To the Los Angeles Chargers, the betting message is “All is Forgiven”.
To the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s “Time to begin Anew.”
To the Las Vegas Raiders, it could be “Here’s a Mulligan.”
Three struggling NFL teams have been given a Week 9 betting endorsement by the public, which expects them to break out. Here’s a look around the NFL with spread-bet handle percentages as of Wednesday morning.
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How the Week 9 Bets are Trending
The Chargers began Wednesday with 92% of the DraftKings handle as a 3-point road favorite against the Atlanta Falcons. This greets a team that was thumped 37-23 at home by the Seattle Seahawks before the bye.
The 4-3 Chargers are expected to run up numbers against the NFL’s worst pass defense that yields nearly 307 yards per game.
The Bucs, losers of three straight, are endorsed by 75% of the spread handle at -2.5 against the visiting Los Angeles Rams. How different this game is from their January playoff meeting, when the Rams toppled the Bucs and later won the Super Bowl.
Now it’s the 3-4 Rams and 3-5 Bucs, trying to survive. Will the apparent resolution of Tom Brady’s personal problems, a divorce, jump start his focus for Tampa Bay?
The Las Vegas Raiders also gained an unusual nod. They have 78% of the handle against the host Jacksonville Jaguars at -2. Anything with a minus number in front of the Raiders looks peculiar this week. You can’t minus a zero.
That’s what the Raiders got last week. They were shut out by the New Orleans Saints, 24-0.
That was a head-scratcher for bettors in Week 8. The Raiders had scored more than 30 points for three straight weeks. That goose egg blew up a number of Over parlays.
But here are the Raiders, again as a road chalk.
That’s the nature of misdirection thinking.
The books and bettors expect a change and have put it into the line.
Hot Teams Getting Bettors’ Love at Big Prices
Some betting considerations are actually in line with the teams’ recent performance.
The 7-0 Philadelphia Eagles had 92% of the midweek handle at -14 for Thursday’s matchup at the 1-5-1 Houston Texans. Philadelphia manhandled the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-13, while the Texans were dropped 17-10 by the Tennessee Titans, who had a backup quarterback.
Houston has the worst run defense in the league, and gamblers expect Philadelphia to exploit it.
The Eagles, along with the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, are the high-quality teams laying double-digit numbers in Week 9.
Can they run the table: Eagles’ odds to go undefeated
Did the Jets peak?
The betting line of the Bills -13 on the road suggests that. So does Buffalo garnering 79% of the spread handle.
Two major developments impact this line.
One, the Jets miss running-back stalwart Breece Hall, who was injured during their Week 7 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Two, they never recovered from a penalty last week. The high-water mark of the Jets’ season may be Michael Carter streaking down the sidelines for an 84-yard Pick 6 in the final minute of the first half against the New England Patriots.
The touchdown was going to put the Jets up, 17-3. But they were flagged for roughing the passer, an unfortunate call that had nothing to do with the play.
New England instead kicked a field goal just before the half, and the Jets eventually gave up 19 unanswered points. This was the day the Jets were going to erase New England’s 12-game win streak over them and emphasize a new hierarchy among the better teams of the NFC East.
Didn’t happen. And now they face Josh Allen and Co.
The Santa Claus Line?
Quick, which team has the longest win streak in the AFC? And why are they getting 12.5 points?
The Titans have won and covered five straight games. They sit atop the AFC South. Yet they are +12.5 against the host Chiefs, who have 73% of the spread handle.
The betting market appears to believe that Titans quarterback Ryan either won’t play or will be limited. Tannehill did not play last week because of an ankle injury and an illness. His backup Malik Willis was not effective.
Tennessee had Derrick Henry’s 219-yard day as a bailout against the Texans. But if the Chiefs shut him down — and they could pack the line of scrimmage to temper his impact — the Titans don’t have a passing game.
Any changes in this line could reflect sentiment about whether Tannehill will go.
Cincinnati Bengals: Split Decision
Public handle on the Bengals -7.5 versus the Carolina Panthers has been divided. The Panthers had a scant 49-51% betting handle majority, but the gamblers pushed the line from Cincinnati -7 to -7.5 early Wednesday morning.
This happened right after the Bengals were embarrassed on Monday night by the Cleveland Browns, 32-13.
Missing Ja’Marr Chase, the Bengals looked rudderless and could be in serious trouble.
The line nonetheless projects a rebound.
That may be easier said than done. The Panthers have shown some grit and authored “A Bettor’s Perilous Journey” for some in-game gamblers last week.
What a finish to their game against the Atlanta Falcons.
When Atlanta went ahead 34-28 with 36 seconds remaining, many Falcons bettors breathed a sigh of relief. But others bet on them to collapse.
Johnny Avello, director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today the Panthers’ in-game odds became +2600 at that moment. And there was plenty of action on that.
With no timeouts and 23 seconds left, Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker rolled out from his own 38 and launched a rainbow to D.J. Moore in the Falcons end zone. Moore snared it with 12 seconds to go.
The in-game bettors looked clairvoyant. But Moore took off his helmet in the celebration and drew a penalty, prompting the extra point to come from 48 yards out. It missed. So did Eddy Piñeiro’s overtime field goal from PAT range.
Given that many chances, the Falcons won.
For the bettors who took the stab at 26-to-1 odds, genius was not enough. This one exceeds the “bad beat” terminology.
There were too many steps involved. It was a “tortuous beat.”
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That Didn’t Take Long
We speculated here a couple days ago that it would be interesting to see how much futures money the San Francisco 49ers would take in the wake of Week 8’s 31-14 throttling of the Los Angeles Rams.
Turns out, it’s a lot.
Since that game, the Niners have taken the most Super Bowl of any team in the league at DraftKings
That has knocked them all the way up to +1300 to win the Super Bowl at the book. That’s a significant jump from +1800, the area they’d been in before they traded for Christian McCaffrey.
CMC was a magician in the Niners’ victory. While the rushing touchdown was expected, his leaping touchdown catch and TD toss illustrate how dangerous the Niners could become
Along with the Niners, the Bills, Eagles, and Miami Dolphins are taking considerable DraftKings money to win the Super Bowl.
Bettors Cash In
A group of DraftKings gamblers went to the bank with Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb Monday night.
Chubb paid +700 to be the first TD scorer, -115 to tally any time, and +475 to hit paydirt twice in the team’s win over the Bengals.
Chubb paid a group of gamblers who had an angle.
One patron went deep on both teams and made a huge score.
The bettor was able to turn a $10 bet into a $14,010 payout. This SGP had a 40% profit boost and the winning legs were:
• Tee Higgins Anytime Touchdown Scorer
• Jacoby Brissett Anytime Touchdown Scorer
• Nick Chubb 1st Touchdown Scorer
• Jacoby Brissett Over 219.5 Passing Yards
• Nick Chubb Over 99.5 Rushing Yards
• Donovan Peoples-Jones Over 49.5 Receiving Yards
What a call.
There were three high-risk elements that were realized.
Nick Chubb scored first. That part of the bet is always an educated crapshoot.
Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett rushed for a score.
And Brissett somehow recorded 278 passing yards on a night for which the Browns ran the ball 44 times. The 44 and the 278 rarely go together.
But that, as Robert De Niro said in the movie “Casino”, is why it paid so well.
Risky Prop to Monitor
See if this is the edge you fan fine-tune over time and slam to your advantage.
Among the myriad of props at the books is one entitled ‘To Score First and Lose’. Seems like an obscure dice roll.
But it usually pays between +300 and +450. Pretty nice return for something that’s not predicated on the point spread or an individual player.
Last week, seven teams scored first and lost. What they had in common was that most of them are average or below average.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Panthers, Lions, Jets, Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Rams all paid in this category.
If you get a feel for this over time, it can pay handsomely. It also allows some razzle-dazzle. Try it with two teams. Hit one of them and the return should be close to 2-to-1. Hit both and you have about 4-to-1 on two separate wagers.
NFL Week 9 Betting Lines
Here are current odds from the top sports betting apps on this week’s NFL slate: