It was a wild Week 9 in the NFL, as several of the main Super Bowl contenders were upset by inferior opponents. I’ve tabbed multiple upsets again this week, but more of the minor variety.
Here is my favorite bet for each game this week. Odds courtesy of DraftKings on Nov. 12.
Buccaneers (-9.5) at Washington
The pick: Washington WR Terry McLaurin (+165) anytime touchdown
The reason: McLaurin only has three touchdowns this season but this could be a good opportunity. The Bucs’ defense forces teams to throw, and a late deficit could increase that volume even more. As the team’s best receiver, McLaurin should be targeted often in this one, which is why this underdog wager has a chance to pay off.
Terry McLaurin's consistently inconsistent season:
* 100+ yards and a TD in three games
* Exactly 62 scoreless yards in two games
* 46 scoreless yards or less in three games
— Frank Stampfl (@Roto_Frank) November 10, 2021
Bills (-12.5) at Jets
The pick: Jets QB Mike White (-120) under 39.5 pass attempts
The reason: White has been a great story for the Jets and will get another start on Sunday. He threw the ball 45 times in his last full game, so this isn’t out of the question, but 40 pass attempts is unlikely. The Buffalo pass defense is great, which means the Jets could have a tough time sustaining drives. Even if New York is in pass-mode late, the offense won’t get enough snaps for the over to hit on this prop.
Falcons (+8) at Cowboys
The pick: Falcons RB Mike Davis (-115) under 34.5 rushing yards
The reason: Cordarrelle Petterson has been a revelation with the Falcons, and Atlanta is going to keep him heavily involved. Davis is averaging a paltry 3.2 yards per carry and 4.8 yards per catch on the year, which means his role could continue to decrease. Davis hasn’t reached double-digit carries in a game since Week 5, which makes this yardage total seem high.
Lions (+7.5) at Steelers
The pick: TE T.J. Hockenson (-115) over 50.5 receiving yards
The reason: Hockenson has 31 targets over the past three games, and the Steelers have been middling against tight ends this season. Quarterback Jared Goff will be looking for his main passing game weapon throughout the game and Hockenson should be able to surpass this receiving total. He is averaging 56 receiving yards per game this season.
Saints (+2.5) at Titans
The pick: Titans (-110) to cover the spread
The reason: Despite an impressive recent stint, there is still a good deal of pessimism about the Titans. They are only a slight favorite at home against New Orleans, which will start Trevor Siemian at quarterback. Tennessee’s defense is much-improved and it should play well enough to help the Titans stay hot and cover the spread.
Kevin Byard is kind of ridiculous, man.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) November 10, 2021
Browns (+2.5) at Patriots
The pick: Browns (+120) on the moneyline
The reason: New England has found a groove of late, but Cleveland is the more talented team and is capable of pulling the upset. The Browns are No. 6 in Football Outsiders’ team efficiency while the Patriots are No. 13, which suggests this spread is too high.
Jaguars (+10) at Colts
The pick: Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (-115) over 112.5 rushing and receiving yards
The reason: Taylor has been phenomenal this season, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and becoming more of a receiving threat in recent weeks. He will be featured prominently in this one, and will rack up the yards on the ground and through the air. He has surpassed this total in six consecutive games heading into Sunday.
Panthers (+10.5) at Cardinals
The pick: Panthers (-110) to cover
The reason: Carolina has one of the better defenses in the NFL, and it’s possible Cardinals star quarterback Kyler Murray misses another game with a sprained ankle. The Panthers are without starting quarterback Sam Darnold, but with the way he was playing, P.J. Walker and/or Cam Newton won’t be a downgrade. The Panthers are talented enough to keep this game competitive, especially if Murray sits.
Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Budda Baker, Max Garcia, Rondale Moore and Jordan Phillips are questionable for Sunday.
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) November 12, 2021
Vikings (+3) at Chargers
The pick: Vikings (+145) on the moneyline
The reason: These teams are pretty even in talent level, but the Chargers’ schematic blueprint on defense plays into Minnesota’s run-first mentality. This game will likely be close, and the Vikings’ odds to pull the upset are enticing.
Seahawks (+3) at Packers
The pick: Seahawks (+155) on the moneyline
The reason: The reasoning for this one is almost a carbon copy of Vikings-Chargers. With quarterback Russell Wilson back, Seattle should find success through the air. The teams have similar talent levels, and with an upset exceedingly possible, it’s smart to take the underdog.
Eagles (+2.5) at Broncos
The pick: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts (-115) under 0.5 interceptions
The reason: The Broncos looked fantastic last week against the Cowboys and will aim to make Hurts’ life miserable in this matchup. While the Philly quarterback has been up-and-down this season, he has only thrown four picks in nine games. Hurts usually doesn’t throw a bunch, making the under the smart play.
More man-coverage than I anticipated (1 Robber/Lurk). Ball disruption in the secondary.
The Caden Sterns INT was a high-level play.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) November 10, 2021
Chiefs (-2.5) at Raiders
The pick: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (-115) over 287.5 passing yards
The reason: Mahomes is in the midst of a rough five-game stretch, looking unlike his routinely dominant self. This could be a get-right game as Las Vegas is mediocre against the pass and the game should be competitive enough to warrant plenty of volume.
Rams (-3.5) at 49ers
The pick: Rams (-125) over 26.5 points
The reason: Even though Odell Beckham is unlikely to play, the Rams have plenty of firepower to rack up the points in this one. The 49ers’ defense was supposed to be dominant this season but has not looked the part. This game should have plenty of scoring.