Major games in the NFL are on tap for Week 9! It starts on Thursday when Atlanta battles Tampa Bay. Tampa is only 1.5 games behind the NFC South leading Falcons. Then, on Sunday, Pittsburgh takes on Baltimore in one of the great NFL rivalries in the past 20 years while Minnesota tries to get back on track after 2 straight losses in a game at home against Detroit. Also, football handicappers should expect a shootout when Indianapolis battles Green Bay at Lambeau on Nov. 6. Keep reading for info and free picks for all of this Week 9 Preview NFL action!
Editors Note: Check also Week 9 Betting Picks by Matt Ross
NFL Betting – Regular Season Week 9 Preview
Thursday, Nov. 3
Atlanta Falcons -3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:25 pm ET)
The Falcons should be favorites. But, lest anyone has forgotten, Tampa Bay beat Atlanta in Week 1. Since the Falcons’ defense allows 379.2 total yards per game, and Tampa Bay is both effective at rushing and throwing the football on offense, I think Tampa has a shot at the straight up win in this. Sure, The Bucs’ defense isn’t great. But, neither is Atlanta’s and Tampa gets an edge since their home.
Sunday, Nov. 6
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens -1 (1:00 pm ET)
These franchises can’t stand each other. Baltimore used to be the Cleveland Browns before Art Modell took the team to Baltimore more than 20 years ago. Since that time, Ravens versus Steelers has been one of the best modern day rivalries in the league. Pittsburgh QB Landry Jones has had a full week to practice. He’s a decent QB.
The problem with Baltimore’s offense is that it can’t rush the football. The Ravens only rush for 86.3 yards per game. I think Pittsburgh wins this battle on Nov. 6.
Dallas Cowboys -7.5 at Cleveland Browns (1:00 pm ET)
If you like the Cowboys, you should jump on the -7.5 betting odds today. There’s just no way that Cleveland is going to stop Dallas’s offense. Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant was terrific against Philadelphia’s defense in Week 8.
QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, TE Jason Witten and the best offensive line in football should dominate the Browns. Cleveland may keep it close early since QB Josh McCown is healthy. By the start of the 4th quarter, though, this one should be all over with Dallas ahead by at least 16 points.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs -9 (1:00 pm ET)
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense has stepped it up big time since giving up 43 points to Pittsburgh on Oct. 2. KC only allowed the Saints to score 21 points in a 27 to 21 win on Oct. 23. The Saints average close to 30 points per game.
The Chiefs’ D held Oakland to only 10 points a week before keeping the Saints from going nuts in a 26 to 10 KC win. In Week 8, KC’s D held QB Andrew Luck and Indianapolis to 14 points in a 30 to 14 Chiefs’ road win. Jacksonville has no shot at keeping this close in Week 9. Zero.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins -3.5 (1:00 pm ET)
It’s hard for me to back the Jets in this game. Sure, they’re getting points from Miami. Yes, this is an AFC East rivalry battle. Of course, I know that the Jets have won 2 in a row. But there’s no way I back the J-E-T-S against the Dolphins on the road in Week 9.
The reason being is because even though the Jets have won 2 games in a row, they’ve beaten Cleveland and Baltimore. Miami has won 2 games in a row as well. The Dolphins have beaten Pittsburgh and Buffalo, 2 good teams. I think Miami QB Ryan Tannehill rocks the Jets’ secondary in this match up.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings -6.5 (1:00 pm ET)
On paper, it looks like the Minnesota Vikings should have this game in the bag. After all, Minnesota has the much better defense. But, sometimes, your defense is only as good as your offense. That appears to be the case with the Minnesota Vikings. After 2 straight losses, Minnesota’s offensive line has proven to be a liability. The Vikings don’t have great running backs to begin with since AP is hurt. What’s worrisome is that the O-Line has given up 11 combined sacks in the last 2 Minnesota games.
I must back the Lions in this battle. Detroit has a shot at the straight up win in addition to covering the spread since Minnesota’s offensive line is a mess.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants -3 (1:00 pm ET)
I don’t understand why the Giants are favored in this game at all much less why they’re favored by 3 points. Philadelphia should have beaten Dallas on the road this past Sunday night. The Giants have a problem in the sense that they can’t rush the football.
They average less than 85 rushing yards per game. Philadelphia’s defense should be able to get to Eli Manning with creative blitz packages since the only way for the Giants to move the football is for Eli to throw it. I think Philly upsets the Giants straight up in this game.
Carolina Panthers -3 at Los Angeles Rams (4:05 pm ET)
Don’t believe the hype. Carolina’s defense isn’t even close to being as capable as it was last season. The Panthers allowed the Cardinals to get back into the game in Week 8 after running out to a 24 to 0 lead. That’s not good. The Rams go into this game after their bye week. Although Carolina will put up points in this battle, so will Los Angeles. Carolina’s defense allows 287 passing yards per game. As crazy as it sounds, Rams’ QB Case Keenum and WR Kenny Britt could dominate on Sunday. I like the Rams ATS.
New Orleans Saints -3 at San Francisco 49’ers (4:05 pm ET)
The Saints’ defense has shown signs of coming together. They managed to rough up Seattle QB Russell Wilson enough to hold the Seahawks to 20 points in a big 25 to 20 New Orleans win. Drew Brees and Co. should have no trouble punishing a San Francisco defense that’s one of the worst units in the NFL. I think New Orleans rolls to an easy win in this game. New Orleans -3 over San Francisco is Week 9’s best play.
Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers -7 (4:25 pm ET)
Expect a shootout in Lambeau this Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts come to town. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has been on fire in the Packers’ last 2 games. He’s thrown 7 TD passes to 0 picks. I expect Rodgers to be as good this Sunday as he was last Sunday. This is especially true since the Colts’ defense is terrible.
As far as Indianapolis is concerned, QB Andrew Luck should be just fine taking apart Green Bay’s secondary. Then again, Green Bay does tackle the Colts at home. Still, it’s hard for me not to take the 7 points on the Colts knowing that Luck to T.Y. Hilton should be effective.
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers -4.5 (4:25 pm ET)
The Chargers’ defense played a great game against Denver’s offense in Week 8. If it wasn’t for QB Phillip Rivers throwing 3 interceptions, San Diego may have won that game. With that being written, I believe that 4.5 points are just too many to give a Tennessee team with a great running back in DeMarco Murray and a hot QB in Marcus Mariota.
Mariota has 10 TD passes and only 1 interception in the last 4 Titan games. I think that Mariota stays hot in this. San Diego should win, but I see a 3-point victory and no more than a 3-point victory.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders -1.5 (8:30 pm ET)
This game is a question of a team’s strength going up against another team’s strength. The Raiders are great on offense while they’re terrible on defense. The Broncos have a great defense but a so-so offense. From my point-of-view, Denver’s defense trumps Oakland’s offense while Oakland’s defense has no shot at stopping Denver’s offense. I think the Broncos win this game rather easily.
As good as QB Derek Carr is, he’s hasn’t faced a secondary as talented as Denver’s yet this season. Plus, Denver RB Devontae Booker should have no trouble beating up Oakland with rushes right up the middle. Denver QB Trevor Siemian faces the worst secondary in the NFL on Sunday. I like Denver.
Monday, Oct. 31
Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks -7 (8:30 pm ET)
My big upset ATS in Week 9 is Buffalo +7 over the Seattle Seahawks. The Bills have 26 sacks on the season. That ties Denver for most sacks. Seattle’s offensive line is an absolute mess. I think Buffalo should keep this game within the number. The Bills may not win the game, but they should make it tighter than it should be. Bills all the way against the spread at +7 is my call.