Sides I Like
Panthers (+2.5) over Colts: One of two bets I made early this week was Panthers +3. I was on Carolina last week because HC Frank Reich gave up play calling to OC Thomas Brown, and I thought that would spark the Panthers offense. That didn’t play out how I expected, but Bryce Young led an 86-yard drive for the Panthers to kick a game-winning field goal in a 15-13 win over the Texans.
I still want to buy on the Panthers with the change in play-caller, and Carolina gets a favorable matchup against a Colts defense that allowed the Saints offense to average 7.7 yards per play last week. Plus, throw in the factor of Reich coaching against the team who fired him last year to hire Jeff Saturday, and I would expect a very good game plan from the Panthers coaching staff.
When Gardner Minshew took over for an injured Anthony Richardson in Week 6, I thought Minshew would’ve been a high-floor option that could game-manage the Colts to be competitive in games. That has not been the case, as Minshew has thrown five interceptions and lost four fumbles over that three-game span. I like Carolina at any underdog price in this game at home.
Sides I’m Considering
Chiefs (-1.5) over Dolphins: One of the most important games of the NFL season will be played at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany. It feels like we are being robbed of seeing Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill return to Arrowhead to face his former team, but that’s a discussion for a different time.
The Dolphins offense, led by Hill, has been great in most games this season. But when they stepped up in class to play at the Bills and Eagles, the Dolphins offense was contained in their only two losses. This game is another one in which Miami has to play an elite team, and I need to see it to believe it with the Dolphins before backing them in a game like this.
This is a tricky travel spot for the Chiefs, who just lost at Denver while Patrick Mahomes had flu-like symptoms. Now they have to travel again on a 10-hour flight that will arrive in Germany on Friday morning. The Dolphins might have an edge since they traveled to Frankfurt on Monday night and could be acclimated to their surroundings better.
With all that being said, being able to get Patrick Mahomes to cover a short point spread off a loss is tempting enough where Kansas City is the only side I would consider. I’m going to wait to bet this because the Dolphins had a positive injury report on Wednesday to move this game from +2.5 to +1.5. Maybe this closes at a pick ’em if some of Miami’s injured offensive linemen and defensive backs end up playing.
Commanders (+3.5) over Patriots: The NFL trade deadline was this past Tuesday, and the Commanders were one of the sellers, shipping out defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Defensive line was the strength of Washington and those moves showed that the franchise is starting to look ahead to 2024.
However, I’m not sure a point spread adjustment for this game through +3 is warranted. I didn’t have much interest in betting this game before the trades when the Patriots were -2.5 or -3. But now getting +3.5 on the Commanders against a Patriots team that struggles to score points is at least something I’ll consider.
Eagles (-3) over Cowboys: This is the second of three must-watch games on Sunday. Last season, we didn’t see a game between these teams in which both starting QBs played, as Cooper Rush started for an injured Dak Prescott in an October game at Philadelphia and Gardner Minshew filled in for Jalen Hurts on Christmas Eve in Dallas.
My thoughts on the Cowboys are similar to what I think of the Dolphins. Dallas is 5-2 with most of those wins coming against inferior opposition with bad offensive lines like the Giants, Jets, Patriots and Rams. The Cowboys have been able to get out to an early lead in those games and build on those leads with their defense scoring touchdowns off turnovers. This Eagles offensive line is one of the best in the league and can negate the Cowboys pass rush.
The Cowboys’ rout of the Rams last week caused the line of this game to move from +3.5 to +3. In a road game against a really good team, I don’t trust the Cowboys right now and could only look towards the Eagles in this spot.
Jets (+3.5) over Chargers: This would be a numbers play for me in a game I believe should be Chargers -1.5 on Monday night. The Chargers are getting too much credit for beating a Bears team going up against undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent in his first road start. LA still has underlying issues on offense and their defense isn’t playing up to their talent level.
I would have some worry betting on the Jets after their miracle win against the Giants in Week 8. It was an ugly performance from both sides that featured 24 combined punts. However, my numbers point me to the Jets, and they’ll be in consideration for the last game of Week 9.
Titans at Steelers (-2.5): I really want to fade Will Levis off a four-touchdown performance in his first NFL start, but the Steelers aren’t a team I want to bet on as a favorite. It appears Kenny Pickett will start after suffering a rib injury on Sunday, but not sure what to expect from him on a short week of rest.
Vikings at Falcons (-4.5): The unfortunate season-ending injury to Kirk Cousins has caused a lot of uncertainty in this game. The Vikings are expected to start fifth-round rookie Jaren Hall, but Minnesota did trade for Joshua Dobbs before Tuesday’s deadline.
On the other side, Taylor Heinicke is starting in place of Desmond Ridder, which I believe is an upgrade for Atlanta. If the Falcons went back to Ridder, I would consider the Vikings as an underdog, but I will pass now.
Seahawks at Ravens (-5.5): My number for this game is Ravens -5, so I believe this is a very fair price. I won’t have a bet in this game, but I’m interested to watch how these teams match up against each other.
Cardinals at Browns (-8.5): The Cardinals are going in a different direction at QB after trading the aforementioned Dobbs to the Vikings. Fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune would start for the Cardinals if Kyler Murray isn’t ready for this game. I need more clarity on the QB position for both sides.
Rams at Packers (-3): This is another game where a backup QB is likely to start after Matthew Stafford’s thumb injury last week. Brett Rypien would get the nod for the Rams if Stafford isn’t able to go. The Packers have let me down numerous times this season, so I have no interest in betting on them.
Buccaneers at Texans (-3): The Buccaneers have been a sell team for me after they started 3-1. They are winless in three straight out of the bye week, but could be intriguing here getting a full field goal against a Texans team I’m lower on than the betting market. It would be Buccaneers or pass for me, but more than likely a pass.
Bears at Saints (-8.5): Tyson Bagent will get another start for the Bears, as Justin Fields isn’t ready to return from his thumb injury. The Saints offense had their best game of the season against the Colts in Week 8 and now have another soft matchup against the Bears defense. I still don’t feel comfortable laying this many points with the Saints, so I will pass.
Giants at Raiders (-1.5): The other NFL bet I’ve made so far is the Giants +3. I placed the bet Tuesday morning after watching the Raiders play a horrible game against the Lions on Monday night. Las Vegas only lost by 12 points, but the Raiders had a pick-six and the Lions settled for field goals instead of touchdowns at several points throughout the game. With the news that QB Daniel Jones was back for the Giants, I wanted to get +3 before I anticipated the line to come down, which it did later in the morning on Tuesday.
Then late Tuesday night, the Raiders fired HC Josh McDaniels, which has caused the line to move down more. They are also benching QB Jimmy Garoppolo for fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell. I was never a fan of McDaniels, so the move to fire him and promote Antonio Pierce isn’t a huge downgrade for me. But McDaniels called plays and the Raiders also fired OC Mick Lombardi, which means QB coach Bo Hardegree will call plays. I would stay away from this game if you haven’t bet anything already, because maybe the Raiders will have a one-game boost with McDaniels gone.
Bills at Bengals (-2): I would’ve liked the Bills at +3, but now I’m interested in fading both defenses and betting the over in this Sunday night game. The Bills defense has taken a step back since losing CB Tre’Davious White and LB Matt Milano to long-term injuries in October.
The Bengals defense has caught some breaks in their last two games. They allowed the Seahawks to reach the red zone five times in Week 6, but that only led to 13 points from Seattle. Last week, the 49ers gained 460 yards, but only scored 17 points because of costly turnovers.
Another reason to like the over is Joe Burrow being healthy after a very timely Week 7 bye and the Bengals offense returning to the form we saw before the season. I expect Josh Allen and Burrow to have success moving the ball and I’m hopeful both can finish drives against two defenses trending in the wrong direction.
Nate will discuss all of his NFL and college football bets on Stadium Bets. Check out the new show across Stadium’s OTT channels and subscribe on Spotify and Apple for podcast episodes. Don’t forget to follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content!