NFL Week 9 is on deck, and the Sunday night game is already on the move. Covers checks in on the opening odds and early action for that matchup and three others, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (+5)
Defending Super Bowl champion New England hasn’t lost since the middle of last December, going 13-0 SU and 10-3 ATS. In Week 8, the Patriots (8-0 SU, 6-2 ATS) topped Cleveland 27-13 as 9.5-point favorites.
Baltimore leads the AFC North at 5-2 SU after winning its last three before a Week 8 bye. In Week 7, the Ravens (2-5 ATS) snapped a five-game spread-covering slide, knocking off Seattle 30-16 as 3-point road underdogs.
“We opened Patriots -5 and saw money come in on Baltimore at +5 and +4.5,” Murray told Covers on Sunday night. “Then we took a bet for $31,045 on the Patriots -4. The Ravens will be a huge-need game for the books everywhere next Sunday night, especially if the afternoon games are chalky.”
Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs (no line)
Kansas City was without Patrick Mahomes in the Week 8 Sunday nighter, but Matt Moore and Co. gave Green Bay all it could handle. The Chiefs (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) scored 17 straight second-quarter points to erase a 14-0 first-quarter deficit and were in it the rest of the way, losing 31-24 as 5-point home ‘dogs.
Minnesota returns from its bye week looking to build on a four-game win streak. The Vikings (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) went off as hefty 16.5-point Week 7 home faves against Washington and managed a 19-9 victory, halting a three-game spread-covering streak.
With Mahomes’ Week 9 status unclear, The SuperBook held off on posting the opening number for this game. But Murray offered a little insight into where the line might land if Moore is still under center.
“It would depend a lot on the result of (the Sunday night) game and how K.C. and Moore look without Mahomes,” Murray said during the Packers-Chiefs tilt, in which Green Bay was a 5-point road chalk. “But Minnesota is considered slightly better than Green Bay, so it would be something close to what Packers-Chiefs was. Maybe a touch higher, unless K.C. wins, then a touch lower.”
That being the case, Murray said if Mahomes returns, the Chiefs will be short home favorites.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+7.5)
San Francisco remained in elite company through eight weeks, sticking with New England as the only unbeaten outfits. The 49ers (7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS) steamrolled Carolina 51-13 as 4.5-point favorites Sunday.
Arizona is better than expected this year, with a rookie coach and quarterback, but its three-game SU and ATS win streak ended in Week 8. The Cardinals went to New Orleans as 12.5-point pups and were dealt a 31-9 setback.
“We opened 49ers -7.5 and are still there,” Murray said. “Arizona will be one of the biggest needs of the week for us in the NFL. A ton of moneyline parlay and teaser wagers will start with the 49ers.”
Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5)
Philadelphia got a much-needed Week 8 win, snapping a two-game skid to get back to .500. The Eagles (4-4 SU, 3-5 ATS) shuffled over Buffalo 31-13 laying 1 point on the road Sunday.
Chicago looks little like the squad that last season went 12-4 SU and ATS, leading the league in spread-covers. The Bears (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS) held a 16-7 third-quarter advantage against the Los Angeles Chargers, but didn’t score again in a 17-16 loss laying 3.5 points at home Sunday.
“We opened Eagles -4.5 and have been bet up to -5,” Murray said. “It’s hard to imagine people wanting to bet on Chicago right now.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.