It was a very average Week 8 from a betting standpoint, going 14-13-1 overall, and 3-3 on our best bets. Now at a 111-93-4 overall record at the halfway point of the season, and 32-16 on our best bets, we’ll take a look at the board for Week 9, and see what we like for this week’s Pats Pulpit Pick Six Best Bets.
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) at Buffalo Bills, O/U 54.5
This is a prime bounce-back spot for Josh Allen, who has fallen off a cliff after a red-hot start to the season. Against a poor Seattle pass defense, and with John Brown potentially returning for this game, the Bills’ passing attack should be ready to go on Sunday.
Whether the host Bills can stop Russell Wilson is another question though. The Bills defense is still suspect when it comes to defending the run, and the Seahawks should be able to attack this defense in both the air and on the ground. I love the over in this game the most, but the spread is a no-bet for me. I expect this to be a close game, as the Bills look to maintain their spot atop the AFC East.
The Picks: Seahawks -2.5 / Over 54.5
Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans (-6), O/U 46.5
I see points being hard to come by in this game, as the Bears defense should be able to limit a Titans offense that failed to get going last week against a bad Bengals defense, while the Tennessee defense, despite its pass rush issues, should have some success stifling Nick Foles and the Bears offense, as the Chicago O-Line deals with some absences.
I see this as hard-fought, low-scoring game, with the Titans relying on Derrick Henry to move the chains and get their offense back on track.
The Picks: Bears +6 / Under 46.5
Baltimore Ravens (-2) at Indianapolis Colts, O/U 47
The Ravens are one of the teams most affected by Covid absences this week, as top cornerback Marlon Humphrey tested positive this week. Elsewhere on the Baltimore defense, LJ Fort, Patrick Queen, and Malik Harrison were also placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list as they were deemed to be close contacts of Humphrey’s.
The Ravens will also be without left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who broke his ankle in last week’s game.
If both teams were healthy, it would be a matchup of two strong defenses. But Baltimore will be shorthanded this week against a Colts offense that put up 41 points against Detroit last week. With Stanley out on offense for the Ravens, I think this game could be a letdown spot for Baltimore.
The Picks: Colts +2 / Under 47
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (-4), O/U 50
I just don’t see how the Falcons can be a four-point favorite against anybody right now. All they did last week was beat an average Carolina team in poor weather conditions. Denver isn’t a world-beater, by any means, but should be able to keep pace with Atlanta’s offense, and has the superior defensive unit.
The Picks: Broncos +4 / Under 50
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-4), O/U 52
Without Kenny Golladay, it’s hard to see Detroit having the horsepower to match up evenly with the Minnesota offense, which should be able to pick on the Detroit secondary all game long.
The Picks: Vikings -4 / Under 52
Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5), O/U 52
The Chiefs are the best team in the NFL right now, in my opinion. The Steelers may be 6-0, but the Chiefs are battle-tested and have the offense with a higher ceiling, in my opinion.
Kansas City should put up a bunch of points against Carolina this week, and the pressure will be on Teddy Bridgewater & Co. to match them point for point. Christian McCaffrey is questionable for this game, which would be a big deal for the Panthers in what will need to be a high-scoring affair for them to have a chance.
The Chiefs covered a big spread last week against the Jets, and will need to cover another double-digit spread this week at home. The Panthers haven’t faced an elite team this season other than Tampa Bay, who they lost to 31-17 in Week 3. The Chiefs should score a lot on Sunday, but 12.5 points is a margin that is too much for me to lay the points with.
The Picks: Panthers +12.5 / Over 52
Houston Texans (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars, O/U 50.5
I don’t believe the Texans are good enough to be a touchdown favorite against any team. The Jaguars stink, yes, but a divisional matchup against two poor teams tends to lead to tighter results than this game’s spread would indicate.
The Picks: Jaguars +7 / Over 50.5
New York Giants at Washington Football Team (-2.5), O/U 42
The spread for this game last month was around one or two points in New York’s direction, and WFT covered a 1.5-point spread after Kyle Allen failed to convert the two-point conversion attempt that would have won the game for Washington.
This figures to be another close game between two really bad teams. The Giants had a close Monday Night Football matchup against the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football, and WFT will be motivated to avenge their narrow loss earlier in the season to the Giants. I’ll side with the underdog in what should be another nail-biter game.
The Picks: Giants +2.5 / Over 42
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-1), O/U 51.5
The Chargers completely choked last week, giving up a 20-point lead to the Broncos, and eventually losing 31-30. Now, they will have to take on a hungry 4-3 Raiders team that is vying for a playoff spot.
The Chargers and QB Justin Herbert should find more success this week against a Raiders defense that is 29th in sacks and surrenders 7.4 yards per pass attempt. This will likely be another tight AFC West matchup, and will be another test for the rookie Herbert.
The Picks: Chargers -1 / Over 51.5
Pittsburgh Steelers (-13.5) at Dallas Cowboys, O/U 41.5
The Cowboys are starting either former New England Patriot legend Garrett Gilbert, or some guy named Cooper Rush, at quarterback. Oh, and whoever they start at QB gets to face off against one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. This will be an ugly one. The Steelers may hit the over all by themselves, so I don’t have much confidence picking a side on the total.
The Picks: Steelers -13.5 / Under 41.5
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4.5), O/U 51.5
New Orleans should finally get back Michael Thomas this week, in what should be a big shot in the arm for the Saints as they look to take on the Buccaneers, who will welcome in Antonio Brown to their lineup this week. I have a hard time seeing the Bucs being 4.5 points better than the Saints on a mostly neutral field, which is what games are like in 2020 with few fans. I think the Bucs will win a close game here, by a field goal or less.
The Picks: Saints +4.5 / Under 51.5
Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals (-4), O/U 48.5
Tua Tagovailoa was victorious in his rookie debut, but struggled overall, with a stat line of 12-for-22 for 93 yards and one touchdown. The good news is despite his lackluster debut, the Dolphins beat a good Rams team by score of 28-17.
With his first start out of the way, Tagovailoa should settle in a bit more in his second week as the team’s starter, but will face a Cardinals defense that features a strong secondary that could present some problems for Tua.
I do like the Dolphins defense to keep this close and help out their rookie signal caller, and think Arizona is a bit overrated after one win over the Seahawks two weeks ago.
The Picks: Dolphins +4 / Under 48.5
New England Patriots (-10) at New York Jets, O/U 42.5
Vegas is betting on New England bouncing back against the lowly Jets, who took a big 35-9 beating against the Chiefs last week, and couldn’t even cover a 20-point spread.
New England covered as four-point dogs against the Bills last week, and likely would have won straight up if it weren’t for Cam Newton’s fumble at the end of the game with New England threatening to score.
The Patriots are desperate, but they’re also missing key players at every level on defense, in Lawrence Guy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, and Stephon Gilmore. I kind of think...the Jets might be able to move the ball here? Yikes.
The Picks: Jets +10 / Under 42.5
And finally, for completeness’ sake, here is our prediction made ahead of Thursday’s game:
Green Bay Packers (-7) at San Francisco 49ers, O/U 48.5
The 49ers continue to be absolutely devastated by injuries this season, and will also be without Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, and Trent Williams because Bourne tested positive for Covid-19 this week.
While Nick Mullens isn’t much of a downgrade from Jimmy Garoppolo, it’s hard to have much faith in the 49ers with how many key players they will be without on a short week. The Packers may only have one healthy running back of their own if Aaron Jones can’t suit up, but with Davante Adams still available to throw the ball to, I think the Packers will be able to move the ball fine.
The Picks: Packers -7 / Over 48.5
Pick Six Best Bets:
Seahawks/Bills Over 54.5
Saints/Buccaneers Under 51.5