When it comes to NJ sports betting, it doesn’t matter how comical the NFC East, or Least, is heading into NFL Week Nine.

Bettors riding the right angles prosper with these teams. The 1-7 New York Giants, for instance, are 5-3 against the spread before they visit the Washington Football Team.

Let’s look at our weekly Football Five.

Will this finally be the Giants’ week?

The Giants defeated Washington for their lone victory, and crunch time has come early.

The Giants trail the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles by 2.5 games, including three in the loss column. They fell to +2000 to win the division at DraftKings Sportsbook after Monday’s heartbreaking 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philadelphia inched up to -265, and the Washington Football Team became +375.

The Dallas Cowboys, now 2-6, face the Pittsburgh Steelers as big dogs this week and will likely be 2-7.

For this week, New York opened at +3.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook for a game that may boil down to two words: Daniel Jones.

He displayed acrobatics Monday, leading a late charge that included two fourth-down conversions en route to a potential game-tying TD. The two-point conversion failed, but the touchdown rewarded many over bettors. Plus, the Giants covered the spread for the second straight week.

However, Jones threw two critical second-half picks that led to Tampa’s winning points. On a night when the Giants were ready to deliver an upset, Jones’ mistakes killed them.

New York’s last four games have been decided by a total of seven points. Somewhere during this season, the Giants will put a hurt on some team.

Is it this week?

Washington is playing its best football under quarterback Kyle Allen and would pull to within half a game of first place with a victory.

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Baltimore Ravens scoring watch

The Baltimore Ravens extended their league-best streak in consecutive scoring quarters to 26 before it was snapped in Sunday’s 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Baltimore’s overall ability to score is good for its over-under and prop-betting prospects.

As for their long-term fortune, the Ravens have hit a wall. They need to develop something besides Lamar Jackson. Their explosive quarterback was keyed on by Pittsburgh’s defense in the second half, especially late in the game, when the Steelers nursed a small lead.

When the Ravens had 3rd and goal from the 10, in two-down territory, everyone in Baltimore knew Jackson would carry the ball. The Steelers converged on him and stopped the QB on two runs to practically put the game on ice.

The Steelers also burned him for a Pick 6 and an interception that led to another touchdown.

If Jackson is to improve his running effectiveness, he will have to throw the ball downfield. Teams have figured out how to limit him to a few flashy runs by keeping more defenders closer to the line of scrimmage.  They dare Jackson to beat them with a deep ball.

If he can’t bring more receivers into the fold, Baltimore’s offense will be inconsistent against playoff teams.

NFL Week 9 nugget for in-game bettors

In all seven games they have played, the Detroit Lions have scored first. Keep that in mind regarding who will score at the beginning of games, either for first team to score or first player to score. The contrarian instinct will tell you they are not due to score first every time and that streak will be broken in the near future. This is still an impressive streak.

Detroit plays the Minnesota Vikings this week

How about the Green Bay Packers early in the game? Green Bay has scored on its opening drive in every game this year.

Will it happen again Thursday? The Packers open the NFL Week Nine campaign by visiting the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game. The Packers haven’t played well in San Francisco the last two times. Yet they are giving more than a field goal, having taken much of the early action.

How to handle fourth and short

We’ve seen aggressive play-calling for teams trying to keep the ball. But many teams run the ball into the middle of the line and get stuffed.

The Packers and Steelers offer a more effective version.  Both Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger are strong at selling the run, faking a handoff and finding a wide-open receiver for the first down.

Rodgers achieved it to perfection Sunday, and the fourth-down conversion led to a Green Bay touchdown.

NFL Week 9 intangibles

The Cincinnati Bengals have officially crossed over. The Joe Burrow era took a major step when his team was able to throttle the now 5-2 Tennessee Titans, 31-20. Burrow shows exceptional poise for a rookie and has the ability to lead. That’s unusual at this early stage in a player’s career.

Cincinnati is a league-best 7-1 against the spread, and the two wins match its entire victory total of last year. They are a fun team to watch rebuild. The Bengals are on a Week Nine bye and then face the Steelers.

The New Orleans Saints are 5-2 by perfecting numerous small details. One of them occurred in Sunday’s 26-23 overtime win against the Chicago Bears. New Orleans scored a touchdown in the final two minutes of the half to get within 13-10. For in-game bettors, it was the fourth-straight game in which they got the ball with less than two minutes to go before the half and scored a touchdown.

Call it a bounce back. Teams performing way below expectations justified the law of averages by winning road games outright as underdogs.

The snake-bit Atlanta Falcons surprised the Carolina Panthers 25-17, and the Vikings stunned the  Packers, 28-22, at a hefty +6.5.

Atlanta hosts the Denver Broncos while Minnesota hosts Detroit this week.

photo by Associated Press 

Dave Bontempo

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.