Against The Spread: Sheasby's Week 9 NFL Best Bets

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Fresh off getting smacked in Week 8, I’m BACK for more. Shoot to get hot. Shoot to stay hot. This week I love two favorites, the Steelers and the Cowboys. Why? Their opponents are liabilities. Check out my picks below.

Pittsburgh Steelers -13.5 @ Dallas Cowboys

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This is a straight fade of the Dallas Cowboys. They are 0-8 ATS. That is unfathomable. Due for a regression? One would think YES - but now that they’re debating between their 3rd and 4th string quarterbacks, any traditional regression trends are thrown out the window. The question is: is 13.5 too much? I don’t think so.

Offense comparison:

  • PIT 5.2 YPP vs. 5.4 YPP for DAL
  • PIT .462 Points/Play vs. .314 for DAL 
  • PIT 28th ranked DVOA vs. 31st for DAL

Defense comparison:

  • PIT 5.1 YPP vs. 5.8 YPP for DAL
  • PIT .331 Points/Play vs. .499 for DAL 
  • 2nd ranked DVOA vs. 24th for DAL

We must of course DOWNGRADE all offensive numbers for Dallas, as those are taking into account their electric offense that was led by Dak Prescott. Without him, the Cowboys have averaged 7.33 points per game after averaging 32.6 points per game with him. That’s an INSANE drop off. Maybe Jerry Jones should pay the man after all?

Meanwhile this Pittsburgh team is fighting. Even after getting dominated by Baltimore last week (457 yards vs. 221 yards), they were able to win the turnover battle and squeeze out a huge win. The only plus for this Dallas team right now is Zeke, but Pittsburgh has been bottling up stud RBs all year:

  • Henry averaged 3.8 YPC
  • Hunt averaged 3.1 YPC
  • David Johnson averaged 1.8 YPC
  • Saquon averaged 0.4 YPC

Only the best rushing team in the NFL could break through (the 3 headed monsters Baltimore). This Steelers team should sell out to stop Zeke at all costs, and force a 3rd/4th string QB to beat them.

As such, I won’t try to predict the end of the downfall of the Cowboys, and instead will continue to profit off their misery. Steelers -13.5.

Tennessee Titans -5.5 (best bet) vs Chicago Bears

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The Bears are 5-3 with a negative point differential. That is a major red flag. On top of that, they are the 7th worst team in terms of total points scored. For context, the Chargers are 2-5 with a -6 point differential. The bears are -5. That’s something.

The Titans on the other hand are 1 of 11 teams with double digit positive point differential (+24), and are coming off back-to-back losses. Time for a bounce back, baby!

Looking under the hood, I love what I see from this Titans offense, and while the Bears have the slight edge on defense, the delta between offenses is far larger, and should be enough for the Titans to win and cover this game. 

Offense comparison:

  • TEN 6.2 YPP vs. 4.8 YPP for CHI
  • TEN .454 Points/Play vs. .310 for CHI 
  • TEN 4th ranked DVOA vs. 27th for CHI

Defense comparison:

  • TEN 5.9 YPP vs. 5.2 YPP for CHI
  • TEN .388 Points/Play vs. .311 for CHI 
  • TEN 20th ranked DVOA vs. 6th for CHI

There’s certainly a glaring discrepancy between DVOA (almost a dead flip offense to defense looking at these teams), but when taking into account both yards per play + points per play, the Titans defense matches well with the Chicago defense, whereas the Titans offense blows away the Chicago offense across the board.

I pegged the Bears as one of the better fade candidates for the back half of the season when looking at record vs. point differential, and combining that with a must-win for the Titans (again, off back to back losses), this one feels good.

Titans -5.5.

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