NFL Picks for Week 9: Bets for Chargers vs Falcons, Seahawks vs Cardinals
Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Geno Smith.
NFL Odds & Picks
Dylan Wilkerson: Both of these teams boast competent offenses that have exploded for points in the past. Since 2017, Chargers games following their bye week have averaged 48 total points.
The Falcons did their part on offense in Week 8, gaining 406 yards of total offense in a win over the Panthers. Atlanta scored 37 points, and that is given that their scoring was suppressed by three turnovers.
We also saw the integration of Kyle Pitts into the Falcons’ offensive scheme on Sunday, which provides upside for the Falcons scoring capabilities.
Finally, Cordarrelle Patterson could be making his return to the Falcons in Week 9, which could lead to a slight increase in this total.
I expect this total to finish around 50.5 when this game kicks off next Sunday.
Brandon Anderson: Seattle Island!! Look, we’re going to keep taking the value on the Seahawks while it’s there, and it feels like this might be one last serious CLV trip to the Island.
For whatever reason, folks are taking a really long time to accept that the Seahawks are good, and I suspect “whatever reason” is named Geno Smith. It’s time to accept that Geno might just be good this year. In fact, the numbers say Geno is great.
There's a clear top 5 quarterbacks this NFL season, just like everyone expected:
Geno Smith pic.twitter.com/P6IoSBTgCY
— Brandon Anderson (@wheatonbrando) October 25, 2022
Geno is part of a clear top-five QBs tier, and he ain’t five. He leads the league in CPOE and is effectively behind only MVP favorites Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes overall. He is playing like an elite quarterback, and elite quarterbacks with good blocking, a big run game, and two electric downfield receivers typically finish near the top of the league.
Over the past month, the Seahawks have ranked top five in both passing and rushing offense. But it’s no longer just that side of the ball. Lately, it’s the defense too. On Sunday, the defense was downright dominant against the Giants. Seattle actually has the best defense in football over the past three weeks. Coming into the weekend, Seattle was the only team in the NFL to rank top eight in DVOA for passing and rushing on both offense and defense over the past four weeks.
The Seahawks are the total package right now, and they’re still being treated like the bottom feeder many expected them to be entering the season. This team just won three straight times by double digits over expected playoff contenders.
One of those was against the team Seattle will face again here, and that win was comprehensive. The defense had its best game of the season, holding Arizona’s offense to a meager field goal in a 19-9 win in Week 6. The Cards turned it over five times and were sacked six times while Seattle settled for four field goals, or the margin might have been even wider.
The same metrics that tell us Geno Smith is playing like an elite QB tell us Kyler Murray is struggling, great as a scrambler but disappointing as a passer. That chart above puts Murray in the same neighborhood as Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff and Andy Dalton — not exactly the company you want your franchise quarterback to keep.
Arizona’s defense is a sieve, especially the pass defense, and the offense has been inconsistent. DeAndre Hopkins helps, but the Seahawks still have the better receiving corps, the stronger runner, a better line, a far more impressive defense, superior coaching and the better QB.
The game is in Arizona this time around, but that may not help. The Cardinals have won only one of their last nine home games in this matchup, going 2-6-1 ATS and failing to cover by 9.2 points per game. Seattle had an elite QB for most of those games, of course, but are we sure that part has changed?
Kliff Kingsbury is 9-15 ATS (38%) as a favorite, including 1-4 in the division. Pete Carroll is 45-28-3 ATS (62%) as an underdog, 18-10 in the division. Geno is profitable as a dog too, and underdogs between three and 10 continue to smash on the season.
Honestly, why are the Seahawks underdogs? These teams literally played three weeks ago and Arizona couldn’t block, move the ball, or slow Seattle’s offense.
This line was Seattle +3.5 when we took it on the lookahead on Friday. It’s starting to move now after another great Seattle performance and another Arizona loss, but it hasn’t moved enough. I don’t see any reason this team should be an underdog here. Grab Seattle +3 if you can, or get the best plus number available to you, which is +2.5 as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Sunday night.