Week 9 betting capsules: Chiefs favored against Jordan Love, Packers
It’s midway through the season and injuries and illnesses are starting to take a toll. The game of the week might have been Green Bay at Kansas City, but that was before Packers QB Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 despite his earlier claims of being “immunized.”
Tennessee at the Los Angeles Rams also lost some of its luster after Titans running back Derrick Henry, the two-time NFL rushing champ, underwent surgery Tuesday on his injured right foot. Maybe with an extra hour of sleep, everyone can stay healthy this week.
Atlanta at New Orleans (-6.5 points, O/U 42)
With Jameis Winston sidelined, Trevor Siemian was named the starting QB for the Saints (5-2), coming off a 36-27 victory against defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay. New Orleans has won six of the past seven against the NFC South rival Falcons (3-4). Atlanta lost at home 19-13 to Carolina last week and will be without star WR Calvin Ridley because of mental health reasons. That leaves QB Matt Ryan with few options other than rookie TE Kyle Pitts.
Buffalo at Jacksonville (+14.5, 48.5)
The Bills (5-2) lead the league in most points scored and fewest allowed and have an early MVP front-runner in QB Josh Allen. Their wins have been by scores of 35-0, 43-21, 40-0, 38-20 and last week’s 26-11 victory against visiting Miami. The Jaguars (1-6) failed to build any momentum from their 23-20 victory in Week 6 against the Dolphins in London. Coming off a bye, they suffered a 31-7 road loss last week to the Geno Smith-led Seattle Seahawks.
Cleveland at Cincinnati (-2.5, 47)
The drama continues for the Browns (4-4), from QB Baker Mayfield’s torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder to WR Odell Beckham Jr. being told to go home. They dropped to .500 with a 15-10 loss at home to Pittsburgh last week, a team they blew out in last season’s playoffs. The Bengals (5-3) are coming off a shocking 34-31 loss to the New York Jets, but that was between a blowout of Baltimore and this week’s battle for Ohio bragging rights.
Denver at Dallas (-10, 49.5)
The Broncos (4-4) managed to get past visiting Washington 17-10 last week to snap a four-game skid, then traded star LB Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams. Even with QB Dak Prescott out, the host Cowboys beat Minnesota 20-16. Prescott might return from a calf injury and WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are healthy, but Dallas (6-1), which is the only team that’s 7-0 against the spread, could probably win again with backup Cooper Rush under center.
Houston at Miami (-5.5, 46.5)
Neither of these teams has won since Week 1. The Texans lost 38-22 last week to the visiting Rams while the Dolphins suffered a 26-11 defeat at Buffalo. The Dolphins (1-7) showed some interest in Texans star Deshaun Watson, but talks fizzled before the trade deadline. QB Tyrod Taylor should return for the Texans (1-7) for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 2, giving them a slightly better chance at an upset.
Las Vegas at N.Y. Giants (+3, 46.5)
The emotional roller coaster continues for the Raiders (5-2). They responded well to coach Jon Gruden’s resignation, but this week leading receiver Henry Ruggs III was released after being arrested for a fatal DUI crash. While the Raiders are coming off a bye, the Giants (2-6) have had a short week after a 20-17 defeat at Kansas City on Monday night. New York might get WR Kenny Golloday and RB Saquon Barkley back from injuries.
Minnesota at Baltimore (-6, 49.5)
Expect the Vikings (3-4) to keep it close as their four losses are by a touchdown or less, including a 20-16 defeat against visiting Dallas last Sunday night. QB Kirk Cousins has 14 TD passes and just two INTs and RB Dalvin Cook is back healthy. The Ravens (5-2) had a bye last week, giving them time to tend to their wounds after a 41-17 home loss to Cincinnati. Baltimore is 10-3 following an off week under coach John Harbaugh.
New England at Carolina (+3.5, 41)
The Patriots (4-4) improved to 3-0 on the road with a 27-24 win against the L.A. Chargers last week as Adrian Phillips picked off two passes, returning one for a go-ahead TD. Nick Folk added four FGs. The Panthers (4-4) snapped a four-game skid with a 19-13 win at Atlanta, but QB Sam Darnold was knocked out and might not be able to play in this one. Carolina might finally get RB Christian McCaffrey back from a hamstring injury, though.
L.A. Chargers at Philadelphia (+1.5, 50)
The Chargers (4-3), behind second-year QB Justin Herbert, were looking like a threat in the AFC until dropping their past two games, including a 27-24 home loss to New England last week. Herbert has a right hand injury and has been limited in practice this week. The Eagles (3-5) blew out the winless Lions 44-6 last week in Detroit but have yet to win in three home games this season. QB Jalen Hurts is more exciting in the running game (71 yards on seven carries last Sunday) than as a passer (9 of 14 for 103 yards).
Arizona at San Francisco (-2.5, 45.5)
The Cardinals (7-1) are coming off their first loss — 24-21 to visiting Green Bay last Thursday night — and QB Kyler Murray is hobbled with an ankle injury. Arizona won the first meeting between the teams 17-10, but that was with 49ers rookie Trey Lance under center. Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw for 322 yards in a 33-22 win at Chicago last week, is back for this one. The 49ers (3-4) will try to snap a seven-game home losing streak, while the Cardinals have won four straight on the road.
Green Bay at Kansas City (-7, 48)
The Packers (7-1) have won seven in a row, including a 24-21 victory at previously undefeated Arizona last Thursday night. But that was with Aaron Rodgers, who is now in the league’s COVID-19 protocol. Backup QB Jordan Love threw seven passes in the season-opening loss, completing five. He’ll likely spend a lot of time handing off to Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. The Chiefs (4-4) steadied the ship a bit with a 20-17 victory against the visiting New York Giants on MNF. Patrick Mahomes has thrown an NFL-high 10 INTs, however.
Tennessee at L.A. Rams (-7.5, 52.5)
The Titans (6-2) have won four in a row and eked out a 34-31 overtime victory last week at Indianapolis despite the loss of RB Derrick Henry. They signed 36-year-old Adrian Peterson to help replace him, but a lot more will fall on the shoulders of QB Ryan Tannehill. The Rams (7-1) have also won four straight, including a 38-22 victory last week at Houston. It wasn’t that close, as L.A. had a 38-0 lead through three quarters. The Rams added eight-time Pro Bowl LB Von Miller in a trade with Denver, showing they’re serious about winning now.
Chicago at Pittsburgh (-6.5, 39.5)
The Bears (3-5) have lost three in a row and dropped a 33-22 decision to San Francisco last week at home. LB Khalil Mack missed his first game since 2018 because of a foot injury and head coach Matt Nagy was in the COVID-19 protocol. Rookie Justin Fields threw for 175 yards and a TD and rushed for 103 yards and a score, the first Chicago QB to rush for 100 since Bobby Douglass in 1973. The Steelers (4-3) have won three in a row to stay in the AFC North race, but they average just 19 points per game. Big Ben Roethlisberger is 16-6 in his career on MNF.
–Field Level Media