Week 9 NFL Picks

By: Grant Poarch

Last week was certainly a bounce back, wasn’t it? A week ago, I went 12-4 on the money line and 8-8 on the spread. That brings my overall record on the year to 74-48 on the money line and 57-65 on the spread. While this week isn’t a full 16 game slate, this week has plenty of opportunity to make money. With that said, let’s get into it. Fade me at your own risk and tail me at your benefit. The odds listed are provided by DraftKings.

11/2 (TNF): Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-3, O/U 36), 8:15PM EST, Prime Video

            Will the Will Levis experiment continue to be fruitful for the Titans? If it’s anything like a week ago, then the Steelers are in big trouble. Even though Atlanta has less yards against in the passing game than Pittsburgh has, I don’t see Will Levis having another superhero game.

            On the other hand, Kenny Pickett has been saying he will be playing tonight despite a rib injury. Pickett isn’t all that great, but I’d much rather have him leading my team than Will Levis. To make things worse for the Titans, Will Levis has never played in a NFL road game. Pittsburgh is a rough place to start your road career. I see that in and of itself giving Will Levis his “welcome to the NFL” moment. Look for Levis struggles this week.

Prediction: Pittsburgh wins, Pittsburgh covers -3

11/5: Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-2, O/U 51), 9:30AM EST, NFL Network

            This, on paper, should be a shootout. Mahomes against this high power Miami offense will be more than enough to make me wake up in time for this one. As for the matchup itself, I have gone back and forth on the winner. However, one thing convinced me in this game. Miami has not won a game against a true quality opponent. Their two losses have come against the Bills and Eagles. In both of those games, they lost by multiple possessions. I’m not saying the Dolphins will lose this one by multiple possessions, but that statistic cannot be overlooked.

            In this one, I see Kansas City having a turnaround game. There is no way they play as poorly as they did a week ago when they lost 24-9 to the Broncos. Allegedly, Mahomes played the game sick. Hopefully, he begins to feel better for this one.

            Overall, I don’t believe in the Dolphins just yet. I am convinced that they are a solid squad, but they have to beat one of the big boys for me to think that they are ready to take the next step.

Prediction: Kansas City wins, Kansas City covers -2

11/5: Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints (-8.5, O/U 41), 1:00PM EST, CBS

            Earlier this week it was announced that Chicago QB Justin Fields will be missing this game. Even with Fields, the New Orleans’ defense could’ve posed a huge challenge for the young, developing quarterback. With Fields’ absence, the Saints have no excuse to lose this game.

            As a result of Fields’ missing this game, Tyson Bagent will be starting again in just his 3rd NFL start. Going into New Orleans early on in your career is a tall task. If Bagent could only lead the Bears to 13 points against the Chargers in Los Angeles a week ago, imagine how much worse it will get against a better defense in a much more intimidating atmosphere. Simply put, the Saints will win this game comfortably.

Prediction: New Orleans wins, New Orleans covers -8.5

11/5: Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons (-4.5, O/U 37.5), 1:00PM EST, FOX

            This game could’ve been a lot more interesting if it weren’t for the unfortunate injury to Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins. It was reported this week that Cousins did indeed tear his achilles on a non-contact play. This is extremely unfortunate for Cousins and Minnesota as the QB was having one of, if not the best, seasons of his career. Beyond that, Minnesota is currently on a three game winning streak.

            In a desperate attempt to keep the ship afloat, Minnesota traded with Arizona for QB Josh Dobbs this week. As of yesterday, the Vikings announced that they are starting rookie QB Jaren Hall for this game. That may be because he is more familiar with the offense but long-term Dobbs should be the guy.

            On the other sideline, Atlanta also has a QB change. They are benching Desmond Ridder (finally, I told y’all he sucks) for Taylor Heinicke. Last week, he had a solid game as he threw for 175 yards and no interceptions.

            Neither of these teams are going to compete for the Lombardi trophy. However, due to the offensive questions in Minnesota, I have to go with Atlanta in this one.

Prediction: Atlanta wins, Minnesota covers +4.5

11/5: Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns (-8, O/U 37.5), 1:00PM EST, CBS

            The Cardinals that fought teams to the end just a few weeks ago seems to have completely died off. This week, they traded their starting quarterback (Josh Dobbs) and a seventh-round pick for a sixth-round pick. To me, it is more than clear that Arizona is giving up this year and Minnesota won the trade.

            Since the Cardinals traded away their starting QB, they are going to be stuck starting Clayton Tune this week. First off, I guarantee that most NFL fans have no idea who this is. This man literally only has one pass attempt in his entire career. Good thing for Tune, though, is that the one pass attempt was a four-yard completion.

            Tune is going to struggle big time in his first start as the Browns’ defense is a tough unit. To make things worse for Arizona, it is possible that Deshaun Cosby (Watson) will return this week. Even if he is not back, the Browns are not losing to Clayton Tune.

Prediction: Cleveland wins, Cleveland covers -8

11/5: Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers (-3, O/U 40), 1:00PM EST, FOX

            Despite an ugly four-game losing streak, the Packers are favored against the Rams. If you are thinking of wagering money this weekend on the NFL, I would fade taking this game altogether. That being said, I still have to take a side.

            In this one, I’m feeling the underdog. The Rams have two outstanding receivers in Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. They should have their way Sunday as Rasul Douglas just got traded away and Jaire Alexander is still adjusting to find his pre-injury elite status.

            One thing that makes me a lot less confident in the Rams is the health of Matt Stafford. Last week he injured his thumb on his throwing hand and as of Wednesday he has not been practicing. The good news for Los Angeles is that if he is ready to play, he will play despite missing practice. At least, that’s what Sean McVay said. If Stafford doesn’t play, the Rams could be screwed. However, I’m going to roll the dice with the underdog here regardless.

Prediction: Los Angeles wins, Los Angeles covers +3

11/5: Washington Commanders @ New England Patriots (-3, O/U 40), 1:00PM EST, FOX

            After upsetting the Bills the week before last, the Patriots came back to Earth by losing 31-17 to the Dolphins. At 2-6, the Patriots just aren’t very good this year. On the other hand, while they aren’t groundbreakers, the Commanders are much better than their record indicates. They have already played the Eagles twice and in both contests they played Philadelphia to the wire.

            In this one, I see Washington having their way as their defensive line will cause Mac Jones to make frequent mistakes. On the other side of the ball, I see Sam Howell continuing to go off. Last week, Howell threw for near 400 yards and four touchdowns. If he can be half the player he was a week ago, Washington will pull off the upset against New England. In my mind, that is a solid bet.

Prediction: Washington wins, Washington covers +3

11/5: Seattle Seahawks @ Baltimore Ravens (-6, O/U 43), 1:00PM EST, CBS

            Baltimore is scorching hot right now, aren’t they? Maybe it’s in the script for them to do really well this year. This week will be another test for them but we saw what happened last time the Ravens were tested. If this game goes anything like the Lions game did, then the Seahawks are in for a long day.

            Regardless, I think Seattle is indeed in for a long day. They are a solid team, but this game will prove that they don’t belong near the top of the league. Seattle’s run defense may be able to keep them in this game as they have allowed just 3.1 yards per carry (1st in the NFL). However, they haven’t faced a running attack like Baltimore.

            Lamar Jackson brings a whole new element to the Ravens rushing attack and will be the reason Baltimore comes out of this one on top. The Seahawks have yet to play a quarterback with any sort of resemblance of the rushing attack that Jackson brings to the table. As a result, look for Baltimore to keep rolling.

Prediction: Baltimore wins, Baltimore covers -6

11/5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Houston Texans (-2.5, O/U 40), 1:00PM EST, CBS

            This is an intriguing matchup that no one is talking about. The Buccaneers have a stingy defense while C.J. Stroud has yet to throw multiple interceptions in a game. Is this the week that finally happens?

            Even if it isn’t, I can’t get the thought of the Texans losing to the Panthers out of my head. The Bucs just pushed the Bills to the wire so last week couldn’t have been different for these two squads.

            I see some more humble juice coming for C.J. Stroud and the Texans this week as Baker Mayfield will be careful with the ball and lead the Tampa Bay offense through several critical drives throughout the game.

Prediction: Tampa Bay wins, Tampa Bay covers +2.5

11/5: Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) @ Carolina Panthers, O/U 44, 4:05PM EST, CBS

            Carolina’s win a week ago was a fluke. Make no mistake, this team is horrible. While Indianapolis is not elite by any stretch of the imagination, they are more than capable of winning this game.

            The difference in this one is going to be the quarterback play. Carolina’s Bryce Young does seem to be improving but the question will be whether he can outduel Gardner Minshew. My answer to that is no. While in the future Young’s ceiling is much higher than Minshew’s, his floor is also much lower.

            Not only will the quarterback play benefit the Colts but the running back play will as well. Jonathan Taylor has been doing great since he came back from his injury just a few weeks ago. Look for him along with the rest of the Colts’ offense to go off on Sunday.

Prediction: Indianapolis wins, Indianapolis covers -2.5

11/5: New York Giants @ Las Vegas Raiders (-1.5, O/U 37.5), 4:25PM EST, FOX

            If you are the Giants, you are praying that Daniel Jones is going to be healthy for this one. Last week, Tommy Devito started for the Giants and things couldn’t have gone much worse. In the game, he threw for negative one yard. Yes, you read that right.

            The good thing for the Giants is that Daniel Jones practiced fully today and should be ready to go for this weekend’s matchup in Vegas. His injury (neck) is not an easy one to come back from. That being said, a big reason Jones suffered the injury in the first place is how much he was sacked and hit.

            This week, I see the Raiders being extremely aggressive on defense. They won’t try to injure Daniel Jones, but they will try to put as much pressure on him as possible. Beyond that, this game being inside in Vegas helps out the Raiders tremendously.

Prediction: Las Vegas wins, Las Vegas covers -1.5

11/5: Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3, O/U 47), 4:25PM EST, FOX

            This might be the game I’m most excited to watch this week. Sure, the Bills and Bengals game on Sunday Night Football will be entertaining. However, those teams don’t hate each other the way these teams do. There is no doubt Lincoln Financial Field will be rocking for this one.

            The last time we saw the Cowboys challenged by one of the league’s top teams, they were embarrassed by the 49ers. I could see things going a similar way and not be too shocked. However, this one will be a close one. Dallas, at least defensively, matches up well against Philadelphia. The Cowboy defensive line is a problem and Jalen Hurts, outside of last week, has not played well when he has been under consistently good pass rush. Beyond that, Dallas’ secondary is ball-hawking and will definitely take advantage of a Hurts’ mistake if he were to make one.

            That being said, Dak Prescott has been known to make a mistake or two. While a lot of those haven’t come against Philadelphia (8-3 in his career against the Eagles), I see that changing this weekend.

            Both teams are really good, but I would be less surprised by a Philadelphia win so I’m going to roll with the birds here.

Prediction: Philadelphia wins, Philadelphia covers -3

11/5 (SNF): Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals (-2, O/U 49), 8:20PM EST, NBC

            Now this is going to be a great game. This will be the first time these two teams have matched up in Cincinnati since Damar Hamlin nearly lost his life on the field. There is sure to be a lot of emotion in this one as a result. However, the play on the field will be just as strong.

            Buffalo, at times, has looked like Superman. At other times, they have looked wildly inconsistent. On the other hand, Cincinnati started out looking like a NFL JV team. Since their bad start, the Bengals belong on the varsity level.

            I can’t wait to watch the battle between Joe Burrow and Josh Allen. These two will be running the league along with Patrick Mahomes for years to come. In this one, I see the Bengals coming out on top as I feel stronger about what they are becoming instead of Buffalo being in the spot of confusion.

Prediction: Cincinnati wins, Cincinnati covers -2

11/6 (MNF): Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) @ New York Jets, O/U 41.5, 8:15PM EST, ABC/ESPN

            I know that it is never easy to get wins in the NFL. However, if you are the Jets, you made it extremely hard to win a week ago against Tommy Devito. That is absolutely absurd and the Jets had no real reason to not win that game in blowout fashion.

            I see their lack of outstanding quarterback play hurting them on Monday night. While Justin Herbert and the Chargers have struggled at times during primetime, count on them to right the ship here.

            The Jets do have a chance if their defense plays the way they are capable of playing but they will have a hard time doing so because their offense frankly stinks.

Prediction: Los Angeles wins, Los Angeles covers -3.5

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