Week 9 of the NFL season is upon us, and the overreactions are loud on the streets. We’re nearly halfway through the regular season and have a better idea of which teams are contenders and which are pretenders.
That said, this is still a small sample size of games. Those that have been played can be dug through and sprinkled with context to become useful. Team-adjusted stats like DVOA have some value, and we also have to be aware of how injuries have affected teams to this point.
With that in mind, let’s dive into some NFL Week 9 upset predictions and best bets.
All NFL gameday odds are current as of 10:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, November 4.
NFL Week 9 Upset Predictions
New York Giants vs Las Vegas Raiders
These teams are more evenly matched than their records display.
The Raiders are coming off of a bye week which does give them an advantage, but they also just lost first-round deep threat Henry Ruggs to an awful, self-imposed incident just two weeks after losing former coach Jon Gruden to his poor off-field choices.
The Raiders are not a bad team, but they are loaded with distractions. Meanwhile, the New York Giants cannot stop stumbling over their own feet and losing winnable games. This past Monday in primetime they went toe-to-toe with the Kansas City Chiefs, but they couldn’t overcome their own mistakes.
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If the Giants can play a normal game of football and not beat themselves at home, they could very well pull the upset against Las Vegas.
Upset Prediction: Giants 27, Raiders 24
Giants vs Raiders Upset Picks
Upset Pick: Giants Moneyline (+125) at BetMGM
The Giants’ defense has been slightly better than the Raiders this year. While Daniel Jones is a significantly worse QB than Derek Carr, he is competent in his own right and can use his legs in a matchup like this against the Raiders’ weak LB corps.
Jones gets an awful rap for his goofy turnovers, but he can play in this league and has improved this year. This could wind up as a solid bounce-back win after a rough stretch with missing offensive pieces the past month.
Upset Pick: Over 47 (-110) at BetMGM
While both of these defenses are better than they have been in the past, this game could easily be a shootout due to the Raiders playing underneath through the slot and RBs, which is New York’s weakness.
Also, as mentioned, Jones can take advantage of his legs this week while also having rookie weapon Kadarius Toney back and healthy. The Giants play at the seventh-fastest pace in the league and should keep that up while star RB Saquon Barkley remains out.
Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Rams
Derrick Henry is the identity of the Titans, but losing him may not be the end of the world considering that they have two of the league’s most talented WRs at their disposal.
Yes, Henry matters significantly more than a spreadsheet might inform and is far from directly replaceable, but if the Titans adjust to a much more pass-heavy offense and switch up to get their TEs more involved as receivers, they can run a good to very good offense.
Ryan Tannehill is a much better QB than he gets credit for, and he has the mobility to boot. Assuming Julio Jones is healthy for Sunday night’s game, the Titans will be a threat to upset the star-laden Rams who just traded for future Hall of Fame edge rusher Von Miller.
Upset Prediction: Titans 30, Rams 27
Titans at Rams Upset Picks
Upset Pick: Titans Moneyline (+290) at BetMGM
The Titans are a good team, and they can manage without King Henry. Jeremy McNichols is obviously nowhere near the rusher Henry is (heck, no one is) but his abilities as a receiver offer different looks for the Titans and allow them to function with an RB that isn’t a high-end rusher.
Tennessee is fully capable of keeping up the scoring with the Rams, who are almost guaranteed a certain amount of points every single time they step on the field.
This is not to say that the Rams aren’t the better team with better players on both sides of the ball, but Tennessee can absolutely catch them off-guard in their first game sans Henry, making this our NFL bet of the day.
Upset Pick: Over 53.5 (-110) at BetMGM
The Rams’ defense is still very good, but it’s not as elite as last season. Meanwhile, Tennessee ranks No. 20 in DVOA.
This game could easily turn into a shootout with WRs like A.J. Brown, Robert Woods, Jones, and the greatest of all-time, Cooper Kupp facing off on their respective offenses.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
The Browns and Bengals are both coming off of close, heartbreaking losses, though the Bengals get the benefit of a “home" game. However, since both play in the same state, does that really matter? Browns fans are naturally well-traveled and can easily turn this into neutral territory.
Nevertheless, regardless of home-field, the Browns are just as good, if not better than the Bengals who started out as hot as possible this season.
Unfortunately, they just lost to the Jets’ backup QB and are still deficient in the trenches where Cleveland is terrifying. The duo of Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney will have Joe Burrow doing exactly what he does not want to do this season, which is run.
If Cleveland can make him uncomfortable in and out of the pocket this week, they can win.
Upset Prediction: Browns 21, Bengals 20
Browns at Bengals Upset Picks
Upset Pick: Browns Moneyline (+115) at BetMGM
The Browns’ pass funnel defense is going to be an issue against the Bengals’ strong receivers and revamped QB, but they’re capable of forcing Burrow off of his spot and disrupting the game plan.
Moreover, the Browns rank third in rush defense, which will likely make it tough for Cincinnati to rely on the ground game if Burrow is struggling to get the ball out.
Nick Chubb is also another week removed from his calf issue and likely taking on a larger role in the offense. No matter how much better the Bengals’ defense is, he is always a threat to break some long runs behind Cleveland’s elite offensive line.
The Browns’ offense should also look much better now with the distraction of Odell Beckham Jr. gone. As long as Baker Mayfield‘s shoulder stays in place, this offense should look as good as it has all year.
Upset Pick: Under 46.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Divisional matchups are always bruising and bloody. This game features a good bit of high-end offensive talent in Chubb, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins, but these teams are fairly evenly matched overall.
46.5 is a big number for two teams who rank No. 30 and 31 in pace. Multiple big scoring plays would be necessary to hit the Over.