Week 9 BALLER Model: Best Bets to Cover the Spread (Fantasy Football)

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This article series covers BALLER*a machine-learning betting model that predicts which team will cover the spread in each NFL game.

Through six weeks, it has gone 52% overall, and since adjustments last week, it has gone 60% on its selected ‘Best Picks’ (‘Best Picks’ are determined through a combination of model confidence and outside football intuition). The model looks to bounce back on ‘Best Picks’ and realign with the overall average.

This is not an official Fantasy Footballers betting model* but hopefully a useful tool to make your decisions for fantasy and leans on certain spreads and who could cover. For the full array of betting material, find season-long and weekly props in the DFS Pass and tune in every week to the DFS & Betting Podcast.

In this article, I will break down the model’s best picks for Week 9 (seven games) — let’s dive in!

Week 9 BALLER’s Best Bets

Keep in mind a couple of key points with this model:

  • It focuses on the spread of the home team.
  • It is applied primarily on which team can cover the spread, NOT “use this xSpread” the model spits out.

Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5):

The Chargers come into Week 9 off a big win against Chicago. This week, they face a Jets offense that only managed to put up 13 points against the Giants in Week 8. Look for L.A. to win by more than a field goal.

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Miami Dolphins (+2.0):

The Dolphins have another big test this week against Kansas City–can they prove they are the real deal? Not only is Miami 6-2 against the spread, but they face a Chiefs team coming off a 15-point loss to Denver. Look for the Dolphins to make a splash in this matchup.

Seattle Seahawks (+6.0):

Seattle is 4-2-1 against the spread this season, and 3-1-1 in non-divisonal games. The Ravens won by just seven points against Arizona last week, and are averaging negative nine expected points added (EPA) per game in their last five. BALLER projects this one to be fairly even, so we’ll take the Seahawks to cover.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.0):

This divisional showdown will certainly be close, but the model gives the edge to the home team. Dallas is 2-2 against the spread in divisional matchups this season and is averaging negative five EPA per game to the Eagles seven. Look for Philly to cover in this one.

Atlanta Falcons (-4.0):

The Falcons come into Week 9 as four-point favorites against the Vikings, who are now down star QB Kirk Cousins, in ADDITION to the generational Justin Jefferson. Not only is Atlanta accustomed to playing close games, but the Vikings are just 4-4 against the spread even with their offense intact. Look for the Falcons to take advantage of this spread with Taylor Heinicke at the helm.

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Las Vegas Raiders (-1.5):

The Raiders enter Week 9 with a new coach at the helm and have handed rookie Aidan O’Connell the reigns to the offense. Against an anemic Giants offense, there is no question the Raiders can pull out a win in this one and cover the spread.

Cleveland Browns (-8.0):

The Browns are eight-point favorites this week against the Cardinals, who are 4-4 against the spread this season. Whether they face a rusty Kyler Murray or an inexperienced Clayton Tune, it looks like it will be easy sledding for a Browns team that has averaged nearly 30 points in their last two matchups.

Feel free to reach out on Twitter if you have any questions!


Cory Szramowski says:

Does the xspread on your “teams expected to cover spread” represent the amount of points your model expects them to win by or what? I’m kinda confused what that is

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