What the Pick Data Says About NFL Week 9
By the looks of it, we’re staring straight down the barrel of another Week 7. Do what you can to prepare yourselves in advance, because there’s no telling what will happen on NFL fields this weekend.
Unless you’re in the Splash universe, in that case, you know it all, right? You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. That’s why we assemble picks from Splash users across RunYourPool, OfficeFootballPool, and Splash Sports every week, comb through them, and try to map out what’s ahead of us.
The lines are much tighter this week than last; they’re more similar to the spreads from Week 7, which delivered mass chaos. Will history repeat?
If you’re curious to check out how Splash users did in their pre-assessment of Week 8, you can find that here.
Everybody Believes In…
The Cleveland Browns.
First, let’s absorb the sentence, “everybody believes in the Cleveland Browns.” Wait a moment. Allow it to soak in. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and repeat it to yourself, slowly and with intent.
That’s not a statement often heard, but these aren’t your older brother’s Browns. These are Browns capable of hovering around .500 and beating up on the teams that are what they used to be.
In a week with little separation in the spreads, Cleveland is one of the biggest favorites. The Browns are 7.5-point favorites in their home matchup with the Cardinals on Sunday, which is tied for the largest line of Week 9. It’s not just the books that think the Browns are likely winners this weekend – 74 percent of Splash pickers against the spread think Cleveland will cover. That’s the second-strongest outpouring of support the Splash Universe issued to any favorite this week.
The Browns are the most desired team in Splash NFL Survivor this week, too. A whopping 43.27 percent of Survivor entries have connected themselves to Cleveland, outpacing second place by nearly 13 percent. That’s a lot of faith from people who have skin in the game.
There are question marks around the quarterback situation in Cleveland, but those aren’t impacting how Splash pickers approach Sunday’s showdown at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Maybe it’s because the Cardinals are so horrendous. Maybe it’s because the Browns defense is legit. Maybe it’s a combination of things. Regardless, the Browns have the biggest belief of anyone within the Splash community this week.
Nobody Believes In…
The Green Bay Packers.
The Packers will attempt to defend Lambeau Field from the Rams this Sunday, praying to find some solace in the midst of a four-game slump. The last time we saw them, they struggled on the offensive end against the Vikings, 24-10. But in Week 9, the books have the Packers as 3.5-point favorites. According to Splash users, though, they’re sure-fire losers.
Not only do the majority of pickers against the spread think the Rams will overcome those 3.5 points, but only 28 percent believe in the Packers to cover it themselves. That’s the least support any favorite has received from the Splash universe to cover all season long. To make the situation more dire, just 0.65 percent of Splash Survivor entries have hooked themselves to the Packers this week, while the Rams have gathered exactly 1 percent of entries into their corner, the 12th-most of Week 9.
It is a tricky time in Green Bay, a place that has been accustomed to stable quarterback play for decades. Whether or not Jordan Love is the man for the job has not been settled, and the pressure is on. But if Splash users have insight into the future, then Love and the Packers are in for some hurt for the fifth time in a row this weekend.
Sorry, Green Bay, but nobody around here believes in you right now.
Possible Survivor Value Pick
The Colts are 2.5-point favorites in their road contest at Bank of America Stadium against the one-win Panthers. Carolina picked up that lone victory in Week 8, and Indianapolis is fresh off a dud at home to New Orleans, 38-27. Maybe that’s part of why the Colts have just 2.48 percent of Splash Survivor entries this week. That is enough for Indianapolis to be the sixth-most popular Survivor pick, but it still pales in comparison to the Browns and Saints, who combined to receive more than 74 percent of the Week 9 entries.
That contrasts with how Splash pickers against the spread expect the Colts to fare in Charlotte. Indy picked up the most support to cover its spread of any of this week’s favorites with 77 percent giving it the benefit of the doubt. In fairness, it’s not a huge line, but support that staggering is notable, particularly if all you need to do is pick a winner.
The Splash masses have spoken: the Colts will beat the Panthers. If you take that prediction seriously, then you have an under-the-radar Survivor slam dunk ripe for the picking.
Too Close to Call
It’s too close to call which Week 9 matchup is too close to call, so we’re double-dipping.
The Bengals and Bills earned the exact same percentage of Splash Survivor entries (0.27 percent), combining for the second-smallest percentage of total entries at 0.54 percent. Splash pickers against the spread seem to have a better idea of what they think will take place at Paycor Stadium with 57 percent predicting that the favored Bengals will cover the 2.5-point spread, but that’s not a wide enough margin to declare clear victory. Splash users expect a doozy on Sunday night.
The Dolphins-Chiefs contest is the only one to come up with a smaller percentage of total Splash Survivor entries with 0.51 percent. More declared for Kansas City than Miami – 0.43 percent as opposed to 0.08 percent – but such a tiny total illustrates a Splash Survivor universe that feels more comfortable staking its future elsewhere. A slim majority of 52 percent think the Chiefs will cover the 2.5-point spread, while 48 percent believe the Dolphins will win or keep it within two.
The ultimate wrench in this one is its location: Frankfurt, Germany, several time zones away from where both of these teams typically operate. How that will impact the game is anyone’s guess; the Splash community has thrown its hands up here.
Splash pickers against the spread went against one other Week 9 favorite: the Houston Texans.
The Texans are 2.5-point favorites for their home date with the Buccaneers despite giving the Panthers their first win of the season one week ago, 15-13. That Week 8 result seems to weigh heavier in the minds of Splash users because they aren’t showing much belief in the AFC South outfit.
Tampa Bay received 1.48 percent of Survivor entries, nothing crazy and good for only the 11th-most of any team this week. But it’s quite a bit for an underdog, especially compared to the favorite’s 0.32 percent of entries. Pickers against the spread don’t see things any differently – 56 percent of Splash pickers think the Bucs will overcome those 2.5 points and a minority of 44 percent back the Texans to cover.
Even though this one is at NRG Stadium and the Bucs have been losers in their last three, the Splash community is warning the Texans to tread carefully.
The Bears will be in the Big Easy this weekend, and Splash users don’t expect them to come home happy.
The Saints are favored by 7.5 points, which matches the Cardinals at Browns spread as the largest on the Week 9 docket. Splash pickers against the spread mostly think the Saints will not only win but do so comfortably with 67 percent of them expecting the home team to cover.
New Orleans has even more support among Splash Survivor players. The 30.76 percent of entries that picked the Saints is about 27 percent more than the amount that went for the Chargers, the third-most-popular Survivor team of the week. Conversely, the 0.13 percent of entries that are risking their survival on the Bears is the third-fewest among all teams playing in Week 9.
It will be Tyson Bagent’s third-straight start for Chicago, and if you value the word of Splash pickers, it will be an ugly one. Unless you’re a Saints fan, a Bears fan who hates themselves, or someone who picked the Saints in Survivor, then there are better ways to spend your time.
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