National Football League
NFL odds Week 9: Home teams will cover, other best bets
National Football League

NFL odds Week 9: Home teams will cover, other best bets

Updated Nov. 4, 2022 3:27 p.m. ET

We're at the halfway mark of the NFL season. How did we get here so fast?

As we look toward this weekend's matchups, I like two home teams to cover, and I also like the Under in a cat fight. Hopefully, these wagers can win us all some cash!

Let's dive into my best bets for NFL Week 9 (odds via FOX Bet).


Vikings at Commanders (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

It’s not always pretty for the Commanders when Taylor Heinicke is at quarterback, but he has a quality about him that keeps this team in ball games. Heinicke has started two games this season, winning both while covering against the spread. He’s just able to spark this offense in ways that Carson Wentz could not. He never seems bothered by bad plays or bad moments, and he’s always looking downfield to make the big throw. It’s no surprise that receiver Terry McLaurin has been featured heavily in both of these wins. If they continue to get him the ball, good things will happen. 

The Vikings are 6-1 with a soft schedule. They deserve respect for getting to this point, but what exactly are they good at? When it comes to offensive and defensive efficiency, they are average. Kirk Cousins is throwing for 6.5 adjusted yards per air attempt, which is easily the worst of his career. They do rely on the run, but the Commanders defense is always ready to slow down an opponent’s rushing attack. 

If the Vikings struggle to run the ball, based on what we know about Cousins passing, will they be able to push it down the field? Probably not. 

Give me the Commanders to cover.

PICK: Commanders (+3 at FOX Bet) to lose by fewer than 3 points (or win outright)

Rams at Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

This wager is less about being all-in on the Bucs and more about fading the Rams. 

The Rams have the worst offense in the NFL. Yes. You read that correctly. According to Ben Baldwin’s expected points added metric, the Rams have the lowest efficiency offense in the NFL. 

The Rams offensive line is stinky. They can’t run the ball, and Matthew Stafford is only comfortable throwing to Cooper Kupp. Well, unfortunately, it appears Kupp got hurt in the final minutes of their home loss to the 49ers, and his status for Sunday is unknown. LA is averaging only 15.4 points per game over its last five matchups, and now the team is hitting the road to travel to Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay’s defense is hit or miss; lately, it has been mostly a miss. But the Bucs defensive line can wreck the Rams offense, and I’m not sure how the Rams game plan around that issue.

Unlike some older quarterbacks in the NFL who appear to have wilting throwing arms, that is not the issue for Tom Brady. Brady’s arm is fine. What’s not fine is the rhythm of the offense and the playcalling. Both of those are miserable. It does seem like an easy fix. Stop running the ball on obvious run downs, start throwing more play action and don’t run in the A gap in short yardage. 

Nonetheless, I always trust Brady to figure it out, and against this Rams team, I expect that to happen. 

PICK: Buccaneers (-2.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 2.5 points

Panthers at Bengals (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

This feels like a spot where people will buy high on the Panthers after they should have beaten Atlanta on Sunday, while others will buy low on the Bengals, who looked lost on Monday facing the Browns without Ja’Marr Chase

I’m going to do neither and take the Under in this contest.

The Panthers are back on the road with P.J. Walker leading the charge at quarterback. They scored three offensive points in Walker’s first start, increased to 21 against Tampa Bay and then 30 last weekend against the Falcons. Without possibly the best throw of the season when Walker hit Moore to tie the game, the Panthers would only have put up 24 against the lowly Falcons defense. 

The Bengals defense, despite their worst showing of the season Monday against the Browns, are above average. They rank 12th in defensive points per drive and seventh in defensive passing DVOA. The Panthers are 27th in offensive points per drive, and I’m not sure if they can put up many points Sunday on the road. 

On the flip side, the Panthers defense ranks 13th in points per drive. The defense is how they’ve been able to keep games close, and without Chase at wide receiver, the Bengals' offense will continue to struggle. 

It’s hard to trust the Bengals coaching staff to find answers without Chase, given that they had none with eight days of preparation for the Browns. 

Also, the Bengals offensive line continues to have issues. Panthers pass rusher Brian Burns will dominate on Sunday, keeping the scoring lower for the Bengals.  

PICK: Under 43.5 points scored by both teams combined at FOX Bet

Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

Download the FOX Super 6 app for your chance to win thousands of dollars on the biggest sporting events each and every week! Just make your picks and you could win the grand prize. Download and play today!


Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more