NFL Week 9 Betting Picks & Predictions: Two Underdogs and a Short Favorite is an independent sports news and information service. has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company when you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

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Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith is featured in our NFL Week 9 betting picks & predictions. (AP Photo/Ben VanHouten)

The NFL has reached its halfway point — or as close as you can now with an odd number of games — and the playoff picture is slowly coming into focus. One of the busiest days of trades in decades, 12 players were dealt by the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday. There were both buyers and sellers, offering bettors a glimpse into which teams are making a playoff push and which are already looking at next season.

Through the eight weeks, it looks like the path to the Super Bowl in Arizona will go through Buffalo in the AFC and Philadelphia in the NFC. There are a lot of games left to be played, however, and there’s no such thing as a sure thing in a league that prides itself on its parity. 

In our NFL Week 9 betting picks and predictions, our eyes are on a couple of underdogs and a short favorite fighting to keep their postseason aspirations alive.

Indianapolis Colts (+5.5) at New England Patriots

In a crowded AFC, the 3-4-1 Colts head to New England for a crucial matchup between two playoff hopefuls. Featuring Sam Ehlinger and Mac Jones at quarterback — not quite the Peyton Manning and Tom Brady duels of the 2000s — both the Pats and Colts need a win here to keep their postseason dreams on track. As a 5.5-point underdog, Indianapolis is one of our best bets for NFL Week 9.

New England and Indianapolis have both been mired by quarterback controversy in recent weeks. The Colts, with Ehlinger making his first career start, lost 17-16 last week to the Commanders. New England, 4-4, has bounced between Jones and rookie Bailey Zappe this season, splitting reps in their 33-14 loss on Monday night to the Bears two weeks ago. It was Jones, however, who took each snap in the Patriots’ 22-17 win over divisional rival New York this past week.

Sam Ehlinger looked good in his starting debut after head coach Frank Reich decided to move on from a struggling Matt Ryan. Two crucial fumbles in the red zone — one by Ehlinger and running back Jonathan Taylor each — kept the Colts from ever getting a lead. Ehlinger, however, looked comfortable in the pocket. With another game under his belt, the second-year quarterback could be the fresh spark the Colts need going forward.

Despite leading his team to a win over the Jets, Mac Jones was largely ineffective. Had an interception returned for a touchdown prior to halftime not been negated by a roughing the passer penalty, we would’ve likely seen Zappe take over after the break. A defense that logged three interceptions off the Jets and five Nick Folk field goals were the deciding factors in the victory.

Both of these teams have been struggling this season, but the Colts have a more talented roster. If Indianapolis can manage to avoid the miscues, they should keep the scoreboard close in Foxborough.

Read: NFL Week 9 betting trends

Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears (+5.5)

The Miami Dolphins, trying to keep up in a close AFC East, continue their tour of the NFC North this week with a matchup against an improving Chicago Bears team. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins pulled away in the second half last week to beat the Detroit Lions, 31-27.

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Quarterback Justin Fields may have finally put it all together for the Bears, as the second-year signal-caller has looked solid in recent weeks. After beating down the Patriots two weeks ago, the 3-5 Bears lost last week to the Cowboys 49-29 as double-digit underdogs. 

Despite the loss, Fields accounted for three of four Bears touchdowns including two touchdown passes. He’ll have a prime opportunity to continue his upward track this week against a defense that’s subpar to the Patriots and Cowboys. Miami is allowing the seventh-most passing yards per game this season — the Patriots are allowing the 13th-most and the Cowboys the third-fewest.

Chicago can further make the day easier on Fields by utilizing one of the league’s most potent rushing offenses. Behind the legs of Fields and running backs David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert, the Bears are averaging a league-leading 188.4 rushing yards per game.

Miami, 5-3, has one of the most explosive offenses in the league, but their suspect defense has allowed inferior teams to stick around and cover. They were active at the tradeline, acquiring edge rusher Bradley Chubb, but it’s unknown how many snaps the standout sack artist will play in his first game with Miami.

The Dolphins are just 1-4 against the spread over their last five games. The Bears can control the game with their strong rushing attack and force Miami to play their game at home. Getting five at Soldier Field, the Bears are one of our best bets for NFL Week 9.

Look ahead: NFL Week 10 odds | Super Bowl 2022 odds

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-1.5)

One of the NFL’s most prominent storylines this season has been the resurgence of quarterback Geno Smith and the NFC West first-place Seattle Seahawks. Head coach Pete Carroll and company head to the desert as short underdogs to take on the rival Cardinals.

Seattle, 5-3, has been playing sound football behind Smith and rookie running back Kenneth Walker III. On the road in Arizona, the Seahawks’ three-game winning streak will come to an end against a Cardinals team that has started to find its groove with wideout DeAndre Hopkins back in the lineup. In one of the best bets of NFL Week 9, take the Cardinals as a short home favorite.

This is the second matchup of the year between these two NFC West rivals. Seattle won the first game, 19-9, but Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has since seen Hopkins return and receiver Robbie Anderson join by way of Carolina. Murray has thrown four touchdowns in the two games since that matchup, including in a 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury — whose seat is certainly warming — is 11-5 ATS as a home favorite. A win here is crucial to keep up in a hotly-contested NFC West. Despite their 3-5 record, they’ve remained close in all their losses, including heartbreakers to the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles and 6-1 Minnesota Vikings. 

Arizona has struggled to get off to fast starts and has failed to score a first-quarter touchdown this season. To beat rival Seattle, they’ll have to get on the board quickly and control the ballgame. 

The Seahawks’ cinderella season will have a hiccup eventually and after three-straight wins, they’ll struggle to contain a quickly-emerging Cardinals offense. Although the game figures to be close, the Cardinals laying less than a field goal is one of the best bets of NFL Week 9.

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About the Author
Ken Bates

Ken Bates

Ken Bates is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today. With years of experience in the industry, he’s covered several sports and is always on the lookout for an angle to bet. Bates resides in upstate New York and, as difficult as it may sometimes be, roots for the Jets, Mets, and Islanders.

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