Week 9 in the NFL is here, meaning we’re just about halfway through one of the strangest seasons in league history.
Time flies when you’re having “fun,” right?
Anyhow, we’re back with three betting favorites you might want to shy away from when you’re making your bets or filling out your pools this week.
Here they are, with the lines provided via consensus data:
(-2.5) Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts
We’re about to really learn what these Ravens are made of.
Baltimore, coming off an extremely hard-fought divisional loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, now has to go on the road and play another physical team in the Indianapolis Colts. Not only are the Colts tough, but Indy also matches up well with Baltimore. We all know how the Ravens running attack can change a game at the drop of a hat, but Indy’s defense is especially stout up front. The Colts, per Sharp Football Stats, are allowing the third-fewest explosive run plays so far this season.
The Baltimore defense certainly is strong, but if there’s any relative weakness, it’s against the pass, especially with cornerback Marlon Humphrey on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Basically, it seems more likely the Colts can stop what the Ravens do best rather than vice versa.
(-3.5) Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos
Despite recent success, the Falcons pretty much should be an automatic fade when laying the points. Atlanta is a staggering 2-8 against the spread as a favorite since late 2018, and it has failed to cover as a favorite this year — despite being favored by a combined seven points in those four games.
So, how confident can you feel laying the 3.5 points against a Denver team that can take advantage of Atlanta’s leaky secondary? Drew Lock caught fire in the fourth quarter last week — completing 14 of 18 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns — and it wouldn’t be surprising if Denver pulled off more late-game heroics this week.
The Falcons are allowing 15.8 second-half points per game, which is the second-worst in the NFL. If the Broncos can just avoid being blown out, they should hang around all afternoon.
(-10.5) Kansas City Chiefs vs. Carolina Panthers
We’re not alone here. This game opened with KC as 12.5-point favorites, and that’s been bet down a couple of points. Still, be cautious of the Chiefs this week. They’ve been a little inconsistent this season, and this is a potential letdown spot with the bye week looming in Week 10.
The Chiefs still have a pretty suspect run defense; they rank 28th against the run in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric this season. Now, they might be tasked with slowing the returning Christian McCaffrey.