My job here is to sift through the major line moves on the pro gridiron then identify them as being warranted or hot steam. You get the drift? Cool, let’s dig into Week 9 and see if we can’t finally churn out a winning week. It’s been too long!
New Orleans -4’ to -6: Hot Steam
In taking the Rams down at home last week in one of the more exhilarating games of the season, the Saints got some love in the futures odds market inching ever so close to Los Angeles for NFC supremacy. Though Drew Brees and company have been down this road before, I’m extremely interested to see just how much is left in the tank after putting forth a ton of energy and sweat to come out on top the last two weeks. Remember, they avenged their playoff loss the week prior against Minnesota and then returned home to hand LA its first defeat of the season. That takes a lot out of you and that’s something the betting public isn’t taking into account steaming this line up a few points against the rested Bengals.
Cincinnati is in the thick of the AFC North race and they’ll take to their home field refreshed and reenergized after being on bye last week. That’s a huge advantage when you take into account how much the Saints were forced to leave on the field the last two weeks. It’s enough to lead me to believe this will be one of the more lucrative games of the week for offshore sportsbooks with the betting public hammering New Orleans with reckless abandon.
Atlanta -3’ to -5: Hot Steam
The Falcons remain on the road a week removed from putting forth their most dominant effort of the 2018 NFL betting season in thrashing the Redskins 38-14 as 1.5 point D.C. underdogs. They’re reward for doing so is a trip to Cleveland where they’ll run up against a disheveled Browns team in the midst of a four game losing streak that’s only managed one cover in its last four games. With both clubs seemingly headed in opposite directions, laying the road chalk with the visitors looks to be a slam dunk. Pump those brakes!
Even though the Browns were rolled up and smoked by the Chiefs last week, there were some nice takeaways from the game.
The reemergence of Duke Johnson Jr. was one of them, as was Baker Mayfield nearly throwing for 300 yards and 2 more touchdown passes. Remember, Atlanta is working with a decimated secondary that Washington’s defunct passing attack was unable to take advantage of. Cleveland has the pieces in place to partake in and win a shootout if need be. Atlanta’s 1-4 ATS its last five appearances as road favorites and just snapped a four game losing streak at top rated sportsbooks when dogged away from home. They’re a different team out of the dome and I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if Cleveland found a way to win this one.
Tennessee Titans +7 to +6.5: Warranted
The Titans were on my radar as a team that could once again make some noise this season with the coaching staff upper management brought in to lead the franchise. Mike Vrabel is a winner and an excellent student of the game. His never quit mentality has rubbed off on Tennessee to the point that you never feel they’re out of a game as well they’re able to ugly the proceedings up.
Nothing about their MNF beat down of the Cowboys was ugly. The offense finally started to take shape under the watch of Matt LaFleur, while Dean Pees’ defense was relentless in not allowing the Cowboys an inch of breathing room in the second half. If they can carry that mentality over into this week’s home tilt against the Patriots, they’ll have an excellent shot of avenging last year’s playoff defeat that saw them get whipped 35-14.
New England has looked great over the course of its six game win streak that was punctuated with an impressive handling of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. However, they’ve gotten the best effort from their last four opponents and could overlook the Titans for some time off next week. I’m never one that looks forward to stepping in front of the Hoodie at online sportsbooks, but this looks to be as good a spot as any with Tennessee entering the fresher of the two teams seeking revenge.