Written By Billy Attridge
Desperation time in the NFL is here, as many teams are hanging around the .500 mark trying to keep themselves in the playoff picture. This week, we’ll look at two AFC South totals featuring teams that the market has shown strong support for, and we’ll head to San Francisco to see if the 49ers can continue to make a claim as the best team in the NFL with Carolina coming to town. Before investing your hard-earned money this weekend, find out why these numbers are moving! As always, we look ahead to NFL Week 9 and reveal those early lines.
Tampa Bay – Tennessee 1H UNDER 23
We saw an open of 47 at FoxBet.com, and a steady stream of UNDER money from professional bettors has hit the screen; forcing multiple books down to as low as 45. Tampa Bay and Tennessee are both Top 5 in defensive rush success rate, and this stat is especially pertinent when the Titans have the ball on offense, as they consistently try to “establish the run” with Derrick Henry, and chew up clock in the process (29th in offensive pace). On the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston continues to be a turnover machine, but has seemed to have “bounce-back” games throughout his career (has had multiple interceptions in back-to-back games only twice in his career). With Winston prioritizing protecting the ball, and Tennessee’s ability to stop the long plays through the air (10th in explosive pass defense), we could see some methodical drives down the field from the Buccaneers. As long as both quarterbacks cherish the football, the first half should start slow.
Oakland – Houston OVER 51
This Raiders-Texans total has seen the most movement throughout the week thus far, shooting up from the opening 48 at FOX Bet all to the current number of 51. When we dig into the matchup, this move checks all the boxes. The Raiders have faced the 2nd toughest schedule of opposing defenses, and rank 8th overall offensive efficiency; including a pass attack that is 2nd in success rate. Oakland may get back the services of right tackle Trent Brown and lead receiver Tyrell Williams, and if that’s the case, this total will continue upward. Houston, meanwhile, traded for former Raider corner Gareon Conley because their secondary has been shredded by injuries. Offensively for Houston, they should have a field day through the air against the Raiders, who don’t have a pass rush (22nd in adjusted sack rate) to protect a very young and very poor secondary that ranks 28th in passing success rate going against the 3rd best pass attack in Houston. We could see a shootout in Houston, and the market is verifying that with a move through some important numbers.
Carolina +6 @ San Francisco
Great game in the 4:05 slot with Carolina off of a bye heading to San Francisco to take on a red-hot, undefeated, 49ers club. Looking at the market, we saw FOX Bet open San Fran -6, drop to 5, and then on news of the Emmanuel Sanders trade, tick up to 5.5. Take nothing away from the 49ers, they’re good, but we see a team that’s faced a very pedestrian schedule. San Fran has played against opposing offenses and defenses that rank Top 10 easiest through 7 weeks. This week should be their toughest test thus far, as Carolina is 3rd in overall defensive efficiency and 4th in opponent yards per play at 4.9. The Panthers create incredible pressure on quarterbacks with their front four (2nd in adjusted sack rate), and it looks as though left tackle Joe Staley, right tackle Mike McGlinchey, and fullback Kyle Juszczyk will be out this week. The Panthers have faced a Top 15 slate of opposing offenses, so these numbers aren’t fluff. On the other side of the ball, Kyle Allen has brought life to the Carolina offense after two early-season Cam Newton games (Panthers could’ve easily won both if not for mental errors from Cam). We loved both teams coming into the season but this number is inflated; remember, the Mason Rudolph led Steelers closed 5.5 point underdogs at San Francisco. We have the Panthers a 2-point favorite on a neutral over Pittsburgh.
Vegas Look-Ahead Lines for NFL Week 9:
San Francisco -7 @ Arizona
Houston -3 vs. Jacksonville (London, England)
Buffalo -10 vs. Washington
Carolina -4.5 vs. Tennessee
Philadelphia -3 vs. Chicago
Kansas City vs. Minnesota (N/A – Patrick Mahomes)
New York Jets -6.5 @ Miami
Pittsburgh PICK’em vs. Indianapolis
Oakland PICK’em vs. Detroit
Seattle -5.5 vs. Tampa Bay
Denver -1 vs. Cleveland
Green Bay -4 @ Los Angeles Chargers
New England -6.5 @ Baltimore
Dallas -9 @ New York Giants
BYE WEEK: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans