Week 9 features some of the most interesting games of the 2014 NFL season, including Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady and the largest point spread of the year. The betting odds at Las Vegas casinos have five teams favored by three points or less, as well as two games that have each been listed as a pick’em.
The favorites got the better of the underdogs in Week 8, failing to cover just six of the 15 betting lines. Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 9.
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Carolina Panthers
Having lost seven straight road games against the spread as favorites, the Saints can’t be trusted in Carolina. The Panthers are a hard team to figure out, but they usually play New Orleans well at Bank of America Stadium, covering five of the last six contests against their home rivals, via Odds Shark. Carolina is unbeaten when Cam Newton throws for over 250 yards, and he should reach that mark against the NFL’s No.31 pass defense.
Prediction ATS: Carolina
San Diego Chargers (+1.5) at Miami Dolphins
After a slow start for the Dolphins and a hot start for the Chargers, the teams have reversed roles in recent weeks. Miami is playing very well, having won three of four games, only losing to Green Bay in the final seconds. San Diego has lost two straight contests, and barely beat the winless Raiders three weeks ago. The Chargers have surrendered a passer rating of at least 103.4 in their last three games, and Ryan Tannehill should continue his strong play in Week 9.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Jacksonville Jaguars (+11) at Cincinnati Bengals
Things are looking up for the Bengals, who recently broke a three-game winless streak and are about to get AJ Green back in the lineup. Considering Cincinnati hasn’t lost at home since 2012, and five of Jacksonville’s defeats have come by at least two touchdowns, Sunday’s game is a recipe for a blowout.
Prediction ATS: Cincinnati
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6.5) at Cleveland Browns
Cleveland enters Week 9 with a few significant injuries. A concussion could keep tight end Jordan Cameron off the field, and the injury to center Alex Mack has severely hurt their ability to run the ball. Tampa Bay only has one victory on the season, but four of their losses have been within six points, including two overtime defeats. Even if they don’t win, the Bucs can keep it close.
Prediction ATS: Tampa Bay
Washington Redskins (PK) at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings have had an underrated defense in 2014, allowing 17 points or fewer in three straight games, and sporting the league’s No.4 pass defense. It’s difficult to know what to expect from Robert Griffin III in his return, but Washington’s nine consecutive road losses don’t make them a good bet.
Prediction ATS: Minnesota
Philadelphia Eagles (-2) at Houston Texans
The Texans are the very definition of an average team. They have a .500 record, going 3-1 against losing teams and 1-3 against winning teams. Against a possible playoff team in Philadelphia, Houston will have trouble. As long as Nick Foles doesn’t commit turnovers in the red zone, like he did against the Cardinals, the Eagles should be able to get a road victory.
Prediction ATS: Philadelphia
New York Jets (+9.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
Since their win in the opening week, the Jets have looked as bad as any team in football. Michael Vick isn’t much of an upgrade at quarterback, and the Chiefs have the No.1 pass defense. Alex Smith will be able to move the ball against a team that’s allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a 113.5 passer rating. Kansas City has one of the best home-field advantages, and they are the smart pick, as long as the line remains less than 10 points.
Prediction ATS: Kansas City
Arizona Cardinals (+4) at Dallas Cowboys
Even if Tony Romo plays, the quarterback might not be very effective. He wasn’t very good when he returned to Monday’s game, following a back injury, and he could struggle in Week 9. Arizona continues to get little respect from the oddsmakers, despite wins against the 49ers, Eagles and Chargers. The Cardinals have the No.3 rush defense, and they could finally be the team that holds DeMarco Murray under 100 yards.
Prediction ATS: Arizona
St. Louis Rams (+10) at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are almost a guarantee to win, going unbeaten at home against divisional opponents since 2008. They’ve already defeated the Rams by 14 points in St. Louis, and Sunday should produce a similar outcome. Austin Davis has come back to earth in recent weeks, and was held to 10-of-28 passing for 99 yards in the second half of the Rams’ loss to the 49ers. Three of St. Louis’ losses have come by 14 points or more, and Sunday could move that number to four.
Prediction ATS: San Francisco
Denver Broncos (-3) at New England Patriots
Peyton Manning and the Denver offense look unstoppable, but the Broncos could slip up in New England. The Patriots have the league’s No.2 passing defense, and they are 26-3 in their last 29 home games. As good as Manning has been, Brady has matched his performance in recent weeks, throwing 14 touchdowns and no interceptions. It’ll likely be a shootout, and Brady could get his 11th win over Manning in 16 tries.
Prediction ATS: New England
Oakland Raiders (+15) at Seattle Seahawks
Seattle might be better than their 4-3 record indicates, but it’s hard to pick them when they are laying so many points. The Raiders remain the only winless team, but their last three defeats have come by 11 points or fewer. Oakland only lost to the Patriots by a touchdown when they were 14-point underdogs in Week 3, and they’ve covered nine of the last 12 spreads that have had them as double-digit underdogs.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
Baltimore Ravens (PK) at Pittsburgh Steelers
The game could go either way, but Baltimore’s run defense gives them the edge against the team with the NFL’s No.3 rusher. Ben Roethlisberger posted a 64.8 passer rating in the Steelers’ Week 2 loss to the Ravens, and he won’t come close to having the 522-yard, six-touchdown performance he had in Pittsburgh’s most recent win.
Prediction ATS: Baltimore
Indianapolis Colts (-3) at New York Giants
If the Giants want to upset the Colts, it’ll have to be in a shootout. That’s unlikely to happen, considering wide receiver Victor Cruz is lost for the season and running back Rashad Jennings will miss another game due to injury. New York’s pass defense has been a disappointment in 2014, ranking 25th in the league, and Andrew Luck could approach 400 yards on the night.
Prediction ATS: Indianapolis
Season Record: 60-60-1