Thanks all for your valuable inputs!
OTB I played 15/8 too automatically thinking that smoothing the distribution can't be worth 2 extra shots. I would have considered it for one extra shot. I may have made an error on the checker play but it was a blunder in my approach.
Here are the rollout:
ATS:
  White is Player 2
score: 2 pip: 59  9 point match  pip: 60 score: 2
Blue is Player 1  
XGID=CCDDaAdbdd:2:1:1:61:2:2:0:9:10 
Blue to play 61 
1.  Rollout^{1}  15/9 4/3  eq: 0.192 
 Player: Opponent:  49.90% (G:0.05% B:0.00%) 50.10% (G:0.15% B:0.00%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.193...0.191)  [100.0%] Duration: 24.3 seconds 

2.  Rollout^{1}  15/8  eq: 0.220 (0.028) 
 Player: Opponent:  48.94% (G:0.03% B:0.00%) 51.06% (G:0.13% B:0.00%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.220...0.219)  [0.0%] Duration: 18.1 seconds 

3.  XG Roller++  15/9 5/4  eq: 0.277 (0.085) 
 Player: Opponent:  46.80% (G:0.03% B:0.00%) 53.20% (G:0.13% B:0.00%)  

4.  XG Roller++  15/9 2/1  eq: 0.295 (0.103) 
 Player: Opponent:  45.94% (G:0.03% B:0.00%) 54.06% (G:0.13% B:0.00%)  


^{1} 20736 Games rolled with Variance Reduction. Dice Seed: 30788028 Moves: 3ply, cube decisions: XG Roller

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.10, MET: Kazaross XG2
Money:
  White is Player 2
score: 0 pip: 59  Unlimited Game Jacoby Beaver  pip: 60 score: 0
Blue is Player 1  
XGID=CCDDaAdbdd:2:1:1:61:0:0:3:0:10 
Blue to play 61 
1.  Rollout^{1}  15/9 4/3  eq: 0.170 
 Player: Opponent:  49.75% (G:0.06% B:0.00%) 50.25% (G:0.16% B:0.00%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.171...0.169)  [100.0%] Duration: 2 minutes 05 seconds 

2.  Rollout^{1}  15/8  eq: 0.194 (0.024) 
 Player: Opponent:  48.97% (G:0.04% B:0.00%) 51.03% (G:0.13% B:0.00%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.195...0.193)  [0.0%] Duration: 1 minute 47 seconds 

3.  XG Roller++  15/9 5/4  eq: 0.243 (0.073) 
 Player: Opponent:  46.85% (G:0.03% B:0.00%) 53.15% (G:0.13% B:0.00%)  

4.  XG Roller++  15/9 2/1  eq: 0.262 (0.092) 
 Player: Opponent:  45.97% (G:0.03% B:0.00%) 54.03% (G:0.14% B:0.00%)  


^{1} 20736 Games rolled with Variance Reduction. Moves: 3ply, cube decisions: XG Roller

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.10
DMP:
  White is Player 2
score: 0 pip: 59  1 point match  pip: 60 score: 0
Blue is Player 1  
XGID=CCDDaAdbdd:0:0:1:61:0:0:0:1:10 
Blue to play 61 
1.  Rollout^{1}  15/9 4/3  eq: 0.005 
 Player: Opponent:  49.75% (G:0.04% B:0.00%) 50.25% (G:0.16% B:0.00%)  Conf.: ± 0.000 (0.005...0.005)  [100.0%] Duration: 19.7 seconds 

2.  Rollout^{1}  15/8  eq: 0.022 (0.017) 
 Player: Opponent:  48.89% (G:0.04% B:0.00%) 51.11% (G:0.14% B:0.00%)  Conf.: ± 0.000 (0.022...0.022)  [0.0%] Duration: 16.5 seconds 

3.  XG Roller++  15/9 5/4  eq: 0.069 (0.064) 
 Player: Opponent:  46.55% (G:0.02% B:0.00%) 53.45% (G:0.12% B:0.00%)  

4.  XG Roller++  15/9 2/1  eq: 0.085 (0.080) 
 Player: Opponent:  45.75% (G:0.02% B:0.00%) 54.25% (G:0.12% B:0.00%)  


^{1} 20736 Games rolled with Variance Reduction. Dice Seed: 30788028 Moves: 3ply, cube decisions: XG Roller

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.10, MET: Kazaross XG2
As pointed correctly, the voided 3 and 6 points are significant (I think I first read about it in the Magriel book in the bear off chapter). How important is it? For no contact I would add ~3 pips based on my adjustment (I have my nonformal adjustments which I modified based on Ward, experience, and positions I collected). The reason is that the 1 and 2 points are heavy already and every 3 sends more checkers to those points and there are a lot of checkers to clear from the 4 and 5.
My flawed thinking was that I didn't expect it to be so relevant and significant at this point of the game. However, by giving the extra two shots Blue gains those effective 3 pips in the race. Moreover, As Mochy and Neil pointed, there is an added unique factor in this position  If Blue isn't hit, most 3s and 6s play much better from the 9 pt than the 8 pt.
So is it worth it? Yes. By how much? I will let the variations answer this question:
  White is Player 2
score: 0 pip: 71  Unlimited Game Jacoby Beaver  pip: 60 score: 0
Blue is Player 1  
XGID=CCDDaAcbcbbb:1:1:1:61:0:0:3:0:10 
Blue to play 61 
1.  Rollout^{1}  15/8  eq: 0.107 
 Player: Opponent:  48.75% (G:0.00% B:0.00%) 51.25% (G:1.14% B:0.02%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.108...0.105)  [100.0%] Duration: 18.2 seconds 

2.  Rollout^{1}  15/9 4/3  eq: 0.127 (0.020) 
 Player: Opponent:  47.28% (G:0.00% B:0.00%) 52.72% (G:1.26% B:0.02%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.128...0.126)  [0.0%] Duration: 17.3 seconds 

3.  XG Roller++  15/9 5/4  eq: 0.185 (0.078) 
 Player: Opponent:  44.85% (G:0.00% B:0.00%) 55.15% (G:1.23% B:0.02%)  

4.  XG Roller++  15/9 2/1  eq: 0.197 (0.091) 
 Player: Opponent:  44.31% (G:0.00% B:0.00%) 55.69% (G:1.25% B:0.02%)  


^{1} 10368 Games rolled with Variance Reduction. Dice Seed: 30788028 Moves: 3ply, cube decisions: XG Roller

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.10
  White is Player 2
score: 0 pip: 65  Unlimited Game Jacoby Beaver  pip: 60 score: 0
Blue is Player 1  
XGID=CCDDaAbbbcbc:1:1:1:61:0:0:3:0:10 
Blue to play 61 
1.  Rollout^{1}  15/9 4/3  eq: 0.234 
 Player: Opponent:  43.01% (G:0.00% B:0.00%) 56.99% (G:1.02% B:0.01%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.236...0.233)  [97.2%] Duration: 23.9 seconds 

2.  Rollout^{1}  15/8  eq: 0.236 (0.002) 
 Player: Opponent:  43.50% (G:0.00% B:0.00%) 56.50% (G:0.84% B:0.01%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.237...0.235)  [2.8%] Duration: 24.5 seconds 

3.  XG Roller++  15/9 5/4  eq: 0.301 (0.067) 
 Player: Opponent:  40.44% (G:0.00% B:0.00%) 59.56% (G:0.93% B:0.01%)  

4.  XG Roller++  15/9 2/1  eq: 0.315 (0.081) 
 Player: Opponent:  39.78% (G:0.00% B:0.00%) 60.22% (G:0.94% B:0.01%)  


^{1} 10368 Games rolled with Variance Reduction. Moves: 3ply, cube decisions: XG Roller

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.10
  White is Player 2
score: 0 pip: 63  Unlimited Game Jacoby Beaver  pip: 60 score: 0
Blue is Player 1  
XGID=CCDDaAccccb:1:1:1:61:0:0:3:0:10 
Blue to play 61 
1.  Rollout^{1}  15/9 4/3  eq: 0.266 
 Player: Opponent:  44.28% (G:0.02% B:0.00%) 55.72% (G:0.61% B:0.01%)  Conf.: ± 0.001 (0.268...0.265)  [100.0%] Duration: 14.9 seconds 

2.  Rollout^{1}  15/8  eq: 0.286 (0.020) 
 Player: Opponent:  43.69% (G:0.01% B:0.00%) 56.31% (G:0.46% B:0.01%)  Conf.: ± 0.002 (0.288...0.285)  [0.0%] Duration: 12.5 seconds 

3.  XG Roller++  15/9 5/4  eq: 0.327 (0.061) 
 Player: Opponent:  41.53% (G:0.02% B:0.00%) 58.47% (G:0.53% B:0.01%)  

4.  XG Roller++  15/9 2/1  eq: 0.345 (0.079) 
 Player: Opponent:  40.71% (G:0.01% B:0.00%) 59.29% (G:0.53% B:0.01%)  


^{1} 10368 Games rolled with Variance Reduction. Dice Seed: 30788028 Moves: 3ply, cube decisions: XG Roller

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.10
Thanks to Bruce Farquhar for helping with the rollouts.