Early Birds: NFL Week 9 opening lines, market predictions, and early bets to target

Josh Allen
Photo of Jared Smith

Jared Smith

NFL· 4 weeks ago

Show Bio

Jared Smith, a versatile host and analyst with over 10 years of experience in sports media and two decades as a sports bettor, has joined the Pickswise team as a lead betting analyst. Smith will serve as a full-time content creator, producing informative and engaging content every day across multiple platforms.

Another great weekend of football is in the books. The Giants and Chiefs will wrap up Week 8 in the NFL on Monday night, but before they do, we’re going to take a peek at next weekend. Lines are out for Week 9 of the NFL and Week 10 of college football, and it’s time to pounce.

Betting games early in the week can often provide the most value, as we can pick off lines that are likely to move before kickoff. As the lines move, bets become less valuable, so make sure you shop around and get the best numbers possible.

CFB: Pittsburgh at Duke

Pitt -18.5

*Bet Sunday night at Wynn, would play up to 20.5

I faded Pitt in our Early Birds column last week, and things went exactly as planned. Now the market has dipped a bit on the Panthers, and it’s time to buy low. Despite losing to Miami, Kenny Pickett still threw for 519 yards, and should put up similar numbers this week against a Duke defense that is 121st in opponent yards per play, 113th in points allowed per game, and 104th in opponent 3rd-down conversion rate.

The Blue Devils offense isn’t playing any better, having scored just 41 points over their last four games. I don’t downgrade Pittsburgh at all for their outright loss to the Hurricanes. They were due for some regression and the market was undervaluing Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke. Duke has struggled against one of the softest schedules in the country and might be on the shortlist for worst Power 5 team. I expect this line to close at -21 or longer.

CFB: Houston at USF

Houston -12.5

*Bet Sunday night at Wynn, would play up to -13.5

The Cougars control their own destiny for a spot in the AAC title game after a wild win over previously unbeaten SMU thanks to a 100-yard kickoff return in the final seconds of regulation. It’s the kind of win that would normally put Houston on the letdown radar for this week, but thankfully they’re playing USF.

The Bulls have lost 4 of 5 and their defense is 123rd in opponent yards per play, and 105th in points allowed per game. That’s good news for Clayton Tune, who threw for 412 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday and has not thrown an interception in three straight games. Despite allowing 37 points to SMU, the Cougars defense is playing at a high level, ranked 16th in opponent yards per game. I expect this line to close at -14 or longer.

CFB: Wake Forest at UNC

UNC -2.5

*Bet Sunday night at MGM, would play up to -3

Analytically, these teams are relatively even. However, the market was telling you which was the sharper side very early on Sunday. The lookahead line here was UNC -1, but despite losing to Notre Dame and Wake Forest absolutely blasting Duke on Saturday, this reopened at -2.5 and could touch -3 before the end of the week. So now we are faced with another classic example of an unranked team laying points to a ranked one.

This screams letdown spot for a Demon Deacons team that has really not been tested this season. Sure they’re 3-0 on the road, but those three wins are over Virginia, Syracuse and Army. The Tarheels have not lived up to expectations this season but this would be a signature win for Mack Brown, knocking a top-10 Wake team from the ranks of the unbeaten.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars

Bills -13.5

*Bet Sunday night at DraftKings, would play up to -14

One of the best teams in the NFL against one of the worst teams, and the gap between them keeps getting wider by the week. The Jags were a complete no-show off the bye in Seattle on Sunday, and now they return home to face the most dynamic quarterback in the NFL and a top-notch defense. Josh Allen and the Bills started slow in their return from the bye against the Dolphins, but closed with a flurry and outscored Miami 23-8 in the second half, eventually covering the spread in dramatic fashion.

The lookahead line here was Bills -10.5, and it immediately reopened at -13 on Sunday. Just a short time later, it was -13.5, and I’m already seeing a lot of 14’s out there in the market as the smart money is coming in quickly on Buffalo. I would be hesitant to lay more than two touchdowns this early in the week, but if you can still find -14, grab it now as I expect this to close at -14.5 or longer.

NFL Week 9 opening lines

*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Jets +11.5 at Colts | Total: 46.5 *TNF*
Texans +7 at Dolphins | Total: 45.5
Patriots -3 at Panthers | Total: 43
Bills -14 at Jaguars | Total: 48.5
Browns +2.5 at Bengals | Total: 45.5
Falcons +5 at Saints | Total: 43.5
Raiders -3 at Giants | Total: 47.5
Chargers -3 at Eagles | Total: 50.5
Packers +2.5 at Chiefs | Total: 54.5
Cardinals -2.5 at 49ers | Total: 47
Titans +6 at Rams | Total: 54.5 *SNF*
Bears +6.5 at Steelers | Total: 40.5 *MNF*

Pickswise is the home of free NFL Predictions  and NFL Odds. Check out the latest NFL Prop Bets and NFL Parlays as well as expert NFL Underdog Picks and NFL Computer Picks.

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$50

Get $50 Free - No Deposit Required!

Register for a FanDuel Sportsbook account

Receive $50 in site credits to use on Sportsbook

No Deposit Required!

Winnings paid as CASH. 21+ and new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$100

Win $100 if any team scores a point in any NFL, NBA, CFB, or CBB game!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $1+ any NFL, NBA, CFB, or CBB game Money Line

If your team wins, you will be issued a $100 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,001

Get a $1,001 Free Bet!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,001

Win or lose, you'll receive a free bet matching your initial stake - up to $1,001!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$400

Get a $400 Risk-Free Bet on the Breeders' Cup!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code PICKS400

Place a bet on the Breeders' Cup

Receive a refund if your first bet loses up to $400

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.