NFL Week 9 Odds: Schedule Spot Doesn't Help Stinky Cheeseheads

The Detroit Lions normally serve as the cure for what ails languishing teams like the Green Bay Packers, but it's not so simple. This marks the fourth travel spot in five weeks for Aaron Rodgers & Co. against a team that typically plays close at home.

Nov 1, 2022 • 10:16 ET • 4 min read
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 9 is the meat and potatoes for situational handicappers, with the first half of the schedule wearing on teams and the second half stealing focus. If you’re a fan of NFL spot bets, November is your favorite month on the calendar. 

I take a look at the Week 9 slate and size up the potential spots to watch with my top letdown, look-ahead, and schedule angles to consider when capping the NFL odds.

Letdown Spot: Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5, 43.5)

What should have been a rare bright spot for the sad-sack Panthers in Week 8, turned into one of the “boners” of the year. It also sets up Carolina for a potential “who gives a crap” game in Cincinnati in Week 9.

Carolina WR DJ Moore scored a game-tying 62-yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in Sunday’s NFC South showdown with Atlanta but was promptly flagged for taking his helmet off as he celebrated. The unsportsmanlike penalty tacked an extra 15 yards onto the PAT, which kicker Eddy Pineiro missed from 48 yards out. Of course he did...

The Panthers would go on to lose in overtime, denying the team two straight wins and delivering a gut punch to a group that knows the franchise is in fire sale mode (with Tuesday's trade deadline looming) after dealing disgruntled WR Robbie Anderson and face of the franchise RB Christian McCaffrey recently. Finding motivation after a loss like that could be especially tough with the team playing its second straight game on the road and its third in four weeks.

On top of that disappointment, Carolina has a QB quandary on its hands. Third-stringer PJ Walker has played beyond expectations the past two outings, and interim head coach Steve Wilks is sticking with him on the road in Cincy — leaving former starter and big offseason addition Baker Mayfield as the backup.

The Bengals (whose look-ahead line was -9.5) will be eager to get right coming back home after a bad loss to Cleveland on Monday night. This will be just the third home game for Cincinnati since Week 2 and a bye awaits on the other side of the shell-shocked Panthers. 

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Look-Ahead Spot: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Commanders (+3.5, 43.5)

The Vikings are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, riding a five-game winning streak into Week 9. But despite those winning ways, Minnesota’s success has come against some softer competition (look at the QB lineup) and the 4-4 Commanders don’t present the toughest pushback, at first glance.

The Vikes truly don’t get to prove their validity until Week 10 when they head to Orchard Park to battle the mighty Bills. That could have them looking past Washington this weekend to a showdown with the league’s top team. 

The Commanders are a little more dangerous since QB Carson Wentz went down, leaving last year’s starter Taylor Heinicke at the wheel. Washington is riding a winning streak of its own, with two of those three consecutive victories coming with Heinicke under center. 

In addition to that offensive uptick (28th in EPA per dropback to 21st), the defense will have standout DE Chase Young making his debut. Washington’s stop unit has allowed 21 points or less in four straight games and boasts the seventh-lowest EPA allowed per play since Week 4.

Schedule Spot: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (+3, 49.5)

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers believes the struggling Cheeseheads just need one win to get back on track after losing four straight games heading into Week 9.

A matchup with Detroit would normally cure what ails you, but this nasty schedule spot could have something to say about that — or at least the outcome against the spread. 

The Packers will be playing their third straight road game in Motown this Sunday and their fourth travel spot in five weeks after crossing the pond in Week 5 — a loss to the N.Y. Giants that started this downward spiral for Green Bay.

Adding to the uphill sked in Week 9, the Packers run the risk of a letdown spot after playing a high-pressure primetime game in Buffalo last Sunday night. The look-ahead odds paint a pretty clear picture of the oddsmakers’ opinion on Rodgers & Co. right now. This line sat at Green Bay -6.5 in the summer but is now down as low as a field goal.

Detroit is also mired in a four-game slide, but the pesky Lions always seem to give it a go against top-tier competition. Four of their six losses have come by four points or less and Dan Campbell’s guys are just 3-7 SU but 7-3 ATS as home underdogs the past two seasons.

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