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NFL Week 9 Picks Straight Up – Predicted Upsets and Underdogs Showing Value

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Updated Nov 6, 2021 · 6:31 AM PDT

Tyrod Taylor throws pass
Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
  • 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

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
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

Odds as of November 6th at DraftKings and FanDuel.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

YouTube video

“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.

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.

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