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Week 9 NFL Recap – Week 10 Betting Preview

NFL WR catches pass before Week 10

NFL Betting Recap For Week 9

Football content contributor Ron Marmalefsky offers his NFL Week 9 betting recap as well as his lookahead to Week 10 of NFL kicking off on Thursday! What are his takeaways and look aheads from a betting perspective? Read below now!

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NFL Betting Recap For Week 9

This week’s article is all about observations. Part One discusses teams and where they fit in the overall picture.

Part Two links the best and worst statistical performances by teams to date, and how those statistics correlate to on-field performance.

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NFL Team Observations

Are the Pittsburgh Steelers a legit playoff contender? I love Mike Tomlin, but the answer is no. The offense under coordinator Matt Canada has not evolved, and the stat sheet shows too many flaws. Kenny Pickett is serviceable, but so far, not a top 15 QB.

Wins have come due to Tomlin’s game planning defensively, along with an advantageous +8 turnover ratio. I can’t see the Steelers putting up enough points vs. the better NFL defenses.

Houston’s C.J. Stroud is the runaway leader for rookie of the year. Consider this: He has a 14-1 TD to interception ratio despite playing on a team with a bottom three run offense. People know Houston has to pass to score points, and yet the offense still delivers.

Houston is still a longshot to make the playoffs, but there’s no question we’ll see their best effort each and every week.

At times the Cowboys look like a top three team, but I’m not quite buying into that narrative. They can play with almost anyone outside of San Francisco, but they make enough errors to lose a game or two that they should win.

The November schedule is soft and could mean a 4-0 surge, but the December schedule is brutal. Keep in mind that their run game features one guy, Tony Pollard. He split time last year (with Ezekiel Elliott) and put up outstanding yards-per-carry numbers, but he’s down quite a bit this year. I remain worried about overuse down the stretch.

One more thing: Dallas has an “acceptable” 21 defensive sacks, but it’s down from the 54 they achieved in 2022.

I’ve consistently noted that the loss of Matthew Judon has been the biggest single reason why New England has faltered this season. Yes, I know the offense is of 1970’s lineage, with a clear lack of innovative play calling, slow RB’s, a bottom tier WR group and an OL with various injuries, but lost in all of this is what the defense has done in 2023.

Consider this: New England has but 18 defensive sacks in 2023. They have six in the five games that Judon has been out. The Patriots had 54 sacks a year ago.

The lack of a pass rush has contributed to a sky-high pass completion % allowed that prior to this season had mostly seen them allow sub 60% to opposing QB’s three times in the past six seasons (61.4% last year). I don’t think any of these areas can get fixed before 2024.

Getting ahead of the curve is one critical way to find value in NFL wagering. Two weeks ago, I was sky high on Cincinnati, noting that Joe Burrow would be near 100% healthy following the bye week. You could see it with how he planted his foot when throwing, and how he was able and willing to run the ball to move the chains.

Cincy is now firmly entrenched in my top six NFL ratings, and as I said in a podcast two weeks ago, had done enough to earn the right to be put in the playoff picture (projected #6 seed at the time).

The lesson here is simple: Finding teams like this before the public does is an art that should not be overlooked. I bought low on Jacksonville a few weeks earlier, and found value fading two other teams in season win totals. Find teams that fit this narrative moving forward.

Green Bay beat the LA Rams last week (thanks), but this is not a team I’m buying into just yet. While I do believe the defense will improve slightly as some injured players get back into action, I’m not at all sold on QB Love. The goal last week was to keep him out of harm’s way vs. LA, a team missing its veteran QB. They won “ugly”, as I had hoped for.

November’s schedule is difficult, and counting a game hosting KC on 12/3, GB may be just 4-8 overall before the schedule lightens up. Unless Love reduces his turnovers, I’m still selling the Packers as a viable playoff contender.

San Francisco is getting healthy. That’s bad news for the rest of the NFC, but I still see some warning signs moving forward. Two areas concern me. 1st, the 49ers, have just 18 defensive sacks. 2nd, the pass defense misses Jimmie Ward. There’s a correlation between not sacking the QB and a high pass D%. Good QB’s will continue to have success through the air.

Watch the impact of Chase Young carefully. If sacks ramp up, the pass D% might improve, even without household names in the secondary. The remaining schedule is tricky, but the 49ers ‘could” still be a contender for the #1 seed.

Baltimore is my #1 Power Rated team, having climbed quite a bit over the past three weeks. While I am decidedly not a fan of John Harbaugh’s end of half and end of game decision-making, there’s no doubt that this is a roster built for success.

Will they remain my #1 seed? I’m actually saying no, because the schedule is treacherous moving forward. Yes, all their remaining games vs. the AFC North are at home, but they have three tough road games, plus a host of Miami still left on the schedule. The goal EVERY year is to keep Lamar Jackson healthy, and he seems to be getting more comfortable in new coordinator Todd Monken’s system. Now, can Harbaugh stay out of the way in crunch time?

Who is at the bottom of my Power Ratings? It’s been Arizona (and Carolina) most of the season, but we have a new entry now. Void of Daniel Jones, and with Tyrod Taylor still on IR, the NYG are my lowest rated team, and deservedly so.

RB Barkley is dangerous, yet his yards-per-carry running behind this substandard OL is just 4.0. The OL has allowed 49 sacks and the defense has produced just 15 sacks. Head Coach Daball has had numerous game day meltdowns this season, which is clearly wearing on him. Rookies are starting in the secondary, and their best DL was traded.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team look toward 2024, which translates to benching guys who may not be with the team next season in favor of assessing the younger players to see if they fit into future plans.

Finally, I still don’t know who Cleveland is. Offensively, can we trust QB Watson? He’s been somewhat sack-prone, and at times tentative in the pocket. The run game is decent, but features players who are hardly elite. The OL seems to be playing at league average.

Defensively, the numbers are top five, but some of the QB’s they have faced were either injured (Burrow week one), or mediocre (Pickett in a home MNF game, Tannehill, Minshew, Arizona’s depleted QB room).

I track all my records carefully for each NFL team. In an otherwise solid season (28-17, 23-9 last six weeks) I’m 1-2 in games involving the Browns. My point: EVERY handicapper has a few teams where uncertainly exists in assessing who they are. Find the teams that you are unsure of and do not be afraid to step back and learn before acting.

Noteworthy Stats Heading Into NFL Week 10

Baltimore leads the NFL with 35 defensive sacks. That seems directly related to having the #1 point D.
The Bears are last in the NFL with 10 defensive sacks. That seems directly related to their near last point D.
Cleveland is #1 in the NFL, allowing just 55% completions. That seems directly related to having a top three point D.
Denver is allowing 75% through the air and 5.35 on the ground, both last in the NFL. Therefore, it’s hardly a surprise that their point D is the worst in the NFL. Will the bye help? Carefully check their performance in the next two games.
KC has allowed just 12 defensive sacks, #1 in the NFL.
The NYG have allowed an NFL worst 49 sacks. That has translated to the NFL’s worst scoring offense (11 per game)

Next week: Coaches on the hot seat, coordinators who should get jobs, coordinators who need to be replaced, and other news and notes around the NFL

Follow me on twitter @ronacesports to be alerted of future articles, and my weekly podcasts with @lasvegascris.

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