November 02, 2023
For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 9 NFL picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.
Titans at Steelers (-2.5): The Titans have the worst starting offensive tackles in the NFL, and the Steelers have the best 1-2 punch at edge rusher. That's good enough for me.
Dolphins at Chiefs (-1): The Chiefs are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Broncos. They have won their last 8 games coming off losses, dating back to 2021. This game will be played at a neutral site in Germany, so this Chiefs (-1) line is as simple as "Which team is better?" In my opinion, the Chiefs are the clearly better team. Both teams can light up a scoreboard, but the Chiefs actually have a defense.
Seahawks at Ravens (-5.5): I didn't like the Ravens heading into this season, and wondered if Lamar Jackson was still a top tier quarterback. Welp, that was wrong. He's completing over 70 percent of his passes, and has thrown for 9 TDs vs. 3 INTs, with 5 rushing TDs. Also, weird stat here — he is 17-1 for his career vs. NFC teams.
Rams at Packers (-3.5): The Packers have lost four straight, to the Lions, Raiders, Broncos, and Vikings. If they lose this game, we'll probably be killing them off in the Hierarchy.
Bears at Saints (-8.5): Tyson Bagent had a nice starting debut Week 7 against the Raiders. He came back down to earth Week 8 against the Chargers.
Buccaneers at Texans (-2.5): The Bucs' 3-1 start to this season was a mirage. They're just not a very good football team.
Vikings at Falcons (-5): The Vikings lost Kirk Cousins for the season with a torn Achilles, and they responded by trading for Josh Dobbs. Jaren Hall will likely start this week for the Vikings as Dobbs gets up to speed in a new offense, which is why this line is Falcons (-5). I think Hall can play a little bit, and I just don't like this Falcons team even a little bit.
Cardinals at Browns (-8): The Cardinals have reestablished themselves as the worst team in the NFL.
Commanders at Patriots (-3): The Commanders have given the Eagles two tough games this season, but they have otherwise been awful. They signaled to their players this week that they are punting on this season by trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young.
Colts (-2.5) at Panthers: Yuck.
Cowboys at Eagles (-3): The Cowboys live and die by creating turnovers on defense. As we noted in our five matchups to watch, Dallas led the NFL in takeaways in each of the last two seasons, with 33 in 2022 and 34 in 2021, and they're on pace for 32 so far in 2023. They are outstanding at capitalizing on opposing offenses' mistakes, and in this matchup that is their most likely path to a win.
If the Eagles are able to limit their mistakes, they should beat this team, because they have more talent. The Eagles have the better quarterback, the better offensive line, the better pass rush, and the better skill position players. And, of course, this game will be played in front of 70,000 liquored up Philadelphians. There's a lot to feel good about heading into this matchup if you're the Eagles.
This is kind of big game for both teams. If the Eagles win, they'll have a 2.5-game cushion with a head-to-head win in the bank. They will be overwhelming favorites to be the first repeat champions in the NFC East since 2004. If the Cowboys win, the Eagles' lead will be down to 0.5 games, and Dallas will have a road win over the Birds in their pocket. They would likely be the favorites to win the division, especially with the Eagles' brutal schedule ahead.
I'll take the Eagles, because again, they're better, but they cannot continue to make big mistakes like they have done pretty consistently so far this season.
Giants at Raiders (-1.5): How bad are the Giants? Well, they're underdogs to a team that just fired its head coach and general manager.
Remember last year when the Colts fired Frank Reich, and then they won their first game before completely falling apart thereafter. I believe the "fired head coach bump" is real, and can see the Raiders having a similar outcome.
Bills at Bengals (-1.5): I don't have any strong opinions on either of these two teams. Obviously they've been Super Bowl contenders the last few years, and still are. Great Sunday night game.
Chargers (-3.5) at Jets: The Jets have made a lot of elite quarterbacks look human this season. They have played Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen, the three guys who finished 1-2-3 in MVP voting last season, and held them to a combined 3 TDs vs. 8 INTs. Justin Herbert is just the next in line of talented quarterbacks that the Jets will frustrate into mistakes.
BYE: Broncos, Lions, 49ers, Jaguars.
• Last 9 years, ATS: 364-311-16 (0.538)
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