By Steven Marcuz (@sidskeat) and Shaun Meyer (@deadduck77)
Back to back great weeks and it seems like we finally have a grip on the bookmakers. Industry wide however, Las Vegas has had a record breaking season so let’s try not to get ahead of ourselves. Slow and steady wins the race and we are slowly getting back into the green. We are gonna keep that going this week! So let’s see where we stand:
And now, we’re on to week nine!
Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
This line jumped out at me as I thought it might have been a little bit closer, maybe Jaguars -3.5. The Bengals have been a solid team after sputtering to start the season and they’ve also been solid on the road, at least in bettor’s eyes. The Bengals are 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games on the road and that includes a trip to Green Bay (with Aaron Rodgers playing). The Jaguars are also not a great team at covering spreads at home, going 0-2 ATS and straight up (SU) in their two Florida games this season against the Titans and the Rams. The Jags are actually 2-6 ATS and SU in their last eight home games. They are coming off of a bye and will have Leonard Fournette back after an ankle injury. I think the Bengals can keep it within striking distance throughout and actually think Cincy steals this one though. Give me the Bengals to cover and win this one straight up 24-20.
Los Angeles Rams @ New York Giants OVER 42
Both of these teams are coming off of their bye weeks and should be fresh and ready to roll. Although the Giants have dealt with brutal injury issues all year they are getting healthier. The Rams have surprised the league with the resurgence of Todd Gurley. Meanwhile, Jared Goff looks nothing like the punching bag QB we saw last season. The Rams are putting up points, covering the OVER in six of their last nine games overall and four of their last six games on the road. The Giants have been stingier at home where the UNDER has covered in six of the last seven at MetLife. That one game? When the Chargers came to town and won 27-22 (total was 45). The Giants have trouble with west coast teams for some reason so I’m playing to this obscure fact. I’ll take the Rams to win this one 27-20.
Denver Broncos @ Philadelphia Eagles UNDER 43.5
Brock Osweiler...Eagles win 27-13.
Kansas City Chiefs (+2.5) @ Dallas Cowboys
I was taking the Chiefs (+1) before Zeke got reinstated for the 4,205th time and now that the Chiefs are getting an extra point and a half I’m even happier. We always talk about the home field advantage Kansas City has but they’ve been a great road team in the betting world. They’re 9-1 ATS and SU in their last 10 games AWAY from KC. This season they’re 3-1 SU on the road and their average margin of victory is 12 points. On the flipside, the Cowboys aren’t great bets at home, as they sport a 2-5 ATS record in their last seven games at Jerry’s World. Even with Zeke back in the fold I still think that the Chiefs come into Dallas and steal a win. I think this one will be a shootout as you’ll see later on in the article. Chiefs win 31-27.
Denver Broncos @ Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5)
Philadelphia kept their hot streak going although it was against the lowly 49ers. They have the best record in the NFL and showed their intentions to go for it all by trading for Jay Ajayi at the trade deadline. Denver also continued their momentum in the opposite direction in a loss to the Chiefs that signaled the beginning of the reign of Asswasher [Editor’s Note: This is the official FLAFFL House nickname for Osweiler]: the sequel. The Broncos offense has been pitiful since the bye week. CJ Anderson has looked good yet anytime he gets them close they switch him out with Booker or Charles and have fantasy owners everywhere screaming at their TVs. Philly is 14-5 ATS in games on grass over the last two seasons. They are also 6-0 ATS at home in weeks five through nine over the last three seasons. I’m not sure what the split between Ajayi/Blount/Smallwood will be but I believe that Wentz and company put up too many points for Denver to compete with, even against the stout Broncos D. Eagles win 24-13.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (-6.5)
New Orleans beat the Bears last week in a game that wasn’t really close, but wasn’t a blowout either. The Bucs however managed only three points against the Panthers in a game that proved to be a fantasy wasteland. Tampa has been a tough team to peg this year. Some weeks they look like the team we thought they would be. They put up points and make Winston, Evans, DJax, Martin and the two TEs owners happy. Other weeks they throw up a three point stinker making those same owners suffer. The Saints have looked good since shipping Peterson off to the desert. Not having to rely on Brees to be 100% of the offense looks good on the Saints. By bailing on the AP experiment they have made Ingram and Kamara both viable fantasy options and helped the offense overall. Tampa is 0-4-1 ATS in their last five and the Saints have won nine of their last 11 when facing the Bucs. Give me the Saints 34-23.
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) @ San Francisco 49ers
Well, so much for the Beathard era and that “Iowa connection” with George Kittle. The Niners moved to bring in Jimmy Garoppolo at the trade deadline and while that will definitely help the offense in the long term it does nothing for them this week against the Cardinals. I think Beathard will start a few more weeks (if not more) and while he does, you can expect this offense to struggle. The Cardinals are also without their starter as Carson Palmer broke his arm. The backup, Drew Stanton, has at least been in this system and coming off the bye has had two weeks to prepare for this game. Arizona has beaten San Fran in five straight. While the “Fitz to New England” rumors proved to be false, I am hoping Stanton realizes peppering Fitzgerald with targets gives them the best chance to win. I can see a lot of field goals in this one. Cardinals win 19-13.
Kansas City Chiefs (+2.5) @ Dallas Cowboys
Well the “will he or won’t he” get suspended question regarding Zeke is finally answered. Or is it? The suspension was reinstated earlier this week and one appeal was denied but there is another that could delay the suspension YET AGAIN!! I am betting that this time it is actually going to stick and this weekend will be the Morris/McFadden show. [Editor’s Note: As of this writing the suspension has yet again been put off. Proceed with caution!] Kansas City built a lead on the lost Broncos and held on as Denver made it close in garbage time, CAUSING ME TO LOSE A CLOSE MATCHUP STARTING THE KC DEF!!!! But I’m not bitter and I digress. I like Kareem Hunt to get back on the right track and this seems like a nice Tyreek Hill game too. Hill literally takes turns having a good game followed by a crappy one. Every other week. Alex Smith has been playing mistake free football so far this year and I like the Chiefs to continue their winning ways against a (hopefully) Zeke-less Cowboy squad. Update: Zeke is playing but dammit I’m still riding the Chiefs! Chiefs win 27-20.
Steve - Kansas City Chiefs @ Dallas Cowboys OVER 54
Yes, it’s a big number, I know this. But guess what? That’s right, I don’t care. I like the Chiefs in this game and they’ve been a great team on the road away from Arrowhead which doesn’t seem like the norm. But in the last seven road games for the Chiefs, the OVER has hit in six of them. In the Chiefs’ last five games overall the OVER has hit four times. Dallas is following a similar trend. In their last six home games the OVER has hit five times and in their last five games overall the total has gone OVER four times. These are two hot teams that need to win and I expect there to be fireworks.
Shaun- Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks OVER 45
Going back to the well with this one. All I heard last week about the Seattle/Houston game was “take the under” or “this could be a 9-6 game”. Well if you read this article you took the OVER and almost had it by halftime. THIS ISN’T THE TYPICAL SEATTLE DEFENSE and yet the over/under is smaller than it was last week. While I don’t expect Kirk Cousins to throw for 400 yards and four TDs. He definitely will not rush for 60 yards. However, I don’t think they will be shut down either. There will be turnovers but there will be points too. Sherman hasn’t been a shutdown corner thus far and everyone saw Earl Thomas came up limping after trying to chase down Mr. Touchdown, Will Fuller. The Seahawks offense is finally starting to round into form in time for their annual second half surge. Seahawks win 27-23.