Ravens are being overrated against a tough Cleveland squad that is hard to beat at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Take the points and watch as a late field goal decides this game, with your worst-case scenario being a push.
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