Week 9 of the NFL season is here! This week’s slate kicks off with a fairly mediocre contest between the Colts and the Jets on Thursday Night Football, and the rest of the games are...OK? The best game of the week, Packers at Chiefs, got downgraded with the news that Aaron Rodgers will miss the game—and Sunday Night Football between the Titans and Rams will now be without Derrick Henry.
After Week 8, where I delivered a very bad 7-8 record, I’m currently a very mediocre 15-13. Let’s hope Week 9 is a better outing for me. Read on for my picks and predictions.
Thursday Night Football: New York Jets (2-5) at Indianapolis Colts (3-5)
The pick: Colts (-525)
Spread: Colts -10.5 | Over/Under: 46 | Moneyline: Colts -525, Jets +385
After a tremendous TNF game in Week 8, we get...Jets at Colts. Doesn’t quite have the same luster. Still, perhaps the Jets are a bit more watchable with Mike White at the helm, and the Colts have been playing well lately even though they’ve got a losing record. The Colts should be able to take care of business here with their stout defense and improving offense.
Atlanta Falcons (3-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-2)
The pick: Saints (-235)
Spread: Saints -5.5 | Over/Under: 42 | Moneyline: Saints -235, Falcons +190
It pains me greatly to ever pick the Saints, but the sad truth is that they match up very well with the Falcons. Atlanta has limited weaponry and struggled to protect Ryan against a very good Panthers pass rush, and New Orleans’ defense might be even better. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Saints win by feeding Alvin Kamara. The Falcons can’t stop the run. This one isn’t looking good for Atlanta, but divisional games are always weird.
Denver Broncos (4-4) at Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
The pick: Cowboys (-410)
Spread: Cowboys -9 | Over/Under: 49.5 | Moneyline: Cowboys -410, Broncos +310
The Cowboys just defeated the Vikings with Cooper Rush at QB. This is a very good football team with a stout defense, and they’ll be a tough out each and every week. Meanwhile, the Broncos are thoroughly mediocre and just traded away Von Miller. I don’t think this one ends up being close, as Dak Prescott should be back. Even if Rush starts again, the Cowboys should get the win.
New England Patriots (4-4) at Carolina Panthers (4-4)
The pick: Patriots (-180)
Spread: Patriots -3.5 | Over/Under: 41 | Moneyline: Patriots -180, Panthers +155
The Panthers squeaked out a narrow victory over a Falcons team having a very bad day, but I think they’re still very mediocre with Sam Darnold at the helm. Christian McCaffrey may return, which could make this more interesting, but the Patriots have been playing very good football over the past few weeks. New England’s defense won’t get demolished on the ground like Atlanta’s, and I think the Patriots defeat Carolina on the road.
Minnesota Vikings (3-4) at Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
The pick: Ravens (-250)
Spread: Ravens -6 | Over/Under: 50 | Moneyline: Ravens -250, Vikings +200
It’s hard to get too excited about a Vikings team that just lost to Cooper Rush in primetime, particularly when they’re about to go up against one of the AFC’s best in the Ravens. Baltimore showed some cracks in their loss to the Bengals in Week 7, but I think they rebound this week. Minnesota is capable of competing in every game, but I’m sticking with the home team here.
Cleveland Browns (4-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
The pick: Bengals (-140)
Spread: Bengals -2.5 | Over/Under: 46.5 | Moneyline: Bengals -140, Browns +120
A divisional matchup between two teams hunting for the playoffs, this could be one of the best games of the week. Cincinnati got caught sleeping against the Jets last week, but they should be paying attention against Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Browns are hoping Baker Mayfield will be looking healthier and that they’re able to get a road win here. The AFC Wild Card race is brutal, and Cleveland has to start winning these games to have a shot. I’m sticking with Cincy here, but this one is a toss-up.
Buffalo Bills (5-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
The pick: Bills (-1000)
Spread: Bills -14 | Over/Under: 49 | Moneyline: Bills -1000, Jaguars +650
The largest spread of the week is featured in this game between an AFC powerhouse and an AFC bottom-feeder. Buffalo goes on the road to face Jacksonville, and it’d be a shocker if the Jags can keep pace in this one. I’m sticking with the Bills.
Houston Texans (1-7) at Miami Dolphins (1-7)
The pick: Dolphins (-290)
Spread: Dolphins -6.5 | Over/Under: 46.5 | Moneyline: Dolphins -290, Texans +230
I honestly never thought I’d see a 1-7 team as 6.5 point favorites, but that’s where we are for this game. The Dolphins have been bad, sure, but nowhere near as bad as the Texans—who simply aren’t talented enough to compete with even mediocre NFL teams. Miami has been looking for a get-right game, and I think this is it.
Las Vegas Raiders (5-2) at New York Giants (2-6)
The pick: Raiders (-150)
Spread: Raiders -3 | Over/Under: 46.5 | Moneyline: Raiders -150, Giants +130
The Raiders are a bit on an enigma for me, as they’ve been all over the map this season. Meanwhile, the Giants have been frisky at times, but they’ve been absolutely decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the ball. After repeatedly disrespecting Las Vegas, I’ll pick them to take care of business this week. Convince me of your legitimacy, Raiders.
Los Angeles Chargers (4-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
The pick: Chargers (-225)
Spread: Chargers -2 | Over/Under: 50 | Moneyline: Chargers -135, Eagles +115
It’s shocking to me that the Chargers are just two-point favorites over the Eagles, but here we are. Los Angeles has struggled a bit in recent weeks, but they’re still one of the AFC’s best teams. Philadelphia is fresh off a thumping of a very bad Lions team, but they’ve struggled with good teams all season. I like the Chargers to get back on track with a road win in Week 9.
Green Bay Packers (7-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)
The pick: Chiefs (-335)
Spread: Chiefs -7.5 | Over/Under: 47.5 | Moneyline: Chiefs -335, Packers +260
We’re unfortunately going to miss out on what could have been an epic Aaron Rodgers vs Patrick Mahomes matchup here, with Rodgers ending up on the reserve/COVID-19 list for this game. As a result, Green Bay will be starting Jordan Love at QB. While the Chiefs haven’t been anywhere near as good as expected, they should be able to handle a backup quarterback at home...right?
Arizona Cardinals (7-1) at San Francisco 49ers (3-4)
The pick: Cardinals (-125)
Spread: Cardinals -1.5 | Over/Under: 45 | Moneyline: Cardinals -125, 49ers +105
It’s pretty telling that the Cardinals are still favored, on the road, against the 49ers even with QB Kyler Murray’s status in question. Arizona has been very good all around, and San Francisco has been thoroughly mediocre. I’m still thinking Murray winds up playing this game, but even if he doesn’t, Arizona can still handle the 49ers.
Sunday Night Football: Tennessee Titans (6-2) at Los Angeles Rams (7-1)
The pick: Rams (-350)
Spread: Rams -7.5 | Over/Under: 54 | Moneyline: Rams -350, Titans +270
The news that Titans RB Derrick Henry will miss the rest of the season is heartbreaking for all of us. Henry is one of the most enjoyable players in all of football, and his absence will take a lot of the wind out of Tennessee’s sails. The Rams are currently firing on all cylinders, and while I don’t think the Titans will simply roll over in Henry’s absence, Los Angeles has the clear advantage here.
Monday Night Football: Chicago Bears (3-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
The pick: Steelers (-250)
Spread: Steelers -6 | Over/Under: 40 | Moneyline: Steelers -250, Bears +200
After such an electric Sunday Night Football matchup, this Monday Night Football game looks extremely boring. The Steelers still have a great defense, but their offense is the epitome of mediocre. Meanwhile, the Bears are starting to find their footing with Justin Fields, but I’m not sure it’ll be enough against Pittsburgh. I think this one is actually fairly close, but I’m going with the home team here.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.