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NFL Betting Plays and Predictions – Week 9

06 November 2020

NFL Betting Picks

Thanks for stopping back for Week 9. We have four more teams on byes this week, and some truly ugly matchups, starting with Thursday Night Football. COVID safety procedures and injuries are keeping a number of key players out for both sides, and we will see a shell of both teams, particularly on offense.

Those same issues will trickle into a number of games on Sunday, making them difficult to play from a betting perspective, or at least making a firm pick difficult days in advance. Even still, we have four solid plays this week, let’s dive into our NFL Picks and Predictions.

This Weeks Betting Plays

MatchupBetting Play
Detroit Lions at Minnesota VikingsVikings -4
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis ColtsRavens -2
Carolina Panthers at Kansas City ChiefsOver 52
Houston Texans at Jacksonville JaguarsTexans -6.5

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

1PM EST
Opening Line: Vikings -2.5 and 54
Current Line: Vikings -4 and 52.5

The Lions offense has taken massive hits this week. They will certainly be without their best offensive player in Kenny Golladay and are in danger of being without quarterback Matthew Stafford as well. Stafford is in the COVID protocol and if he does not return negative tests all week, he will be ineligible to play. Even if he is eligible to play, he will be without practice and walkthroughs all week.

This is likely not a huge problem for a veteran like Stafford, but it certainly can’t help, especially without his top weapon in Golladay. These issues for the offense however, are likely secondary, as the Lions have completely lost any semblance of how to hold running backs in check.

They have allowed five touchdowns to backs over the past two weeks and those were to players named Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins and Todd Gurley. They now face one of if not the hottest backs in the league in Dalvin Cook and as offense that that has scored at least 23 in all but one game and averages over 26 points on the season.

The Detroit defense has allowed at least 23 points in all but one game and is allowing over 29 points per game on the season. This game completely shapes up as one in which the Lions will need to keep pace with a Viking offense that they will be unable to contain, and having the task of doing it shorthanded. With the Viking being able to fend off the much higher level Packers in that area last week, it projects to be an easier task against the Lions.

The public is on the right track in this one, moving the line 1.5 points towards the Vikings side, and I expect that to move more leading up to kickoff. Get in early on the Vikings as they continue their recovery from a rocky start.

Betting Play: Vikings -4

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Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts

1PM EST
Opening Line: Ravens -3 and 46.5
Current Line: Ravens -2 and 47

The Ravens are coming off a loss for the second time this season, and it should be noted the first time that was the case, they got a 14 point road win. While we do have evidence that the Raven offense has taken a fairly significant step back from last season, they are in a bounce back spot against a Colt team that is not nearly as good as their defensive ranking or record suggests.

The Colts Charmin soft schedule starts its turnaround this week and we will see their 5-2 record inch closer to the .500 team they will be when all said and done. On the other side of the ball, the Raven defense is a nightmare for noodle armed Philip Rivers.

They will be able to contain the running game the Colts rely on, and when Rivers is put on the spot in this stage of his career, he will be a failure much more often than not. He has already accumulated six interceptions in the first half of this season, throwing two of them in both losses, and we will see a repeat this week.

Going further into the soft schedule for the Colts, they have played exactly one adequate defense in the Bears this season, and mustered only 19 points in that matchup. The Ravens unit is at least on par with that unit, and more opportunistic and will set the offense up in a lot of good spots this week.

The Colts defense is not putrid by any means, but they simply are not the Steeler defense that was able to beat the Ravens a week ago and I expect a true bounce back from the Ravens off of that loss. The Ravens are a team that will keep themselves in the playoff mix while the Colts are a team that will tumble as the season progresses. Take the Ravens to start that process, and laying less than a field goal.

Betting Play: Ravens -2

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Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs

1PM EST
Opening Line: Chiefs -10 and 52
Current Line: Chiefs -10.5 and 52

At long last, we will see the return of the league’s best back in Christian McCaffrey. While Mike Davis filled in mostly admirably, he hit something of a wall in recent weeks. McCaffrey picks the right week to come back, as the Chiefs can be beaten by backs and he will be a huge boon for the Panthers chances of being competitive in this one, and will help the scoring pace if nothing else.

The McCaffrey return will also help Teddy Bridgewater, who certainly had a down game last week, and will give him some easier throws to make that still chew up yardage with the McCaffrey savviness. It would also be a good idea for the Panthers to get their top wide receiver in DJ Moore more involved, as we saw him ignored until absolutely needed last week. It is likely not a coincidence Bridgewater’s struggles came in a game in which Moore was unutilized.

Obviously this week’s matchup with the Chiefs is an incredibly difficult one for the defense, and the Chiefs will score as needed in most games. The Panthers defense remains one that is exploitable by the most average teams, with their pass defense being a relative strength and their rushing defense and pass defense against backs being their biggest weakness.

The problem therein is that Mahomes and company will crush their strength and their weakness will be amplified while trying to contain Mahomes. This matchup is one the Chiefs offense will toy with and essentially score at will.

On the other side, with a full complement of high end offensive weapons, the Panthers will be chasing points and will get enough of them to push the game over the total. The over is the avenue of attack in this one and is our betting play.

Betting Play: Over 52

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Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

1PM EST
Opening Line: Texans -4 and 51.5
Current Line: Texans -6.5 and 50.5

The most notable thing in this game is the Jaguars wholly waving the white flag on the season. They have manufactured an “injury” to starting quarterback Gardner Minshew and will start sixth round rookie Jake Luton.

The notable quote was something of the effect of “might as well see what we have.” This was in reference to starting Luton over the NFL experienced Mike Glennon. In any event, Luton is not a player long on ability and with the putrid state of the Jaguars defense, there will simply be too much asked of him.

If this was a team with a high end defense that could get by running the ball and keeping the score low it might be a different story, but the exact opposite is true. The Jags defesne is impressive in their consistency, as they have allowed at least 30 points in six straight games.

Of course the Colts were the only team unable to hit that mark in week 1 as the Jags won, but have lost all six games since then. As an overall result, they have not lost a game by fewer than eight points since week 2 and their average margin of defeat in the last five weeks is exactly 14 points.

Now they have moved to their sixth round rookie with zero career starts against a that’s already beaten them by 16 points this season. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson had a season high 359 passing yards in that game (part of a string of four straight hitting the 300 yard mark) adding a trio of touchdowns and we are looking at essentially the same output here.

The Jaguars remain among the bottom of the barrel in the league in pass coverage and will continue to have no answers for the wide receivers of the Texans. They are also capable of being worn down against the run and given the new state of their offense, it is simply difficult to project them to be at all competitive in this matchup. Even less so than in recent weeks. Take the road favorite against a team that has given up.

Betting Play: Texans -6.5

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Other Game Predictions

🏈 Seahawks win and cover in Buffalo, over 🏈

🏈 Broncos win as underdogs in Atlanta, over 🏈

🏈 Titans win but don’t cover against the Bears, over 🏈

🏈 Giants win as underdogs at Football Team, under 🏈

🏈 Chargers win a pickem against Raiders, over 🏈

🏈 Steelers win and cover at helpless Cowboys, over 🏈

🏈 Bucs win and cover against the Saints 🏈


NFL Predictions at USsportsbonus.com
NFL Week 9 – 2019

Thanks for stopping back for week 9. This is our last week of the season with a 9:30AM EST London game, sadly meaning our last week of the year with 14 or 15 consecutive hours of football. We are starting to see some real heat on poor head coaches, and Anthony Lynn even played the last get out of jail free card he had in firing offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Week 8 NFL Picks

Freddie Kitchens is also skating on thin ice in Cleveland as the Browns continue to be undisciplined and a penalty magnet with a propensity for turnovers. These things would be more easily overlooked if the team wasn’t legitimately costing itself wins. Matt Nagy is certainly feeling the heat and becomes more and more like Adam Gase in his coaching and press conferences every week. Speaking of Gase, he may lose two head coaching jobs in two seasons as well. We also have more quarterback carnage as Joe Flacco is out for week 9, meaning Brandon Allen will make his first NFL start. Patrick Mahomes is looking like he has a very real chance to return this week after missing just one week with the dislocated kneecap.

This piece is being created a bit earlier in the week than normal so I am left projecting news a bit, with Patrick Mahomes being the largest piece of news that is an unknown. The reason for this being early is my best friend is getting married on Friday and I’ll be out of town for a few days. I will attempt to leave a mini flow chart for news on each pertinent play. Let’s get to the games and plays this week.

Play Of The Week

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos

4:25 PM EST

Opening Line: Broncos -1 and 43
Current Line: Browns -2 and 40

The big news early in the week is Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco being ruled out, making way for Brandon Allen to make his first career start against the Browns ample pass rush. The Broncos enter at 2-6 and the Browns enter at 2-5, but there are polar opposite looks to these teams. The Broncos are slow paced and low scoring and attempt to let their defense win games. The Browns have shown the capability behind their hype, but simply can’t get out of their own way in the penalty and turnover departments. The players and coaching staff are wholly aware of these issues and it should be a spot where the warts get a band aid for a week or so. This is also the second game the Browns are playing this season against a quarterback playing their first NFL game. The outcome in the first one was a 23-0 shutout win, and we could be in for something similar here. Even if the passing game is held in check by the Denver secondary, Browns running back Nick Chubb has emerged as a true high end rushing threat, and will be the difference if this game is played close, but I suspect the Browns will run away with this one as our play of the week.

Betting Play: Browns -2

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Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

9:30AM EST in London

  • Opening Line: Texans -2 and 47.5
  • Current Line: Texans -2 and 47

The Jaguars play their yearly London game, and it is a divisional matchup with the Texans. The Texans continued their propensity for playing very close games at the level of their competition as they beat Oakland by three at home. The Jaguars tend to have a wider range of outcomes each week and it generally reflects the performance of quarterback Gardner Minshew. He was quite solid last week and the Jags rolled to an easy win over the Jets. The offense on the other side is more potent this week, but the Jags generally have more trouble with capable running teams than they do high end passing offenses. The Texans certainly fall into the category of the latter and I don’t anticipate the Texans putting on a scoring clinic this week. This is a strength vs strength and weakness vs weakness game as the Texans offense and Jaguars defense are certainly better for their respective teams. While I think the Jaguars offense will be the determining factor in this game and lean towards them, I believe it to be most prudent to fade this game.

No plays

Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills

1PM EST

  • Opening Line: Bills -10 and 36.5
  • Current Line: Bills -10 and 37

The Bills loss last week dropped them to 5-2 on the season after being gashed by the Eagles run game, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. They obviously have a high end record through seven games, but their total point differential is only +16 and they are another team that has a propensity for playing bad teams close and eeking out wins. The Redskins certainly fall in the category of bad team, and with the run heavy style of Bill Callahan, they play slow boring games. If quarterback Case Keenum is cleared from the concussion protocol and named the starter for this game, it’s simply one to stay away from because of the Bills track record. The Bills (and any other team the Redskins might be playing on any given week) would however, become a play if Dwayne Haskins were named the starting quarterback for the Redskins. It would be quite a reasonable bet for a shutout at that point and 10 would seem like a very small point spread.

Betting Play (if Haskins starts): Bills -10

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Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers

1PM EST

  • Opening Line: Panthers -4 and 40
  • Current Line: Panthers -3.5 and 41

The Titans got their second consecutive win last week since Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota as the starting quarterback. The first game had the look of receivers Corey Davis and AJ Brown coming alive and adding an element of dynamism to the offense, but the pair face planted in a Charmin soft matchup with the Bucs last week, despite getting the W. The matchup this week is much more difficult for the passing game and the Titans have had real difficulty running the ball effectively. They could have tough sledding moving the ball against the Panthers balanced defense. Kyle Allen had his worst game as a starter last week and suffered his first loss in five games in the blowout by the 49ers. The offense completely sputtered outside of the league’s best player, Christian McCaffrey. In a game that may be lacking for points, the side with McCaffrey is without a question the side to lean towards. He will get the job done as both a runner and a receiver, and the defense will hold up their end. I believe the Panthers to be objectively better than the Titans on both sides of the ball.

Betting Play: Panthers -3.5

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Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles

1PM EST

  • Opening Line: Eagles -3 and 45
  • Current Line: Eagles -5 and 43.5

Skipping to the end for a moment, this was an unfortunate line movement as it took any value out of a potential Eagles play at home. Bears coach Matt Nagy finally committed to the run last week and rookie David Montgomery rewarded him with 135 yards and a score on 27 carries. This is a plus for the outlook of the Bears going forward as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has proven he is anything but the future of the franchise and has peaked at best and more likely regressed despite being just 25 years old. For this week, attempting to run in volume against the Eagles is generally a fool’s errand and this is a spot that could make or break Trubisky’s future in an extremely exploitable passing matchup. Can he step up and get the job done? I guess, maybe, but it’s certainly not something to place a wager on. On the Eagles side of the ball, this finally looks to be the week that wide receiver Desean Jackson gets back on the field and adds that element to the passing game that brings it to the next, indefensible level. Teams are left with the choice of paying him extra attention deep or keeping the tight ends in check in the middle of the field without room for both. Additionally the Eagles running game has stepped up of late and the Bears are hurting in that department without run stuffer Akiem Hicks. This game is Eagles or pass and with the line already spiking to 5, pass is the better option.

No plays

Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs

1PM EST

  • Opening Line: Chiefs -3 and 46
  • Current Line: Pickem and 48

The Vikings kept rolling last week in an easy matchup with the Redskins bringing them to 6-2 on the season. The early portion of the season appeared as if the offense was going to be completely one dimensional with Dalvin Cook leading the way on the ground, but they have found balance in recent weeks and quarterback Kirk Cousins has played much better. The defense is good and balanced, but the outcome of this game likely isn’t decided by anyone on the Vikings. It appears Patrick Mahomes returns for the Chiefs this week, and his presence is likely the determining factor. Coach Andy Reid had some atrocious mistakes at the end of last week’s loss to the Packers, including a cowardly and ill advised punt late in the game and idiotic time out use that cost the team 40 seconds with them in full need of getting another possession. He did do one thing correctly, and that is go back to his top running back Damien Williams after Lesean McCoy lost a fumble in the third quarter. With Williams playing the majority of the snaps in the fourth quarter, they found the end zone and snapped a touchdown drought that spanned the entire second half and an additional eight plus minutes to close the first half. Mahomes and Williams had extremely real chemistry in 2018 and he has been the missing link that has kept this offense from maintaining juggernaut status in recent weeks. If Mahomes is under center, the line will move, and KC is a play at -3 or less. If it is Matt Moore under center again and the line is Minnesota -1 or less, they are a play.

Betting Play: See above…

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New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

1PM EST

  • Opening Line: Jets -6.5 and 41
  • Current Line: Jets -5.5 and 41

There’s not much good afoot when a football team opens as less than a touchdown favorite against the Dolphin, and that line is immediately bet even lower. This is simply a matchup of two very bad football teams, entering with a combined record of 1-13. The Jets are simply a struggling offense, as has been the MO of Gase coached teams. Not even LeVeon Bell has been able to get going, but this matchup could be a get right spot for him. The Jets defense is sound against the run and more exploitable by the pass, and Miami has woken up in that department on offense since Ryan Fitzpatrick was reinserted as the starting quarterback. I never dreamed I would be saying this a month ago, but with Miami playing vastly improved football with Fitzpatrick, they are truly in play to win this game. I think this will be a close game the whole way and will ultimately be decided by less than a score, and the underdog is attractive here. Take the points with the Dolphins.

Betting Play: Dolphins +5.5

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Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers

1PM EST

  • Opening Line: Pickem and 43
  • Current Line: Colts -1 and 43

The Colts got a win last week, but it was an ugly one, only scoring 15 points and beating the lowly Broncos by two. The Colts are another team that generally plays close games as evidenced by their 5-2 record but only sitting at +7 on point differential. The Steelers are quite similar in that regard, they have a +5 point differential, yet they sit at 3-4. Both teams play sound defense, want to run the ball and have limitations to their passing games after losing their starting quarterbacks at one point or another in 2019. If this game is decided before late in the fourth quarter, it will mean one team turned the ball over far more than the other. Very close game to sit out of.

No plays

Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders

4:05PM EST

  • Opening Line: Pickem and 51
  • Current Line: Lions -2 and 50.5

The Lions had a second consecutive game last week that saw their passing game return high end numbers, the difference was it was in a win last week after unsuccessfully trying to catch the Vikings the week before. Losing Kerryon Johnson relegates the Lions to more of a passing team with a mixed back at running back that can’t truly carry the load. That will play to their advantage this week against a Riaders secondary that’s allowed nine passing touchdown over the last two weeks in consecutive losses. The Raiders are sound at stopping the run and running the ball, but have real trouble covering intermediate and deep routes and their limitations in the passing game make them a team that has a tough time coming back once they’ve surrendered a lead. The Lions are the opposite, and even if they are losing early, some volume for Stafford in this matchup will give them every opportunity to come back in a game they’re losing and also to hold any lead they grab. Take the Lions with the favorable line on the road.

Betting Play: Lions -2

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks

4:05 PM EST

  • Opening Line: Seahawks -5.5 and 53.3
  • Current Line: Seahawks -6.5 and 52.5

The Buccaneers are a mistake prone team, albeit with a high end passing game. They aren’t great at running the ball on offense but Chris Godwin and his sidekick Mike Evans give them a dynamic duo of wide receivers that generally keep their own point total high enough to be competitive. On the defensive side of the ball, they remain a pass funnel that is stout against the run. This type of team is one that can give the senile and inept brain trust of the Seahawks issues. The Seahawks were our play of the year last week against Matt Schaub in a spot start, and lead 24-0 at half. To put an emphasis on how much the coaching holds this Seahawks team back, the final ended up being 27-20 despute Schaub being under center. This is another spot where there simply won’t be enough passing volume for Russell Wilson to cover comfortably, and the underdog is going to be the correct play in most Seahawks games. Take the Bucs and hope Jameis Winston limits himself to just one turnover in this one.

Betting Play: Buccaneers +6.5

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Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos

4:25 PM EST

  • Opening Line: Broncos -1 and 43
  • Current Line: Browns -2 and 40

The big news early in the week is Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco being ruled out, making way for Brandon Allen to make his first career start against the Browns ample pass rush. The Broncos enter at 2-6 and the Browns enter at 2-5, but there are polar opposite looks to these teams. The Broncos are slow paced and low scoring and attempt to let their defense win games. The Browns have shown the capability behind their hype, but simply can’t get out of their own way in the penalty and turnover departments. The players and coaching staff are wholly aware of these issues and it should be a spot where the warts get a band aid for a week or so. This is also the second game the Browns are playing this season against a quarterback playing their first NFL game. The outcome in the first one was a 23-0 shutout win, and we could be in for something similar here. Even if the passing game is held in check by the Denver secondary, Browns running back Nick Chubb has emerged as a true high end rushing threat, and will be the difference if this game is played close, but I suspect the Browns will run away with this one as our play of the week.

Betting Play: Browns -2

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Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Chargers

4:25 PM EST

  • Opening Line: Packers -4 and 46
  • Current Line: Packers -3 and 46.5

The Packers were able to escape with a victory in Arrowhead last week thanks to Chiefs coach Andy Reid having his achilles heels pop up and bite him, despite being against journeyman backup uarterback Matt Moore. The Packers sit at 7-1 but have the look of having more fraudulence than the other high end teams, and oddsmakers agree as they are only a three point favorite at the 3-5 Chargers. The Packers offense almost wholly revolves around the running back position, and Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams form a sound 1-2 punch, but they have true limitations throwing to wide receivers when Davante Adams is off the field. He could return this week and it would make me lean the Packers way, but the Chargers have a funny way about them of playing to the level of their competition despite incompetent coaching. We also don’t know what the running deployment will look like after the firing of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy or if there will be any real changes to the offense as a whole. This is a situation to avoid.

No Plays

New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens

8:20PM EST

  • Opening Line: Patriots -6.5 and 46.5
  • Current Line: Patriots -3.5 and 44.5

The 8-0 Patriots travel to Baltimore, I’ll just say it point blank, to get their ninth win of the season. Their defense remains a juggernaut having allowed just 61 points in eight games. The oddsmakers were slightly disrespectful to the Pats opening this line at 6.5, but the betting public has lost its mind betting this down to just 3.5. The Patriots have lost just once to the Ravens in the regular season since their inception. The Ravens have real limitations in the passing game with Lamar Jackson at quarterback, and they will be unable to move the ball through the air, likely turning it over in the process. The Pats offense will do what it always does, steadily move the ball with balance and score plenty enough to make the game not in question at the end of it. The only way the Ravens keep this close is if Mark Ingram has a massive day on the ground, and that is highly unlikely once the Pats jump out in front. Take the Pats on Sunday night.

Betting Play: Patriots -3.5

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Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

8:15PM EST Monday Night

  • Opening Line: Cowboys -9 and 47
  • Current Line: Cowboys -7 and 48

The Cowboys travel to the east coast for a divisional matchup with the Giants and the teams’ second meeting of the season. The Cowboys won the first matchup at home handily, but the Giants still had Eli Manning under center for that one and despite the limitations of Daniel Jones, he’s still an upgrade. The oddsmakers definitely opened this point spread too wide, as the Cowboys have been suspect on the road this season. Bettors caught on quick and attacked the Cowboys on the road. Their only win has come at lowly Washington and they have even lost to the 1-7 Jets. This matchup likely boils down to how efficient Dak Prescott can be with receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. The presence of elite playmakers Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram on the Giants likely keeps this game close, but the Cowboys have had offensive success against the Giants and there just isn’t an attractive play after the line was bet down. Sit out on Monday night.

No plays

NBA Betting with TJ CalkinsTJ Calkins – NFL Expert

TJ Calkins was raised in a gambling loving household. He knew how to handicap horse races and follow line movements well before his tenth birthday.

 

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