Farewell to the two most widespread season-long proposition wagers on local sports books’ betting boards. Week 9 wiped out both of them.
No, the Patriots will not go undefeated after losing to the Ravens 37-20 as 3-point favorites on Sunday Night Football. No, the Dolphins will not go winless after breaking through for a 26-18 victory over the Jets as 3-point underdogs.
The “no” on the, “Will the Patriots go 16-0?,” prop at Westgate Las Vegas Superbook cashes at a closing price on minus-700 (risking $7 to win $1). The “no” on the, “Will the Dolphins go 0-16?,” prop cashes at a closing price of minus-900 (risking $9 to win $1).
The divergent fates and chances at history of the two AFC East teams captivated the football world. Luckily there are two more teams ready to step in and fill the void.
Although not currently as omnipresent as the aforementioned two wagers around town, the Superbook has props up on the San Francisco 49ers going undefeated and the Bengals going winless.
Cincinnati is plus-600 (risking $1 to win $6) to go 0-16 with its odds to win at least one game at minus-900. San Francisco is plus-1500 to go 16-0 with its odds to lose at least one game at minus-5000.
These are novelty bets fun to discuss and watch, but not typically worth wagering on without a massive bankroll that allows waiting out wins on the highly priced “nos.” The weekly games are where we thrive in this column and it’s so far been a banner year. After a 10-4 record selecting every game last week, the overall record now stands at 78-56-1 for the year. Read below for picks on all the Week 10 action, separated into three confidence categories. Lines are the best currently available on the chosen sides.
Cleveland Browns minus-2.5 vs. Buffalo Bills If you covered up the team names on the jerseys and just looked at the statistical profiles and personnel, you’d come up with a spread closer to Cleveland minus-4. Yes, the Browns are a laughingstock for many reasons, but for this week at least, they’re a laughingstock with value.
San Francisco 49ers minus-6 vs. Seattle Seahawks Seattle continues to eke out wins to shroud just how much it’s struggling on defense, where it ranks 29th in the NFL in giving up 6.2 yards per play. With three extra days to prepare off Thursday Night Football, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan is likely to craft a game plan to take advantage.
Pittsburgh Steelers plus-3.5 vs. Los Angeles Rams I liked this much better at Pittsburgh plus-4, but that number has now fully disappeared from the market. The Rams have consistently struggled against strong defenses, however, and the Steelers rate fifth in the NFL defensively by Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
Oakland Raiders plus-1.5 vs. Los Angeles Chargers The Raiders are not getting their due for managing 4-4 straight-up and 5-3 against the spread records despite facing what Football Outsiders rates as the NFL’s toughest schedule so far. Now with a spate of manageable home games, don’t rule out last week’s 31-24 win over the Lions as 2-point favorites starting a surge.
Kansas City Chiefs minus-4.5 at Tennessee Titans Even if Patrick Mahomes misses another week, this is a fair price considering the Chiefs have played well in back-to-back games without the reigning MVP. And if Mahomes comes back, a middle could be in play as it isn’t far-fetched to see Kansas City closing as high as a 7-point favorite.
Minnesota Vikings plus-3 at Dallas Cowboys The line looks fair, but the Cowboys have the longer injury report — even as Vikings receiver Adam Theilen’s hamstring gets more attention — and are playing on a short week. In the off chance that this line reaches 3.5, the Vikings would elevate to a play.
Chicago Bears minus-2.5 vs. Detroit Lions I’m hoping the anti-Bears sentiment currently sweeping through NFL circles drops this line towards pick’em, where Chicago would be a play. Detroit is playing its second straight road game and hasn’t encountered a defense nearly as strong as Chicago’s all season.
Green Bay Packers minus-4.5 vs. Carolina Panthers This might be a case of steam-chasing gone wrong for those who jump on the Panthers because the, “sharp action,” was reportedly on them early in the week. At plus-7, where this line opened, Carolina was certainly the pick but it’s moved too far in the other direction. Always buy low on Aaron Rodgers when given the chance.
Atlanta Falcons plus-13 at New Orleans Saints The Saints have benefitted from the best turnover luck in the NFL, recovering 77 percent of fumbles. It’s time to start looking for spots to fade them, though this might admittedly not be the most ideal place to put that position into action against a Falcons’ team that’s quite possibly quit on the season.
New York Jets plus-2.5 vs. New York Giants Many have written off the Jets as too injured and poorly coached to back, but the Giants are just as beaten up and clueless. A game with this much futility should not be higher than a pick’em.
Indianapolis Colts minus-10 vs. Miami Dolphins The lookahead line on this game was Indianapolis minus-13.5. I don’t think a single Dolphins win, over the lowly Jets no less, and the mostly insignificant switch from Jacoby Brissett to Brian Hoyer is worth 3.5 points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers minus-4 vs. Arizona Cardinals Statistically, the Buccaneers are going to look like they hold value almost every week as their efficiency numbers are significantly better than their 2-6 straight-up record. Visually, they’re a complete mess and sure to drop games both straight-up and against the spread that they have no business losing because of unforced errors.
Baltimore Ravens minus-9.5 at Cincinnati Bengals This line is still widely available at less than double digits, which is a bit inexplicable given the all-encompassing nature of Cincinnati’s struggles. New quarterback Ryan Finley is also a complete unknown and therefore doesn’t inspire much confidence.