NFL Week 9 odds: Home teams to cover, first best bets

By Geoff Schwartz
FOX Sports NFL Analyst

The stat sheet is barely dry on Sunday night’s Packers-Bills game, and I’m already looking forward to Week 9. What can I say? This is how I roll.

Let’s see why I like two home teams covering my first NFL Week 9 best bets (odds via FOX Bet).

vikings at Commanders (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

It’s not always pretty for COs when Taylor Heinicke is quarterback, but he has a quality about him that keeps this team in the ballgames. Heinicke has started two games this season, winning both while covering against the spread. He’s just able to trigger that offense in a way that Carson Wentz couldn’t. He never seems bothered by bad plays or bad times, and he always looks down to make the big throw. It’s no surprise that receiver Terry McLaurin featured prominently in both of those wins. If they keep giving him the ball, good things will happen.

The Vikings are 6-1 with a flexible schedule. They deserve respect for getting there, but what exactly are they good at? When it comes to offensive and defensive efficiency, they are average. Kirk Cousins ​​throws for 6.5 adjusted yards per aerial attempt, which is easily the worst of his career. They rely on running, but the commanders defense is always ready to slow down an opponent’s rushing attack.

If the Vikings are struggling to pass the ball, from what we know of Cousins’ passes, will they be able to push it down the field? Probably not.

Give me the commanders to cover.

TAKE: Commanders (+3 at FOX Bet) will lose by less than 3 points (or win outright)

Rams at Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

This bet is less about going all-in on the Bucs and more about making the Rams disappear.

The Rams have the worst offense in the NFL. Yes. You read correctly. According Ben Baldwin expected points added metricthe Rams have the lowest efficiency offense in the NFL.

The Rams offensive line is stinky. They can’t run the ball, and Matthew Stafford is only comfortable throwing to Cooper Kupp. Well, unfortunately, it looks like Kupp was injured in the final minutes of their home loss to the 49ers, and his status for Sunday is unknown. LA is averaging just 15.4 points per game in its last five meetings, and now the team is hitting the road to Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay’s defense is hit and miss; lately, it’s mostly been a miss. But the Bucs’ defensive line can destroy the Rams’ offense, and I don’t know how the Rams’ game plan around that problem.

Unlike some older NFL quarterbacks who seem to have withered throwing arms, that’s not the issue for Tom Brady. Brady’s arm is fine. What is wrong is the rhythm of the attack and the playcalling. Both are miserable. Seems like an easy fix. Stop running the ball on obvious drops, start throwing more game action, and don’t run into the A gap in short distance.

Nonetheless, I still trust Brady to figure it out, and against this Rams team, I expect that to happen.

TAKE: Buccaneers (-2.5 at FOX Bet) win by more than 2.5 points

Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started as a right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

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