Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 | 9 a.m.
Week 9 marks the official midway point of the season, and it sure looks like the NFL has a celebration in store.
There might not be another better slate of games than Sunday’s until the playoffs. Fourteen straight hours of football with a handful of high-leverage games in the postseason race will commence when the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins kick off at 6:30 a.m. from Frankfurt, Germany.
It’s one of five games on Sunday between teams currently in playoff spots with Minnesota at Atlanta, Seattle at Baltimore, Dallas at Philadelphia and Buffalo at Cincinnati all joining the party with later kickoffs.
Sunday Sweats includes all those contests in this week’s column and hopes the big-time schedule yields big-time results. It would be hard to top last week where the column turned just short of a $2,500 profit for the best showing of the year, if not all-time, but there’s only one way to try.
Read below to find bets in all seven of Sunday Sweats’ usual categories. Lines are the best currently available at publication time in Las Vegas with the sports book noted. Plays from other betting columns will be linked and tracked here at the bottom of the page. Check back Sunday for an additional prop in the Raiders’ gameday preview that will also be tracked as part of the Sunday Sweats.
Tasty Total (5-3, $344): Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons over 37 points (STN Sports)
$220 to win $200
Both teams have been great under bets overall on the season —falling beneath the total in 13 of their combined 16 games. But that’s sent their odds deflating all too quickly. Now is the perfect time to act as the resistance and bet on some positive regression in terms of scoring. This game is set up for points anyway. Atlanta’s scoring expectation should go up with Taylor Heinicke now in at quarterback, as he’s far more aggressive than the benched Desmond Ridder. There’s a lot more uncertainty with the Vikings behind rookie Jaren Hill, but this is more of a bet of coach Kevin O’Connell on the visiting team’s side. O’Connell is one of the brighter offensive minds in the NFL and therefore likely maximized the two weeks to prepare Hall for his first NFL start off a bye. For a somewhat bold prediction. I’ll say this game gets into the 40s on the scoreboard.
Two- (Or Three-) Team Teaser (4-4, -$20): Tampa Bay Buccaneers +8.5 and Carolina Panthers +8.5 at -125 (Caesars/William Hill)
$250 to win $200
It’s the NFC South Bottom Feeder teaser. What could go wrong? I’m not high on either Carolina or Tampa Bay but apparently I’m higher on them than the betting market because I’m not sure either of them should be underdogs this week, let alone getting nearly a field goal. To boost those two near-field goal lines to more than a touchdown is a bargain. There’s simply not going to be enough points for any of the four teams to win by margin in these two games. I’d lean to under 40 in Tampa Bay at Houston and have even bet under 44 in Indianapolis at Carolina — it was the runner-up choice for the tasty total category — to make this teaser even more attractive.
Moneyline Parlay (3-5, $1,207): Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys at +1169 (Boyd Sports)
$60 to win $701
Hit a two-teamer two weeks ago in the column. Hit a three-teamer last week in the column. It wouldn’t feel right if I passed on a chance to keep climbing the ladder this week. Here’s the usual disclaimer that this is not a smart bet, and moneyline parlays — especially ones with more than two sides — are not the wisest long-term plays. This probably loses, but it should lose less than the roughly 8 percent of the time the +1169 price tag implies. This is all about entertainment, acknowledging that this is how a lot of people bet an NFL Sunday. This gets action on the biggest game in every time slot including the Chiefs kicking off the day in Germany against a Dolphins’ team they should be able to handle if they’re at their best. Then, in a battle of division leaders, Baltimore — the best team in the league in the DVOA ratings by margin — should have no trouble with an impressive but flawed Seattle team in the 10 a.m. window. In the afternoon time slot, Philadelphia similarly and quietly has more flaws than Dallas — especially if Jalen Hurts keeps limping around the field. Then, to cap the day on Sunday Night Football, the underrated Bills should be a pick’em instead of +110 against the darling-and-therefore-overpriced Bengals.
Player Prop (9-7, $322): Demario Douglas over 41. 5 receiving yards at -110 (SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas)
$220 to win $200
The Commanders are the second-worst team in the league against No. 1 receivers, per DVOA. The man teammates and fans call “Pop” is now the No. 1 receiver for the opposing Patriots, which lost Kendrick Bourne to an ACL injury last week. The Patriots’ offense as a whole is trending in the right direction — not that it could have sunk much lower from a stretch last month where it scored a total six points in 10 quarters — and that should continue against a Commanders’ defense headed in the opposite direction. It’s understandable to not want to trust a rookie sixth-round pick, but the Liberty University product has already outdone his draft position with 19 catches for 222 yards on the year. He’ll add to those numbers significantly here.
Lookahead Line (2-5, -$710): Cincinnati Bengals -7 vs. Houston Texans in Week 10 (SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas)
$220 to win $200
Cincinnati got a giant boost on this week’s point spread after knocking off the 49ers 31-17 as 5-point underdogs, going from a small underdog to a near field goal favorite. How come they aren’t getting the same kind of respect for an easier matchup two weeks from now? I’m a relative Bengals skeptic — check the moneyline parlay section — and still have this spread 2.5 points too low. I guess that makes me a larger Texans skeptic, a label that doesn’t bother me. Expecting Houston’s sputtering offense to go into Paycor Stadium and keep up with Cincinnati’s revitalized attack behind healthy quarterback Joe Burrow is a lot to ask. If the Bengals knock off the Bills on Sunday Night Football, this number will climb close to 10. Even if they lose, it’s likely to at least re-open at -7.5.
Future Finding (1-1, $700): Ja’Marr Chase to lead Sunday and Monday games in receiving yards at 9-to-1 (Caesars/William Hill)
$125 to win $1,125
Nonstop action on the over now has Bills at Bengals topping Dolphins vs. Chiefs as the highest total of the week at 50.5 points. As we’ve already established, I expect the Bengals to be down in the game and playing from behind. That means an even pass-happier offense than usual, and an even bigger target share for the superstar Chase. He should arguably be the favorite in this category this week, or at least not the third choice behind Miami’s Tyreek Hill and Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs. The Bills’ pass defense has regressed since the injury to Tre’Davious White and they no longer have a great option to defend bona fide No. 1 receivers like Chase. Buffalo should win this game, but the most likely path to it not happening involves Chase flirting with a 200-yard receiving day.
Non-football Play (7-1, $2,500): Kevin Harvick -110 head-to-head vs. Tyler Reddick in NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race (SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas)
$220 to win $200
There might be only five possible winners in Sunday’s season-finale race in Phoenix — the final four playoff drivers (Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, William Byron and Christopher Bell) and the retiring legend (Harvick). Bet Harvick in any head-to-head matchup where he’s a pick’em or shorter that’s not against the final four. And not just for sentimentality — Phoenix has been one of his best racetracks throughout his career. Harvick has picked up speed as his final season has gone on and might have saved his best car for last. All the other drivers in the field will be ceding to Larson, Blaney, Byron and Bell as they duel it out for championship. Not Harvick. He’ll want to go out on top, and anything less than a top-10 finish would be a shock.
Sunday Sweats year to date: 31-26, $4,583
Weekend betting column year to date: 129-136-3, $13,682
Weekend betting column all-time: 607-641-10, $32,011
Previous pending wagers: Texas to win the College Football Playoff at 30-to-1 ($100 to win $3,000); Tanner Mordecai to win the Heisman Trophy at 200-to-1 ($30 to win $6,000); Atlanta Braves at 5-to-1 to win the National League ($300 to win $1,500; Atlanta Braves at 10-to-1 to win the World Series ($300 to win $3,000); Buffalo Bills at 9-to-1 to win Super Bowl 58 ($300 to win $2,700); LSU to win the College Football Playoff at 20-to-1 ($150 to win $3,000); Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl 58 at 9-to-1 ($300 to win $2,700); Nolan Smith to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year at 20-to-1 ($100 to win $2,000); Kansas to win 2024 NCAA Tournament at 14-to-1 ($200 to win $2,800); Buffalo Bills at 10-to-1 to win Super Bowl 58 ($100 to win $1,000); Lamar Jackson to win NFL MVP ($150 to win $2,700); Ohio State to win the College Football Playoff at 8-to-1 ($350 to win $2,800); Carson Beck to win the Heisman Trophy at 30-to-1 ($100 to win $3,000) Las Vegas Aces to win WNBA Championship at -115 ($575 to win $500); William Byron to win NASCAR Cup Series championship at +750 ($300 to win $2,250); Edmonton Oilers to win 2024 Stanley Cup Final at 12-to-1 ($250 to win $3,000); Mississippi State under 6.5 wins at -145 ($435 to win $300) Colorado under 3.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Miami over 7.5 wins at +125 ($200 to win $250); Myles Garrett to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year ($300 to win $2,400); Florida over 5.5 wins at -120 ($240 to win $200); Kentucky over 7 wins at +110 ($200 to win $220); Mississippi State under 6 wins at Even money ($100 to win $100); Oklahoma State over 6 wins at -140 ($280 to win $200); Texas Tech under 7.5 wins at -120 ($240 to win $200); UCF over 7 wins at Even money ($200 to win $200); West Virginia under 5.5 wins at -180 ($360 to win $200); Air Force to win the Mountain West at 5-to-1 ($200 to win $1,000); Colorado under 3.5 wins at -120 ($120 to win $100); Oregon State under 8.5 wins at -135 ($135 to win $100); USC under 10 wins at Even money ($150 to win $150); Washington over 9 wins at -120 ($180 to win $150); Ohio State over 10.5 wins at Even money ($150 to win $150); Penn State under 9.5 wins at +130 ($150 to win $215); Iowa under 8.5 wins at -115 ($230 to win $200); Nebraska under 6.5 wins at -110 ($220 to win $200); Purdue over 4.5 wins at -140 ($210 to win $150); Duke under 6 wins at +125 ($200 to win $250); Miami over 7.5 wins at +116 ($200 to win $232); North Carolina under 8.5 wins at -150 ($300 to win $200); Syracuse over 6 wins at +105 ($200 to win $210); Boise State under 8.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); New Mexico over 3 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Fresno State under 8.5 wins at -150 ($300 to win $200); Hawaii over 3.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Anthony Richardson to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at 9-to-1 ($200 to win $1,800); Zay Flowers to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at 30-to-1 ($65 to win $1,950); Miami Dolphins to not make the playoffs at +105 ($300 to win $315); Cleveland Cavaliers to win Central division at 3-to-1 ($300 to win $900); Derrick Henry to lead the NFL in rushing yards at +850 ($200 to win $1,950); Justin Herbert to lead the NFL in passing yards at +550 ($200 to win $1,100); San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC West at -165 ($660 to win $400); Western Kentucky to win Conference USA at +110 ($500 to win $550); Jacksonville Jaguars to win the AFC South at -190 ($570 to win $300); Tampa Bay Buccaneers NOT to make the playoffs at +120 ($200 to win $240); Boston Celtics to win the NBA in-season tournament at +950 ($200 to win $1,900); Victor Wembanyama to win NBA Rookie of the Year at +125 ($400 to win $500); AJ Brown to win Offensive Player of the Year at 18-to-1 ($100 to win $1,800); New Orleans Saints -5.5 vs. Chicago Bears ($275 to win $250)