Halfway into the NFL season, team identities are becoming clearer, and the sportsbooks are getting sharper in terms of market ratings. That being said, we can still look to take advantage of certain spots where the market is over or undervaluing a team.
We have just four teams on bye and another NFL Germany game in Frankfurt. Let’s dive into the slate below.
The Vikings were one of the best stories of Week 9 after Josh Dobbs was forced into action following a Jaren Hall injury. Dobbs had been with the team for just a few games but orchestrated a comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Dobbs was seen going over his cadence with the offensive line for the first time, mid-game, in an impressive showing of poise and leadership from the former Arizona Cardinal. Now, without discrediting Dobbs too much, let’s just remind ourselves about the Atlanta Falcons.
This team, led by Head Coach Arthur Smith, has beaten themselves all season and Week 9 might have been the pinnacle. After a safety gave the Falcons a 5-3 lead in the 2nd quarter, they could only muster a field goal on offense.
The following Vikings drive resulted in a fumble at their own 1-yard line, which Atlanta turned into yet another field goal. After forcing another fumble to start the second half in Minnesota territory, Atlanta kicked yet another field goal, essentially leaving the back door open for the Vikings all game. Perhaps the NFL scriptwriters did their job well on Sunday as Dobbs then led a game winning touchdown drive with two minutes left to extend the Vikings win streak to four games.
Now in Week 10, let me be the first to say, the Vikings will likely not experience the level of luck that they did against the Falcons. They face a more difficult defense in the Saints and are currently overvalued in the market.
Let’s not forget, Josh Dobbs is a quarterback that the league had no trouble stopping after adjustments were made following the Cardinals surprising victory over the Cowboys. As a QB Dobbs ranks 28th in composite EPA+CPOE (completion percentage over expected), in the same range as Daniel Jones and Bryce Young this season.
The Cardinals essentially traded him for nothing and despite how impressive the victory might look on paper, it’s not a performance that we want to base future expectations around. There’s been some market support for the Saints, pushing this line for the opener of -2.5 to -3.
You can still find -2.5 at -110 at markets such as Caesar’s, where I’ll be playing the Saints for a 1.5% play. I would still play this at -3 but adjust down to 1%
Here’s a game between two offenses that don’t look to be clicking. Kenny Pickett has been awful (however playing through injury) and Jordan Love has looked lost despite a few somewhat decent performances to start the year.
This young Packers offense is severely struggling right now and don’t really have any talent past Aaron Jones. While I did think the Packers wide receiver trio of Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Jayden Reed could be quietly good in 2023, the results have shown otherwise. Jordan Love can’t get comfortable and is about to go on the road to face a Steelers team that will generate a ton of pressure.
While I do believe the 2023 Steelers are massively overperforming their skill level with their 5-3 record, they are competitive in the AFC playoff picture and should see this as a great opportunity to beat up on a bad Packers team.
Because of how poor Pickett has been and how inefficient the Steelers run game can be, I’m not running to lay a juiced -3 with Pittsburgh and am especially not interested in the -3.5’s that are sitting on the market.
We saw movement towards the over in this game, after it opened at 37 and was pushed all the way to 40. I think the opener around 37 or 37.5 is fair and will be adding a 1% play on the under at 39 (BetMGM).
I doubt we see 40 again from the market but I’m really not sure what is driving action to the over. I’m happy to fade the steam here at 39 and would probably cut off a play to the under at 38.5.