Nothing changes the public’s perception of an NFL game quite like quarterback issues. Favorites can quickly become underdogs in the betting markets, and upsets can become the norm in NFL pick ’em pools. You can see that effect in a couple of the five highlighted games below, and the experts from TeamRankings offer up tips and advice on whether you should follow the crowd with your Week 9 NFL picks.
Picks that are being underrated by the public can yield weekly gains that make the difference between winning and losing a season-long NFL pool, while smart upset picks can drive success in weekly pools. TeamRankings is the only site that provides customized picks that maximize your edge in NFL pick ’em pools. Check out TeamRankings’ Football Pick ’em Picks, NFL Survivor Picks, and NFL Betting Picks. For a limited time, you can also get a free three-day trial of all their premium football picks.
Week 9 NFL Pick ’em Pool Picks: Tips, strategy
How We Identify NFL Week 9 Value Picks
This article is written on Wednesday, but if the win odds and pick popularity numbers hold, the teams below all provide compelling risk-vs.-reward trade-offs to differentiate your Week 9 picks from your pool opponents.
It’s important to note that we’re not necessarily saying you should make all of these picks. In particular, some upset picks may be unnecessarily risky for your pool, even if they are technically undervalued. You need to take an overall level of risk with your picks that’s appropriate for your pool size and rules. Season-long pools typically call for more conservative picks than single-week pools. If you want our game-by-game pick recommendations for all of your specific pools, use our Football Pick ’em Picks product.
Note: Win odds and estimated pick popularity data below may change between publication time and kickoff time. If you want the latest numbers, our product updates multiple times per day.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Point Spread: PK
Pick Popularity: 15%
Category: Unpopular Toss-Up
The 49ers face off against the Cardinals for the second time this year. Arizona won the first matchup by seven points, but a lot of key high-leverage plays went their way, including recovering three of their four fumbles and stopping the 49ers on four different fourth-down plays. Also, Trey Lance, not Jimmy Garoppolo, was San Francisco’s QB in that game.
Just as important, Arizona QB Kyler Murray is battling an ankle injury he suffered late in last week’s game. Murray’s mobility is a big part of his game, and the point spread in this one has already moved down 2.5 points, making this one now a toss-up. With the Cardinals being picked like they are a heavy favorite, the value here is on San Francisco.
WEEK 9 DFS LINEUPS: FanDuel | DraftKings | Yahoo
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers
Point Spread: -1.0
Pick Popularity: 26%
Category: Unpopular Toss-Up
Turnovers continue to plague the Chiefs, who had two more in their narrow win over the Giants on Monday Night Football. Meanwhile, the Packers won their seventh straight game and knocked off Arizona in prime time last Thursday.
It’s no surprise that the public would be all over the 7-1 Packers here rather than the disappointing Chiefs, but Kansas City has now moved to being the betting favorite in this one, and the line will likely move more toward Kansas City with Aaron Rodgers (COVID) out.
New York Giants vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Point Spread: +2.5
Pick Popularity: 13%
Category: Value Gamble in Weekly Contests
The Giants are a very unpopular pick to upset the Raiders, but the point spread in this one is under a field goal. Our models like the Giants even more, giving them almost a 50-percent chance of winning this game.
In most weekly contests or larger season-long contests, they offer excellent value and diversity from the crowd.
WEEK 9 FANTASY PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Point Spread: +1
Pick Popularity: 20%
Category: Unpopular Toss-Up
The Eagles are another slight underdog from the NFC East going against an AFC West team. The Eagles crushed the Lions last week, while the Chargers have cooled off with consecutive losses to the Ravens and Patriots.
With about four in five entries going with the Chargers, the value is on Philadelphia.
Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets
Point Spread: -10.5
Pick Popularity: 95%
Category: Large Favorite at a Reasonable Price
Everything is relative, and this week, sticking with the Colts at high confidence is a solid play. In Week 9, 10 different favorites have a pick popularity of 85 percent or higher. Over half of those other popular picks are favored by less than a touchdown.
There are better value plays for upsets this week. Staying with the Colts to bounce back against Mike White and the Jets on a short week is the play.
MORE TEAMRANKINGS: Week 9 survivor pool advice
Get All Our Week 9 NFL Picks
Football Pick ’em Picks from TeamRankings is the only product that gives you the picks, tools, and analysis you need to maximize your edge in NFL pick ’em pools. It uses algorithms to identify the calculated risks that give you the best chance to win your straight-up, point spread, or confidence pool.
From a strategy perspective, game theory is a foundational aspect of winning pick ’em pools. In short, to win a pick ’em pool, you have to score points that your opponents miss. That means you need to identify unpopular picks that are worth a calculated gamble and avoid trendy upset picks not worth the risk. Our product does all that number crunching for you, 71 percent of our subscribers report winning a prize in football picks contests.
If you want to learn more about football pick ’em pool strategy, you can also check out our free articles about strategy for winning football pick ’em pools.
Good luck in your pools this week!