NFL Betting Guide: Week 9
numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, game line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.
For example, if you would usually bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.
Using our models as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for tonight.
Under 48.5 (-112): 4-Star Rating out of 5
This is a matchup of two of the best defenses in the NFL. According to our schedule-adjusted metrics, the Baltimore Ravens have the league's top D while the Indianapolis Colts check in seventh. Baltimore is first against the rush and fourth versus the pass. The Colts are ninth in run defense and eighth in pass defense. Both units can do it all.
I'm not sure either of the quarterbacks in this game are good enough to thrive despite the difficult matchups. Going by our Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, Lamar Jackson sits 27th in Passing NEP per drop back. He checks in 29th in completion percentage, and the Colts are allowing the 4th-lowest completion percentage.
Although Philip Rivers ranks a solid seventh in Passing NEP per drop back, he struggled in his only matchup that wasn't a pretty soft one, with Indy scoring 19 points at the Chicago Bears while Rivers threw for 190 yards. Every other Colts game has come against a team we have in the bottom-half of the league in pass defense, including four games versus teams in the bottom nine. And every team the Colts have played currently sports a negative point differential. Baltimore is third in point differential.
All signs point to a low-scoring game. Our model projects Baltimore to win by a score of 21.87-20.06. That's a total of 41.93 points -- well under the line of 48.5. We have the under hitting 68.86% of the time and rank it as one of the top bets of the week.
Over 41.5 (-114): 4-Star Rating out of 5
With how crazy scoring as been this year, it's pretty staggering to see a total this low, and our model views this as a great chance to jump on the over.
It's fair to expect the worst for the Dallas Cowboys. They've scored 22 total points in the three full games without Dak Prescott, including back-to-back outings of 3 and 9 points versus the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. They now face the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL's lone unbeaten team, and the expectation is that Cooper Rush or Garrett Gilbert will be under center for Dallas. It's probably not going to be pretty.
With that said, our projections see Dallas putting up a fight and losing 29.43-19.05. Our 29.43-point total for Pittsburgh is roughly in line with their current implied total of 27.75 points. The difference lies with the Cowboys, who are implied for only 13.75 points.
According to our oddsFire tool, 91% of the money being bet on the total -- compared to just 83% of the bets -- is on the over. That means sharp money is taking the over. We follow suit and give this game a 68.71% chance to go over.
Washington -2.5 (-110): 3-Star Rating out of 5
Washington hasn't been that bad this season. Our numbers have the Football Team ranked 19th in the league. All things considered, that's not too shabby given what was expected from them prior to the campaign.
The New York Giants, meanwhile, are who we thought they were -- which is to say they're really bad. We have the G-Men as the fourth-worst team in the NFL. Their defense has been close to league-average thanks to a stout run D, but the Giants' offense sits fourth-worst.
On paper, New York's putrid offense makes Washington a difficult matchup as WFT's defense is their strong suit, ranking 10th by our numbers. The Giants' one win, however, came against Washington as Big Blue prevailed by a 20-19 score in MetLife Stadium in Week 5.
Our model sees Washington flipping the script on Sunday. We project WFT to win 23.73-18.68 -- a margin of victory of 5.05, more than double the spread of 2.5. We have Washington covering 62.00% of the time, and this is the best spread bet of the weekend, per our algorithm.