NFL Week 9 Preview: Five Showdowns (And Dallas Cowboys) Highlight Sensational Sunday

Posted on: November 7, 2020, 12:25h. 

Last updated on: November 7, 2020, 04:07h.

While the Thursday night showdown between the Green Bay Packers and beaten-up San Francisco 49ers was a dud, Sunday’s NFL slate is loaded – which should mean an active day at sportsbooks.

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson escapes the Indianapolis Colts defense during their game in 2018. Baltimore is a one-point favorite at Indianapolis on Sunday. (Image: Sam Upshaw/USA TODAY Sports)

The first wave of games features the Seattle Seahawks (6-1) at Buffalo Bills (6-2), Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Indianapolis Colts (5-2), and Chicago Bears (5-3) at Tennessee Titans (5-2). The Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Arizona Cardinals (5-2) highlights the afternoon block. The day closes with the New Orleans Saints (5-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2), which figures to be one of the big games of the season at sportsbooks.

“And then we have teams that are playing pretty bad playing each other. We have to book those like we have to book everything else,” said Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, to

Here’s a look at Week 9.

Big AFC South Games

The Titans and Colts are tied for first place in the AFC South with 5-2 records.

Baltimore started the week as a 3.5-point favorite over Indianapolis. But that line was down to 1 by Saturday afternoon.

[Ravens quarterback] Lamar Jackson is coming off a terrible game,” Avello told “The question is, how does he rebound? They’ve won nine straight road games. Even though this number got driven down, I expect to see some Ravens money by the time this game starts.

Tennessee is a 6.5-point favorite over Chicago. That’s up from 5.5 to start the week. The marquee matchup features Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, whose 775 rushing yards are more than 100 yards better than anyone else. He will be attacking the NFL’s eighth-best scoring defense. Henry’s over/under is 94.5 yards.

“We’re in the middle of the season, and there’s a lot of teams in the hunt,” Avello said. “The Bears need to keep winning to stay in the hunt behind Green Bay in the NFC North, and the Titans are in a similar situation. With the Colts, whoever doesn’t win the AFC South won’t necessarily make the playoffs.”

Crashing Cowboys

It’s not quite as lopsided as last week’s Chiefs-Jets game, but the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers are a whopping 14.5-point favorite over the Dallas Cowboys.

You’ve got a Steelers team that’s 7-0 and 6-1 against the number going against a team that’s 2-6 and 0-8 against the number,” Avello said. “I think the bettors have had it with the Cowboys. But you’re paying the price here if you want the Steelers.”

Dallas is a mess. Star quarterback Dak Prescott is on injured reserve. Veteran backup Andy Dalton, who was supposed to keep the team afloat, was out first with a concussion and is now on the COVID-reserve list.

After rookie Ben DiNucci flopped last week, embattled Dallas coach Mike McCarthy is choosing between Garrett Gilbert and Cooper Rush. Gilbert, who entered the NFL in 2014, has six career passing attempts. Rush, who entered the league in 2017, has three.

It’s almost like a starting pitcher. Who’s going to start? Us, as bookmakers, we don’t care. It doesn’t matter,” Avello said.

Here’s the rest of the schedule, with the lines from DraftKings. All times are Eastern.

Sunday’s Games

  • Broncos at Falcons (-4), 1 p.m. (CBS)
  • Seahawks at Bills (+3), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Ravens at Colts (+1), 1 p.m. (CBS)
  • Texans at Jaguars (+6.5), 1 p.m. (CBS)
  • Panthers at Chiefs (-10), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Lions at Vikings (-4.5), 1 p.m. (CBS)
  • Bears at Titans (-6.5), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Giants at Football Team (-2.5), 1 p.m. (Fox)
  • Raiders at Chargers (-1), 4:05 p.m. (Fox)
  • Dolphins at Cardinals (-4.5), 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
  • Steelers at Cowboys (+14.5), 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
  • Saints at Buccaneers (-4.5), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday’s Game

  • Patriots at Jets (+9.5), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)