Welcome back to the 2023-24 NFL season and this article series! This is NFL Best Bets Week 9! Here, we provide our best game line bets for the Sunday-Monday NFL slate each week on sportsbooks.
Each week’s article features picks on either the moneyline, spread, game total, or team total. For each bet, we will provide a wager size recommendation (note: 1 unit = 1% of your gambling bankroll). It’s important to keep the exposure disciplined and stick to the recommendations. It is always worth line-shopping at the time you place your bet so that you can get the best value available online.
In Week 8, our only play of the week (Packers moneyline) never had a shot. While they forced the Vikings into a few turnovers on defense as expected, even a late injury to Kirk Cousins couldn’t guide the Packers into an efficient offensive drive. They visited the red zone often. However, they couldn’t finish as Jordan Love continued to display his lack of throwing ability.
We are now 6-8 on the season. We are looking to get hot again in a much better Week 9 slate. Let’s start a new streak with one best bet for the Week 9 Sunday slate.
1 unit: Buccaneers +3 (-115, FanDuel)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had a roller coaster season. They started the year with a 3-1 stretch. This included a road rout of the division-leading New Orleans Saints. Then, they had their bye week and are 0-3 ever since. However, Baker Mayfield has been banged up in that span. Additionally, two of those losses came at the hands of conference-contending teams in the Lions and Bills. Consider that a smokescreen. They shouldn’t be underdogs by a full field goal in Week 9. They could win outright in Houston.
The Texans, themselves, have injuries to deal with. Most notably, wide receiver Robert Woods is doubtful and starting offensive linemen Laremy Tunsil, Tytus Howard, and George Fant were all either absent or limited at practice. Although quarterback C.J. Stroud has impressed in his rookie season and looks very much like the best player of his class, he has gotten away with mistakes and any injuries to the aforementioned would cause major issues in this matchup. Stroud ranks outside the top-25 at the position in true completion percentage, completion percentage under pressure, and catchable pass rate under pressure. Tampa Bay’s defense has been aging. However, they still rank close to league-average in PFF coverage grade and No. 1 in PFF tackling grade. This should counter the fact that the Texans pass-catchers rank among league-leaders in yards after catch per target.
Tampa Bay’s Offense
As for the offense end, Tampa Bay has finally listed Mayfield as clear of an injury tag and that bodes well for a bounceback game from the Buccaneers. Mayfield ranks No. 11 among all quarterbacks this season in adjusted EPA per play and ranks around middle-of-the-pack in completion percentage and accuracy rating under pressure. Houston’s team total is set by Vegas at 19.5, a number they have failed to clear in a single game since their Week 5 bye. That is a tell that the books think Mayfield’s guys won’t be severely troubled and that’s enough for me to bite on them at this price.
If your book has the default spread set at 2.5, consider buying down half a point to snag the push potential of the key number (3) up to a -125 price.