It's Week 9 of the NFL season. Chalk's Vegas experts have you covered with comprehensive betting previews for all of Sunday's action, included together in one handy file.
Last week: 1-3-1 against the spread with best bets (marked with an *); 3-0 with over/under best bets; 2-5 ATS on picks on all other games; 1-0 on O/U leans.
Season to date: 26-20-2 (56.5 percent) on ATS best bets; 17-12 (58.6 percent) with O/U best bets, including Atlanta-Tampa over 51 on Thursday night; 32-37-1 on ATS leans, including Tampa Bay 3.5 on Thursday night; 6-5 on over/under leans.
Last week: 0-0 on ATS best bets; 0-0 with O/U best bets.
Season: 40-27-2 (59.7 percent) on ATS best bets; 34-28 (56.5 percent) on O/U best bets.
Last week: 1-0 on ATS best bets; 1-1 on O/U best bets, 1-0 on ATS leans, 1-0 on O/U leans.
Season: 8-9 (47.1 percent) on ATS best bets; 13-11 (54.2 percent) on O/U best bets, including loss on Atlanta-Tampa under on Thursday night; 5-2 ATS on leans, 1-0 on O/U leans.
Last week: 1-4 on ATS best bets; 2-3 on O/U best bets; 1-0 on O/U leans.
Season: 10-13 (43.4 percent) on ATS best bets; 5-10 (33.3 percent) on O/U best bets; 5-4-2 on ATS leans, 1-2 on O/U leans.
Note: All odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Friday morning.
Matchup: Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: Opened Kansas City -7.5; now Kansas City -7.5 (EVEN)
Total: Opened 45.5; now 44
PickCenter public consensus pick: 68 percent Kansas City
Public perception: The public has given up on the Jaguars again, while the Chiefs have won three straight since their bye week (though 2-1 ATS due to non-covering win against Saints in Week 7).
Wiseguys' view: There was early Kansas City support from the wiseguys as the line was bet up to 9, but then the buyback came on Jacksonville and it's settled back at 7.5.
Dave Tuley's take: Fortunately, I've backed off on my support of the Jaguars, as they look lost. I'm certainly not going to lay more than a touchdown with the Chiefs, so I'm looking at the under. Both defenses are decent (Jacksonville is actually No. 13 in yards per game, though giving up 28 points per contest; Kansas City is 15th) against pedestrian offenses. The Chiefs are No. 14 in yards per game but keep the clock running with short passes.
The pick: Under 44* (lean to Kansas City -7.5).
Rufus Peabody: It's interesting how much this line has changed from the look-ahead line early in the season. The market seems to have finally realized the Jaguars simply aren't very good. I haven't been right a lot this season, but I did have Jacksonville ranked 28th in the NFL entering Week 1, when the general consensus was that the Jaguars were poised for a breakthrough. The Jaguars' Week 8 performance -- just like their Week 7 one -- graded out as the worst in the NFL for the week. I give the Chiefs a 77.9 percent chance of winning, even with Nick Foles starting at QB for Kansas City.
Massey-Peabody Line: Kansas City -9.5, Total 44.1
Erin Rynning:?The Jaguars are off to yet another embarrassing performance, losing last Thursday night to the Titans 36-22. The Thursday game was a tricky spot for Jacksonville, which was coming off a disheartening loss to the Raiders with short rest and a road game against the Titans. If this Jaguars team is to play to its talent level, this game against the Chiefs is seemingly the right situation.
Jacksonville made a needed change at offensive coordinator by firing Greg Olson?and promoting Nathaniel Hackett. With the extra time to prepare, the Jaguars can make some much-needed adjustments. Kick-starting the run game would be a solid start. They rank 31st in the NFL at 72.6 yards per game but own capable runners in T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory. Meanwhile, the Chiefs will figuratively make a one-week change at quarterback, inserting Nick Foles for Alex Smith. Yes, this is a drop-off at the position with Foles posting troubling numbers since his sensational 2013 Eagles season, when Chip Kelly's offense was new to the NFL. Look for the Jaguars to make this a game and slip inside the point spread.
Matchup: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Spread: Opened Minnesota -6.5; now Minnesota -6
Total: Opened 41.5; now 41
PickCenter public consensus pick: 72 percent Detroit
Public perception: The Vikings were becoming a big public team, but they've lost two straight to the Eagles and Bears and a lot of people are jumping off the bandwagon.
Wiseguys' view: Sharps are more split on this game, but some have helped bet this down from 6.5 to 6.
Dave Tuley's take: While the Vikings' struggles have come on quickly, the Lions have been a tough team to figure out all season: They beat the Colts and Eagles but lost to the Bears and Titans (and a scuffling Houston team). I want to take the points with Detroit, but I'm leery of jumping on the public underdog. Besides, maybe the Vikings get a boost from their new home, where they're 3-0 SU and ATS.
The pick: Lean to Lions 6.
Peabody: Minnesota had its second clunker in a row on Monday night, losing by 10 to Chicago. It's hard to win consistently when you're relying so heavily on winning the turnover battle. Through five games, the Vikings had a turnover differential of plus-11 and a 5-0 record. The last two games they have been net zero in turnovers and gone 0-2. The Vikings' excellent defense had been able to mask an anemic offense (that Massey-Peabody ranks 25th), but the last two weeks have shown that if Minnesota's defense doesn't play well, the Vikings really don't have a chance. Sam Bradford faces a Detroit defense that ranks 30th in the NFL, according to Massey-Peabody. A mediocre performance would still suffice.
Pick: Over 41
Massey-Peabody Line: Minnesota -7.1, Total 46.9
Matchup: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Spread: Opened New York -3 (EVEN); now New York -2.5
Total: Opened 43; now 43
PickCenter public consensus pick: 67 percent Philadelphia
Public perception: The public is on the Eagles, though it's starting to look like the NFC East is pretty evenly matched, so it makes sense for bettors to take the points in these situations.
Wiseguys' view: The sharps are split on this game, with those preferring the Eagles snapping up the 3 and those liking the Giants laying the -2.5.
Dave Tuley's take: It's tempting to take the underdog Eagles, but once again it's a red flag with the public siding with them. Besides, I'd prefer getting the whole field goal. As well as Carson Wentz has played overall, I'd still prefer backing Eli Manning and his experience in a game like this.
The pick: Lean to Giants -2.5.
Peabody:?Despite losing in overtime to the Cowboys, Philadelphia outplayed Dallas fundamentally by 5.5 points. The Eagles defense -- the strength of the team -- held the efficient Cowboys offense to a season-low 43.4 percent play success rate but was victimized by big plays in the run game, as Dallas had four runs of 15-plus yards. Philly's offense was able to move the ball consistently -- it was successful on 49.3 percent of plays -- but wasn't able to generate "chunk plays," with no plays of 25-plus yards. The Giants benefit from the bye week and are a small favorite, with Massey-Peabody giving them a 57.3 percent chance of winning.
Massey-Peabody Line: New York -2.2, Total 44.1
Matchup: Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns
Spread: Opened Dallas -6.5; now Dallas -7
Total: Opened 47; now 49
PickCenter public consensus pick: 79 percent Dallas
Public perception: The Cowboys are quickly turning back into America's Team, with rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot leading them to a 6-1 record and -- just as important for our purposes -- 6-0-1 ATS. The Browns are still the Browns (2-6 SU/ATS).
Wiseguys' view: This line opened Dallas -6.5 and sharps joined the public in quickly betting it to -7. It's even gone to -7.5 (EVEN) at several Vegas books. The Cowboys will also be a very popular teaser play for sharps and squares alike.
Dave Tuley's take: The Browns are tough to back. I loved them 3 against the Jets last week with Josh McCown returning to the lineup, and they looked like the right side early but then got run over and we were lucky to get a TD and two-point conversion to get the push with the 3 (they closed 2.5 at the majority of Vegas books, so that's why their ATS record dropped to 2-6). Still, with this line getting inflated due to the Cowboys' success, I can't resist taking McCown and the Browns again to stay within the number.
The pick: Browns 7*.
Peabody: It sure looks like the end of the Tony Romo era in Dallas, though with the prevalence of quarterback injuries, you never know. Yes, I still think the Cowboys would be better off with Romo starting, but I am in the minority. Prescott certainly wasn't bad against Philadelphia this past week, but he wasn't good either. Dallas' pass offense ranked in the 46th percentile and its play success rate was 48th percentile -- and these both adjust for strength of opponent and home field. Which QB starts this week really doesn't matter, though, as the Browns are still the worst team in football.
Massey-Peabody Line: Dallas -7.2, Total 46.2
Matchup: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
Spread: Opened Miami -3 (-120); now Miami -3.5
Total: Opened 44.5; now 44
PickCenter public consensus pick: 54 percent Miami
Public perception: The public is split on this game as other tracking sites are right around 50-50, with the Jets getting the most play at some books. The inconsistent play of both teams contributes to that.
Wiseguys' view: The wiseguys are also mostly split on this game, though early sharp money pushed this from the opening line of Miami -3 to -4 at several books before we've seen buyback on the Jets.
Dave Tuley's take: The Jets are not the easiest team to back (and I did try fading them with the Browns last week), though they have won their last two games since Ryan Fitzpatrick returned to the lineup. So I'm reluctantly landing on the Jets, though this is more of a pick against the Dolphins, who are 0-2 ATS as favorites this season, beating but failing to cover -10 against the Browns in Week 3 and then losing outright as 2.5-point home faves against the Titans in Week 6.
The pick: Jets 3.5*.
Peabody:?The story of the Jets this year has been turnovers. They finally won the turnover battle last week, in a come-from-behind win against the winless Browns, but still have a minus-9 turnover differential for the season. The Jets are much better than their 2-5 record -- they are basically an average team -- and they're about a point better than Miami on a neutral field, but Miami has the benefit of both a bye last week and home field, and Massey-Peabody pegs the Dolphins as a 59.3 percent favorite. An interesting matchup to watch is running back Jay Ajayi, fresh off of two straight 200-yard rushing games, facing a Jets defense that ranks sixth in the NFL in average rush yards allowed to running backs.
Massey-Peabody Line: Miami -2.8, Total 43.3
Matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Spread: Opened OFF; now OFF
Total: Opened OFF; now OFF
PickCenter public consensus pick: 73 percent Pittsburgh
Note: This game was still off the board at most books as of early Friday morning with Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger listed as questionable. Some lines have popped up between Baltimore -2.5 and Pittsburgh -1 (the ESPN PickCenter has 73 percent of bets on the Steelers with a line of Baltimore -1). We'll update this after Big Ben's status is finalized and the books post more solid lines.
Peabody:?Pittsburgh again looks like it will be without Ben Roethlisberger, but it has had an extra week to get Landry Jones some reps and craft a game plan that he can execute. Intuitively, it seems like the bye week should be worth more to Pittsburgh than Baltimore for that reason, but my model doesn't incorporate that. Baltimore's rating has slowly continued to slide due to its inept offense. The Ravens offense ranks 29th in the NFL with 4.9 yards per play and last with a 40.8 percent play success rate. It's near the bottom in big plays as well. Baltimore's defense has quietly been very good, ranking fifth in the NFL and giving up only 5.2 yards per play. Pittsburgh is a lean at 3 (-110), but no play at 3 with added vig, or at 2.5.
Massey-Peabody Line: Baltimore -0.8, Total 42.5
Matchup: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers
Spread: Opened New Orleans -3 (EVEN); now New Orleans -4.5
Total: Opened 51; now 52.5
PickCenter public consensus pick: 84 percent New Orleans
Public perception: Are we seeing the return of the Saints as a public team? It's hard to gauge going against the unpopular 49ers, but the Saints have covered their last four games and gone 3-1 SU in the process, with the only loss a 27-21 defeat at Kansas City in Week 7. In fact, according to Rob Nelson of ESPN Stats & Information, they're 5-2 ATS, which is the fifth-best ATS record in the league this season.
Wiseguys' view: The sharps have joined the public in backing New Orleans (or fading San Fran) from the opening line of -3 up to -4.5. That's a pretty significant move for an NFL game.
Dave Tuley's take: This is tough. The 49ers have failed to cover since their 28-0 opening-week win over the Rams. Before their bye week, I lost with them against the Bills and Buccaneers, mistakenly thinking that Colin Kaepernick could spark the offense. The Saints defense is ranked No. 28, so if the 49ers offense is to wake up, this is the time. If they don't step up here as home underdogs, I'll probably have to stop backing them.
The pick: 49ers 4.5*.
Peabody:?I was saying that New Orleans is not a bad team at all, and it seems that the market is coming around to that idea after the Saints beat the Seahawks last week. Both teams actually played quite well, with the Saints' performance grading out as the fifth-best of the week, one spot ahead of Seattle. They travel to the West Coast to play a San Francisco team that is coming off a bye and should be improving as Kaepernick shakes off some rust. While New Orleans has an elite offense, its defense is awful, giving up 6.4 yards per play and a 51.1 play success rate this season. San Francisco is a play at 3.5 and a lean at 3 (EVEN).
Pick: San Francisco 4.5
Massey-Peabody Line: New Orleans -1.4, Total 51.6
Matchup: Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams
Spread: Opened Carolina -2; now Carolina -3 (-120)
Total: Opened 45; now 44.5
PickCenter public consensus pick: 78 percent Carolina
Public perception: The public is clearly on the Panthers, who snapped their four-game losing streak with a 30-20 win over the Cardinals that looked more like the Carolina team we saw all last season. The public still doesn't trust the Rams.
Wiseguys' view: Sharps also jumped on the Panthers early, betting them from -2 to -3 (and several books are starting to charge added juice, as this line looks like it's going to 3.5 eventually).
Dave Tuley's take: The Rams are a little intriguing as home underdogs (as they did upset the Seahawks back in Week 2 in the L.A. Coliseum), but the Panthers looked revived last week. While I don't expect Cam Newton & Co. to run wild on the Rams defense, they should do enough, as the defense will likely stack the box against Todd Gurley and shut down the Rams offense. I think the under is the safer play. The pick: Under 44.5* (lean to Panthers -3).
Peabody:?Don't write off the Panthers just yet! They may be 2-5, but they are the third-best team in the NFL, according to Massey-Peabody's predictive ratings, and they still have a 23 percent chance of making the playoffs. So why is Carolina 2-5 if it is, in fact, an elite team? The Panthers have certainly underperformed, but they've also been unlucky, with a minus-7 turnover margin. They travel to Los Angeles and have the misfortune of facing a team coming off a bye. This isn't a cakewalk by any means, but my model gives Carolina a 62.4 percent chance of winning.
Massey-Peabody Line: Carolina -3.8, Total 43.1
Rynning:?The Rams entered their bye week coming off yet another dismal offensive performance, scoring just 10 points against the Giants. Obviously, the offensive drought continues for L.A., which ranks 30th in yards per game. This will pose a tough matchup for the Rams offense as well. The Panthers own a ferocious front seven, but the Rams lack the passing game to exploit the Panthers' weakness in the secondary. Still, the Rams are talented on defense, ranking as a top-10 unit. Their defense was exceptionally hurt in the last couple of games leading into their bye, but this unit will be much healthier for this contest.
Matchup: Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers
Spread: Opened Green Bay -7; now Green Bay -7.5 (EVEN)
Total: Opened 53; now 54
PickCenter public consensus pick: 72 percent Green Bay
Public perception: It's a little surprising that the public is on the Packers so much, though they did cover in their 33-32 loss at Atlanta and are still 4-2-1 ATS for backers.
Wiseguys' view: The sharps were with the public in betting this line from Green Bay -7 to -7.5, but they are now split at this number.
Dave Tuley's take: As this number has gone over a full touchdown, it's tempting to take the Colts; however, I'm still scared off by their No. 29-ranked defense. Aaron Rogers isn't having his best year, but facing that defense at Lambeau might help the Packers get back on track. At first glance, this total of 54 looks too high, but Rob Nelson of ESPN Stats & Info points out that four of the five highest totals this season have still seen the points go over, so I'll just call it a lean on the under.
The pick: Lean to under 54 (lean to Colts 7.5).
Peabody:?Yes, Aaron Rodgers completed 73.7 percent of his passes and threw four touchdowns (with no interceptions) against Atlanta in Week 8, but he was sacked three times and averaged only 5.4 yards per pass play -- hardly elite numbers. The Green Bay passing attack really has been perplexing, ranking 28th in yards per pass play. The Packers host an Indianapolis squad that has also had a disappointing year, despite good numbers from its franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck. However, those good numbers are only when he is able to stay upright long enough to throw the ball. His 31 sacks is the most in football by a significant margin, and it's not a new problem for the Colts. The offensive line should take some blame for it, but invariably the quarterback plays a big role too: setting protection, recognizing blitzers and getting rid of the ball on time.
Pick: Under 54
Massey-Peabody Line: Green Bay -7.6, Total 51.6
Matchup: Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
Spread: Opened San Diego -5; now San Diego -5
Total: Opened 47; now 47.5
PickCenter public consensus pick: 65 percent San Diego
Public perception: The Chargers continue to turn into a public team with Philip Rivers & Co. putting up 28.1 points per game and playing a lot of exciting games. They're 5-3 ATS despite the 27-19 loss to the Broncos last week.
Wiseguys' view: This line had been bet up to San Diego -5.5, but sharp money has pushed it back down and we've also seen offshore giant Pinnacle drop it to -4.
Dave Tuley's take: The last time the Titans were road underdogs, they won outright at Miami, but my enthusiasm has been tempered by their subsequent non-cover against the Browns and loss to the Colts (plus I'd feel better if I knew DeMarco Murray was certain to play). I do think the Titans' No. 10 defense can contain the Chargers offense and keep this game close and relatively low-scoring, so I prefer to take the under.
The pick: Under 47.5* (lean to Tennessee 5).
Peabody:?Tennessee comes off of the best-graded game of the week, according to Massey-Peabody, which grades each game based on the metrics that are predictive of future success. Marcus Mariota was nothing short of magnificent, completing 19 of 23 passes for 280 yards and no interceptions. Tennessee's 12.2 yards per pass play is the best mark of any team this season, and the offense's six rushes of 15 or more yards is the most by any team this season. Tennessee made a major move in the Massey-Peabody ratings this week, jumping from 24th to 19th. My model makes them a 3.6-point underdog facing a San Diego team whose playoff chances dropped to 17 percent after losing in Denver last week.
Massey-Peabody Line: San Diego -3.6, Total 46.9
Rynning:?After going 5-27 the previous two years, the Titans, at 4-4, are buying in to success. They'll take their newfound confidence to San Diego and once again rely on their run game to find victory. Their last three games, all on their home turf, provided high-scoring contests. However, back on the road, look for a more conservative style of play. Meanwhile, the Chargers defense continues to improve with the addition of Joey Bosa, a true difference-maker for the stop unit. On Sunday, the Chargers are expected to be down two more offensive playmakers: wideout Travis Benjamin and tight end Hunter Henry. Their offensive line should find difficult footing against the Titans' strong defensive front led by Jurrell Casey.