FairwayJay's NFL Underdog Picks for Week 9
We head into Week 9 off a pair of losing weeks - our first two of the season following a strong start beating the leading online sportsbooks. Now nearly halfway through the 2022 NFL season and we're staying positive despite some unfortunate breaks and a few good ones along the way as well.
A good start last week when our Thursday Night Football underdog pick won outright in the Baltimore Ravens road win at Tampa Bay. But the losing Lions (+3.5) and their clueless coach Campbell did us in for the second straight week in a 31-27 loss after taking a 27-17 halftime lead. In fact, the Lions became our fourth underdog pick this season to lose outright after taking an early 14-0 or 14-3 lead. The 17-10 loss on the Houston Texans was deserved and a flattering score for loser Lovie and hopeless Houston as the Texans were dominated at the point of attack and out-rushed 314-43 - that's not a misprint.
I even projected the sizeable rushing advantage for the Titans over the Texans, but went against our strong, proven ATS rushing guidelines and history that was provided in last week's analysis. That's because we bet against the Titans clueless rookie QB Malik Willis, who finished 6-of-10 for 55 yards passing with an interception. For the game. That's not a misprint either. Good Lord.
The saving week for me was positive as I bet two totals a bit more and hit 'over' winners on the Vikings-Cardinals and Lions-Dolphins. I explained more in my NFL Week 8 coverage in Forbes, which you can read and review most weeks as I chip-in more NFL coverage with information you can bet on.
Shootouts expected in Detroit between the Lions and Dolphins, and a cash overdraft withdrawal at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis between the Vikings and Cardinals.
Let's move on to Week 9 and our NFL underdog picks. I may add more analysis later, but be sure to monitor the betting lines and NFL Week 9 injury reports. Check back over the weekend starting Saturday afternoon for additional picks, analysis, updates and information you can bet on.
I'm traveling and on family health care coverage and missed out already on adding the Cleveland Browns outright winner to the 'Dog log on these pages, and even the Packers Sunday night as I mentioned both in the Week 8 coverage. Game selection management is key and can certainly be a challenge when finalizing our weekly NFL underdog picks.
We head into Week 9 with a 16-14 ATS mark on our underdog only picks with 15 outright winners. The 5+ year record posting underdog picks is 146-105 (58.2%). Plenty to like about that and last year's 28-12 ATS 70% season as we push into the second half of the 2022 NFL season and shoot for a bounce-back week and bonus cash.
NFL Week 9 Underdog Picks
Indianapolis (+5.5) at New England - Colts moneyline +200 at BetOnline
New York (+11.5) vs Buffalo - Jets moneyline +460 at Bovada
Detroit (+3.5) vs Green Bay - Lions moneyline +160 at Jazz Sports
Indianapolis at New England
This line on this game before the season showed the Colts a slight favorite. Now under-achieving Indianapolis (3-4-1) is taking nearly a TD against the Patriots (4-4) with both teams turning to rookie backup quarterbacks in recent weeks. Colts QB Sam Ehlinger should be more comfortable in his second start, and we're well aware of Patriots coach Belichick's proven history against rookie quarterbacks and that New England's defense ranks No. 2 in pressure rate (29%) this season. But Colts coach Frank Reich’s mastery of quick passing game concepts has given Bill Belichick’s man defense some trouble in the past. Also, New England had just 288 yards offense at 3.8 yards per play last week in a 22-17 win over the Jets. The Colts defense has been mostly solid and is also No. 6 in Football Outsiders rush DVOA and can be even better. A lower-scoring game is projected and we're still playing the Colts even as they struggle with turnovers and also if RB Jonathan Taylor is out, which could provide a +6 on the Colts so wait to bet. Taylor missed Wed and Thurs practice and aggravated his ankle injury in last week's game after missing the previous two contests.
Buffalo at New York Jets
This line has been dropping and was 13 early week. Now it's +11.5 across the board. We'll still bite, as taking double-digits on a home 'Dog is often for the dregs of the league, like the Houston Texans Thursday in their 29-17 loss, but cover, against the undefeated Eagles. We've been ahead of the Jets (5-3) rise and projections most the early season, and come back on Gang Green again this week against the top team Bills (6-1). The Jets allow 311 YPG on defense and even better that past three games. The Bills are No. 3 in total defense allowing 298 yards per game but 383 YPG over their last three contests. The Jets are No. 21 in total offense DVOA and the Bills fell from No. 2 to No. 4 this week. New York's loss last week was mostly due to QB Zack Wilson's 3 INT's despite 355 passing yards on just 50% completions. The Jets still buried the Dolphins and won at Green Bay, and New York also has stronger special teams. The Jets are not a bottom tier team like this line suggests, and oddsmakers know bettors are often on the Bills. The loss of RB Breece Hall (knee) and OL Alijah Vera-Tucker (triceps) hurts, but the Jets traded for Jaguars RB James Robinson to add a boost. Even without those two, New York out-gained New England by 100 yards and 6.7 to 3.8 yards per play last week in defeat.
Green Bay at Detroit
I like to take a beating I guess, or 'stick with it' even when others turn away after some tough losses on teams. Sure the Lions have a crappy coach (and staff), and rank at the bottom of defense DVOA. But the offense is healthier and can move the ball and score again vs a below average Packers defense, even without traded TE Hockenson. Green Bay has lost four straight games and not showing enough signs of improvement while scoring less than 23 points in all four losses and 14 and 7 points in two other games. The Packers have just a -0.1 in yards per play margin vs the No. 13 schedule and have scored less points this season than the bad news Bears and pathetic passer Justin Fields, who ranks No. 37 in PFF's passer rankings. The Lions are -0.3 vs the No. 10 schedule and have dealt with some injuries including to top RB and WR who will play this week. Green Bay also ranks No. 30 in defensive rush DVOA, and the Lions have a top 10 rushing attack with Jamaal Williams and the return of D'Andre Swift. Hidden special teams edge for the Lions as well, and we may be back on Detroit next week at Chicago again with the lookahead line showing the Bears a -1.5 point favorite.
Monday Night Football and the +3 on the Saints is no longer available at home against the Ravens. We'll monitor more and decide on game day if we add New Orleans to the 'Dog log.
Again, check back for more updates, added stats and insight with information you can bet on.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper with unparalleled success in NFL pointspread prognosis. Fairway is recognized as one of the sports industry's insightful analysts, and he chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on Twitter @FairwayJay for more betting insights.