We are on to Week 9 of the NFL season, meaning that after this week we will officially be entering the back half of the 2023 regular season. Despite only being at the midpoint, this has been an eventful time for the Seattle Seahawks and the rest of the NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers came flying out of the gates and looked like the class of the NFL — or at least the NFC. However, injuries and inefficiency have showcased some vulnerability, and the Seahawks took advantage by icing the Cleveland Browns on a game winning drive last weekend. The ‘Hawks now have the opportunity to take a one-game lead over the Niners in the race for the division, and with a brutal upcoming schedule, this team is going to need to get it done. Fortunately, they have been pretty adept at winning morning road games, so there is that. Speaking of morning road games, the LA Rams and Arizona Cardinals will be making 10AM appearances of their own, as they will be hosted by the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns, respectively. Then we get to look forward to what should be a pretty exciting match-up between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football!
Seahawks at Ravens — 10:00am — CBS — O/U 44
The Seahawks are traveling to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, where they last won as the road team by a healthy score of 35-6 back in 2015, and a lot has clearly changed since then. The Ravens were a 5-11 team that year and still had Joe Flacco on the roster. In 2023, these teams are a lot more evenly matched; both are 2-loss teams, and both have sported some of the NFL’s better scoring defenses. with the Ravens currently leading the league at 15.1 points per game. I want to pick the Seahawks, I really do... and maybe their defense will really continue their shutdown-caliber of play; but my gut is telling me to go with the home team. Apparently, DraftKings Sportsbook is in agreement with that assessment, as the Ravens are favored to win by a touchdown.
The pick: Under 44 points, Ravens win straight up but the Seahawks cover
Rams at Packers— 10:00am — FOX — O/U 38.5
The Rams and Packers are a couple teams going through their own respective identity crises. The former is dealing with major roster overhaul and an aging (and now injured) QB, and the latter is dealing with their first official season of what was supposed to be the ‘Jordan Love era,’ but that era is possibly going to be very short lived; despite some back and forth on Brian Gutekunst’s comments, there seems to be a genuine concern over whether or not Love is ‘the guy’ long-term. DraftKings Sportsbook is listing the Packers as 3-point favorites, but a lot depends on Stafford’s health; a full-go Matthew mean a better shot for the Rams, but a start by Brett Rypien could almost guarantee a loss. Ultimately I am giving the Packers the edge in this one.
The pick: Over 38.5, Packers win straight up and cover
Cardinals at Browns — 10:00am — CBS — O/U 38
Oh the hapless Cardinals... DraftKings Sportsbook lists them as 9-point underdogs this week, and most likely because they just haven’t looked good this year, and the continued uncertainty around Kyler Murray makes their season feeling closer and closer to being totally lost with every passing day. The Browns, meanwhile, are having a solid season — even with their loss to Seattle last week. They are exacting that there is a chance Deshaun Watson makes it back and will be hoping to see more consistency from their offense. This feels like there is some possibility for upset, but the fact that it is in Ohio is enough for me to confidently give it to the Browns.
The pick: Under 38, Browns win straight up and cover
Bills at Bengals — 10:00am — CBS — O/U 50.5
Two of the teams that were expected to be among the AFC’s best, the Bills and Bengals have had their own struggles thus far in 2023. Buffalo is 5-3, but their losses have been to the Patriots, Jets, and Jaguars. With the exception of Jacksonville, those are not great teams. But the Bengals have been struggling mightily, themselves, and started out with a losing record before turning things around against the Seahawks (unfortunately). The Benglas have been looking tougher lately, but I think the Bills ultimately have the more complete roster. I do get some pause from the 50.5 over/under... but not from the spread, which DraftKings Sportsbook has lists Buffalo as 2-point favorites in this one.
The pick: Under 50.5 points, Bills win straight up and cover the spread.
Our picks from Tallysight: