Expert NFL Best Bets: Picks and predictions for Week 9


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Week 9 NFL best bets and predictions

Each week, I’ll be looking through Sunday’s NFL games to try and feed my readers three winners. That continues with the three best bets I have for the Week 9 slate. Keep reading to find out what I have and make sure you also check out what my talented VSiN colleagues are playing. Those plays, along with all of our NFL content for the week, are available at our Week 9 NFL Bet Hub. You can also get all of our picks for the week on the Pro Picks page

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Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany

Three of the last four games that the Dolphins have played have failed to reach the 50-point mark, and seven of the eight games that the Chiefs have played this year have been at 48 or lower. Kansas City has also gone Under the total in six of its eight games, and the team is currently fifth in the league in Defensive DVOA. So, this Chiefs defense is going to ask a lot of questions of a Dolphins team that hasn’t been as consistently explosive as it was earlier in the year. Kansas City is also fourth in DVOA when it comes to passing defense, so the Chiefs should do a decent job of keeping Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and Co. in check.

The Dolphins are obviously a much worse defensive team than the Chiefs, so that’s a little concerning coming into this game. But Kansas City has scored 23 or fewer points in five of its eight games this year. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are obviously two of the best players in the league at their respective positions, but things aren’t exactly clicking on that side of the ball. So, I don’t think we’re going to see Kansas City lighting up the scoreboard here — at least enough to lose this for Under bettors.

It’s also just hard to ignore that this game is being played in Germany, so these teams had to travel very far for this game. And these practice weeks are never quite as normal as usual, so I do expect both squads to be a bit sluggish when they get out there for this game. The international NFL games always tend to be somewhat sloppy, so why would this be any different?

Bet: Under 51 (-110 – Play to -49.5)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans

The Texans are coming off a bad 15-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers last week, but they have still won three of their last five and covered in four of five. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have lost three straight and four of their last five. And overall, Tampa Bay has just been miserable offensively. The Bucs have scored 18 or fewer points in four of their last five games, and they’re just 18th in the league in EPA per play. And a big part of that is that they are last in the league in Rush EPA, with the team failing to get Rachaad White going on the ground.

With Tampa Bay just being a disaster offensively, it’s hard to see how Todd Bowles’ team will go into Houston and beat the Texans. This Houston team has cooled down a little offensively, but CJ Stroud and the Texans offense has proven that it can move the ball on anyone. And I just trust the Houston offense to come up with a few more plays than the Tampa Bay offense, as Baker Mayfield and Co. haven’t been reliable this year.

It’s also worth noting that the Bucs are just 3-11 against the spread after the first month of the season under Bowles. And they have lost those games by an average of 4.6 points per game. Tampa is also just 5-9-1 ATS in games with lines of +3 to -3 under Bowles, so the team has struggled in games that are supposed to be close. Meanwhile, Houston has thrived in those games under DeMeco Ryans, going 3-1 ATS with those types of spreads.

Bet: Texans -2.5 (-115 – Play to -3)  

Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers

The Colts have been playing high-scoring games since the start of the season. Indianapolis has gone Over in six of its eight games this year, and the Over has hit in three Colts games in a row. The defense has been abysmal in this recent stretch, allowing an average of 38.0 points per game over the last three games. That has to give the Panthers some faith that they’ll get a big game out of Bryce Young, who is yet to truly break out for Carolina.

As for Indianapolis offense, I have no doubts about Gardner Minshew and Co. finding a way to shred this Carolina defense. The Panthers are currently 29th in the league in Defensive DVOA, and the team has been abysmal against the run. They’re actually last in the league when it comes to defending the ground attack, so Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss should both be in for big performances here. And if the two of them do run efficiently, Minshew will be able to play off of that and attack Carolina through the air. He has gotten the best out of Michael Pittman Jr. this year, and he has been excellent with Josh Downs as a short-yardage target.

Overall, I feel this has the potential to be a legitimate shootout. So, I’d play the Over and I’d also think about attacking this game with player props.

Bet: Over 43.5 (-112 – Play to 44.5) 

Best Bets Record: 17-12 (+4.20 units)

Added Plays

Steelers -2.5 (-110) vs. Titans

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