Aaron Rodgers made his bid for league MVP known by dissecting the 49ers defense Thursday night, also helping cash the first of my Week 9 NFL picks. I have eight more premium selections lined up for Sunday, and here are some of the betting angles to consider on the Week 9 card.
The top players for league MVP are your classic fantasy football superstars:
- Seahawks QB Russell Wilson = -180
- Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes = +280
- Buccaneers QB Tom Brady = +650
- Packers QB Aaron Rodgers = +1,000
- Cardinals QB Kyler Murray = +1,600
- Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger = +2,700
It’s no coincidence that all six of those gunslingers were favorites when the Week 9 NFL odds were released. Rodgers proved once again that when your starting quarterback is the best player in stadium, sometimes nothing can stop the scoring express.
- In the past 20 years, the average NFL road team scored 20.8 points on Thursday Night Football.
- After last night’s 34-17 win, Rodgers’ TNF road scoring average is 28.8 points and he has never finished with less than 24.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson averages seven completions per game of 15-plus air yards
Seattle at Buffalo
Line: Seahawks -3 and O/U 55
Wilson leads the NFL in passing touchdowns with 26, despite the fact that the three players behind him have each played an additional game. No longer supported by the infamous Legion of Boom, Wilson has been forced to go Madden-style on a weekly basis. The benefactors are D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who came into Week 9 as co-leaders in TD receptions with seven apiece. That is, of course, until Davante Adams (8) surpassed them in San Fran.
Seattle is scoring 34.3 points per game, but the team is also allowing 28.4 points per game. Through eight weeks, not one opponent has failed to score at least 23 points vs. the Seahawks.
- When both teams score 20-plus points, the OVER is 157-14 with Seattle since 1990.
Bills QB Josh Allen is always up for a challenge and his favorite target, Stefon Diggs, has quickly found a new home in Buffalo. Since 2018, the OVER is 8-2 for teams off a win against New England. Will Buffalo fall victim to the letdown, or is it time for a shootout?
Here are some trends involving the rest those top contenders for league MVP.
Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey is expected to return from a high-ankle sprain that kept him out six weeks. Rookie coach Matt Rhule said McCaffrey is at 100% in practice.
- As a road dog, the OVER is 7-3 when McCaffrey gains more than 100 all-purpose yards.
- Andy Reid and Mahomes have played OVER six-straight times at home after back-to-back wins by double-digits.
Michael Thomas is likely returning to the Saints lineup this week. On the other side, Antonio Brown is poised to make his debut alongside Brady.
- Brady is 12-5 SU/ATS when seeking same-season revenge since entering the league.
- That record improves to 9-0 SU/ATS during the regular season. During those nine games, he’s thrown 20 TDs and just three interceptions.
As college quarterbacks, Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa and Murray have been down this path before. Tua took the first meeting, 45-34 in the 2018 CFB playoffs with Alabama. You think Murray would like to teach him a lesson?
- Non-conference road dogs between 3-10 points have been outscored by 7.5 points per game following a double-digit underdog win. The UNDER in those games was 30-12.
This is a lot of wood to chop for a Steelers team off a hard fought win in Baltimore. Add in the fact that division rival Cincinnati is on-deck and it gets even scarier laying those points.
- Non-conference home dogs with a poor ATS record are 60% likely to play OVER the total in the second half of the season.
Dallas will have a heck of a time scoring against this defense. Mike Tomlin is a master at working the clock, too. He has posted 22 UNDERS in 30 games against weak defenses like this. Suddenly, it makes covering that pointspread seem more realistic.