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NFL Week 9: Top Bets of the Week

by November 2, 2019

The sheer amount of bets available in any given week of football can be overwhelming. In this series of articles, we aim to highlight the best bets of each type – according to our data. We combine the consensus advice of our top experts with historical performance into a single metric: Bet Rating. On a scale of 0 to 100, this metric aims to rate bets on how likely each bet is to work out. Check after the picks for more detail on our methodology.

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Top Moneyline Bets

Rank Game Bet Expert Voting Past Performance Bet Rating
1 TEN@CAR CAR -186 92% 68% 81
2 CLE@DEN CLE -136 88% 49% 75
3 HOU@JAC JAC +112 65% 55% 62
4 DET@OAK DET +116 73% 44% 61


Carolina -186 vs Tennessee

  • This is our top bet of the week, with our only bet rating above 80.
  • The expert voting is 92%, which is massive for such a close favorite. With how bad the Titans have been this year and their recent switch to Ryan Tannehill at QB, it might come as little surprise that a line of just -186 for a competent team facing them at home has experts interested.
  • Analysis of the accuracy of past money lines for Carolina, applied to this week’s line, gives them a 70% chance of winning. The same analysis of past lines for Tennessee gives them a 66% chance of losing. Those combine for a past performance rating of 68%, the highest of any line better than -200.

Cleveland -136 at Denver

  • Bet Rating: 75,
  • Expert voting: 88%.
  • Past performance ratings: 61% to CLE, 38% for facing DEN, for a combined 49%.

Jacksonville +112 vs Houston

  • Bet Rating: 62. This is the best underdog money line of the week.
  • Expert voting: 65%.
  • Past performance ratings: 60% for JAC, 50% for facing HOU, for a combined 55%.

Detroit +116 at Oakland

  • Bet Rating: 61.
  • Expert voting: 73%, the highest for any underdog money line.
  • Past performance ratings: 50% for DET, 39% for facing OAK, for a combined 44%.

Top Against the Spread Bets

Rank Game Bet Expert Voting Past Performance Bet Rating
1 GB@LAC GB -3 85% 53% 68
2 CLE@DEN CLE -2.5 71% 49% 64
3 DAL@NYG DAL -7 67% 53% 62


Green Bay -3 at LA Chargers

  • With a bet rating of 68, this is our best against the spread bet of the week.
  • It also has the highest expert voting of any ATS bet, at 85%.
  • Over the past two years, Green Bay is 52% against the spread, and the Chargers fail to cover at a 54% rate, for a combined past performance rating of 53%.

Cleveland -2.5 at Denver

  • Bet Rating: 64
  • Expert Voting: 71%
  • Past performance ratings: 57% for CLE, 42% for facing DEN, for a combined 49%.

Dallas -7 at NY Giants

  • Bet Rating: 62
  • Expert Voting: 67%
  • Past performance ratings: 56% for DAL, 50% for facing NYG, for a combined 53%.

Top Over-Under Bets

Rank Game Bet Expert Voting Past Performance Bet Rating
1 CLE@DEN Under 40.5 54% 71% 67
2 IND@PIT Under 43.5 61% 53% 62
3 TEN@CAR Over 41 66% 52% 61
4 TB@SEA Under 53 75% 41% 60


Cleveland at Denver Under 40.5

  • With a bet rating of 67, this is our best over-under bet of the week. In fact, this game has a bet rating over 60 in all three categories, and is the only game to do so.
  • Expert voting: 54%.
  • Despite middling expert voting, the track record for these teams is stellar. Broncos games have hit the under a massive 79% of the time over the past two years, and Browns games have done the same 63% of the time, for a combined success rate of 67%.

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh Under 43.5

  • Bet rating: 62.
  • Expert voting: 61%.
  • Past performance ratings: 63% for PIT, 43% for IND, for a combined 53%.

Carolina at Tennessee Over 41

  • Bet rating: 61. This is our only over bet with a bet rating above 60.
  • Expert voting: 66%.
  • Past performance ratings: 57% for TEN, 48% for CAR, for a combined 52%.

Tampa Bay at Seattle Under 53

  • Bet rating: 60. This is the highest over-under line of the week.
  • Expert voting: 75%.
  • Past performance ratings: 46% for SEA, 37% for TB, for a combined 41%.

Methodology

Our bet rating is based on three factors: expert voting, past results, and system plays.

  • Expert voting is the core of BettingPros. We compile picks from dozens of experts, and prefer bets with the most agreement.
  • For past performance, we look at the past two years of games for both teams involved.
    • For ATS bets, we look at the ATS win rate for the team in question, and the ATS lose rate for their opponent, and average those together.
    • For Over-Under bets, we look at the win rate for that type of bet in games involving each of the teams.
    • For money lines, it’s a little more complicated. Each money line implies a win probability. For each team, we look at the win probabilities implied by the money lines for their past two years of games, and compare that to actual results to calculate how much the lines over- or under-estimate a team’s chances of winning. We then apply that to the current money line, to get an expected win probability. We repeat this process to get an expected loss probability for the opponent, and combine those with this week’s lines to get a past performance rating for this week’s game.
  • COMING SOON: System plays are a way to group past games together and look for patterns. For example, “Underdogs ATS in divisional games” is a system. We look at the win rate of bets in that system over the past five years. We then perform a t-test to calculate the probability that the past results of the system are merely due to chance, and use that to calculate expected future success rate. For example, if a system has a past win rate of 60%, and the t-test gives a p-value of .25, then the expected future success rate is .25*50% + .75*60% = 57.5%. Expect to see systems make an impact on bet rating in the near future.

Once we have all three of these metrics, we combine them into a single bet rating, and present the best bets according to that metric.

Jacob Herlin is a Senior Data Analyst for FantasyPros. For more from Jacob, follow him @jacoblawherlin.

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