WEEK 9 NFL REDZONE PICKS
Steve Moore breaks down the betting angles for the early games in week nine.
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Don't Overreact To The Previous Week
We start with the Ravens headed to Indianapolis. Before last week, it would have been impossible to think that Baltimore would be such narrow favourites in this one.
However, with them being beaten by the Steelers – and the Colts sticking 41 on the Detroit Lions – it leaves us with a baseline of the Ravens being favoured by just 1.5 points.
All we have learnt about the Colts last week (and even in sticking 31 points on the Bengals) is that Philip Rivers can beat up on bad defenses.
It’s safe to say that the Ravens are not a bad defense.
While it is true that this Ravens offensive unit is not even close to what it was last year, they can still run all over and control things against most teams (even in the Steelers loss they put up over 250 yards on the ground) and they should be trusted to do so against the Colts.
They should win this one by at least a field goal, so it is worth taking the Ravens +2.5 (5/4 with SkyBet and BetFred) and giving away the extra point to get odds against.
Good Offense v Good Defense? More like Bad Defense v Bad Offense
The Bears defense gets the fourth big test they have had in five games in heading to play the Titans having faced the Saints, Rams and Bucs in three of their previous four. The most points they have given up in those games? 26 and that was in overtime against the Saints.
In fact that is the most points they have given up all year. Meanwhile, for as explosive as the Titans themselves have been on offense, the defense has only given up LESS than 26 points twice this season.
As a result, it seems crazy that the line in this one expects a comfortable Titans win when they are incapable of stopping anyone. Nick Foles and the Bears will do enough to keep this a one possession game until the end so getting Bears +6.5 (Evens with BetFred) makes perfect sense.
Watson Destroys Jaguars
Both the Jaguars and Texans’ defenses are awful. The big difference in this one is that it is DeShaun Watson v Jake Luton. For all of the Jaguars problems, Gardner Minshew was not the main one. This Quarterback change in Jacksonville stinks of the same stuff that the Bengals benching of Andy Dalton did last year.
I can’t see any way in which Luton keeps up with Watson, and as bad as the Texans are on defense, the fact the line is the same as the Bears game seems skinny. Take the Texans -6.5 (10/11 with Betfair and Paddy Power).
Mahomes v Panthers = Points Galore
Carolina head to Kansas City with Christian McCaffrey possibly back and having lost by more than the +9.5 line that is set up in this game twice.
However, that is not where I am looking in this game. Mahomes has 26 TD’s to 1 INT this year and the Chiefs are putting up 30+ points more often than they don’t. This week they now go up against a Panthers team that hasn’t forced a punt on defense since Week 6!
The only thing McCaffrey might help them do is possibly keep up with the Chiefs on the scoreboard. It seems almost impossible that this game doesn’t get to 50 and Over 49.5 (8/13 with various) seems a comfortable play.
Giants Don't Get Blown Out
Washington’s defense has the highest ceiling of any unit in this game. However, the Giants have been within a score in all but one game since week one.
Ignoring future potential, there really isn’t a lot separating these two teams, as shown by the 20-19 win by the Giants back in mid-October.
In normal circumstances, that would make the Giants as underdogs to straight-up win the game as the play. However, as proven against the Bucs, there is one factor that tempers your confidence; Daniel Jones’ penchant to make a boneheaded play to lose the Giants games they can win.
Therefore, the handicap of Giants +2.5 (11/10 with Betfair and Paddy Power) is the better play.
Accumulator: Ravens +2.5, Bears +6.5, Texans -6.5, Panthers @ Chiefs Over 49.5, Giants +2.5
A Welshman exiled in Luton, Steve Moore has been a Buccaneers fan ever since he thought a stadium with a pirate ship was cool (he was only 9 at the time!).
Steve has also hosted podcasts on both the NFL and British Universities football and was the statistician for 2008 College Bowl finalists, Staffordshire Stallions