- The lifeless Miami Dolphins are too big of favorites against the Houston Texans
- The Bears are touchdown underdogs against a Steelers squad that’s been shaky giving points
- Last week’s picks went 0-2, costing us 3 units and bringing our season total down to +11.27 (11-10 record)
Backup QBs took center stage in a truly great run of upsets in Week 8. Mike White, Trevor Siemian, and Cooper Rush all led their teams to victory in tough spots; especially White’s Jets who won as an 11.5-point underdog, the biggest upset of the season so far! Too bad we didn’t pick any of them.
As ugly as Week 8 was for us, it’s still encouraging that big dogs showed out for others. We won’t be targeting any backup QBs after looking at the Week 9 odds, but there’s some pretty hungry teams offering value. Starting with a team that will be making a change under center.
NFL Week 9 Upset Picks
|Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins||MIA -5.5||+235||Texans||1|
|Las Vegas Raiders vs New York Giants||LV -2.5||+132||Giants||1|
|Chicago Bears vs Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -6.5||+220||Bears||1|
Houston, We Have a Bad Game
After weeks of being linked together as partners in a potential Deshaun Watson trade, neither the Miami Dolphins or the Houston Texans will have the troubled QB under center when they clash this Sunday in South Florida. Despite identical 1-7 records, the Dolphins are favored by 5.5 points.
It’s odd that Miami is such a big favorite here, because their performance has been on par with these hapless Texans. Both teams are in the bottom six in DVOA, well separated from the rest of the NFL’s just plain bad teams.
New Scramble: What went wrong with the six worst teams in football by DVOA? Plus weekly awards! #WeAreTexans #Texans #DUUUVAL #Jaguars #DirtyBirds #Falcons #FinsUp #Dolphins #OnePride #Lions #TakeFlight #NYJets https://t.co/yNrMOZhSZj
— Football Outsiders (@fboutsiders) November 3, 2021
The Dolphins might still be getting some residual respect from last year, when they went 10-6 and were led by a great defense. But it’s the Texans who should be optimistic heading into this one. After weeks of throwing third round rookie Davis Mills to the wolves, Tyrod Taylor returns this week to provide a base level of competence to Houston’s league-worst offense.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 4, 2021
Having Mills start at QB for six weeks really hurt Houston’s standing in offensive rankings. In fact, the Texans looked better in their six quarters with Tyrod at the helm than the Dolphins offense has looked at any point this year.
Revenge is a dish best served cold…
Tyrod Taylor crushing it against his former team. 💪 🏈
10/11, 125 yards, 2 total TD's.
Texans (+13.5) looking niiiiiice right now.pic.twitter.com/8OXEGx1IaQ
— MaximBet (@MaximBetUSA) September 19, 2021
Not that I believe in the transitive relation of NFL results, but the same Jaguars team that beat Miami two weeks ago got shredded by Taylor and this Texans offense. So if that makes you feel a little better about betting this dumpster fire, more power to you.
Ultimately, when I see two terrible teams going at it, and one is more than a field goal underdog, I’ll back that dog constantly.
Giants Offer Value At Home
Thoughts and prayers to the family of Tina Tintor, the poor woman who lost her life due to the senseless actions of Henry Ruggs this week. That should be the only thing the Las Vegas Raiders are focused on right now. However, they are a professional football team that is slated to play this weekend in New York, where the Giants are getting 2.5 points at home.
There’s not much else to say at this moment about the Raiders. I’ll just note that the Giants defense is trending in the right direction over the past few weeks.
Giants defense via Football Outsiders DVOA is the 14th best unit in the NFL, up 5 spots from 19 last week. Their pass defense ranks 11th in the NFL right now
2020, D finished 19th overall & 22nd in pass DVOA
2 weeks ago the D was ranked in the mid 20s. Back2Back shutdown games!
— Justin Penik (@JustinPenik) November 2, 2021
New York has some injuries to overcome at receiver, and Saquon Barkley looks unlikely to be back this week, but given the circumstances, they’re still worth a play here. Doesn’t feel great to do it, but you know why we’re fading the road team this week.
Steelers a Suspect Favorite
Coming off the most promising showing of Justin Fields’ young career, the Chicago Bears are 6.5-point underdogs in Pittsburgh on Monday Night.
This is a spot where, against the spread, you definitely have to fade Pittsburgh. Dating back to last season, the Steelers have failed to cover the last six games they were favored by more than a field goal, including losing four of those games outright. Because while Pittsburgh’s defense can close out a game, there offense still stinks and can’t put opponents away.
“But the Bears offense stinks too,” you shout, unaware that this is not dialogue.
Well, as rough as Chicago has looked in certain outings this season, they are at least seeing improvements from their quarterback each time he takes his namesake.
JUSTIN FIELDS ARE YOU SERIOUS?! #DaBears
— NFL (@NFL) October 31, 2021
Chicago’s rushing attack has been their lone offensive bright spot this season, but that should match up well with a Steelers D that hasn’t been as solid against stopping the run.
Ultimately, both of these teams are mediocre and belong in the middle of the pack. But Pittsburgh has won three straight, and Chicago has lost three straight. Look for those streaks to end here.