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NFL Picks: Week 9

Free NFL Pick’em: Week Nine

Free NFL Pick'em: Week NineWeek nine has arrived and six teams have a bye. With only 13 games on the schedule, we have to make the most of our pick’ems. If you’re a few games behind the leader for season totals in your pick’em pools, don’t panic. There is plenty of time to make up ground and there is no need for you to start picking the Bills just yet. Looking ahead to Sunday’s games, there are a few games that feel like locks, and there are some powerhouse matchups later in the slate that will almost certainly be close games. Get ready for some nail-biters.

Keep up with our staff NFL pick’em on a weekly basis. Brad Castronovo has taken a commanding lead with 71 correct picks on the year. I am currently leading in straight-up picks with 80 correct, but my lead has narrowed slightly over the last few weeks. Overall the staff continues to do well, as all of the staff members can boast a correct pick percentage of 57% or better.

Here are my picks for Week 9 of the NFL season!

N.Y. Jets at Miami

Spread: Miami -2.5

I don’t know how much longer the Dolphins or their fans can count on Brock Osweiler to be their starting quarterback. However, the issue really hasn’t been at QB, as Osweiler has posted nearly identical numbers to Tannehill on the season. The issue is the Dolphin’s defense, after starting strong early in the season they have slipped into the gutters over the last few weeks. Miami has allowed 400 plus yards on the ground in two games. I expect them to focus on the Jets running game and force Sam Darnold to beat them. Darnold has been inconsistent at best and a divisional game in the South Florida heat doesn’t scream pick me!

With the Giants on a bye week and the Jets on the road, it’s a rare quiet week at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. However, with the recent exciting announcement from Caesars Entertainment, and the launch of Caesars Casino & Sports app, the city should be having fun with all the other games this weekend. The Jets return home next week.

My Pick: Miami 23-17

Chicago at Buffalo

Spread: Chicago -10.5

Mitchell TrubiskyThe Bears are leading the NFC North and I don’t expect that to change this week. Mitchell Trubisky has been playing above my expectations and he has rushed for over 47 yards in four consecutive games. He’ll face a surprisingly tough Bills defense that ranks 6th in total YPG allowed this season. The problem for the Bills is they have no offense to speak of, and they have to start Nathan Peterman this week. His career passer rating is 31.4! The poor guy seems to draw the short straw every time the Bills play a tough opposing defense. Buffalo can’t move the ball and even if their defense holds early, they will be gassed by halftime.

My Pick: Chicago 27-10

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Spread: Baltimore -2

This classic hard-hitting matchup never seems to disappoint. I am not a fan of going with the home team in close games unless I believe that team should actually win. However, this series has favored the home team in recent years. The Ravens have won 4 of 5 against the Steelers in Baltimore. The Ravens boast the NFL’s number one defense and even though the Ravens have slipped the last few weeks, they always seem to be ready for Pittsburgh. I expect them to slow down Big Ben and AB enough to scrape out a victory. The public doesn’t agree as 64% are picking the Steelers.

My Pick: Baltimore 27-24

Atlanta at Washington

Spread: Washington -1 

It wasn’t too long ago that many fans were picking the Giants over the Redskins, and now 65% of the public is taking the Skins over Atlanta? Washington is only favored by 1 point at home and the Falcons have been winning despite their defensive woes. Maybe it’s the Falcons 3-4 record on the year that is scaring people away. Still, the Falcons score 27.1 PPG and yes the Redskins defense has been great of late, but I don’t suspect they can keep up with Atlanta.

My Pick: Atlanta 27-23


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Detroit at Minnesota

Spread: Minnesota -5.5

The Vikings looked great last week in the first half last week against the Saints before a costly fumble flipped the momentum in the Saints favor. The Vikings never recovered as we saw. Both the Vikings and the Lions have played inconsistently all year. So this game could truly go either way. With the weapons Minnesota has on offense, I just can’t pick against them unless they are playing a team that is formidable on a weekly basis. Detroit has a middling defense and they have allowed 15 passing touchdowns and only taken 2 interceptions away. I have a ‘Thielen’ that the Vikings find their groove this weekend.

My Pick: Minnesota 30-21

Kansas City at Cleveland

Spread: Kansas City -10

The Browns are right back to being the Browns. They find themselves staring at a 2-5-1 record and almost certainly their 11th consecutive losing season. Baker offers a bright future for Cleveland, but it certainly won’t happen this week. Cleveland made a head coaching change and now they host a visiting team that is playing on another level. Need I say more? Oh yeah the opposing quarterback is in the mix for MVP and he has thrown for 26 TDs and he leads the NFL in passing yards. This matchup will be much more exciting in a few years or so. Hopefully Clevland fans, hopefully.

My Pick: Kansas City 31-17


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Tampa Bay at Carolina

Spread: Carolina -6.5

Fitzmagic is back! Tampa needed a boost last week offensively and they found it when the bearded one strapped on his helmet. This game promises some points and I expect Fitz to air it out to his wides once again as we saw early in the season. Tampa will score, but they won’t stop the freight train that is Cam Newton from scoring more often on Sunday. I’ll say it again, Cam is playing at an MVP-caliber level, and he is doing it without much attention. He has a career high in completion percentage this year and he is on pace to reach 30 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns for the second time in his career. The last time he accomplished that feat, he won MVP…

My Pick: Carolina 31-24

Houston at Denver

Spread: Houston -1

The Texans are rolling and they have won 5 straight. Now they travel to Denver to take on a Broncos team that has lost 4 of 5. With Watson playing well and Hopkins seemingly dominating the competition, I’m not sure they can be stopped this week. This game should be close in Denver and I will lean on the hot hand in Watson. The Broncos can’t be happy with their QB as Keenum has been anything but what they hoped for. He has 10 INTs on the season and his passer rating is a low 83.0. I’d say they could bench him but their back-up is off looking for a job after spending some time in the pen.

My Pick: Houston 24-22

L.A Chargers at Seattle

Spread: L.A. Chargers -1

Russell WilsonIt seems a bit unfair that Seattle is the underdog in this game. Russell Wilson has found his stride per usual and I don’t see that changing at home this week. Whenever you have an elite quarterback your team will compete. Wilson has thrown 3 TDs in each of the last three games and I expect that trend to continue this week against an average secondary. The case for the Chargers is strong as well, winners of 4 in a row. I like where they are headed but I do think the Seahawks expose the Chargers this week. Seattle has the 5th ranked defense in the NFL in YPG allowed.

My Pick: Seattle 24-23

L.A. Rams at New Orleans

Spread: L.A. Rams -2

Again, another home team that I feel is unfairly labeled an underdog. The Saints have won 2 straight road games against tough competition and in their last home game, they dismantled the Redskins who are 5-2. Drew Brees has won six in a row and now their home against arguably the best team in the NFL. The Rams, however, have escaped with some close victories against some good teams this year, which tells me they are beatable. What better week to pick L.A. to go down? They fly east and take on a tough Saints team. A Saints team that certainly has to be thinking about home field advantage this postseason.

My Pick: New Orleans 35-33


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Green Bay at New England

Spread: New England -5.5

Green Bay was a fumble away from ending an undefeated season for the L.A. Rams last week, and their reward? A trip to New England. Last week must still sting for Aaron Rodgers as he seemed pretty spiteful after losing last week. No matter, he will have to regroup quickly if he wants to compete against Brady. The Patriots dominance at home has been well documented for years and they are one of the few teams in which I consider to be an automatic pick at home.

My Pick: New England 26-24

Tennessee at Dallas

Spread: Dallas -5 

The Cowboys and Titans haven’t offered us much in the art of consistency or explosiveness this season. Both teams have looked great at times, terrible other times, and downright boring most of the time. With that said, the addition of Amari Cooper to the Cowboys offense will be fun to watch. Will he emerge as the primary receiving threat in Dallas? I think so, Amari looked like a generational talent when he came into the league and then fizzled out. A change of scenery might do him well, as specially when the running game is so strong in Dallas. He should compliment Zeke nicely with time. Tennessee stinks.

My Pick: Dallas 23-14 


Eliminator/Survival Suggestions:

  • Panthers
  • Bears
  • Cowboys
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