NFL Week 9 Preview: The Big Three

Ricky Rothstein | Updated Oct 04, 2017

A look, now, at the most enticing games for NFL betting in Week 9. All NFL betting lines are courtesy of Sports Interaction.

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) at Denver Broncos (6-1) Steelers -3.0, Over/Under 39.5

A tantalizing Monday Night Football matchup here between two of the AFC’s best teams. The Broncos return home after losing their first game of the season last weekend – a 30-7 whitewash at the hands of the Ravens in Baltimore – while the Steelers come in fresh off a bye.  There’s no doubt Pittsburgh has watched a lot of tape from last week’s Broncos-Ravens game; in it, Baltimore might’ve found a flaw in the Broncos passing game. By putting a lot of front-four pressure on Kyle Orton, the Ravens forced him into a lot of dump-off and checkdown passes; Orton managed to complete 22 passes for just 152 yards, the longest a 23-yarder to Daniel Graham. Look for “Blitzburgh” to send the likes of James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley in pursuit throughout the game in the hopes of disrupting Orton and limiting his biggest receiving weapon, Brandon Marshall, in the process. If the Broncos can’t adjust to the type of pressure they saw in Baltimore (and will likely see from here on out), they could be in trouble.

Dallas Cowboys (5-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) Eagles -3.0, Over/Under 47.5

With the Giants losers of three straight, this game is for NFC East divisional bragging rights – at least for the time being. To say the Cowboys and Eagles have been inconsistent this year is a major understatement; it wasn’t long ago that the Cowboys were barely scraping by the Chiefs to get over .500 and the Eagles lost a head-scratching 13-9 game to the pitiful Raiders. In this game, though, both teams come in flying. Tony Romo hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 12 quarters of action while the Philadelphia hung 40 points on the Giants last Sunday. Be sure to keep an eye on Philly WR Desean Jackson in this one – the Eagles’ big-play threat has at least one 50-plus yard reception in his last three games and even scored on a 67-yard run against Washington two weeks ago. Anytime the ball is in his hands, it’s likely he’s going for six points.

Miami Dolphins (3-4) at New England Patriots (5-2) Patriots -10.5, Over/Under 47.0

Offense is certainly on the menu for this one. Thanks to their devastating ground game, the Dolphins have emerged as one of the top-scoring units in the NFL, scoring at least 30 points in their last four games.  Putting up points is no problem for the Pats either, as they’ve racked up a whopping 94 in their last two. But as the Dolphins do it on the ground, the Pats prefer an air attack, and that could be the difference on Sunday. Miami continues to start a young, inexperienced secondary (three rookies: Vontae Davis, Sean Smith and Chris Clemons) while New England trots out the dynamic duo of Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Between them, the pair is averaging 177.5 receiving yards per contest and has combined for eight touchdowns. Throw in quietly-productive TE Ben Watson (222 yards, four TDs) and you can see why Tom Brady‘s shotgun offense is one of the best in the league. Ten-and-a-half points is asking a lot to cover against a Miami team that usually keeps games close, but if the aerial attack gets going, it could be achieved.