NFL Week 9 Sharp Betting Report: Sportsbooks Quake (Just a Bit) at Double-Digit Spreads

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LAS VEGAS — A double-digit point spread is determined by polished and perfected power ratings. Still, when one is established — before even being presented to the public for poaching — does one make sportsbook directors uneasy?

Can it make them squirm, knowing how some relish wagering on a home team getting such points?

BetMGM director of trading Lamarr Mitchell admitted, “Of course it does.”

He likened it to an age-old scene that many likely have experienced.

“It’s kind of like that feeling you get in your stomach when you bring a bad grade home to your parents on your report card.”

At least, in that scenario, millions of dollars aren’t at stake.

On Wednesday, I spoke with a veteran professional bettor who always took double-digit underdogs, nearly blindly. But the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady altered that action.

“They bucked that trend,” he said. “Now I treat [double-digit dogs] like everything else. Over the past three years, things have changed. While I stay away from double-digit favorites, I don’t blindly take the points, either.”

NFL Week 9 Sharp Betting Report: Books Quake (Just a Bit) at Double-Digit Spreads
Josh Allen and the Bills are laying double digits at the Jets in NFL Week 9 betting action (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

He saw the Texans as a double-digit home dog Thursday evening to the Eagles, but he suggested treading lightly because of powerhouse Philly and the fact that Houston might be without its top two receivers.

Editor’s note: Houston covered in a 29-17 loss.

He again mentioned Brady and the Pats and said, “Now Buffalo is a double-digit covering machine.”

At home last Sunday night, Buffalo was giving 11 to 12 points to Green Bay. I’m just a commoner who, despite owning four shares of Packers stock, believed the Bills would pummel this lame foe on a three-game losing streak.

Wrong. Buffalo wins by 10. Many sharp bettors took the points, while Joe Six-Pack gave them. Which contributed to a second losing NFL weekend for most Vegas books.

“We had a lot of liability on parlays with the Bills, on the moneyline,” Mitchell said. “We took it on the chin. The decision wasn’t great for us. It didn’t hurt as much as we thought it would, but we had so many parlays going to that game. That’s where we got hurt, parlays and teasers.”

In Week 9, Buffalo, on the road, is giving around 13 points at the Jets.

“The Bills are on that train to the big game,” Mitchell said. “Everyone is backing them, every week, kind of like years ago when the Patriots were blowing people out, threatening to go undefeated.

“Everybody got on that train and just kept riding that train till it stopped.”

Buffalo Bills (6-1, 4-2-1 ATS) at New York Jets (5-3, 5-3 ATS)

By mid-week, money favored the Jets by a 10-to-1 clip, while tickets favored Joe Willie’s former squad at a 3-to-1 ratio. When tourists flood the city this weekend, though, Mitchell expects waves of Bills action.

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“The ticket count will even out, and we’ll have more action on the Bills minus the points. Like I said, the public loves the big favorites.”

Buffalo has won the past four by an average score of 30-13 against the Jets in Jersey. Overall, the Bills have won seven of the past 10, and 12 of the past 17.

In the previous three, Bills QB Josh Allen went 75-for-108 for 927 yards, three TDs, three picks, and one scoring run.

Will Allen try to avoid Sauce Gardner, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound star cornerback out of Cincinnati? Sauce leads all qualifying rookies with a paltry 44.2% reception rate against him and a mere 147 yards yielded.

He’s tied atop the league with Trevon Diggs of the Cowboys with 12 pass defenses — deflections or otherwise incompletions caused by him. On Wednesday, Sauce told the media he doesn’t care who he’s paired against come Sunday.

Read: NFL Week 9 betting tips and strategies | NFL Week 9 betting picks and predictions | NFL Week 9 survivor picks

Tennessee Titans (5-2, 5-2 ATS) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-2, 3-4 ATS)

Derrick Henry has been getting better as the season progresses. He went from double-digit yardage in his first three games to busting the century mark in his next three to smashing Houston with 219 yards and two touchdowns last weekend.

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Quarterback Ryan Tannehill did not practice on Thursday, and an ankle injury might keep him out for a second consecutive game. Even if he goes, his mobility is expected to be very limited. Malik Willis might get a second start.

That would be a sound reason why this has crept up from around 11 at BetMGM’s nine Strip properties. It’s the third double-digit spread of Week 9.

“One of the public teams that people will lay the points no matter where they’re at, even when playing Buffalo a few weeks ago,” Mitchell said. “With the Titans, not sure the quarterback will be good enough to help Derrick Henry.

“He pulverized the Texans. I don’t know if they’ll be able to ball-control against Kansas City this weekend.”

Tennessee games are 5-2 to Under.

“But I don’t anticipate that this weekend,” Mitchell said. “That’s why they call it gambling.”

Also read: Titans vs. Chiefs odds and prediction

Seattle Seahawks (5-3, 5-3 ATS) at Arizona Cardinals (3-5, 4-4 ATS)

Sun (11/6) @ 4:05 p.m. ET
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ

Cardinals -2, Total 50.5

Geno Smith for NFL MVP? On preseason MVP lists around Vegas, good luck even finding him. At Circa Sports, however, there he is on Aug. 5 at No. 12045 with 750-to-1 odds! At DraftKings on Friday morning, he is 28-to-1.

“What’s funny is, we took a pretty decent-size bet on Geno after Week 2 or 3,” Mitchell said. “I remember seeing the bet come through thinking, ‘This is Geno Smith!’ It isn’t something you would have seen years ago or even last year.

“We are getting pretty solid action on him now.”

The 6-3, 220-pound Eugene Cyril Smith III — you can call him Geno — is leading the league with a 72.7 completion percentage. A West Virginia product and Florida native who turned 32 a few weeks ago, he’s got 13 TDs and only three interceptions this season.

Arizona might be getting Geno and the Hawks at the wrong time since Seattle’s points-per-play margin over its past three games is 0.214, second in the NFL to Buffalo’s 0.290.

Over its previous three, the Cards have yielded 0.424 points per play, tied with New Orleans for the sixth-worst rate in the league. Arizona rang up a season-high 42 points last week, but consider that an anomaly against the Saints’ horrid defense.

Also read: Geno Smith Trails Saquon Barkley in Comeback Player of Year Odds

Los Angeles Chargers (4-3, 4-3 ATS) at Atlanta Falcons (4-4, 6-2 ATS)

Sun (11/6) @ 1 p.m. ET
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

Chargers -3 (-115), Total 49

Atlanta started 6-0 against the number, but it hasn’t covered its past two.

“Last week, it looked like they were gonna cover; I look up and it’s 34-28, then 34-all. What the heck?” Mitchell said. Giving six at home to Carolina, the Falcons pulled out a 37-34 victory in overtime.

“It’s definitely trick or treat with them, even though we just got out of October.”

The Chargers were off last weekend and in their four lifetime trips to Atlanta, they average one point better than the Falcons.

The home team’s secondary had better be prepared because LA QB Justin Herbert averages a league-high 44 pass attempts. Atlanta, however, is tied for 30th in the game allowing 7.7 yards per pass attempt, which improves only slightly (28th, 7.3) at home.

Conversely, the Chargers had better watch out for Avery Williams, the 24-year-old speedster out of Boise State and Pasadena, Calif., who leads the NFL with 20.5 yards per punt return.

NFL Week 9 betting trends: Public jumps on struggling Chargers

Miami Dolphins (5-3, 4-4 ATS) at Chicago Bears (3-5, 3-4-1 ATS)

Sun (11/6) @ 1 p.m. ET
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

Dolphins -4.5, Total 45.5

One forecast calls for sunny skies and 60 degrees with zero rain but 15-mph winds at kickoff. That might be a reason why an opening total of 41.5 around Vegas has been pumped to 45.5 at BetMGM.

“And we did take some sharp play at 44,” Mitchell said, “which is why we moved it up to 45.”

After not finishing two games and missing two, Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa returned to beat Pittsburgh and Detroit the past two weekends, going 50-for-71 for 643 yards, three TDs, and no interceptions.

He said he wasn’t looking forward to this game, not due to the opponent but for the exceptionally shoddy condition of the Soldier Field grass.

Chicago added 24-year-old receiver Chase Claypool from Pittsburgh before the trading deadline and dealt 25-year-old linebacker Roquan Smith to the Ravens. Claypool predicted he and Darnell Mooney could be dynamic.

Miami has won four of the past five in this series. Since 1991, the Dolphins are 3-0 in Chicago, winning by 16-13, 31-13, and 27-14 scores.

Bears games in the first half are 6-2 to Over and the balance of that has been tallied by the opposition. If glancing that way, know that Miami averages 12.5 points in the first half and Chicago 9.5.

Super Bowl odds: Dolphins’ price shortens after Bradley Chubb trade

Minnesota Vikings (6-1, 3-4 ATS) at Washington Commanders (4-4, 4-4 ATS)

Sun (11/6) @ 1 p.m. ET
FedEx Field, Summerfield, MD

Vikings -3.5 (Even), Total 43.5

Since 2021, Washington QB Taylor Heinicke (quick, what college did he attend?) has four fourth-quarter comebacks on his résumé; Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Zach Wilson each have three apiece.

Mitchell also likes the degree of swagger with which Heinicke carries himself.

Since taking over for the injured Carson Wentz, the 29-year-old Old Dominion grad and Georgia native is 2-0, completing two-thirds of his attempts with three TDs and two picks. He’s run it into the end zone for a shorty.

On the other side, the Vikings have a 3.5-game lead in the hapless NFC North and can flex a bit more with a victory here.

Minnesota is 13th in the league in away points-per-play margin (0.007) while Washington, at -0.091, is fourth from the basement in home ratio. The Vikes are 9-4 in their past 13 against Washington.

Mitchell reported that tickets favor Minnesota at a 2-1 clip, but money favors Washington at a 6-1 ratio.

“What does that tell me? Like we discussed, home dogs,” Mitchell said. “This is one of those situations. It’s a close number. This is a situation where I’m a home dog getting 3.5 points. Why not take a shot?”

What’s ahead: Look-ahead NFL Week 10 betting lines for Vikings-Bills

Baltimore Ravens (5-3, 3-4-1 ATS) at New Orleans Saints (3-5, 3-5 ATS)

Mon (11/7) @ 8:15 p.m. ET
Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Ravens -3 (Even), Total 48.5

Mitchell noted that the ticket count here is about even, but the money was 6-1 in favor of New Orleans. Home dogs, as we’ve discussed. The Saints at +3 are -120.

“A lot of money coming in” on New Orleans, Mitchell said. The Ravens, of course, recently obtained backer Roquan Smith from Chicago.

“These Ravens are another Helter-Skelter team. They can play so well, but you don’t know. Are we going to get the Ravens that played well in the fourth quarter against the Bucs or the ones that played poorly versus the Bills in the fourth quarter?”

“You can see where the public will be like, ‘Hey, let’s take a shot with these three points at home.’”

In second halves this season, the Ravens have allowed 14.1 points, 29th in the NFL. A closer look, however, oddly shows that they’re far worse at home in the final 30 minutes than they are on the highway.

In Baltimore, they’ve been outscored by an average of 16.3-7.3; away from home, they’ve outscored the opposition 17.8-12.

To add to the schizo nature of these equations, the Saints are second in the league averaging 14.3 points in second halves. But they’re better on the road (18-point average) than they are in their own dome (10.5). That, as Mitchell said, is why they call it gambling.

Also check: Discover the best sports betting app for you | NFL Week 9 odds

About the Author
Rob Miech

Rob Miech

Rob Miech is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today, covering soccer and producing sports betting features. He has written about college hoops for the Las Vegas Sun, CBS SportsLine and the Pasadena Star-News. He is the author of four books, including Sports Betting for Winners.

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