The focus of Week 9 is squarely on the potential returns of a few big names, most notably for Sunday Night Football with Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown and possibly Chris Godwin, too. Christian McCaffrey is expected back for the Panthers, but there are also plenty of key players who will be missing their games this week. As always, you can check back here for further updates on Sunday morning to see how the betting lines are reacting to the latest news.
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One of the more notable trends that jumps out for Week 9 is just how popular a few of the road teams are. It’s no surprise that the Steelers are getting almost all of the betting action against the Cowboys, who still haven’t covered a spread this season, but the Ravens and Seahawks are actually facing quality opponents. Even against the Colts and Bills, both Baltimore and Seattle are getting about 90% of the bets and handle, and it could indicate that the home teams are undervalued in these games. Elsewhere on the board, it looks like the bets and handle numbers are split pretty evenly in some of the other notable games. The bets and handle percentages are hovering around 50 for the Saints and Buccaneers, and the same is true for the Titans and Bears.
Indianapolis Colts (+2.5 to -1)
Carolina Panthers (+11.5 to +10)
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (47.5 to 50)
Baltimore Ravens to Indianapolis Colts (45 to 48)
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (54.5 to 50.5)
The most alarming line movement of the week is primarily coming late Friday afternoon, and it’s especially surprising given the injury reporting. T.Y. Hilton was downgraded to doubtful for the Colts on Friday, but the line movement has been skewed sharply toward their offense in spite of that. The spread and total have both moved by about three points, and it could be the result of some injury news on the Ravens’ defensive side of the ball. The Ravens also struggled to contain the Steelers’ offense in Week 8 and that could be what Colts bettors are looking at too.
One of the other counter-intuitive line shifts of Week 9 is in the Sunday night game, where the total for Bucs vs. Saints has fallen by four points. The wide receiver talent is getting an upgrade on both sides, but the total has dropped nonetheless. There is some wind in the forecast, but ultimately, this change probably comes down to overvalued offenses in a game between two of the strongest defenses in the NFL.
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