With the NFL trade deadline now in the books, it's time to look ahead to Week 9 and what is shaping up to be an exciting slate of action.
We'll get to see the return of FitzMagic in Week 9, plus a divisional matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions. We'll have the post-Hue Jackson Cleveland Browns trying their best to slow Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, and we'll get a battle between perhaps the two best teams in the NFC when the Los Angeles Rams visit the New Orleans Saints.
Oh yeah, and we'll also get a duel between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady as the Green Bay Packers take on the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
How do we see these games unfolding? We're going to run down the latest lines and over/unders courtesy of OddsShark, make our score predictions and examine some of the most enticing props of the week.
Just a reminder, the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles all have byes this week.
Week 9 Vegas Lines, Over/Unders and Predictions
Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers (-2.5, 46 O/U): Raiders 27, 49ers 23
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5, 49 O/U): Vikings 30, Lions, 25
Chicago Bears (-10, 37 O/U) at Buffalo Bills: Bears 26, Bills 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-6.5, 54.5 O/U): Panthers 30, Buccaneers 28
Kansas City Chiefs (-9, 51.5 O/U) at Cleveland Browns: Chiefs 35, Browns 27
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3, 45 O/U): Jets 24, Dolphins 22
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3, 47 O/U): Steelers 23, Ravens 20
Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins (-1.5, 46.5 O/U): Falcons 20, Redskins 18
Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks (-1.5, 48 O/U): Chargers 26, Seahawks 24
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (-1, 46 O/U): Texans 28, Broncos 23
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints(-1.5, 59.5 O/U): Saints 30, Rams 28
Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots (-5.5, 56.5 listed O/U): Patriots 27, Packers 23
Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5, 41 O/U): Cowboys 22, Titans 21
Week 9 Props
Oakland Raiders First to 15 Points
We can fully understand wanting to get a little more action out of Thursday night's game between the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers. Oakland has clearly been playing for the future in 2018 under the direction of Jon Gruden, while the 49ers have struggled to be competitive since quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL.
Well, we have a prop that could help. At OddsChecker, you can find even odds on the Raiders winning the race to 15 points. While both of these defenses are underwhelming, we believe the presence of Derek Carr gives Oakland the edge here.
Carr had a tremendous game against the Indianapolis Colts last week, passing for 244 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The 49ers, meanwhile, have a defense that is allowing 29.5 points per game, fifth-most in the NFL.
Kansas City Chiefs first to 10 Points
The Cleveland Browns are turning to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as their head coach for the remainder of the season. The team parted with both Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
"I think from Gregg's standpoint, he has experience in the head coaching position," Browns general manager John Dorsey said, per Kevin Patra of NFL.com. "He is a veteran defensive coordinator, with a really nice resume."
With Williams in charge, we could see an even more defense-focused Browns team in Week 9.
However, we still like the explosive Chiefs to reach 10 points first—which carries 2-5 odds at OddsChecker.
Kansas City is averaging a whopping 36.2 points per game, most in the NFL. The Browns are notoriously slow starters who have scored just 12 points in the first quarter all season. The fact the team also fired Haley isn't likely to spark a sudden scoring frenzy.
Rams and Saints OVER 26.5 First-Half Points
You can find 1-2 odds that the Saints and Rams game will go over 26.5 points in the first half on OddsChecker, and those are odds we like. This is a game that features two incredible quarterbacks in Jared Goff and Drew Brees and two potent offenses.
L.A. averages 33.0 points per game, while the Saints average 33.4 points per game. While the Rams have a solid defense that allows just 19.4 points per game, New Orleans has been allowing 26.1 points per contest.
Expect there to be plenty of scoring in this one, with points coming early and often—with each team needing to score roughly one touchdown per quarter to hit the over.
Considering the weapons that will be in this game—Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram, just to name a few—a touchdown a quarter seems perfectly reasonable.