Week 9 NFL best bets, odds and predictions: Seahawks soar past Ravens
Week 9 of the 2023 NFL season has arrived and it continues to be an incredibly profitable season for the Pickswise NFL handicappers. We’re now 132-109-4 on the season and have improved our overall profit to +35.8 units with our NFL picks. Can we secure even more profit as we reach the halfway point of the season? Let’s dive into the 4 NFL best bets from each of our star NFL handicappers as we look to help you bet better once again.
Chris Farley: Seattle Seahawks +6 over Baltimore Ravens (-110)
We don’t pay much attention to systems or trends and, if anything, patterns that continue on and on only present a better argument for regression over time. In this case, a very interesting and revealing trend speaks to a buttoned-up franchise and one of the best NFL coaches of the last two decades. In what might be considered a disadvantage for the Seattle Seahawks, traveling across the country and playing at 1:00 pm ET, which is 10:00 am where they reside, can’t be an easy feat. Don’t tell that to Pete Carroll, though. In their last 32 games, the ol’ ball coach has Seattle 23-9 straight up in the early window. Few teams are as consistently prepared and motivated for spots like this one, and we like that to make a big difference on Sunday.
It would come at a good time, too. Seattle has won its last two games, eking by the Cardinals in Week 7 in a contest where they allowed Arizona to stick around for far too long because of three bad turnovers, and last week it took a game-winning drive at home to fend off PJ Walker and the visiting Browns. Giveaways have really been the problem. Geno Smith is capable of throwing some truly elite passes. The dude is a franchise QB, he’s left little doubt, but he can also get too bold for his own good. Two of his last three interceptions have come on his opponent’s 27-yard line or better, eliminating two easy scoring opportunities in the last two weeks. Against an opportunistic Ravens’ defense that’s ranked 11th in INTs through eight games, we expect that Geno and the offense are working on eradicating these hiccups in practice this week.
Less than two weeks ago, the Ravens destroyed another upper-echelon NFC opponent, the Detroit Lions, in a very similar spot at home. The market is likely taking that into consideration, but we have our doubts about a spread this big. The Seattle defense is still flying under the radar but they’ve played like an elite unit, allowing just 4.8 yards per play, a top-five mark in the league. Lamar Jackson often shoulders the load for his offense, and lately it’s becoming clear that Baltimore still doesn’t have enough weapons at the wide receiver position. Other than Mark Andrews, no catcher has been consistent. Despite the hype, even rookie Zay Flowers only has four games over 60 receiving yards. A capable Seattle offense and a better-than-advertized Seattle defense can keep them in this game. Oddsmakers have inflated their perception of the Ravens, and that’s not something we can agree with.
Be sure to check out our full Seattle Seahawks vs Baltimore Ravens predictions
Andrew Ortenberg: Chicago Bears +8.5 over New Orleans Saints (-110)
Justin Fields remains sidelined with his thumb injury, meaning the Tyson Bagent experience will continue for at least one more game for the Chicago Bears as they get ready to take on the New Orleans Saints. Bagent came crashing down to earth last week against the Chargers after picking up a win in his first start, but I still couldn’t possibly lay this many points with the Saints. This is about the same spread as in the Bears vs Chargers game (Los Angeles was -9.5), and the Chargers have a heck of a lot higher ceiling than New Orleans. With Derek Carr under center the Saints have one of the league’s least-threatening offenses, and pretty much the only time this season they’ve looked promising was against a really weak Colts secondary.
Carr has mostly been a disaster, while Alvin Kamara has struggled and they’re averaging just 3.6 yards per carry as a team. New Orleans is 4-4 on the year, but just look at who those wins came against. The Titans (by 1 point), the Panthers (by 3 points), the Patriots and the Colts. Not exactly a murderers row. This is a team that just a few weeks ago lost 26-9 to Baker Mayfield and the Bucs. And unlike in years past, the Saints have been a bit vulnerable to opposing ground games, so I think Roschon Johnson and D’Onta Foreman will be able to get going. Even after a strong game against Indy last week, Carr is still averaging just 6.8 yards per attempt on the season. With how anemic their offense has been, there’s no way I can count on them to win by double digits.
Be sure to check out our full Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints predictions
The Betting Queen: Indianapolis Colts ML over Carolina Panthers (-140)
The Indianapolis Colts are set to visit the Carolina Panthers on Sunday morning. The Colts are coming into this matchup looking to end a three-game losing streak, while the Panthers just got their first win of the season in a low-scoring game against the Texans. Colts QB Gardner Minshew has stepped up and been playing well since Anthony Richardson was ruled out for the season and I expect him to have some success against this Carolina defense. Another key player for the Colts will be Jonathan Taylor, who has been easing his way back into the offense every week. The Panthers’ defense will have a hard time containing the Colts’ run game as they allow the fourth-most rushing yards per game to opposing offenses. This will be the biggest mismatch in the game and the Colts should be able to run all over the Panthers on Sunday. I’m expecting this to be Taylor’s best performance of the season so far.
The Panthers finally got a win on Sunday and they did it in a comeback against the Texans. They are a young team with a rookie quarterback in Bryce Young who is still trying to figure everything out. The offense is struggling to put points on the board and they are only averaging 18 per game. Their defense isn’t helping them much either as they are allowing teams to score an average of 28 points per game. The Panthers will likely continue going through growing pains and I’m expecting the Colts defense to continue making things hard for Carolina. I like Indianapolis to pick up the win on the road.
Be sure to check out our full Indianapolis Colts vs Carolina Panthers predictions
John Martin: Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals Over 49 (-115)
It’s not often that premier quarterback and offensive matchups live up to the billing, but that should be the case here. The total has already been bet up from the opener of 46.5 but that doesn’t scare me off here. The Bills are playing a lot of no-huddle, up-tempo offense and are pushing the pace, and should find some success over the middle with Dalton Kincaid and Khalil Shakir targeting the Bengals safeties. Conversely, no quarterback in the NFL is playing better over the last few weeks than Joe Burrow, and the Bills don’t have the linebacking corps or their best defensive back to slow down what he’ll try to do. This feels to me a bit like the Super Bowl between Kansas City and Philadelphia in that both teams are who we thought they were. It’s a high total but there will be no secrets about what the other wants to do in primetime. Both teams should trade blows, and that will likely mean a lot of points in this one. We’ll go with the over.
Be sure to check out our full Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals predictions for Sunday Night Football