NFL Betting: Dolphins, Patriots, Steelers Prove to be Week 9’s Easiest Bets
Bovada Staff : November 4, 2014
There were three signature matchups in the AFC this week, pitting winning teams in what was supposed to be a slate of playoff previews. As it turns out, the games that were projected to be the closest and most complicated to handicap proved to be the most one-sided.
The San Diego Chargers-Miami Dolphins matchup split bettors as Bovada opened the line at Miami -1 (-115) and ended up closing there too after Chargers money pushed the game to a pick earlier in the week. However, the Chargers were completely flattened in a 37-0 loss.
In the afternoon, the signature matchup of Week 9 was the annual Peyton Manning-Tom Brady showdown. Over the last month, we kept hearing about the Broncos’ defense improvements. Paired with an explosive offense, that’s why the Broncos found themselves as a 3.5-point favorite in New England even though the Patriots won 33 straight home games versus AFC teams entering Sunday. The Broncos were never even close as the Patriots led 27-7 at halftime and cruised to a 43-21 win.
On Sunday Night Football, the Ravens-Steelers matchup was
supposed to be close as five of the last six meetings had been decided by three or less. The Steelers opened -1 and while the line swung all the way up to Baltimore -1.5 during the week, it closed with Pittsburgh at -2 (-115). That proved to be irrelevant as Pittsburgh could have been -19 and still covered. They flattened the Ravens 43-23.
THURSDAY NIGHT: The AFC North will be back in the primetime spotlight as the Cleveland Browns visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. Believe it or not, first place in the division is on the line.
Fans will watch for the Browns’ ability – or inability – to run the football. They averaged an impressive 145 yards a game through their first five contests, but they’ve really struggled since the loss of Pro Bowl center Alex Mack. The Browns had three layups with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, yet the Browns squeaked out a 2-1 stretch (1-2 ATS) because their running game has hit the wall. The Browns have totaled 158 yards (on 83 carries) in the last three games for a paltry 1.9 yards per carry. The Bengals’ run defense could help their cause as they rank 30th in the NFL, allowing 139.6 yards per game. Interestingly enough, they’re tied with the Browns in that category allowing the exact same yardage.
The Bengals opened as a six-point favorite with a total of 44.5. The Bengals have been a favorite between 3.5 to seven points nine times in the last three seasons and have covered seven times. The Browns are 2-6 ATS in their last nine on the road with a total between 42.5 and 45 points.
It’s the first time in the division’s history that all four teams are above .500 after Week 9. It’s also the first time this has happened in any division since the NFC East in 2008.