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NFL Picks, Week 9: Ghouls with a side of chow mein

It's All Hallows' Eve everyone, and I'm here to replace your trick or treat with some pick or treat...

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It's Thursday morning, and as is the case every week, I'm here with this weeks NFL picks. I'm still tinkering with how much "gut feel" to let creep into my picks.Last week I went straight gut, as far as spreads go, and went 2-1... with the Chiefs failure to cover being my lone disappointment on that front. They did win the game however, one of eleven correct picks in a week in which I missed on only two.

This article is always easier to write after a good week, I spend every Sunday living in very real fear that I'll have to muster up the courage to take another crack at picking games coming off a sub .500 week against the spread. But what might I learn from that fear

Well, looking at all the possibilities... it turns out there's not much to worry about. You're not here for my picks anyways, you're here for my sexy appeal.

I'll move along now though, as I'm sure you've got make-up to apply before you head out for some door to door candy.

Thursday Night Football

(-2½) Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins

If you're looking for hot teams in the NFL right now it's hard to overlook the Bengals. I'd be bullshitting you if I said I'd watched much of their games, but Andy Dalton has been getting much praise, and if you look at their recent success it's not hard to imagine why.

Wins over the Patriots, Bills, Lions and Jets all look impressive to me - minus maybe the Bills game, Buffalo is a hard team to peg for me. Regardless, the Bengals are hot. How about them Dolphins though?

"They've lost four straight."

You don't say? Yeah... Any given Sunday I guess, but this one seems easy.

The Pick: Bengals

Analyzing the Spread: To the Miami's credit, they've had some tough finishes lately, with two of four recent losses coming by slim margins. That logic only goes so far though, and their first three wins were all close ones as well. I think I still like the Bengals to cover the spread, as I believe they'll win, and two and a half seems safe enough to me.

Sunday Morning

Atlanta Falcons at (-7½) Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are the better team, they're playing at home. I just... There's no reason to be picking the Falcons here. their defense has been middle of the road to poor while their run game has been mostly terrible.

Head over to the home teams sideline and you see an elite rush defense, a pass defense that isn't far off and a very effective run game.

The Pick: Panthers

Analyzing the Spread: I've been on the Panthers bandwagon for a good while, but to say they'll win this game by more than a touchdown seems a bit too close to a coin flip for my tastes.

Minnesota Vikings at (-10½) Dallas Cowboys

Shit man, the Vikings aren't good. The Cowboys are much better, you know what I m-m-m-m-mean?

The Pick: Cowboys

Analyzing the Spread: The spread here is the only question for me. I'll probably slap myself for saying this, but pass on this game. They may very well cover, but I think there are surer bets to be had. (Bengals, Saints, Chargers, Raiders, and Colts.)

(-5½) New Orleans Saints at New York Jets

The Saints in New York, with the Jets coming off a wallopin' by the hands of a team that is playing about as well as New Orleans. It's not going to be a 40 point win, but the Saints should handle them.

The Pick: Saints

Analyzing the Spread: This 5 point spread must be influenced somewhat by the overtime win in the Meadowlands two weeks ago, because the loss last week on it's own would seem to dictate a higher number. In their last 5 games the Saints are 4-1 ATS, while the Jets are 2-3. This about mirrors my thoughts on the line in this game. Too much confidence in the Jets, mixed with a surprising lack of respect by betters in the Saints.

Saints cover.

(-3) Tennessee Titans at St. Louis Rams

After what the Rams did against the Seahawks last week, I'm mildly surprised the Titans are favorites here. The biggest hesitation I have is the Rams passing attack, and whether or not it'll be able to move the ball.

I don't know... I'll pick it because I have to, but the Rams are a big question mark for me. Will they achieve? Or do as they've done all year, and underachieve?

Did that last paragraph make sense?

No. I just checked. It did not.

The Pick: Titans

Analyzing the Spread: I wanted to pick the Rams, I like some of what they've got going on. For this reason, I'd say this game is not the best place to put your hard earned wampum.

(-3) Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills

Kansas City has been my horse, all year long. Steady as they go, this team chugs along at safe-neck speeds, winning one after another.

Probably the most consistent team in the league, the Chiefs are the better team here. The Bills are no slouch, and have played pretty much everyone they've faced close, but they won't be the ones to knock the Chiefs off. I mean, that would be crazy right???

The Pick: Chiefs

Analyzing the Spread: If this were a 5 point spread I'd tell you to take the Bills. They've been spread warriors this year, covering in 5 of 8 games. This week though, I think they've been given just enough credit that I'd lay off.

San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins

Ahhhh the "Pick 'Em"

I don't understand fully why this is a pick 'em honestly. The Redskins only have one win I really want to give them credit for, and it was over a month ago. Meanwhile just two weeks ago the Chargers beat what anyone in Indiana would tell you is the best team in the NFL, AND they're coming off a bye.

"Hey! The Chargers are actually only 4-4 following the bye since 2005 Luke!"

Wow, look at you you little stat geek. Someone get stat geek out of here, I'm picking the Chargers.

The Pick: Chargers

Analyzing the Spread: This is a pretty extreme spread. To bet the Chargers would win by more than zero points seems risky to me... but What the heck! Go ahead and bet on them to win by one or more!

Sunday Afternoon

Philadelphia Eagles at (-1) Oakland Raiders

Raiders. Home team wins in matchup of two mediocre teams. Also the Eagles might technically not be mediocre.

The Pick: Raiders

Analyzing the Spread: I feel quite confident the Raiders will win. So as bird law dictates, I'll go with Oakland to cover.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers at (-16½) Seattle Seahawks

AGH! For the second straight week the Seahawks are favorited by double digits against a team with an abysmal offense and an underachieving under appreciated defense. This time though?

It's in the Clink

The Pick: Seahawks

Analyzing the Spread: I always remind you that I avoid advising for or against my home team in terms of picking spreads. In a vacuum though, where bad juju doesn't exist, I'd wager they'll cover. But DON'T DO IT... because bad juju does exist. And it's actually quite possible the Hawks dwindle away a healthy advantage with more silly plays and penalties.

(-2½) Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

This game is just the worst. It is the exact opposite of this, which is the best.

Will the Ravens? Or will the Browns find a way to?

Making sense?



The Pick: Browns

Analyzing the Spread: I have a feeling I can't explain that says the Browns are the home underdog that pulls it off this week, but it's not strong enough to advise any betting on this game.

Pittsburgh Steelers at (-6½) New England Patriots

Patriots dammit. This ones easy. If you're even asking me why, you probably live in Pittsburgh.

Seriously though, for any Steelers fans reading: The Patriots have been about as consistent as anyone in the league besides the Chiefs, and your team is just not that good.

No, recent wins against under-performing Ravens and Jets squads do not mean I'm wrong.

The Pick: Patriots

Analyzing the Spread: While I'm fairly confident the Patriots will cover the spread, there are honestly 4 or 5 other games more worthy of your bet. (Once again. Bengals, Saints, Chargers, Raiders, and Colts.)

(-2½) Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Coming off a bye that followed a win against one of the best two or three teams in the league, the Colts are favorited by a lone field goal over over a team that's lost five straight games?

A one point loss to the Chiefs two weeks ago impresses me about as much as the Rams effort last week. That is to say, somewhat, but not enough to pick them to win their next game.

The Pick: Colts

Analyzing the Spread: It feels likely the Colts win by a field goal or more. Go for it, guys.

Monday Night Football

Chicago Bears at (-10½) Green Bay Packers

Two teams. One trending upward, one downward.

Can you guess which is which?

The Pick: Packers

Analyzing the Spread: With five other games I'd confidently bet on, You should probably just watch this for fun.

Teams on Bye:

Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, London Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers

Guys! I did it! I kept one of these posts to just barely over 1600 words! If you are wondering why I didn't do any Halloween type stuff with the post, then you're not clicking the links, which is a mistake. Always click the links. I work hard to come up with crappy things to send you to while reading my picks, you should really appreciate that.

And when you're done, check out these studs. If you can tell me what's going on in that one, you should be the prognosticator, not me.

Oh and for those of you with the attention span of Richard Sherman on adderall, here's some Halloween themed entertainment. That should keep you busy for a bit.

I'm on twitter, join me there.