NFL Week 9 Odds: Mismatch Outlook
Two major mismatches highlight the NFL card for Week 9, according to this week's OddsShark.com Power Rankings. There are two games with teams 27 slots apart based on this week's poll.
Starting on the east coast, third-ranked New Orleans travels to face the 30th-ranked New York Jets. The line at 5Dimes has the Saints laying -7 points. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has the Saints' offense ranked near the top of the league, despite a rushing game that ranks 25th in the league with 85.3 yards per game. The glaring stat, however, is Brees has been sacked 18 times over the first seven games after being taken down 26 times last year. Now he and the Saints face a Jets defense that ranks fifth in the league with 25 sacks.
On the west coast, No. 4 Seattle (-17) hosts the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of the league's only two winless teams. The Seahawks come in off a short week, after struggling to defeat the Rams, 14-9, on Monday. Swarmed by the Rams' suffocating defensive front, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked seven times and hit another 10. Nonetheless, Seattle will get a boost with the return of Percy Harvin and by getting to play at home.
The next biggest mismatch is with No. 12 Dallas (-12) hosting No. 28 Minnesota. And for as many close losses the Pokes have endured this season, they may be poised for a blowout win here. The Vikings have lost as many games as they did all of last season, when they made a surprising run to the playoffs. The biggest culprit has been a horrendous defense that can't seem to stop anybody. Opponents are converting 51 percent of their third downs against the Vikings this season, the highest number in the league. That won't bode well against the third-best offense on third downs, as the Cowboys convert 35.5 percent of the time.
As for the consensus plays at OddsShark, the Saints are the No. 1 choice by the pollsters, with 71 percent choosing Brees and company over the Jets. Next up, just behind at 70 percent, are the Colts, -2.5, at Houston in an AFC South clash at Reliant Stadium