Giants vs. Raiders odds, analysis and predictions for all Week 9 NFL games



Here we are again with the New York Giants, coming into a home game off a loss and suffering a cluster of key injuries at wide receiver. Two weeks ago, they buckled up and took down the Carolina Panthers, 25-3.

Now, the Giants are coming off a 20-17 defeat in Kansas City on Monday night that fomented more acrimony than if they had lost 38-13. They squandered many opportunities to win outright, as 9.5-point underdogs. Big Blue also suffered more injuries at wide receiver, then had to deal with some positive COVID-19 tests when they arrived home.

This week’s opponent, the Las Vegas Raiders, have had an eventful season in a lot of ways, both good and horrible. Quarterback Derek Carr has been excellent, and they lead the AFC West with a 5-2 record. But coach Jon Gruden resigned after emails he wrote, described as homophobic and misogynistic, were uncovered in the Washington Football Team investigation, and this week the team cut WR Henry Ruggs III after his Tuesday morning crash that resulted in the death of a woman and her dog. Prosecutors say Ruggs was driving 156 mph and had a blood-alcohol reading of twice the legal limit.

The Raiders thrived after Gruden’s departure, winning 34-24 at Denver and 33-22 over the Eagles for interim coach Rich Bisaccia. It remains to be seen what effect the Ruggs incident will haveon the team.

Unless the Raiders are a shell of themselves, they seem like a good buy at this price in part because of the scheduling advantage — though this could backfire if the Giants have another Carolina performance in them. Las Vegas is coming in off a bye while the Giants have a short week with travel after the Monday nighter, which figures to exacerbate their injury situation.

The pick: Raiders, -3.

Derek Carr
Derek Carr

Houston Texans (+5.5) over MIAMI DOLPHINS

Miami’s average score is a 29-17 loss, so I have no interest in taking this team as a sizable favorite against anyone. If Tyrod Taylor returns, it could give the Texans a jolt of energy.

DALLAS COWBOYS (-10) over Denver Broncos

A heavy tab, yes, but the Cowboys should be getting back a healthier Dak Prescott after letting Cooper Rush play at Minnesota. Denver’s defense yields just 17 ppg, but I wonder if the trade of Von Miller to the Rams will have a negative effect on the unit’s psyche.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (-6) over Minnesota Vikings

The Ravens will be playing their fourth consecutive home game surrounding last week’s bye, while the Vikings will be traveling off their Sunday night loss to the Cowboys. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens also had two weeks to stew about their 41-17 loss to the Bengals and should be ornery in this one.

New England Patriots (-3.5) over CAROLINA PANTHERS

It might be just as well for the Panthers that P.J. Walker likely will start instead of Sam Darnold, but figure Bill Belichick will bring some ghosts for Walker to see on Sunday. The Patriots have won their past two road games by three points apiece, so the hook is a bit concerning here.

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+14.5) over Buffalo Bills

Buffalo scored a miracle cover as an insane 14.5-point favorite over the Dolphins last week, and this is a league where the object is to win, not win by more than two touchdowns. Thinking the back door might be open for Trevor Lawrence, even if the Bills get ahead comfortably.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns

Things are not great now with the Browns — who are dealing with a massive amount of injuries, are negotiating the end of Odell Beckham Jr.’s tenure and have scored 17 points or fewer in four of their past five games. After their shocking loss to the Jets, the Bengals should have the focus to take this one by at least a field goal.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-6.5) over Atlanta Falcons

This is a tricky line and possibly a little too many points to be laying to Matt Ryan. Going to do it, though, because the Saints have a top-10 yardage defense, Trevor Siemian did OK in relief of the injured Jameis Winston in the 36-27 upset of the Buccaneers, and Taysom Hill’s expected return will add some pizzazz to Sean Payton’s play sheet.

Trevor Siemian
Trevor Siemian
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PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (+1.5) over Los Angeles Chargers

We’ve seen some reverse line movement toward the home-underdog Eagles despite the public’s confidence in Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Los Angeles doesn’t have to deal with an early kickoff time slot, but it is a long trip and there will be a hostile crowd, low-50s temperatures and a grass field as opposed to the indoor carpet at SoFi.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-7) over Green Bay Packers

Several backup quarterbacks have stepped in this season to win games and cover spreads, and one, Mike White, already has his jersey in the Hall of Fame. Still, the feeling here is Aaron Rodgers’ absence due to a positive COVID-19 test is a disaster for the Packers. He was able to beat the Cardinals with three receivers out. Replacing him will be far more difficult. The bigger concern for this selection is the Chiefs hardly ever cover.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (+1.5) over Arizona Cardinals

The iffy status of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins makes it hard to get excited about backing the Cardinals in Santa Clara. Another game with reverse line movement from Arizona -3 despite the public support.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (-7.5) over Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry’s injury is a huge blow to the Titans. I don’t see this as a situation in which they can just plug in someone else. Henry’s speed and strength are unique, and were the foundation of the whole offense. He also would get stronger as the game went on, enabling the Titans to dominate the fourth quarter. That’s all gone. Mike Vrabel is a good coach and will reinvent his team, but it will take a little time.


Chicago Bears (+6.5) over PITTSBURGH STEELERS

It’s almost masochistic to keep backing the Bears after being burned by them so often, but here goes. The total for this game is 39.5, which is prehistoric by NFL standards. That means the expectation is for an inept offensive slog. The Steelers average just 18.9 ppg, so it’s a lot to ask them to win by almost a touchdown.

Best bets: Ravens, Bengals, 49ers.
Lock of the week: Ravens (Locks 5-2 in 2021).
Last week: 8-7 overall, 2-1 Best Bets.
Thursday: Jets (L).


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