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NFL Picks: Dolphins-Cardinals Total, A Steelers Prop Bet, More Week 9 Angles

Credit:

Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: James Conner

NFL Picks

Pick
Kickoff
Bet Now
Seahawks -3 at Bills
1 p.m. ET
BetMGM
Chiefs -10 vs. Panthers
1 p.m. ET
PointsBet
Titans -6.5 vs. Bears
1 p.m. ET
BetMGM
Ravens -1 at Colts
1 p.m. ET
PointsBet
Giants +2.5, +130 at Washington
1 p.m. ET
DraftKings
Dolphins-Cardinals Under 49.5
4:25 p.m. ET
FanDuel
James Conner Under 22.5 Rec Yards
4:25 p.m. ET
DraftKings
Saints +5.5 at Bucs
8:20 p.m. ET
BetMGM

Chris Raybon, a senior NFL and fantasy football analyst, highlights his favorite Week 9 NFL picks below. He has a 323-244-19 (55.8%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action app.

Seahawks -3 at Bills

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The Bills are missing key pieces on both sides of the ball that will put them at a disadvantage in a likely shootout with Russell Wilson: The offense will be without starting center Mitch Morse (concussion), while the defense won’t have the services of linebacker Matt Milano (IR-pec) cornerback Josh Norman (hamstring).

Seattle has mitigated a piss-poor defense to go 7-1 straight up and 5-2 against the spread (ATS), and the defense will finally get some help with the return of all-world safety Jamal Adams and the addition of former Bengal Carlos Dunlap to the defensive line.

As my colleague Matthew Freedman pointed out earlier this week, the Hawks are 14-7-1 ATS on early East coast starts. Last season, Seattle infamously won five of its 11 games by four or fewer points, but this season’s #LetRussCook version has put scores opponents by at least a touchdown in four of six wins and won by five or more in five of six.

[Bet now at BetMGM and win $100 if a touchdown is scored]

Chiefs -10 vs. Panthers

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The return of Christian McCaffrey is overstated, as the Chiefs will give up yards in the run game regardless of who the back is. A bigger injury is the loss of left tackle Russell Okung for the Panthers, as he has graded out as a top-10 pass-blocking tackle this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Chiefs are seventh in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA and top-12 against No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers, allowing them to match up well against Carolina’s other main — and more important — strength on offense: Wide receivers Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore.

Carolina’s pass defense has played over its head for most of the season despite a bottom-five pressure rate (18.6% per Pro Football Reference), and was in the process of allowing a possible 400-yard passing game Matt Ryan last Thursday before a Calvin Ridley injury and bad weather intervened.

The Panthers are no match for a high-powered Chiefs offense averaging 31.2 points per game (second-most).

And remember how Teddy Bridgewater came into the year 28-7 ATS? He’s 4-4 since. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes entered this season 23-11-2 ATS (68%). He’s gone 6-2. This is not coincidence.

I like KC up to -11.

[Bet now at PointsBet and get $125 if the Chiefs gain a yard]

Titans -6.5 vs. Bears

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The Bears will be without their starting center Cody Whitehair (reserve/COVID-19) and right tackle Bobby Massie (IR-knee), which leaves them little margin for error if their No. 1 red zone defense regresses (which tends to happen more often than not) against Tennessee’s dominant red zone offense.

The Titans’ abysmal third-down defense is also due for some regression in the opposite direction after cutting washed up cornerback Jonathan Joseph, who already allowed four touchdowns, and acquiring Desmond King, who has allowed an average of one catch per 17.1 coverage snaps, ninth-best out of 112 cornerbacks with 100 snaps (per PFF).

I know, I know — the Titans have come out flat and failed to cover two weeks in a row, and are just 2-5 ATS on the season. But this creates value in the market as betters are hesitant to back poor ATS teams against solid ones like the Bears, who are 5-3 ATS.

But according to our Action Labs data, teams .300 or worse ATS going against teams .500 or better ATS have covered at better than a 60% clip from October on since 2003:

I like the Titans up to -6.5.

[Bet now at BetMGM and win $100 if a touchdown is scored]

Ravens -1 at Colts

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

This line opened Ravens -3 or -3.5 at most books with Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley’s season-ending injury already known, and I don’t think the absence of cornerback Marlon Humphrey (reserve/COVID-19) warrants a shift of 2-3 points, especially against a Colts offense that will be without wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (groin).

The Colts have beat the Vikings, Bears, Jets, Bengals and Lions — aka nobody — while both Ravens losses have come against arguably the NFL’s top two teams in the Chiefs and Steelers.

Lamar Jackson is struggling, but is no more liable to ruin the game than Philip Rivers. Jackson is 10-4-1 (71%) ATS on the road while Colts head coach Frank Reich is 4-8-1 (33%) ATS coming off a multi-game winning streak.

I like the Ravens up to -1.

[Bet now at PointsBet and get $125 if the Ravens gain a yard]

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Giants +2.5, +130 at Washington

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The Giants won the first matchup despite Daniel Jones, completing only 12 passes and throwing a red-zone pick. Jones is 2-8 ATS at home and 7-1 ATS on the road because the market penalizes them for a lack of home-field advantage they never had in the first place.

This is a coin flip game in which the Giants likely win if they cover. I like them down to a pick on the spread and moneyline.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

Dolphins-Cardinals Under 49.5

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The Cards are banged up on defense, but the Dolphins managed just eight first downs and 145 yards of offense in Tua Tagovailoa’s first start. Now they will be without their top-two running backs, Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida, as well as their starting slot receiver, Isaiah Ford, who was traded to the Patriots.

And while the Cardinals are fast-paced on offense, their best bet is to run on the Dolphins’ 32nd ranked run DVOA defense rather than throwing on their third-rated unit against the pass, which should bleed clock.

The total market has been slow to adjust to both of these teams, as their unders have gone a combined 11-3. I have this projected a field goal lower and like the under down to 48.

[Bet now at FanDuel completely risk-free for $1,000]

James Conner Under 22.5 Rec Yards

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Game Info

Despite playing an increasingly overwhelming amount of Pittsburgh’s backfield snaps, Conner has topped 19 receiving yards in just two of seven games. Opponents have found no need to dump down to their backs against the Cowboys, who are allowing an NFL-low 16.9 receiving yards per game. This shouldn’t change in a game the Steelers are favored to win by two touchdowns.

I would bet this down to 19.5 (-135). And if you’re looking for more props, I added a lot more props to the app, so be sure to follow me there for more props and analysis.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

Saints +4.5 at Bucs

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The Bucs are No. 1 overall in DVOA, but the Saints are not far behind at seventh and rank top-eight in all three facets (seventh on offense, eighth on defense, fifth on special teams).

The Bucs are getting Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, but the Saints can match that with the returns of Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. This is a Bucs team on a short week that lost by 11 to the Saints in Week 1 and barely (wrongfully?) avoided overtime against the Giants on Monday night.

Sean Payton is 30-21-2 (59%) ATS as a road underdog, and I love the Saints at anything more than a field goal in a game they could end up winning outright.

[Bet now at BetMGM and win $100 if a touchdown is scored]

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