Unfortunately, Week 8 of the NFL season will be remembered as a brutal weekend for the QB position.
Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, Desmond Ridder and the Giants’ Tyrod Taylor were all dealt with various injuries last Sunday, with Cousins being the biggest blow as the Vikings’ signal caller suffered a torn Achilles and will miss the rest of the season.
With that being said, there are likely to be plenty of backups in action this Sunday, and it reflects on sportsbooks.
Last week was a profitable one, as I went 4-2 on my against-the-spread picks and best bet.
Here’s my record heading into Week 9:
2023 record: 19-29-1
Against the spread: 16-24-1
Bonus Bets: 3-5
Here are five teams to place a bet on against the spread for Week 9, including one over/under to wager on:
New Orleans Saints (-7.5) vs. Chicago Bears
The Saints finally got it going on offense for the first time in three weeks as they put up a season-high 38 points in their win over the Colts last Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Bears got down 17-0 early in the second quarter and couldn’t climb out of that hole in a 30-13 loss Sunday night against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Neither team is great against the spread as they’re both 2-5-1 this season.
However, at home against Bears QB Tyson Bagent, who’s making just his third career start, I’m comfortable laying the 7.5 points with New Orleans in this spot.
Multiple sportsbooks have the Saints at -7.5 with a price of -110 (Bet $110 to win $100) against Chicago.
Minnesota Vikings (+5) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Perhaps the riskiest bet of the group lies here with the Vikings.
Despite trading for former Cardinals’ starting QB Joshua Dobbs earlier this week with the Cousins injury, it will be 2023 fifth-round pick QB Jaren Hall making his first career NFL start on Sunday.
While just 34 percent of the bets are on the Vikings +5, I’m on Minnesota here, and it’s more so to do with the Falcons.
Atlanta has failed to cover the spread in six of eight games this season and has not covered this number since the 24-10 Week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Definitely proceed with caution on this one as we don’t know how Hall will play, but if he can play at an average level, I believe this underrated Minnesota defense can cause problems for new Falcons’ starting QB Taylor Heinicke.
Even though some sportsbooks have the Vikings at +4.5, there’s still a handful of places that have the options for the Vikings at +5 with a price of -110.
Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) vs. Miami Dolphins
The first game of the day begins in Germany, where a pair of 6-2 teams in the Chiefs and Dolphins square off at Frankfurt Stadium.
For the first time in his career, Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes lost on the road to an AFC West opponent, and to the Broncos in particular in Denver’s 24-9 victory in Week 8. It didn’t help that the reigning MVP and two -time Super Bowl champion also came into the game with flu-like symptoms and playing in frigid temperatures in Mile High.
The Dolphins bounced back with a 31-17 victory over the Patriots last week after a 31-17 loss to the Eagles in Week 7. However, Miami has struggled when playing top tier defenses, and that’s exactly what Kansas City is.
This could be the game of the week early Sunday morning with two of the best offenses in the entire NFL.
The deciding factor for me is betting on the Chiefs defense to get a stop when it needs to and ultimately hold on to get back in the win column.
BetRivers has the best available price for the Chiefs to cover this small spread at -109 (Bet $109 to win $100).
Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) vs. Buffalo Bills
Speaking of less-than-a-field goal spread, we head to Cincinnati for a rematch of the 2023 AFC Divisional round.
The Bengals shocked many (including yours truly) by going into San Francisco and easily taking down the 49ers, 31-17, earning their third straight win and getting over .500 with a 4-3 record.
Meanwhile, the Bills should be well rested after a 24-18 victory over the Buccaneers on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 8.
Despite their win over Tampa Bay, it seemed Buffalo should have had an easier time at home on a short week, but let the Bucs hang around.
Now facing a red-hot team in Cincinnati, I think Bengals QB Joe Burrow leads them to another victory over the Bills and win by at least two points.
FanDuel is the only sportsbook still offering Cincinnati at -1.5 with a price of -115 (Bet $115 to win $100) as of Wednesday evening.
NY Jets (+3) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Last but not least, we head back to East Rutherford for “Monday Night Football” to wrap up Week 9.
The Jets’ prayers were answered in their thrilling 13-10 victory over the Giants last Sunday in the Meadowlands.
Now, can they do it again this time against the Chargers?
Oddsmakers don’t like their chances as a field goal underdog, but I’d bet on them in this spot.
Not only are they on a three-game winning streak, but the Jets have covered this number or won outright against four of five teams that made the playoffs a season ago, including both of last year’s Super Bowl participants in the Eagles and Chiefs.
If you would’ve told me before the season to bet against Justin Herbert and on Zach Wilson, I would’ve told you you’re crazy. But I truly think this Jets defense can continue to shut down anyone who comes to MetLife Stadium.
PointsBet and FanDuel Sportsbook currently offer the best price (-105) to have the Jets cover this field-goal spread.
Bonus Bet: Cleveland Browns/Arizona Cardinals UNDER 37.5 points (-110)
This matchup features one of the lowest totals of the weekend sitting at 37.5 points, and I’d still take the under in this one.
The most points the Cardinals have scored on the road this season is 16 and now they turn to rookie QB Clayton Tune, who is making his first career NFL start on the road against one of the NFL’s top defenses.
On the other side, Browns QB Deshaun Watson returned to practice on Wednesday, but has really struggled dealing with a sprained right rotator cuff injury this season that has forced him to miss multiple games.
These teams have better trends to the over, but with two subpar offenses both potentially starting backup QBs and weather/wind always being a factor in Cleveland, I’d wager on this game totaling 37 or fewer points.
A handful of sportsbooks have this matchup priced at -110 for this upcoming weekend.