NFL Week 9 best bets: One wager to make for every team (including the Bills)

There have been more than a few surprises in the NFL this season, with the most recent being a stunning win by the Denver Broncos over the Kansas City Chiefs last week. Though Week 8 was filled with matchups that didn’t look great on paper, Week 9 has a number of intriguing games – including Chiefs-Dolphins, Cowboys-Eagles and Bills-Bengals.

We’re coming off our best week as a network, going 20-12 with our best bets in Week 8, and we’ll try to build off that with another solid week of picks. Marcus Mosher of Raiders Wire kept his winning streak alive, going a perfect 8-0 with his eight bets this season.

Here are our picks for Week 9, one for each team in the NFL.

Note: The 49ers, Lions, Broncos and Jaguars are on a bye this week.

All odds are courtesy of BetMGM.

Titans at Steelers: Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Titans: Derrick Henry OVER 70.5 rushing yards (-115)

The Steelers enter this game with the sixth-worst run defense in the NFL, with Pittsburgh surrendering 137.1 rushing yards per game. The Titans will look to lean on the run in this game, as that will help take pressure off rookie quarterback Will Levis and set him up for play-action, where he thrives. Henry has also tallied 97 rushing yards or more in three of his last four games, and he’s averaging 95.7 rushing yards per contest in 20 career primetime games, the most in the NFL among players who have appeared in 10 primetime games since the start of the 2000 season. Mike Moraitis, Titans Wire

Steelers: Steelers OVER 19.5 points (-120)

Pittsburgh understands how important this week’s game is in the grand scheme of the playoffs. And history says the Steelers don’t typically lose to rookie quarterbacks, especially not at home and especially not in prime time. The Steelers have topped 20 points three times this season in seven games and the Titans are allowing 20 points per game on this season. We look for Pittsburgh to get the offense back on track this week. Curt Popejoy, Steelers Wire

Dolphins at Chiefs: Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET (Germany)

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins: Raheem Mostert anytime TD (-140)

Nobody has found the end zone on the ground more than Raheem Mostert this season. Through eight games, his 10 rushing touchdowns lead the league. On top of that, he’s also scored twice on receptions. In 2023, there have only been two games where he didn’t cross the goal line, and they were against two of the more impressive defensive fronts in the league in the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills. They also happened to be the only games that he saw less than 10 carries. Miami should be able to keep with this offense, meaning Mostert should see a healthy number of touches and will find his way to the end zone at least once. Mike Masala, Dolphins Wire

Chiefs: Marquez Valdes-Scantling OVER 17.5 receiving yards (-115)

Patrick Mahomes is going to be out for blood after his disappointing showing against the Denver Broncos in Week 9. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been a steady presence in the Chiefs’ air attack, and should figure into Kansas City’s game plan against the Dolphins as an underrated asset that Miami may overlook. His speed makes Valdes-Scantling a threat to convert this bet with a single reception, and Mahomes is known for getting every receiver at his disposal involved as early as possible in key matchups.  John Dillon, Chiefs Wire

Vikings at Falcons: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings: Cam Akers OVER 4.5 receiving yards (-120)

The Vikings are a team in transition with Kirk Cousins out for the season. In comes Jaren Hall to make his first start, and the fifth-round rookie is going to need help. One of the things that Kevin O’Connell can do to make things easy for his new starting quarterback is calling quick, easy throws like screen passes. With the Vikings running back room going to a true 50/50 rotation between Cam Akers and Alexander Mattison, going over on 4.5 receiving yards feels like a very safe bet. In his five games with the Vikings, Akers has surpassed 4.5 yards receiving in four of them. Getting an every-other series rotation with a rookie quarterback making his first start should make for an easy over. Tyler Forness, Vikings Wire

Falcons: Taylor Heinicke OVER 1.5 passing touchdowns (+130)

Heinicke replaced Desmond Ridder in Week 8 and immediately provided a spark. After passing for 175 yards and a touchdown in the second half, Heinicke was officially named the starter for Week 9. He should have a big game against a banged-up Vikings team. Atlanta has weapons on the outside and Heinicke is capable of getting them the ball. I like the Falcons QB to pass for over 1.5 touchdowns on Sunday. Matt Urben, Falcons Wire

Cardinals at Browns: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Cardinals: First half both teams score 1+ touchdowns (+130)

The Cardinals have scored a first-half touchdown every week except against the Rams. They have allowed a first-half touchdown in six of their eight games. With easy plus odds, this seems like a slam dunk, even though the quarterback situation is uncertain for both teams. – Jess Root, Cards Wire

Browns: Browns OVER 1.5 first-half touchdowns (+140)

Despite playing one of the NFL’s premier defenses, and despite falling down 14-0 early, the Browns fought their way back against the Seahawks. They have scored two first-half touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, and now they face a rather feeble Arizona defensive unit. The Cardinals are second-to-last in EPA per play defensively, and are bottom-five against both the run and the pass. The Browns have found success on the ground in recent weeks using their three-headed rushing attack of Kareem Hunt, Jerome Ford, and Pierre Strong Jr. They may also get their starting quarterback on the field in this game. If they can score first-half touchdowns with P.J. Walker, the Browns can score with anyone. – Cory Kinnan, Browns Wire

Rams at Packers: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Rams: Lucas Havrisik over 5.5 kicking points (-120)

The options are limited this week when it comes to Rams bets due to Matthew Stafford’s thumb injury, which could keep him out of the game. There aren’t yet any offensive or defensive player props available, so we’re looking at the special teams unit. Havrisik made two field goals in his debut last week in a game where the Rams had four scoring drives. The team’s red zone offense hasn’t been great as of late and Los Angeles has had to settle for a lot of field goals, which should give Havrisik at least two or three opportunities. We’re essentially betting that he’ll make two field goals with or without Stafford, but if Stafford plays, he could hit this prop with one field goal and three PATs. Cameron DaSilva, Rams Wire

Packers: Packers under 9.5 points in first half (+110)

The Packers have scored exactly nine points in the first halves of the last five games. Nine! Green Bay is also one of just two teams without a first-half touchdown at home this season. Over three games at Lambeau Field in 2023, the Packers trailed 17-0, 27-3 and 10-3 at halftime. Getting to 10 points by halftime on Sunday would be a huge accomplishment.  Zach Kruse, Packers Wire

Commanders at Patriots: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Commanders: Jahan Dotson OVER 41.5 receiving yards (-110) 

Dotson finally had his long-awaited breakout game last week vs. the Eagles. QB Sam Howell is comfortable throwing to Dotson and Terry McLaurin, and with Curtis Samuel likely out on Sunday, Dotson could see more time in the slot, giving him more potential targets. I’d expect a good day from Dotson. Bryan Manning, Commanders Wire

Patriots: Patriots to score OVER 1.5 touchdowns in the first half (+155)

The Patriots will be back at home at Gillette Stadium, and Mac Jones won’t have the ghosts of Montez Sweat and Chase Young breathing down his neck. Being comfortable in the pocket has always led to New England getting the best version of their third-year quarterback, and Sunday’s run-in with the tanking Commanders will be no different. It also helps that Washington is allowing 28.5 points per game, which is the second-worst in the league. For the first time all season, against even opposition, the Patriots will start fast in this one. Jordy McElroy, Patriots Wire

Bears at Saints: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears: D’Onta Foreman OVER 39.5 rushing yards (-120)

Foreman will lead Chicago’s committee rushing attack, which ranks sixth in the league, averaging 132.8 yards per game. Since stepping into a significant role three weeks ago, Foreman is averaging 63 rushing yards per game. While New Orleans has been a middling run defense, the Saints gave up a season-high 164 rushing yards to the Colts last week. The last time Foreman faced New Orleans – as part of the Panthers last season – he totaled 68 rushing yards on 12 carries. – Alyssa Barbieri, Bears Wire

Saints: Taysom Hill OVER 15.5 rushing yards (-120)

The Saints finally figured out some things with Hill in the running game the last few weeks; he ran for 63 yards against the Colts after scoring a critical rushing touchdown against the Jaguars a week earlier. He’s their most explosive option on the ground and he’ll have opportunities to room to run on the Bears with the New Orleans offensive line playing their best football of the season these last few games. The Saints offense as a whole is beginning to hit their stride and Hill’s presence has been a big factor. – John Sigler, Saints Wire

Seahawks at Ravens: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks: Seahawks alternate spread +7 (-155)

Seattle managed to beat Detroit on the road in Week 2 and just barely snuck past the Browns at home last week. That makes for a pair of unconvincing wins against two of the three contenders that the Seahawks have faced so far this season. The other heavyweight they’ve matched up with are the Bengals, who beat them by four points a few weeks ago. It seems like a stretch to predict an upset on the road, even as good as this Seattle team looks right now. However, the Seahawks should at least be able to avoid getting beaten by more than a touchdown. Tim Weaver, Seahawks Wire

Ravens: Gus Edwards OVER 50.5 yards rushing (-120)

In Week 8, Cleveland focused on the run to help set up the pass, and the Browns had two players gain over 40 yards rushing on the day.  In their win over Arizona, Baltimore RB Gus Edwards logged 19 carries for 80 yards and three touchdowns.   With a potent passing attack, and Lamar Jackson able to loosen things up, Edwards goes for 60+ yards against a stout Seattle defense.  Glenn Erby, Ravens Wire

Buccaneers at Texans: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers: Baker Mayfield OVER 1.5 passing TDs (+130)

The Bucs’ offense has struggled in recent weeks, but Mayfield is coming off a two-touchdown performance in Buffalo and he’s playing a Texans secondary that is quite frankly not very good. Houston is 23rd in pass defense, 25th in interception percentage and 27th in the league on third downs, so if there was ever a get-right game for Tampa Bay’s struggling offense, this is the one — let Baker bake. – River Wells, Bucs Wire

Texans: Texans to score first (-125)

Houston has scored first in five of their past seven games, including two of their last three home contests. Consider the Buccaneers have not scored first in a game since Weeks 1-2 when they were facing the Minnesota Vikings on the road and the Chicago Bears at home. The Texans’ recent low-scoring losses were due to the offense petering out, not being outpaced to score first. – Mark Lane, Texans Wire

Colts at Panthers: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

Colts: Jonathan Taylor OVER 64.5 rushing yards (-120)

Taylor is back in his role as the starter even though Zack Moss is still getting work. This matchup could not be better for Taylor to have a vintage game. The Panthers are allowing the fifth-most yards per attempt (4.7) and the eighth-most rushing yards per game (124). The Colts will continue to lean on the rushing attack, and Taylor will have plenty of room to eat when they visit Charlotte. Kevin Hickey, Colts Wire

Panthers: Adam Thielen OVER 68.5 receiving yards (-110)

We rode this gravy train to a win last week and we’ll gladly hop on board again. Thielen has registered at least 72 receiving in five straight games, a span that’s also seen him average almost 12 targets per contest. And with rookie quarterback Bryce Young looking better by the week, he should have no problem finding his favorite pass catcher against a soft zone defense. Anthony Rizzuti, Panthers Wire

Giants at Raiders: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Giants: Daniel Jones OVER 0.5 touchdown passes (-250) 

Daniel Jones will return on Sunday against the Raiders and resume his role under center. And although he will be without tight end Darren Waller, there is hope he’ll benefit from the returns of left tackle Andrew Thomas and right tackle Evan Neal. He’ll also be playing side-by-side with Saquon Barkley for the first time since Week 2. The team’s wide receivers may be lacking but it’s Barkley that DJ will ultimately rely on. Since Jones won’t be running like usual, expect Saquon to be featured heavily in the pass game, where he’ll punch one in for DJ. – Dan Benton, Giants Wire

Raiders: Josh Jacobs UNDER 83.5 rushing yards (-115)

Common sense would suggest that the Raiders plan on running the ball early and often with Aidan O’Connell making his second start at quarterback. And that will probably be the case on Sunday. But the Raiders have not run the ball well this season. Josh Jacobs is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry and that is after he led the NFL in rushing yards in 2022. The Giants held Breece Hall to 17 yards on 12 carries in Week 8. And while we can expect Jacobs to perform better than that, look for him to go under his rushing yardage total set for Week 9. Marcus Mosher, Raiders Wire

Cowboys at Eagles: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys: Dak Prescott OVER 249.5 passing yards -115

Based on the national conversation this season, one might expect Dak Prescott to throw for 37 yards if he’s having a good day. In reality, the Cowboys QB is having an extremely efficient season in the new Texas Coast offense and over the last two weeks the passing game seems to be hitting its stride. More importantly, the Eagles haven’t held an opposing passer to under 250 passing yards since Week 2 of the season and just gave up 391 passing yards to Sam Howell. In his last three games against the Eagles, Prescott has passed for 880 yards, 13 touchdowns and thrown just a single interception. K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire

Eagles: D’Andre Swift OVER 56.5 rushing yards (-115)

Dallas is 18th in the NFL, allowing 108.9 rushing yards per game, while Philadelphia is 7th in the league in rushing, averaging 132.3 yards per game.  RB D’Andre Swift is 4th in the NFL with 571 rushing yards, while averaging 4.9 yards per game.   The Eagles are going to run the football in order to help set up the pass, and Swift will lead the charge with 60+ rushing yards and a touchdown.  Glenn Erby, Eagles Wire

Bills at Bengals: Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon

Bills: Bills OVER 23.5 points (-130)

Coming up with a creative reason why a player or the Bills will hit a prop is usually where we go with this each week. Let’s keep it a bit more simple this week: Why is this number so low for the Bills? So far in 2023, Buffalo has reached this total in all but two of their games and based on their recent performances, it feels like the Bills offense is trending in the right direction. The Bills put up just enough, 24 points, last week against the Buccaneers. But they left points on the field, such as being stopped on the goal line, and still surpassed 23.5. Nick Wojton, Bills Wire

Bengals: Joe Mixon OVER 63.5 rushing yards (-120)

With Joe Burrow fully healthy, the Bengals installed some under-center offense and looked the best they have at all rushing the ball last week in the blowout of the 49ers. There, Mixon ran for 87 yards and a score on a 5.4 average. And even without the scheme change, he’s hit a minimum of 65 yards in four out of his last five games. To top it off, against these Bills in the playoffs last year behind a far worse offensive line, he rushed for 105 yards and a score on a 5.3 average. Chris Roling, Bengals Wire

Chargers at Jets: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Chargers: UNDER 40 total points (-110)

The Chargers’ offense faces arguably the toughest defense that they will have all season. The Jets are allowing an average of 18.4 points per game, which is the eighth-best in the NFL. Justin Herbert has struggled at times against some of the top defenses and New York is allowing only 184.4 passing yards per game. On the flip side, the Jets are not a prolific offense by any means and are averaging just 18 points per game. Furthermore, the Under is 6-1 in the Jets’ last seven games at MetLife Stadium and 9-1 on Monday Night Football this season.  Gavino Borquez, Chargers Wire

Jets: Jets under 20.5 points (-190)

Injuries took their toll on the offensive line last week for the Jets and the offense as a whole was hurting as a result. The Jets may get Duane Brown and Joe Tippmann back this week, but there is concern about whether putting Brown back at left tackle will throw off the consistency the unit had built over the season. Zach Wilson continues to be up and down and the Jets have reached 21 points just twice this season. Take the under here. – Billy Riccette, Jets Wire

Story originally appeared on Bills Wire