NFL Week 9: Early Slate AFC Best Bets

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    IND @ NE1pmNE -6 (-106)40NE -3.5 (-106)
    U40 (-113)
    BUF @ NYJ1pmBUF -11.5 (-110)46BUF -11.5 (-110)
    O46 (-108)
    OAK @ JAX1pmOAK -2.5 (-110)47.5JAX +2.5 (110)
    U47.5 (-113)

    Indianapolis Colts (3-4-1) @ New England Patriots (4-4)
    Injury Watch (Impact Players)
    Questionable: RB Damien Harris (NE), S Kyle Dugger (NE), DT Christian Barmore (NE),
    Out: RB Jonathan Taylor (IND), CB Tony Brown (IND), C David Andrews (NE), WR Devante Parker (NE), OT Marcus Cannon (NE)
    Game Preview: The Patriots host the Colts in this weekend’s matchup between two former AFC super powers both still trying to regain some of their former glory. New England stole a road win from the suddenly competitive New York Jets on the back of their defense, which did everything they could to make Zack Wilson look like the second coming of Sam Darnold. The game script shouldn’t be very different this week as the Colt’s 2nd year passer, Sam Ehlinger, comes to Foxboro. Betting on a rookie QB against a Bill Belichick defense is bad business, and I’m not about to suggest Ehlinger has what it takes to buck tradition.

    To add fuel to the Indy fire, their star running back, Jonathan Taylor, is officially out this week with an ankle injury. With the Colts trading away Nyheim Hines just this past week, this means that the ground game rests on the shoulders of Deon Jackson and the newly acquired Zack Morris.

    For NE, QB Mac Jones has struggled to adapt to a new offense under a new OC in Year 2 with the Patriots, proving to be more turnover prone than he was as a rookie. The Colts pass defense is middle of the pack at best, so as long as Mac can avoid looking Stephon Gilmore’s way too often, he should be able to put enough points on the board secure the W for the hometown team.
    PICKS: NE -3.5 & U40

    Buffalo Bills (6-1) @ New York Jets (5-3)
    Injury Watch (Impact Players)
    Out: S Jordan Poyer (BUF), WR Cory Davis (NYJ), RB Breece Hall (NYJ)
    Game Preview: Josh Allen and the Bills travel to New Jersey for this Week 9 AFC East divisional matchup. The Jets are healthy, but that may be to their detriment, as Joe Flacco seemed to provide more offensive upside so far this year than 2nd year QB Zack Wilson has since his return from injury. Coupled with the loss of Breece Hall, the promising rookie RB out of Iowa State and coming off of a poor showing last week at home against the New England Patriots, and this matchup looks more and more favorable for the Bills. Allen and the Bills offense is firing on all cylinders and will benefit from adding yet another weapon to their backfield in the form of former Colts pass-catching specialist Nyheim Hines.

    The Bills defense should not go unrecognized in this matchup either. They have held opposing QBs (including Aaron Rodgers last week) to a 7:11 TD to INT ratio while amassing 21 sacks. Ironically, those numbers would actually be an improvement over Zack Wilson’s so far this year.

    In the end, this will be a big “show me” game for the Jets, as they will either establish themselves as real contenders or show their true colors and regress back to expectations more in line with their historical ineptitude. My money’s on the latter.
    PICKS: BUF -11.5 & O46

    Oakland Raiders (2-5) @ Jacksonville Jaquars (2-6)
    Injury Watch (Impact Players)
    Questionable: TE Darren Waller (OAK)
    Game Preview: As much as I shouldn’t given their record, there’s something that I like about this Jags team. Trevor Lawrence started off hot this year, and although he’s fallen back to earth a bit of late, he’s shown enough growth to give the Jacksonville faithful hope that he will ultimately fulfill all of the promise he had coming out of college.

    As a team, the Jaguars have competed in every game they’ve played this year and seem like they’re one or two stops, or one or two big 3rd downs, from turning the corner. Their 2nd year RB Travis Etienne (6.2 YPC) has established himself as a big play threat every time he touches the ball, and they just made another investment in the offense that will bare fruit in the future once Calvin Ridley is allowed to return from his (ridiculous) gambling suspension.

    Oakland, under the tutelage of Josh McDaniels, comes to town licking their wounds after being shut out by an Andy Dalton-led Saints team. Year to date, their defense has yielded a Tom Brady-in-his-prime-esque stat line to opposing QBs (69% completion rate, 7.2 YPA, 15 touchdowns to 3 interceptions).
    PICKS: JAX -3.5 & U47.5

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