NFL Week 9 Betting Preview and Picks November 4th, 2012
Eric Roberts 2012-11-03 in SBO Weekly
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Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns +3.5 OvUn 42.5 1:00 EST
The Ravens head into Cleveland coming off their bye, last week. Two weeks earlier they fell 43-13 on October 21st, their worst loss of the season. Baltimore fell to 5-2 with the loss but is still one game ahead of the Steelers in the AFC North.
The Ravens have been uncharacteristically poor this season defensively, and after losing both Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb over the past three weeks; Baltimore has given up 400 yards of offense in back to back games. They are also allowing a whopping 142 yards rushing yards to opposing rushers, for one of the worst marks in the league.
The Browns are still playing in what is almost assuredly a lost season, but the team has won two out of their last three games. Cleveland beat the Chargers a week ago in what was the lowest scoring game of the season, 7-6. Rookie running back Trent Richardson fought off a rib injury to have his best game of the season against the Chargers, rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown.
The Browns have been poor against the run as well, allowing 146 yards in the past four games to opposing rushers. They hope to shore up defensively with the return of defense tackles Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor.
The Ravens took the first meeting between these teams, winning 23-16 in Baltimore on September 27th.
This one opened at Cleveland +3 and has moved to +4 and now back to 3.5. The total has not moved from the opening number of 42.5.
It is worth noting the Ravens have beaten the Browns in their last nine regular season meetings. Still, the Ravens have not been playing up to expectations this year and have not covered in their past five matchups.
The Browns have been better lately defensively, and though they will have their hands full with Ray Rice, we like their chances of moving the ball down the field against a Ravens’ defense that has been one of the worst in the league over the past few weeks.
It is a helluva gamble to take Cleveland in this matchup, but these divisional games often come down to a field goal, and with both teams not being able the move the ball exceptionally well right now – we’ll lay the points with the Browns.
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans -10 OvUn 48 1:00 EST
The Texans host the Bills at Reliant Stadium, in a game that marks the first game Mario Williams will play in Houston since leaving in the offseason. Houston is coming off a bye, with their previous victory coming on October 21st, a 43-13 thrashing of the Ravens. Running back Arian Foster has to love his matchup this week, as he faces a Bills defense that is allowing 176.9 rushing yards per game. The Texans lead the NFL in rushing attempts per game, with 24, so this stands to be a big day for Foster and Ben Tate.
The Bills are also coming off a bye, with their last game a 35-34 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 21st. Buffalo has dropped three out of their last four games and have allowed a 44 points per game average in the three losses. They’ve also given up 11 touchdowns on the ground and 937 yards rushing to opponents in that span.
Opened at Houston -11 and has moved to -10 pretty much at all shops. The total has not changed from the large number of 48.
Though, this looks like a dream matchup on paper for the Texans, but people seem to forget that the Bills are still a potent offensive attack. Spiller and Jackson are one of the best dual rushing attacks in the league, and Fitzpatrick – while inconsistent, is usually good for 200+ yards and at least a score. We obviously see a victory for the Texans, but we think this one is a lot closer than Vegas’ number. We take the points on the road with the Bills.
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals +4 OvUn 47.5 1:00 EST
After a 1-2 start, the Broncos have looked like one of the most impressive teams in football. While Denver’s defense has been solid, most of their success is due to the unbelievable play of quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning threw for 305 yards and three TDs in a 34-14 beat down of New Orleans on Sunday Night and has thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in his past three games.
The Bengals, coming off a bye, played their last game against Pittsburgh on October 21st. The Bengals lost 24-17 as QB Andy Dalton had his worst game of the season – throwing for just 105 and going 14 of 28. The Bengals have eight turnovers in their three game losing streak, something they certainly need to change if they want to have any chance of beating the Broncos.
Opened at Cincy +3, and has moved slowly towards +4 since the opener. The total has just moved slightly off the opening number of 48 to 47.5.
Cincinnati is especially tempting as a home dog coming off a bye, but we just see too many problems with the Bengals to entertain taking them. Their offense has been highly suspect over the past few games, and their defense has not been solid all season. A.J. Green was shut down by Ike Taylor before the bye and will now be facing an even tougher matchup in cornerback Champ Bailey. Cincy also has no running game to speak of, as BenGarvis Green-Ellis has been a massive disappointment this year.
The Broncos have not been very good on the road but have looked nearly unstoppable as of late. We’ll lay the points with Denver.
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts +2 OvUn 43 1:00 EST
Miami heads into Indy to face the Colts, with both teams sitting on identical 4-3 records. The Fins pounded the Jets last week 30-9. Though, they may have lost QB Ryan Tannenhill for at least one start. The QB had an MRI that revealed no structural damage, and has practiced this week but will be a game time decision. Miami should be in excellent hands either way with backup QB Matt Moore, who threw 16 touchdowns and 9 picks in 13 games last year for Miami. Miami desperately needs to get their run game going, even though they are ranked 11th in rushing offense; Miami has gained just over 70 yards rushing in their last four games.
The Colts have finally gotten over their road woes. Coming off two straight victories on the road, a 19-13 overtime victory at Tennessee this week and a 17-13 victory at Cleveland the week before, the Colts are 3-1 under interim head coach Bruce Arians. However, for the Colts to keep up their winning ways, they need to be more efficient in the red zone. Indy ranks 8th in the NFL in offense with 373 yards per game but is just 24th in scoring due to red zone inefficiency.
Opened at Indy +2.5 which is still available at some shops, there has been different movement on this game and many lines are available from +1.5, +2 and +2.5. The total has not moved from the 43 opening number.
In what looks like a close matchup, we have to like the underdog at home. It’s curious why the Colts aren’t a small favorite over Miami as they may be without their starting QB and best wide out in Brian Hartline. Though, Miami has played better recently, they still struggle mightily against high octane passing offenses, like the one run by Andrew Luck.
Even though, the Colts only scored 13 points last week against the Titans in regulation, they can no doubt move the ball effectively through the passing game. Miami defends the run well, but the Colts rarely attack on the ground. We love the Colts at home getting points!
We are betting on Colts +2
Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins -3 OvUn 47.5 1:00 EST
The Panthers head into Washington mired in a five game losing streak. Carolina was ahead last week at Chicago until the final seconds, and ultimately fell 23-22 on a Robbie Gould field goal. It was an especially tough loss for Newton, who threw for over 300 yards but also was picked off for two critical interceptions.
The Skins and RG3 haven’t had much smooth sailing as of late, either. They’ve lost back to back games and had their worst offensive output against the Steelers last week. They now find themselves three games behind the New York Giants in the NFC East, and are desperate for a win. It needs to start defensively. The Skins defense has allowed over 314 passing yards per game and are on pace to allow over 5,000 yards passing in a single season – something that has never happened in league history.
This one hasn’t moved much off a Washington -3 opener, but some books have the game at -3.5. The total has moved from 46 to 47.5.
Washington has been extremely impressive this year, but perhaps last week was a preview of what is to come next. The Skins sport one of the NFL’s worst defenses and need to score at least 25 points to have any chance of a victory. The Panthers’ staff is likely playing for their jobs, and Cam Newton is playing for the respect of his teammates. Other than a 31-7 loss to the Giants, Carolina has lost their other five games by a combined total of just 18 points. They gave the Bears a heck of a fight last week, who perhaps have the best defense in the league. We like Carolina on the road, getting points.
Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers -10 OvUn 43.5 1:00 EST
The Cardinals head into Lambeau on a four game losing streak, after starting the season 4-0. They were beaten badly by San Francisco 24-3, last Monday night, and they clearly have not looked like the same team they were in September. The Cardinals will need to play better offensively, if they want to stay in the game against the Packers. They are ranked last in the NFL in total offense averaging almost 290 yards a game, but they rank 6th in the NFL in defense.
The Pack has seemed to of righted the ship after a slow start but have now been hit with another rash of injuries. Out for the season are Greg Jennings, Cedric Benson and Charles Woodson. In addition to those losses, Green Bay may be with defensive ends Jerel Worthy and Mike Neal and perhaps for a second straight week, Jordy Nelson. The Packers started off slow last week against the lowly Jaguars but ultimately won the game 24-15.
This one opened at Packers -10.5 which is still available at some shops, but most have moved to -10 or even -9.5. The total opened at 44.5 and has moved to 43.5.
Laying 10 or more points in the NFL is pretty difficult for bettors, because the talent margins are sometimes so slim. The Pack didn’t look their best last week against the Jaguars, and they still have no running game, but we think they go to the air early and often. This one might still be close at halftime, but the Packers should put the Cardinals away handily before the final whistle. Packers -10
Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans +3.5 OvUn 43.5 1:00 EST
The Bears roll into Tennessee on a five game win streak, hoping to stretch their streak to six games. The Bears rallied late last week to win in the final seconds of against Carolina 23-22, courtesy of a Robbie Gould field goal. The Bears have certainly been getting it done, but it hasn’t been with their offense, which ranks in the bottom five in yards per game. Instead, Chicago has been doing it with defense. The Bears defense leads the league in turnovers, and is responsible for many of the Bears’ big plays this season as they have accounted for 41 of the teams 185 points.
The Titans have looked better in recent weeks, and have certainly played much better than they were during their 1-4 start to the season. The Titans lost to the Colts last week in overtime 19-13, after blowing a 7 point fourth quarter lead. Still, there are plenty of positives to look at for the Titans. Chris Johnson is again running like a pro bowler and has rushed for 385 yards and two touchdowns on 58 carries. Backup QB, Matt Hasselbeck has also been impressive, throwing for 931 yards and four touchdowns as a starter in place of Jake Locker.
Opened at Titans +4.5 and has dropped down to +3.5. The total hasn’t moved from the opening 43.5 number.
While the Bears may be the NFC’s best team, the Titans have steadily been improving week after week. Even though, they lost to Indy last week, it was a hard fought game on the road. The Titans have played better at home so far this year, going 2-2, and they could give Chicago a bit of a scare if they are unprepared for their offense. The Bears O-line has been especially bad, they gave up a lot of points to Cam Newton last week, who has been ineffective all season. The Titans offense has been remarkably good under Hasselbeck, and we would not be surprised if they came out with the victory.
Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars +4.5 OvUn 44 1:00 EST
The Lions go to Jacksonville looking to even their record at 4-4. After a thrilling 28-24 win in Seattle, the Lions face off against the 1-6 Jaguars. The Lions have benefitted from a better than average defense this year, and are finally starting to get the ball rolling offensively. Matthew Stafford had one of his best games of the year last week, throwing for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns and rushing for one, as well.
The Jaguars have had a season of mostly lows and have just one win on the season. Still, they played admirably against the Packers last week, holding them to 24 points and gaining 341 yards of offense against the Pack. Gabbert had his best day of the season throwing for 303 yards and a touchdown. Jax’s D held the Packers’ offense to a season low 238 yards.
Opened at Jax +4 and has moved to +4.5. The total hasn’t moved from the 44 opening number.
Though, the Jaguars are starting to look more and more like a credible threat on Sunday, the Lions have taken a lot of strides from their early season struggles, as well. Both teams seem to have finally gained some continuity on offense, and we look for this one to be higher than the oddsmakers’ total of 44. The Lions certainly have plenty of talent offensively, but we like the Jaguars to put up some decent numbers to match them in a shootout.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Oakland Raiders -1.5 OvUn 46.5 4:05 EST
The Buccaneers head into Oakland playing their best football of the season. Now 3-4 after handing Minnesota a beating on Thursday night – a 36-17 victory, mostly on the back of rookie running back Doug Martin. He’s averaged 155.7 yards from scrimmage in October and rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 79 yards and a TD. The Bucs have won two of their last three games and are averaging 34 points per game and 464 yards of offense in their last three.
The Raiders have also done enough to now be back in the thick of things in the AFC, after a 1-4 start. Oakland dominated a Kansas City team that has been horrific so far this season, winning 26-16 at Arrowhead. The Raiders have been impressive offensively over the last few games, but still need to improve on their red zone efficiency. They convert opportunities inside the 20 at a rate of just 38.1 percent, which is one of the lowest marks in the NFL.
This one opened at Raiders -1.5, which is still available at some spots. Many books also have this one at pk. The total has moved a full point from the opening number of 45.5 to 46.5.
Both of these teams look totally different than they did the first few weeks of the season. It is commendable that the Raiders are on a three game win streak, but two of those wins came against Jacksonville and the Chiefs – who both sport 1-6 records. Oakland has improved – but by how much?
The Buccaneers, on the other hand, manhandled Minnesota last week, a very talented team this year and have played better every single week it seems. Freeman is finally on the same page with Jackson and Williams, and Doug Martin is an offensive rookie of the year candidate. They also match up perfect against the Raiders, and should be able to limit McFadden as they boast the NFL’s top rush defense.
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks -4 OvUn 38.5 4:05 EST
The Vikings head into Seattle hoping to start the 2nd half of the season off with a road victory. Minnesota lost handily to the Buccaneers on Thursday night but come into this matchup with 9 days of rest.
The Seahawks lost 28-24 in a hard fought game against the Lions last week. They are 1-4 on the road but are 3-0 at home. Rookie QB Russell Wilson is much better at home than on the road, where he has thrown six TDs and no picks, versus throwing four TDs and eight picks on the road.
Opened at Seattle -2.5 and has moved to -4. The total opened at 39.5 and has moved to 38.5 at most shops.
We love Seattle in this matchup. The Vikings have been especially vulnerable against the run in recent weeks, and Lynch had a season low 12 carries last week. He should be well rested and be able to get his Sunday. Not only that, the Vikings have a top 5 run defense giving up just 84.9 yards per game, and should be able to slow down Adrian Peterson. Minnesota looks in disarray lately, and Ponder seems to look like he did last year, while the defense continues to get worse each week. We’ll lay the points with Seattle at home.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants -3 OvUn 47.5 4:25 EST
The Steelers head into New York fresh off a 27-12 victory over the Redskins at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh has the top ranked pass defense in the league, a fact that is helped by their offensive production. Todd Haley’s offense is holding the ball for 34 minutes per game, for second best in the NFL. Big Ben has also been phenomenal on third down; as the Steelers lead the NFL in third down conversions at almost 52 percent and Ben leads the NFL with a 117.1 passer rating on third down.
The Giants are where most of us thought they would be, atop of the NFC East with a 6-2 record at the halfway point. The Giants went up early 23-0 against Dallas last week, and blew that lead, only to come back and win 29-24 at Cowboys Stadium.
Opened at NYG -3 and hasn’t moved off the magic number. The total opened at 46.5 and is at 47.5 trending upwards to 48.
With all the distractions from Hurricane Sandy, this one might be played with a heavy heart by the Giants. Even some team members are without power still, and it has been a rough week for everyone in New York. On top of that, the Giants haven’t been dominant at home, and the Steelers have one of the best defenses in the NFL. We’ll take the road underdog Steelers.
Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons -4 OvUn 47.5 8:20 EST
Sunday Night Football pits the Dallas Cowboys against the Falcons in the Georgia Dome.
The Falcons are still unbeaten at 7-0, and obviously hope to continue that trend in primetime matchup with Dallas. After a few close calls the past couple weeks, the Falcons decisively handled Philadelphia and former QB Michael Vick. They held the Eagles to just 270 yards in the 30-17 victory.
Dallas is going to need all the help they can get to beat the Falcons. After falling behind 23-0 against the Giants last week, Dallas fought back to gain a lead but then ultimately lost 29-24. They have not gotten consistency from their offense, as Tony Romo has been extremely sporadic and will again be without running back DeMarco Murray.
This one has moved drastically from an Atlanta -7 opening to now being at Atl -4. The total has not moved from a 47.5 opening number.
We like to think Dallas will give Atlanta all they can handle in this game, because they are likely playing for their season. A 5th loss would drop them even lower in the division and make it nearly impossible to make the playoffs in a tough NFC. Dallas will likely be without DeMarco Murray, but they should still be vulnerable on the ground, even to the pure pedestrian Felix Jones. We’ll take Dallas and the points.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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