NFL Week 9 Tips: Don't leave high-flying Ravens out of your Sunday acca

By Tom Collins

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3 November 2023

Close but no cigar - that is the cliche most suitable to this column so far this season after another Sunday with just one selection letting the advised accumulator down. 

It was the turn of Pittsburgh to ruin the bet last week, but they certainly weren’t helped by an early injury to starting quarterback Kenny Pickett in their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. When Mitch Trubisky replaced the talented signal caller before half-time, the result became inevitable.

Week nine is blessed with a number of excellent games, so I’m going to keep it as simple as I can with a four team acca. Let’s get straight into it.

Arizona Cardinals (+8) @ Cleveland Browns (-8)

Kick-off: 6pm Sunday GMT

The Arizona Cardinals have predictably slumped after a promising start to their season. Five straight defeats by an average of 13.4 points has left them trailing in the NFC West with a record of 1-7. Remember, they have two 2024 first-round draft picks so it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that they will begin to tank in order to pick up the best collegiate prospects in April next year.

This week they face the Cleveland Browns, who have won three of their four home games this season and have given up the fewest yards per game on defence. The Cardinals will find it hard to move the ball against this solid Browns D, whether it be on the ground or through the air, and points should be at a premium. 

With Arizona ditching Joshua Dobbs and starting rookie Clayton Tune, you can expect the Browns to cover the spread with an easy home win.

Prediction: Browns -8 @ 10/11

Seattle Seahawks (+5.5) @ Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)

Kick-off: 6pm Sunday GMT

These teams are flying high right now and have made their playoff ambitions pretty clear. With winning streaks on the line, this could come down to homefield advantage and ball possession and that’s why I like Baltimore to edge this match-up.

Led by Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have pounded the rock in their four home games so far. They rushed for 110 yards and three touchdowns against the Texans in week one; 186 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts in week three; 139 yards in their NFL London ‘home’ game in week six, and 146 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions in week seven. Expect them to dominate in this sphere again.

That point is enhanced by Seattle’s inability to stop opposition’s ground games. They have allowed 98.2 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown per game on average so far this term. Jackson, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill will be licking their lips.

Prediction: Ravens to win @ 4/9

Dallas Cowboys (+3) @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3)

Kick-off: 9.25pm Sunday GMT

What a pressure encounter we have in store! This game is going to prove critical in the NFC East race - an Eagles win would see them move three games clear in the division, while a Cowboys victory brings them back within one. Both teams are explosive and have playmakers on either side of the ball. Buckle up.

Punters should be aware that one mistake could flip the script in this game and therefore betting the spread or money line markets seems fraught with danger. I would much rather back the ‘over’ when it comes to total points as 46 seems way too low. 

54 or more points have been scored in four of the last five games between the Cowboys and Eagles, and there was 74 in the match-up between them back on Christmas Eve last year. Their offences certainly haven’t slowed down this season as they currently sit second (Cowboys) and third (Eagles) in the points per game standings with 28.1 and 28 respectively. That’s good enough for me.

Prediction: Over 46 total points @ 10/11

Buffalo Bills (+2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (-2)

Kick-off: 1.20am Monday GMT

Cincinnati’s problems are behind them with Joe Burrow appearing healthier by the day and Ja’Marr Chase continuing to dominate out wide now that he’s being fed the ball. Add in Joe Mixon’s inability to lose yards and the supporting cast at receiver and it becomes obvious why stopping this unit over the last three weeks has become nigh-on impossible.

Meanwhile, the Bills continue to play to the level of their opposition. Quarterback Josh Allen often struggles against inferior teams, yet steps up a gear when he plays in meaningful games. That’s why I’m not overly concerned about their recent failings to beat the Patriots and Jaguars and narrow-margin wins over the Giants and Buccaneers.

I’m pretty confident that Buffalo will put in a performance similar to their 48-20 mauling of the Dolphins earlier in the campaign and, with the Bengals likely to drive the ball successfully on offence, this is another game that should result in 50 or more points being scored.

Prediction: Over 48.5 total points @ 10/11

NFL Week 9 Tips

Cardinals @ Browns: Browns -8 @ 10/11
Seahawks @ Ravens: Ravens to win @ 4/9
Cowboys @ Eagles: Over 46 total points @ 10/11
Bills @ Bengals: Over 48.5 total points @ 10/11

Accumulator pays: 8/1

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