In this column, we look at the NFL odds board currently trading for Week 9 and spotlight several games for your NFL picks – those that are best to bet now and those that are best to bet later.
NFL Odds & Lines Week 9
- Bet Later: Philadelphia Eagles vs Houston Texans (+14)
- Bet Now: Green Bay Packers (-3) vs Detroit Lions
- Bet Now/Later: Miami Dolphins vs Chicago Bears (+4½)
Bet Later: Eagles vs Texans (+14)
Thursday Night Football is a total mismatch between two sides headed in opposite directions and the NFL betting markets mirror that fact.
The Philadelphia Eagles (7-0) are the lone undefeated team in the league with a 5-2-0 record against the spread (ATS) that includes an 11.1 winning margin on average. On the road, they are 1-2-0 ATS with a 7.3 winning margin on average.
Everybody and their grandmother is jumping on the Jalen Hurts and Co. bandwagon, especially following Sunday’s 35-13 blowout of the Pittsburgh Steelers. That trend has seen the line for this Thursday Night football game move from an opening -13 to -14 already.
However, lookahead NFL lines had the Eagles projected as low as -9½ in point spread betting – almost five points lower than the line currently trading at the sportsbook exchange..
If lookahead lines provide an unbiased sneak peak at the following week’s games, without the overreaction that follows every single Sunday, then the five-point difference is a clear overreaction to the Eagles’ 22-point margin of victory. In fact, the Eagles went into Week 7 with a 4-2-0 ATS mark that included a 9.3 average margin of victory – that is an average much closer to the lookahead betting line than the current one.
It’s worth noting that the Houston Texans (1-5-1) are a modest 3-3-1 ATS with a 5.4 losing margin on average. They’re not winning games, but they’re passing the eye test in accountability and effort. Only twice this season have the Texans lost by 10 points or more.
Seeing as the line is already at two touchdowns, grabbing the Texans plus the points offers value. Simply put, bettors are getting five extra points (or so) for free. However, there is a chance that this line will only go up. Therefore, there could be added value in waiting to see if you can get a bigger line with the Texans.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 31, 2022
Bet Now: Packers (-3) vs Lions
The Green Bay Packers have reached a new nadir in the Matt-LaFleur-Aaron-Rodgers era. For the first time in three years, the Packers are below .500 ahead of Week 9 after going 3-5-0 SU in the first eight weeks. That run of form includes a 3-5-0 ATS mark with a 3.5 losing margin on average.
Lookahead NFL betting lines projected the Packers as the -3½ road favorites versus the Detroit Lions (1-6-0) ahead of Week 9. But a hefty 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Sunday Night Football has seen a half-point shaved off this line.
For all their woes, Rodgers and the Packers are still a much better team than the Lions. Dan Campbell’s side can’t buy a win no matter how hard they try, never mind a cover. The Lions are 3-4-0 ATS with a 7.4 losing margin on average, but they’ve failed to cover the spread in four straight games.
Grab the Packers as the field goal favorites in this game before the line moves back up to 3½ or higher. This is the get-right spot for the Packers against a team that they’ve dominated in recent history and appears to be ripe for the taking again.
Coach Campbell on the change to the team’s coaching staff. pic.twitter.com/otibrhgDLK
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 31, 2022
Bet Now: Dolphins vs Bears (+4½)
The Miami Dolphins are 4-0 SU with Tua Tagovailoa as their starter and 5-3-0 SU on the season. If there’s one knock-back against the Dolphins, it’s the fact that they aren’t exactly dominant. In fact, they’re a modest 4-4-0 ATS with a 4.1 losing margin on average.
The Dolphins are coming off a 31-27 win over the Lions, in a game that saw them erase a 10-point deficit at halftime (27-17). Interestingly, the topsy-turvy performance didn’t have an adverse effect on the betting online markets for this week’s date with the Bears. On the contrary, the Dolphins are up to -4½ from -3½ in last week’s lookahead NFL lines.
This market outlook has as much to do with Miami’s win over the Lions as it does with the Chicago Bears being thoroughly outmatched and outscored in a’ 49-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. But there is no shame in losing to the Cowboys (6-2-0), surely?
The Bears (3-5-0) have played much better in recent weeks and they were more competitive than the scoreline suggests. Justin Fields and the offense have been more productive of late, scoring an average of 31 points per game in the last two weeks. They’re 3-4-1 ATS overall with a 3.1 losing margin on average and 1-1-1 ATS at home with a 2.3 winning margin on average.
There is a big difference between beating the Lions and losing to the Cowboys. At face value, it’s understandable why this line would move up in favor of the Dolphins for this game. That said, it feels like an overreaction to two contrasting outcomes that say a lot about these teams individually.
Grabbing the Bears at +4½ gives bettors a point more than the lookahead line did and in that there is already good value to bet now. Early consensus betting trends, however, show that the public is high on the Dolphins. If that betting trend continues, it’s very possible to see this line creep up to five points or higher. Getting the Bears at +5 or higher would be even better.
So, the choice on betting now or later here really depends on how patient bettors are willing to be before pulling the lever.