NFL Week 9 Betting: Darius Butler's favorite bets of the week

Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

I followed a 2-1 in Week 7 with a disappointing 1-2 record in Week 8, bringing my overall betting record to 14-13 this year. Hopefully, I can get back on the right track this week.

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Every week, I look at who has the edge in these five categories: quarterback, defense, offensive talent, play in the trenches and coaching.

Let’s get to my favorite bets of NFL Week 9.

Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) over Philadelphia Eagles 

After a hot start, the Chargers are looking for their first win in three games. The quarterback edge goes to Chargers QB Justin Herbert, who boasts a notably higher overall grade than Eagles QB Jalen Hurts.

Quarterback comparison
Metric Herbert Hurts
PFF Grade 86.8 81.1
Passer Rating When Clean 102.3 92.9
Passer Rating Under Pressure 70.5 81.9
Big-Time Throw % 3.6% 6.1%
Turnover-Worthy Play % 1.8% 2.7%

The Chargers have struggled against defenses that utilize multiple looks upfront and on the backend. With Philadelphia’s vanilla defensive coverages, Herbert and his weapons should be able to prosper Sunday.

The Chargers' biggest weakness is their run defense, as Los Angeles ranks second-to-last in run-defense grade (38.6) and allows the second-most yards before contact per rushing attempt (1.9). Outside of Hurts, no one in the Eagles backfield is a real threat.

Safety worth way more than 2 points. Help protect your family with fast, free will.

New England Patriots (-3.5) over Carolina Panthers 

PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

Mac Jones led the Patriots to victory last week despite a mediocre game. Jones currently ranks 13th among all QBs in PFF passing grade (81.6) and boasts the 12th-most big-time throws (13). The Patriots finally beat a team with a winning record, and I expect them to build on that this week.

I am a big fan of both of these defenses. The Patriots' ability to adjust and combine multiple fronts, pressures and coverages will give them the edge regardless of who Carolina trots out at QB.

Dog of the day: Houston Texans (+5.5) vs. Miami Dolphins

Tyrod Taylor returns to the lineup this Sunday. He led the Texans team to their lone win in Week 1. And in Week 2, he had Houston in contention before injuring his hamstring. before his hamstring injury. Taylor boasts a notable 75.8 overall grade when healthy this season.

Quarterback comparison
Metric Taylor Tagovailoa
PFF Grade 75.8 73.0
Passer Rating When Clean 122.8 108.9
Passer Rating Under Pressure 123.1 35.4
Big-Time Throw % 6.3% 3.0%
Turnover-Worthy Play % 1.9% 3.8%

I think Taylor will be a better QB than a banged-up Tua Tagovailoa, as Taylor has the edge in PFF grade, passer rating from a clean pocket, passer rating under pressure, big-time throw rate and turnover-worthy play rate — five of the most stable metrics for evaluating quarterback performance. For this reason, I believe the Texans will cover the point spread against the Dolphins this Sunday.

Darius Butler is a former NFL free safety. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

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