NFL Week 9 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles
Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Two straight winning weeks have helped us climb out of the gutter and into the light like some sort of sports-obsessed Pennywise. A 58-61 overall record is nothing to be ashamed of, our mothers keep insisting. Hang on to your hats and bet slips because .500 is within reach and simply a stepping stone along the way to a season-long profit.

Here are our Week 9 NFL picks against the spread.

EAGLES (-13) over TEXANS

These Eagles are freaking legit. Jalen Hurts has made the leap and is surrounded with an explosive, versatile cadre of weapons with a smart head coach behind them. The defense dominates lesser units. Philly still has flaws but none of them are big enough to worry about against a Texans team that is on the road to improvement but a long, long way from competing with the NFL's best. The only worry here is a backdoor cover in the second half after the game is decided early, but last week showed the Eagles' backups play hard. Eagles 34, Texans 17

PACKERS (-3.5) over LIONS

The sky is pretty close to falling in Green Bay but even now it's hard to bet against Aaron Rodgers when he goes up against the Lions. Detroit failed to score a single point in the second half against the Dolphins and their defense was not only outmatched but out-schemed. Badly, at that. There is little hope they can perform that much better against Rodgers even with the relative lack of weapons at his disposal. Plus, Green Bay's defense is better than the overall record would indicate. Packers 27, Lions 20


Sam Ehlinger nearly led his team to a victory in his first NFL start. The Colts have something to work with. But their offensive line remains shockingly porous, rendering Jonathan Taylor ineffective and making it extremely difficult for Ehlinger to work. Bill Belichick seems to take a sick pleasure in torturing inexperienced QBs at Gillette Stadium and this week should be no different, even with the significant problems his team still faces, especially on the offensive line. This will not be fun to watch, but New England should defend their home turf better than they did against the Bears. Patriots 30, Colts 18


It is hard to figure out what's going wrong with this Los Angeles team. Justin Herbert is back to making the sort of boneheaded throws we thought he was done with. Austin Ekler is still awesome yet the offense still struggles. The defense has made improvements but still struggles to stop the run, which is a big problem against these Falcons. Atlanta is coming off an emotional home victory and will be riding high. The circumstances feel right for an upset, if we can even call it that. Falcons 24, Chargers 21

DOLPHINS (-4.5) over BEARS

Chicago has appeared to finally figure out how to use Justin Fields properly, which is great news in the long-term. In the short-term, though, this team still has some fundamental issues on both sides of the ball that make it mighty difficult to hang with anybody in a shootout. Tua Tagovailoa is back to racking up huge numbers and the defense clamped down after a terrible first half against Detroit. Miami should get out to a big lead early and keep it, even if the Bears stick around long enough to make things interesting. Dolphins 31, Bears 21


Did something happen at last year's Super Bowl that caused an epic, months-long hangover for both teams involved? Like, what the hell has happened to this team? Getting boat-raced by Cleveland on national television? Yikes. Bengals 25, Panthers 21

JETS (+13) over BILLS

Zach Wilson turned a whole lot of people against him and is an open question at this point. Some of the luster and magic surrounding the Jets is beginning to wear off. And Buffalo is an absolute wagon rolling over any and all obstacles in its way. But 13 points is so many! Too much. Someone had better hang a sock on the back door's knob or Gang Green is going to come busting through. Bills 31, Jets 19


The Green Lizard has the goods, dude. So much of what he does makes little sense. Then at the end of the game he's walking away victorious. There's new life in the Beltway and they have an opportunity to take control of their playoff destiny against an overconfident Vikings side. Commanders 28, Vikings 24


Derek Carr is due for one of those outbursts that garners him goodwill for another four years. Jacksonville is traveling back from London and will be sleepy. Their season is also crumbling in front of them. Neither team gives a steady effort so this is literally just throwing a dart at the wall. Ours landed on Vegas, baby. Raiders 20, Jaguars 17


If you haven't purchased your stock in Kenneth Walker yet, it is time to move some money around and do that. It should pair nicely with your Geno Smith and overall Seahawks stock. Because you're looking at a playoff team here. And one poised to do some damage when they get there. Arizona is wandering the desert looking for answers and can only find a tiny Kyler Murray-shaped mirage. Seahawks 18, Cardinals 14


Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford each look like guys who would rather be hanging out on a golf course. It's jarring to see a Super Bowl defense that looks so halfhearted. It's more jarring to see Touchdown Tom and feel somewhat confident about counting him out. Without Cooper Kupp, LA's offense is even worse. If he's bobbled at all, we love this one. Buccaneers 33, Rams 24

TITANS (+11) over CHIEFS

Derrick Henry is still capable of running fools over when motivated and Mike Vrabel's side has survived some early bumps in the road. Kansas City looks like world-beaters about 75 percent of the time and like a team that plays down to its competition the other. Best bet on the board right here. Chiefs 36, Titans 31


Forget about this game. The play is Super Bowl future on the Ravens. Hear it now. Savor it later. Ravens 29, Saints 17