It’s the bye week, Lions fans, and for as much side-splitting laughter is borne out of jokes about Detroit being underdogs this weekend, we’re going to put our energy into something a little more productive—and hopefully a lot more profitable.
Let’s take a look at the best bets money can buy you in Week 9, using the latest odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Patriots are coming off back-to-back games where they covered against the spread, knocking off the Los Angeles Chargers as 3.5-point underdogs on the road last weekend and the absolute shellacking they dealt the New York Jets in Week 7, 54-13. As road underdogs this Sunday against the Panthers, what you really have is two teams heading in opposite directions. The Panthers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games, and after narrowly edging out their NFC South rival Atlanta, just 1-4 in their last five.
Meanwhile, Mac Jones is red hot, and it looks like the Patriots are finally getting things to go their way as winners of two in a row and three of their last four. Bet on Bill Belichick’s team to keep things rolling against a Carolina team hoping Christian McCaffrey’s hamstring is healthy enough to solve their identity crisis on offense.
If you thought you had it bad being a Lions fan, look at what’s going on in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are an absolute mess of a football team as the Urban Meyer experience continues to circle the drain. Sure, they’ve got one win under their belt, but losing 31-7 to a Geno Smith-led Seattle Seahawks is about as ugly gets in the NFL.
As for the Bills, don’t let the spread they’re spotting the listless Jaguars deter you from laying the points: Buffalo has twice been double-digit favorites this season and they’ve yet to lose against the spread. They also have one of the best defenses in the league, sporting a +13 turnover differential. Putting your faith in the way the football bounces seems like a risky proposition, but the Jaguars are 31st in turnover differential at -11. Count on the Bills in this one.
I’m so done with the Chiefs this season, especially as favorites. Kansas City is 2-6 ATS with their only covers coming against Philadelphia and Washington. Of course, this game seems to be falling in the Chiefs' favor with the news of Aaron Rodgers being held out of this week’s matchup due to COVID, but even that’s not enough to make me think the Chiefs can handle their business.
Meanwhile, the Packers are 7-1 ATS this season, but things are going to look a little different at the most important position on the field. Jordan Love gets his first NFL start at Arrowhead Stadium, normally a difficult place to play, but he gets to go up against one of the worst defenses in the league—Kansas City is 30th against the pass and 29th against the run according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.
The Packers are back to full strength at their skill positions with Davante Adams returning to action this week and the two-pronged rushing attack of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon highly capable of lessening the load on Love. Packers and the points seem like a no-brainer to me.
With the terrible news of Derrick Henry getting placed on injured reserve with a foot injury, the dynamics of this game change drastically. This isn’t just a team missing a key player, this is a team without the leading rusher in the NFL and the most important skill position player on a roster that includes Julio Jones and A.J. Brown. And he’s being replaced with... Detroit Lions legend Adrian Peterson? Sure.
On the other side, the Rams added to their already top-4 pass rush by trading for Von Miller in general manager Les Snead’s continuing crusade against having draft picks. But at 7-1, it’s a question worth asking: who really needs draft picks? Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is tied for fourth in interceptions this season (7) and can really struggle when the pass rush gets in his face—Tannehill has a 62.4 passer rating under pressure.