NFL Week 9 lines: Falcons, Raiders, Seahawks all primetime favorites

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Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons’ scoring machine stand a good shot at breaking an against-the-spread drought against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The NFC South-leading Falcons are the three-point road favorite against the Buccaneers in the Thursday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The OddsShark NFL Database reveals that Atlanta is riding a dubious streak of being 0-7 against the spread in its last seven games as a favorite of three or fewer points.

Ryan and WR Julio Jones are facing a Buccaneers defense that yields 8.0 yards per pass (sixth-worst in the NFL). Winston is 3-0 in his career against Atlanta. However, the second-year QB has plateaued in recent weeks and did not get on the same page with WR Mike Evans during a Week 8 defeat against Oakland. The favored team is 19-3 straight-up in the last 22 games of this matchup.

The Oakland Raiders are the one-point favorite against the Denver Broncos in an AFC West first-place showdown on Sunday Night Football. Derek Carr and the Raiders’ productive offense face their biggest challenge of the season. The Broncos’ defense, buoyed by sack-happy OLB Von Miller, allows an NFL-low 5.7 yards per pass. Denver’s offense with first-year starting QB Trevor Siemian has been inefficient.

The Baltimore Ravens are the 2.5-point favorite against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That line will move, subject to the Steelers’ QB situation – either Ben Roethlisberger (torn meniscus) coming back from an injury, or backup Landry Jones. The Ravens have beat the Steelers three times in a row at home and have key starters such as OLB Terrell Suggs, WR Steve Smith and LT Ronnie Stanley back following a bye week.

The New York Giants are favored by three points against the Philadelphia Eagles. New York will need to neutralize DT Fletcher Cox to make the Eagles honor the run and open up downfield pass routes for WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shephard. The Giants’ rebuilt defense is fourth-best in yards per pass allowed and will pose a challenge for Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz. Whichever team fixes its third-down conversion issues will likely win.

The Green Bay Packers are favored by seven points against the Indianapolis Colts. Aaron Rodgers’ offense put up 32 points in Week 8 with no bona fide running back, and the Colts have a woeful pass defense. As well, Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck has been sacked an NFL-most 31 times, and the Packers have a solid pass rush.

And the Seattle Seahawks are favored by seven points on the Vegas odds against the Buffalo Bills in the Monday Night Football matchup. The Bills, with OLB Lorenzo Alexander leading the NFL in sacks, are capable of putting heat on Seattle QB Russell Wilson. Whether Bills QB Tyrod Taylor can produce against a premier pass defense such as Seattle’s remains to be seen.

Patriots looking to break slump for betting favorites at Super Bowl LI

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With their vast collective edge in Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are favored against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, although that’s not always a harbinger of success.

The Patriots opened as the three-point favorite against the Falcons with a 58.5-point total in the Super Bowl LI matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The NFL’s championship game will be played on February 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston, with Brady trying to become the first quarterback with five Super Bowl victories while the Falcons will try to win their first championship.

The favored team is 0-5 straight-up and against the spread in the last five Super Bowl matchups, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The Patriots are also 1-4 ATS in their last five games in the Super Bowl, although three of those matchups saw them raise the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The other general trend is that the designated away team is 8-2 SU in the last 10 years, and New England will be considered the away team, just as it was when it defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX two seasons ago.

The Falcons, who are 13-5 SU and 12-6 ATS, have lost and failed to cover the spread in their last four games against the Patriots. The Falcons are also 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games against the AFC. A team’s more recent body of work can have more bearing than a sample stretching beyond a decade, though, and with Ryan as the triggerman in their well-balanced offense the Falcons are 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog.

They are also 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight games against teams with winning records.

The Patriots are 16-2 SU and 15-3 ATS on the season, including a current 7-0 ATS run. New England’s ability to peak at the right time is not overestimated either, as they are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS over the last three postseasons. They are also 6-1 SU in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, with the loss coming last season in the AFC Championship Game on the road against the Denver Broncos, who had a historically dominant defense.

The Patriots are 13-4 SU against the NFC over the last four seasons. The opposing quarterbacks of record for the losses were Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Sam Bradford and Cam Newton.

The total has gone OVER in the Falcons’ last eight games. The total has gone OVER in six of the Patriots’ last seven games against teams with winning records. The total has gone UNDER in three of the Patriots’ last four games in the Super Bowl.

New title for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: Best beer chugger?

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There’s been a lot of talk about Tom Brady’s diet and pajamas, but Brady’s ability to drink?

This is a new one.

Former Patriot Ross Tucker said on The Dan Patrick Show Monday that a young Tom Brady was the best beer chugger he’s ever seen.

“He’s the best I’ve ever seen. And I was in a fraternity,” Tucker said. “It sounds funny when you say it, but the guy has every positive male quality known to man, like I was almost mad that he was that good of a chugger. Because I was sitting there thinking, ‘This is just not fair.’ Why is God not spreading the wealth a little more?”

There’s a pretty good chance that his current diet doesn’t permit drinking, but for argument’s sake: What type of beer would Brady drink?

The New England quarterback doesn’t strike me as a craft beer drinker, but maybe he picked up an affinity for Bell’s while at Michigan or adopted Harpoon while living in New England. Who knows, he’s could be a cheap beer fanatic and enjoy a good PBR.