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NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why You Should Bet Patriots vs. Panthers and Raiders vs. Giants Spreads Now

NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why You Should Bet Patriots vs. Panthers and Raiders vs. Giants Spreads Now article feature image

Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. Pictured: Patriots QB Mac Jones

  • Based on opening NFL odds for Week 9, what are the most valuable picks on the board?
  • Our analysts reveal why they've already bet the Patriots vs. Panthers and Raiders vs. Giants spreads below.

The month has changed over to November, and with it brings Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season: The midway point of the league’s new 17-game schedule.

As the postseason race starts to take shape, the upcoming week features a few inter-conference matchups between contenders, including Packers-Chiefs, Patriots-Panthers and Titans-Rams.

On bye are the Lions, Seahawks, Buccaneers and Washington Football Team.

With opening odds out, our experts have pulled the trigger on two spreads in order to lock in the most value before lines inevitably change closer to kickoff.

NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Patriots -2.5 at Panthers
Raiders -2.5 at Giants

Patriots-Panthers Odds

Patriots -2.5
Best Book

1 p.m. ET

Raheem Palmer: The New England Patriots opened as 2.5-point road favorites over the Carolina Panthers, and with Sam Darnold leaving Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons with a concussion, it’s likely we’ll see former XFL star P.J. Walker starting at quarterback next week.

Darnold isn’t anything to write home about as he’s 30th in DVOA, 25th in ESPN’s QBR and seven touchdowns to eight interceptions, but unfortunately for the Panthers Walker is a significant downgrade. In limited action this year Walker has a DVOA of -98.1, and last season he had a completion percentage of 57.1% with five interceptions and one touchdown.

To put it bluntly, Walker isn’t good, and against a Bill Belichick-led defense, the Panthers might as well be playing with one arm tied behind their back. If Belichick could flummox Justin Herbert, what is he going to do to Walker or Darnold should he return from the concussion protocol?

The Patriots are on to something and will be looking to make a playoff push. I’ll lay the the short number with the Patriots and would bet this up to -3.

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Raiders-Giants Odds

Raiders -2.5
Best Book

1 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: The Raiders were off this week but had a heck of a Sunday anyway with the Chargers and Bengals losing and the Titans almost joining them.

It’s been a pretty weird season for Las Vegas, but at 5-2, the Raiders are shock contenders for the AFC 1-seed the way this season is shaping up. It’s been a roller coaster all the way, with two overtime wins the first three weeks followed by a pair of lifeless losses and then the Jon Gruden firing.

I was ready to give up on the Raiders at that point, even at 3-2, but they’ve gone the other direction with their two best games of the season — a dominant win in Denver and then another easy one over the Eagles. The offense has actually been better without Gruden while the defense has ranked top-seven overall and against the pass in EPA per play over the past four weeks.

That defense has been a revelation, especially the pass rush, and it’s why I love the Raiders here against the Giants. Yes, the G-Men dominated the Panthers a week ago, but this team is 2-5 for a reason. They’re not good, at anything really. It’s entirely possible the Giants get blown out by the Chiefs tonight and remind everyone of that, so I’m racing to get my Raiders bet in while this line is mysteriously below a field goal.

The trends favor the Raiders too here coming off the bye. Short favorites coming off a bye week are 53-38-6 against the spread (ATS) per Action Labs, covering 58% of the time, while road favorites off a bye are 69-42-6 ATS, covering 62% of their games. The Raiders qualify as both.

I love Vegas here and want to grab it before this line gets to -3 or beyond.

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