Beating the Spread: Picks for Week 9
The halfway mark of the season is always a sad time. Fortunately for us, we feel like we are beginning to get a firm grasp on how things will play out. Weirdly enough, outside of Jacksonville and Minnesota, the league is taking shape how everyone predicted prior to the start of the year. The Patriots and Chiefs are dominating the AFC, with the Steelers not too far behind, and the Rams and Saints atop the NFC. Last week was great to the two of us, 5 of our 6 locks hit and we’re looking to keep that going today. (My picks in blue, Joe’s in red)
Note: All lines are provided by Westgate Sportsbook as of 12 a.m. Sunday.
Sunday, Nov. 4th
Chicago (-10) @ Buffalo – [37.5]
Even without DE Khalil Mack and WR Allen Robinson, the Chicago Bears took care of business against the New York Jets in week eight. To think they won’t do the same in week nine to an even worse squad, the Bills, would be foolish. With both RBs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen showing out last week, I can only envision that duo progressing in a big way this Sunday.
Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-6.5) – 
The Carolina offense is back on track after a comeback victory against the Eagles and a throttling of the Ravens. Newly promoted quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, will continue the turnover troubles in Tampa, and Cam and the Panthers will prove they belong atop the NFC.
Los Angeles Chargers (Pick) @ Seattle – 
Don’t get me wrong, Seattle looks much better and more balanced each week. However, the Chargers have too many weapons to lose this one. Seattle is suspect on their backend of the defense, and with both WRs Tyrell Williams and Mike WIlliams having big time impacts recently, it will be tough to stop both. RB Melvin Gordon is banged up, but backup RB Austin Ekeler is no slouch – rated one of the top running backs per Pro Football Focus. So, while doubting Russell Wilson is never smart, I think Philip Rivers simply has too many players to go to than the Seahawks can contain effectively.
Kansas City (-8) @ Cleveland – 
Seems simple here. Cleveland replaced the 2nd worst coach in NFL history (by winning percentage), with the guy that ran “Bountygate”. Kansas City is a machine designed in a football laboratory. I do not really understand the thought process behind the Browns being able to keep pace with the Chiefs. The Chiefs average 15 more points per game than the Browns, and let up just under 1 point less. This has the makings for an ugly start to Gregg Williams’ regime in Cleveland.
Green Bay @ New England (-5.5) – 
The Bills might have held the Patriots to a bunch of field goals in the first half, but that’s because Brady and Co. were saving the good stuff for this Sunday night. In the battle between the two best quarterbacks of all time, I think the Patriots outsmart Green Bay by a touchdown. I really think the Patriots were using a very basic offense last week and will either come out with a whole different looking set or use a similar style and see how far it takes them. I’m leaning to the former.
New York Jets @ Miami (-3) – [43.5]
It worked twice in a row, why not go for three? I hope you continue to prove me right, Sam Darnold. I have a hard time betting on Brock Osweiler here, but he has looked decent his first two games this season. I’m hoping the Dolphins can strike early and keep the Jets playing from behind; if New York is able to establish a run game it will be a tough day for Miami.
1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh (+3) @ Baltimore – [47.5]
Detroit @ Minnesota (-5) – 
Atlanta @ Washington (-2) – 
4:05 PM ET
Houston (+1.5) @ Denver – 
4:25 PM ET
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) @ New Orleans – [59.5]
Monday, November 5th, 8:15 PM ET
Tennessee @ Dallas (-4) – [40.5]
Game Totals We Love:
Tennessee @ Dallas (-5.5) – [40.5]
Green Bay @ New England (-5.5) – 
Los Angeles Chargers (+1) @ Seattle –