Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread

Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson will be looking to rebound in Week 9 following a career-high four turnovers in Week 8. Photo by @PFF (Twitter).

  • Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season continues Sunday, November 8th
  • Our Best Bets were 0-3 in Week 8 (12-12 overall, -1.19 units)
  • Read below for analysis on the Week 9 NFL slate and our favorite ATS picks

Sometimes you’re the hammer, and sometimes you’re the nail. We swept our best bets in Week 7, but we were shutout in Week 8, dropping our overall record to 12-12. That puts us back into the red for the season, and we’ll try and start digging ourselves out of the hole this week.

Underdogs went 9-4 ATS in Week 8, but there’s plenty of reason to believe the ‘dogs won’t be barking as loud in Week 9. Green Bay started off the week by smashing San Francisco as a 7-point favorite, and there’s a few more chalk picks in good spots to follow suit.

Week 9 ATS Picks

Matchup Spread Pick Units Risked
Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts BAL (-1.5) BAL (-1.5) 1
Miami Dolphins vs Arizona Cardinals ARZ (-3.5) ARZ (-3.5) 1
Chicago Bears vs Tennessee Titans TEN (-6.5) CHI (+6.5) 1

Odds taken Nov. 6th at FanDuel. See bottom for rest of Week 9 Picks.

Pick #1: Ravens Run Over Colts

First up, we have the Baltimore Ravens visiting the Indianapolis Colts. The lookahead line for this contest was Baltimore -4, but the current line favors the Ravens by just -1.5.

Baltimore, who remains a top-five Super Bowl contender in the betting market, is fresh off a gut wrenching loss to the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Lamar Jackson was a huge disappointment, committing a career-high four turnovers, yet he still had a chance to salvage a victory in the final seconds.

The Ravens only two losses have come against the league’s two best teams (Pittsburgh and Kansas City), while they’ve outscored the rest of their opposition by 89 points. They’re ranked third overall by DVOA, and are one of just two teams that allow less than 19 points per outing. If there’s one area of concern, its along the offensive line as both their starting right (Tyre Phillips) and left (Ronnie Staley) tackles were lost to injury versus Pittsburgh.

The Colts meanwhile, are being propped up by one of the softest schedules in the league to date. They’ve yet to face a top-14 team by DVOA, and just one of their five wins has come against a team with more than three victories.

Also working against Indy is a rash of injuries on offense, the latest being to Jonathan Taylor and TY Hilton. If Hilton misses, the Colts three-receiver set will feature Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson and Michael Pittman Jr. Best of luck to Phillip Rivers against a Ravens defense that has kept six of seven enemy quarterbacks below 275 yards.

On the other side of the ball, there’s no denying the strength of Indy’s defense. They rank third in yards allowed, second in rushing yards allowed and fifth in points allowed per game. Still, they’ve yet to face an offense as dynamic as the Ravens, and until they shut down a top contender and I’m not going to be deterred from betting against them.

Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker

Pick #2: Cardinals Over Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa may have won his NFL debut versus the LA Rams, but his underlying numbers were far from impressive. The 5th overall pick completed just 54.5% of his passes, for 93 yards and a 25.1 QBR.

The Miami Dolphins Week 8 victory was keyed by four forced turnovers and a punt return touchdown, outliers they can’t expect again against the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins opened as a 4.5-point underdog to Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, but that number now sits at Arizona -3.5.

The Cards are fresh off three straight victories, including an upset of the previously undefeated Seattle Seahawks. Murray has played arguably the best football of his NFL career during Arizona’s winning streak, throwing for 928 yards and 6 TD, while rushing for another 172 yards and 3 scores.

The matchup versus a stout Miami defense is a difficult one, but the Dolphins have struggled versus dual-threat quarterbacks this season losing to both Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.

Pick #3: Bears Bounce Back vs Titans

Finally, we have the Chicago Bears travelling to Tennessee to face the Titans as 6.5-point underdogs. By DVOA, these are two of the most fraudulent 5-win teams, each ranking outside the top-12 in overall ranking. Chicago suffered a heartbreaking OT loss in Week 8 to New Orleans, while Tennessee was embarrassed by Cincinnati.

The Titans defense has been bleeding production to enemy offenses all season, surrendering 10 all-purpose TD to opposing running backs, and the 10th most passing yards despite already having their bye. They boast the seventh worst pass rushing according to Pro Football Focus, and have held just one of their past six opponents below 27 points.

Needless to say, Chicago’s skilled position players are in a smash spot, as is their sixth ranked pass rush. All-Pro tackle Taylor Lewan is lost for the season, and Tennessee is now starting a backup calibre lineman at both tackle positions. Not a great sign with Khalil Mack and Akheem Hicks coming to down.

The Bears defense ranks sixth by DVOA and is surrendering just 20.8 points per game, despite facing Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Atlanta, three of the league’s 13 highest scoring teams.

Week 9 Quick Picks

  • Chiefs (-10.5) vs Panthers: No one has slowed down the KC offense all season. Why should we expect Carolina’s 25th ranked defense to do so?
  • Broncos (+4.5) vs Falcons: Atlanta is 3-5 ATS this season and now has to face Denver without Calvin Ridley.
  • Vikings (-4.5) vs Lions: The Lions will be without Kenny Golladay, while Matthew Stafford hasn’t been able to practice all week due to COVID. Advantage Minnesota.
  • Texans (-6.5) vs Jaguars: Fourth-percentile SPARQ score rookie Jake Lutton makes his NFL debut for a Jacksonville team that is clearly tanking.
  • Giants (+2.5) vs Washington: Despite its 1-7 record, New York has actually covered in four of its last five games.
  • Seahawks (-3) vs Bills: No one is slowing Russ down this season. Seattle is getting stronger on defense meanwhile, as Jamal Adams returns and Carlos Dunlap makes his Seahawks debut.
  • Raiders (+1.5) vs Chargers: LAC is the AFC’s version of the Atlanta Falcons. They constantly find new ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
  • Steelers (+14.5) vs Cowboys: Dallas is still winless ATS and now has to face the league’s most imposing defense with a fourth-string QB.
  • Saints (+4.5) vs Buccaneers: Too many points to lay versus a New Orleans team welcoming back playmakers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
  • Patriots (-7.5) vs Jets: Bill Belichick vs Adam Gase. Enough said.
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Chris Amberley

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