NFL week 9 is here and football is entering the midseason. Picking NFL games straight up is hard enough, but picking against the spread is even tougher. Here are the NFL week 9 picks against the spread. (Spreads are from ESPN as of Thursday morning)
Last week: 6-9, Overall: 61-59
San Francisco 49ers (-10) at Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco has a downright nasty defense, which will come in handy on the short week. The Cardinals have running back health issues and will have Kyler Murray playing his first game on a short week. Kyle Shanahan’s squad should cover.
Houston Texans (-1.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (Game in London)
It is an early, London kick-off, which means crazy things will happen. The Texans will now be without J.J. Watt for the season, which will make their pass defense even worse, as they’ll have more trouble getting after the quarterback. Gardner Minshew and co. will be able to take advantage.
Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills (-9.5)
The Redskins have been beating the spread the last few weeks and will likely be able to do so in this game. Buffalo doesn’t have the most high-scoring offense, so they’ll likely win the game, but they’ll have to grind it out.
Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs
There is no line on this game as fans wait to hear the news on Patrick Mahomes’ status. This will be treated as an even game for now, but will be updated when the spread is updated. Kirk Cousins still struggles against good teams overall, regardless of his recent hot streak. The Chiefs’ playmakers will be able to cause problems for the Minnesota defense.
New York Jets (-3) at Miami Dolphins
Both of these teams have had rough seasons. The Dolphins went out to a 14-0 lead over the Steelers on Monday night, but that leaves them on a short week against the Jets. The Jets are more rested and Sam Darnold will have a bounce-back game, as the Dolphins will be without top corner Xavien Howard.
Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5)
The Eagles have their own fair share of problems, but they are nothing compared to the Bears. Mitch Trubisky can’t move the ball upfield and he is doing terribly throwing to his left. The Bears finally ran the ball well against the Chargers this week, but it won’t matter unless Trubisky vastly improves.
Indianapolis Colts (-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh is showing flashes of being a great defense. They were punched in the mouth in the first quarter of their game against the Dolphins, but rebounded well. The Colts have a good offensive line and can run the ball, but the Steelers have the defense to negate that.
Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Ryan Tannehill has looked better than Marcus Mariota under center, but the Panthers simply have the better team. They can feed Christian McCaffrey the ball on offense and let Kyle Allen manage the game. Their defense is also playing well, which means the Titans won’t score much. The Panthers will cover.
Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders (-2)
At 3-3-1 fans are still likely wondering what this Detroit team is. They give up some points, but they have already played the Packers, Chiefs and Vikings in the first seven games of their season. The Lions should be able to limit the Raiders and keep it close enough to beat the spread.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks (-6)
Tampa Bay has been an erratic team, while Seattle has been quite the opposite. Seattle will keep the ball on the ground and play just enough defense to cover in this game.
Cleveland Browns (-3.5) at Denver Broncos
Joe Flacco wasn’t playing well, but with him out, the Broncos have to turn to inexperienced Brandon Allen at quarterback. If the Browns can’t win and cover with those circumstances, they are looking at a top 10 pick this offseason.
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Los Angeles Chargers
The Packers are a much better team than the Chargers, but Philip Rivers always finds a way to keep things close. What will be different for this game is that Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones are both on fire right now. Green Bay will cover on the road.
New England Patriots (-3) at Baltimore Ravens
The Patriots have a historically good defense, but they are bound to lose at some point. Lamar Jackson’s scrambling ability is one thing this Patriots’ defense hasn’t seen. The Ravens can at least keep it close and maybe win this game.
Dallas Cowboys (7.5) at New York Giants
Dallas has been forcing turnovers the last few weeks and Daniel Jones has been turnover prone. Saquon Barkley will get his yards, but it won’t be enough to keep it close with the Cowboys.