Coming off a strong week, our week 9 NFL best bets are looking to the AFC North to guide us to more victories. Divisions are starting to take shape and all three of our best bets involve playoff teams making a push to the postseason.
We have the only undefeated team in the league going up against a fourth string quarterback, while the team they just beat has a tough road game against a strong defense. We are also looking at one of the teams in the strong NFC West coming off a bye at home against a young, inexperienced quarterback.
Check out our three NFL best bets for week 9 action below:
Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts
The Ravens come off their second loss of the season to divisional rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and travel to Indianapolis to face a Colts team who handed the Lions a 20-point victory in Detroit.
Indianapolis are coming off a statement win against Detroit, and a Tennessee Titans loss saw them tie for first place in the AFC South. They need to continue rolling in the second half of the season in order to give themselves a chance at the division and making a deep playoff run.
We backed the Colts last week to come off their bye and for their offense to gel better, and that is exactly what they did. They now come up against a defense ranked seventh for yards per game and second for points per game.
Philip Rivers looked back to the Rivers that we knew at the Chargers, throwing for 262 yards, three touchdowns and no picks while guiding the Colts to their victory. The defense also managed five sacks and a pick.
Inversely, Baltimore are coming off a disappointing home loss to the Steelers, pushing themselves two games back in the AFC North race. Lamar Jackson continues to perform at a level no one expected after his MVP season last year, throwing two picks and fumbling three times, losing two of them.
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens played a much improved level of offense in the first half.
— Nic Mason (@British_Raven19) November 2, 2020
Despite this, we are picking Baltimore to bounce back this week. Indianapolis are coming off a massive win and face the Titans on Thursday Night Football in week 10. This seems like a massive danger game for the Colts.
Baltimore is also looking to bounce back after last week’s performance. After their last three losses, the Ravens have beaten the Steelers, had a 32 point win and a 14 point win. This is a team that doesn’t like losing and wants to bounce back in a big way after one.
In a game that will shape multiple divisions, we are backing the Ravens to bounce back in Indianapolis in a narrow victory.
Best Bet: Baltimore Ravens -1.5 (-110)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Dallas Cowboys
14 points is a massive spread in football, but this is a match up between the 7-0 league leading Steelers against the 2-6 Cowboys who have been the embarrassment of the NFL so far.
With third-string quarterback Ben DeNucci leading the way for Dallas last weekend, the offense looked the worst it has all season. He is now injured, meaning the Cowboys will have to turn to Cooper Rush or Garrett Gilbert to start in the most important position on the field against the best team in the league.
Ezekiel Elliot has not been his usual self this year, having his worst season to date and can’t find a rhythm with all of the changes at quarterback. He is usually a driving force for this Cowboy team but without him at his best, neither are Dallas.
Dallas’ defense has been terrible all year and allows a league-worst 33.3 points per game. They now come up against Big Ben and the Steelers offense that put up 28 points on the Baltimore Ravens, one of the best defenses in the league.
The @Steelers get the stop on 4th down.
— NFL (@NFL) November 1, 2020
Many doubted Pittsburgh’s 6-0 start, not beating anyone of note in their first five games before just scraping over the line against Tennessee. They have now beaten the Ravens, in Baltimore and are leading this week’s edition of our NFL power rankings.
Pittsburgh’s defense allows the fifth fewest yards per game and sixth fewest points per game, led by T.J Watt who is tied for fourth in sacks with 6.5. Partnering that defense with a struggling offense and a fourth-string quarterback, this is a recipe for one of the biggest blowouts of the season.
Dallas is 0-8 against the spread on the season, the only team who hasn’t covered so far, while the Steelers are at the other end of the standings at 6-1.
We are looking at Pittsburgh to add another loss and loss against the spread to the Cowboys’ tally with a big win in Dallas.
Best Bet: Pittsburgh Steelers -14.0 (-110)
Miami Dolphins @ Arizona Cardinals
The Miami Dolphins are winners of three straight and four of their last five, while the Cardinals handed the Seattle Seahawks their first and only loss in week seven before a bye last week.
Looking at the numbers, there are a lot of similarities between the two teams so far. Both teams are 5-2 against the spread, with Arizona being 2-1 against the spread at home while Miami is 2-1 against the spread on the road.
Miami have kept their last three opponents to 17, 0 and 17 points over their three game streak. The Dolphins have been winning games on that side of the ball and now allow the fewest points in the league at just 18.6.
On offense, Tua Tagovailoa started his first game last week and threw just 12/22 for 93 yards. He looked uncomfortable and will now be without key running back Myles Gaskin who was placed on IR during the week.
WHAT IS HAPPENING pic.twitter.com/XIOhnU6Rtr
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 26, 2020
Arizona might not be the defensive team that the Rams are, but they are much better on offense. Kyler Murray showed out against the Seahawks before their bye and went toe-to-toe with Russell Wilson, who is leading the race for MVP.
The Rams had four first half turnovers that allowed the Dolphins to capatilise and seal the game. Travelling to Arizona against a rested Cardinals team will pose a different threat all together. With Murray and Hopkins leading the way, this Arizona offense should keep Miami extremely busy on the defensive side of play.
Arizona’s defense isn’t too shabby either, ranking 8th in the league for points allowed, and that includes a match up against the league’s highest scoring team in Seattle. Budda Baker is causing problems for opposing quarterbacks and against a rookie in his second game, will cause even more.
Take the rested and hungry Cardinals outfit to win this game and cover the spread against the Dolphins and their young quarterback.
Best Bet: Arizona Cardinals -4.5 (-110)