NFL Week 9 picks, odds: Patriots make playoff push, Texans shock Dolphins for second win


Over the past 20 years I’ve “won” stuff — futures bets, fantasy leagues, golf bets, etc. But I haven’t sniffed a championship for one of my teams since 1995, and the last good look was the Braves in the World Series in 1999. So when Atlanta took down a title on Tuesday night it felt WEIRD. I didn’t even really know how to celebrate. I mean, I did, but it was still bizarre because it didn’t feel real.

But it is! The Braves are WORLD CHAMPIONS OF BASEBALL. And it’s spectacular. 

We’ve reached the point of celebration where my wife finds a fake pearl necklace lying around the bedroom and gets mad because she wants to know “who the f— left this here” and I have to explain it’s mine and then tell her to google Joc Pederson. Roughly 60 percent of the last 48 hours have been me re-watching the Jorge Soler moon shot. At this point I’m just soaking in crowd reactions and watching Luis Garcia walk off the mound, knowing exactly what just happened. If someone hadn’t found the ball I would absolutely believe it hadn’t landed yet. 

Anyway, that’s a long-winded way of saying that I hope all of the title-starved NFL fans get to experience the same thing in the near future. Browns fans and Bills fans stand out more than anyone because they’ve endured decades of pain and are owed something by the football gods. 

It sure feels like we’re checking off every lovable loser these last few years. Let’s throw a bone to some more NFL fanbases. The crazy thing? Winning feels even better than you thought it would. Sure, it helps to have a team below .500 before the All-Star Break lose its best player and best pitcher, decide to add four low-profile outfielders at the trade deadline, get nuke hot with fun vibes and storm the playoffs with no business being there and eventually win the title. Maybe Cleveland is next! 

All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook

NFL Week 9 Picks

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ETTV: Fox, NFL Network | Stream: fuboTV (click here)Follow: CBS Sports App

Latest Odds:

Indianapolis Colts
-10

The Jets just won their second game while the Colts gagged up a double-digit lead in a must-win game against the Titans. Recency bias tells us we should back the Jets big time here, getting double digits. Virtually every prime-time game has been close this season. The Colts defense doesn’t strike anyone as elite, but it’s quietly fifth in DVOA almost halfway through the season. Mike White got himself a spot in Canton with the win against Cincy last week. But it seems fairly obvious how to stop him from blowing up again: squat on short routes, which is essentially all he threw against the Bengals, and they didn’t bother trying to stop him. Indy will do a better job and on offense they’ll let Jonathan Taylor and Marlon Mack eat all game long, pulling away from a bad Jets team.

The pick: Colts 28, Jets 10

Props, Best Bets: Michael Carter over receiving yards 35.5

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)

Latest Odds:

Jacksonville Jaguars
+14.5

The Bills had no business covering against the Dolphins last week, while the Jaguars let Geno Smith drop 31 points on them. I know this is a road game, so the home line would be 20.5, which would be pretty wild. But the Bills are not afraid to drop bombs on other teams and this isn’t an early season sweatfest in Duval. It’s going to be a high of 68 in Jacksonville on Sunday and the Jags shouldn’t have any real answer for Josh Allen and this offense. There’s no chance I would make this a best bet by any stretch, but I just can’t back the Jags when they’ve already lost by double digits to the Broncos (!), Texans (!!) and Geno-led Seahawks (!!!). Jacksonville hasn’t scored 20 points at home yet and has given up 37, 31 and 37 points in their three true home games. 

The pick: Bills 37, Jaguars 14

Props, Best Bets: Nope

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Browns at Bengals

Sunday,1 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Cincinnati Bengals
-2.5

What a disaster for both of these teams last week. The Browns probably had a worse stretch if you’re willing to include Odell Beckham being sent home from practice and maybe being done with Cleveland after his dad posted an 11-minute highlight clip of Baker Mayfield not throwing to his son set to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts.” You can cover professional football for multiple decades and every time you think you’ve seen the weirdest headline/storyline possible, something else comes along. Mayfield is obviously not thrilled about the whole thing. Cincinnati is probably the better team overall right now with all of Cleveland’s injuries, but I could see Mayfield and the Browns come out cooking in a spite spot. The total (47) is suspiciously high; I wouldn’t be surprised if these teams somehow ended up in a shootout. The underlying stats say Tee Higgins is begging for a big game so I’ll be looking for his overs assuming there’s no bad weather here.

The Pick: Browns 35, Bengals 31

Bets: Over 47, Tee Higgins over props

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

New York Giants
+3

The last time the Raiders dealt with controversy, they rebounded in a big way against Denver. The Henry Ruggs situation doesn’t compare to the Jon Gruden resignation because someone lost their life. Ruggs was doing 156 mph in a suburban neighborhood with a .161 BAC, rammed into the back of a car and killed a 23-year-old woman. His football career is probably over and he’s probably going to jail for a lengthy period of time. It’s an absolute tragedy with extremely unusual circumstances. Picking a football game feels kind of hollow, but we have to do it. The Giants have to be in letdown mode after failing to capitalize on a shot at beating the Chiefs on Monday night. Both offensive lines are bad here and we could get turnovers if the quarterbacks are severely pressured. I’m going to bank on the bad history for the Raiders in MetLife Stadium and take the team catching points here. The under looks pretty good as well.

The Pick: Giants 20, Raiders 17

Bets: Under 46

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

New Orleans Saints
-6.5

The Saints are short some skill level at QB after the Jameis Winston injury, but I’m not sure it matters that much. The Falcons are creeping on a playoff spot but their wins are against the Giants, Jets, Dolphins and WFT. They barely beat the Jets, lost to the Panthers and got completely smoked by the only good team they played (Tampa). The Saints don’t have the weapons on both sides like the Bucs do, but their defense is playing some good football, helping Trevor Siemian take down Tom Brady on Halloween. The rivalry aspect of this game makes me a little concerned with the bigger point spread but the Saints defensive line should spend the entire afternoon in Matt Ryan’s kitchen and Atlanta is bottom 10 in terms of rush defense. Alvin Kamara is about to go nuclear and Mark Ingram might not struggle either. Sean Payton REALLY doesn’t like the Falcons. That’s important here.

The Pick: Saints 31, Falcons 14

Bets: Saints -6, Alvin Kamara/Mark Ingram over rush yards

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Carolina Panthers
+3.5

For whatever reasons, the Panthers have done a pretty good job over the last few years of going up against Bill Belichick and the Pats. Those Pats teams were different, but so were those Panthers teams. Tom Brady is gone, but so are Ron Rivera and Cam Newton. Matt Rhule might be moving on the Kliff Kingsbury learning curve when it comes to in-game NFL management and Sam Darnold, well, he doesn’t have a great history against Belichick. 👻 

The Pick: Patriots 24, Panthers 10

Bets: Patriots -3.5, Damien Harris rush yards over/anytime TD

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Dallas Cowboys
-10

This game is pretty difficult to pick against the spread until we know about Dak Prescott. He was limited in practice on Wednesday, along with CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper. Reading the tea leaves it sounds like all three will play but if we’re laying 10 points with a team you need to know three of their most important players are going to be on the field. Maybe more important: Tyron Smith was a DNP on Wednesday and might not be available for this game. Denver is low-key terrible despite the 4-4 record and just traded Von Miller, one of the all-time great players in franchise history, to the Rams. If the Cowboys are at full strength I’ll take Dallas laying the points but that’s a lot of injuries for Dallas’ offense right now. If Von was still on Denver maybe we take the Broncos because Smith is missing. But no Bradley Chubb and no Von plus Garrett Bolles potentially missing … I lean Cowboys here if Dak & Co. are on the field.

The Pick: Cowboys 31, Broncos 17

Bets: Maybe look at Cedrick Wilson overs if Lamb/Cooper miss time, Zeke could run wild too

Texans at Dolphins 

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Miami Dolphins
-5.5

The 1-7 Miami Dolphins are a touchdown favorite in the ultimate draft pick revenge game. The Dolphins took all the Texans picks for Laremy Tunsil and now the two get to battle over more draft picks, with the Dolphins desperate to not surrender a top-five pick for moving up to grab Jaylen Waddle (just like the Texans, the Dolphins didn’t think they could possibly finish with a bottom-five record). This game is just wild. We have maybe Davis Mills, depending on whether Tyrod Taylor comes back or not. And we have Tua Tagovailoa’s confidence completely destroyed by the Dolphins interest in trading for the Texans inactive third-string (?) quarterback, Deshaun Watson. For me it’s pretty simple: if Tyrod plays, I want the Texans catching a touchdown and if not it’s a stay away.

The Pick: Texans 21, Dolphins 17

Bets: Texans +7 (if Tyrod plays)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)    

Latest Odds:

Baltimore Ravens
-6

Does this line stink? The Ravens are only laying six points against a very questionable Vikings team at home, coming off the bye. I guess it can’t be Ravens -10, but this should be at least a touchdown, given Minnesota’s 20th rank in DVOA. The Ravens are actually passing more often than ever under John Harbaugh with Lamar Jackson under center. The Vikings three wins look like an outlier desperation win against the Seahawks, a miracle win over the Lions and an OT takedown of the Panthers. They just lost to Cooper Rush. 

The Pick: Ravens 28, Vikings 21

Bets: Nope

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Philadelphia Eagles
+1.5

Another fishy line. The Eagles are running the ball a lot more and the Chargers are susceptible to the run because of how Brandon Staley likes to operate. Buying on the Eagles is a bad idea though — they’re a garbage-time machine that decided to blow out the Lions coming off the Goff/Stafford revenge game. The Chargers two losses have dropped their stock, but they lost to the Ravens and Pats. Philly has an above average defense against the pass but they’re not good against the run. This feels like an Austin Ekeler special after his full practice participation on Wednesday. 

The Pick: Chargers 24, Eagles 21

Bets: Austin Ekeler overs – receptions, receiving yards, rush yards

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

San Francisco 49ers
-1.5

Kyler Murray is likely to play but the Cardinals offensive operation is questionable with him injured. After his bad shoulder injury last year Arizona fell off a cliff. J.J. Watt’s absence was underrated and we saw how aggressively the Packers ran against Arizona’s top-five defense. Elijah Mitchell overs are a good look and this would actually be the hilarious week for Trey Sermon going nuts in a random spot, now that I’ve dropped him in every season-long league. The 49ers are going to run here, and the Cardinals probably shouldn’t be favored. 

The Pick: 49ers 24, Cardinals 17

Bets: 49ers +1.5

Packers at Chiefs

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Kansas City Chiefs
-7.5

Any time you can bet a line that started at Chiefs -4, then went to Packers -1 and then after that it jumped to Chiefs -6.5/7 because Aaron Rodgers can be secretly unvaccinated for eight weeks of the NFL season, you have to bet it. See what I mean about the headlines? The weird thing about this game is we saw the same thing happen when Chad Henne and Aaron Rodgers squared off during the last Chiefs-Packers game. Jordan Love beating Patrick Mahomes would be incredible and it’s doable too. Daniel Jones almost pulled it off. If I can get Packers +7 or better I’m all over Green Bay here on an overreaction pull. If you’re making a selection for a picks league and KC is locked at -.5 I think you have to just eat the chalk and take the Chiefs. Green Bay has the roster to make Mahomes sweat.

The Pick: Chiefs 24, Packers 21

Bets: Nope

Titans at Rams

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ETTV: NBC | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Los Angeles Rams
-7.5

The Derrick Henry hyperbole has been obvious and expected. It sucks seeing him miss time, because he’s the most entrancing running back in football. When Henry gets the rock he can bust a big run at any point — when he’s slowly picking his way through the line of scrimmage you’re just waiting to see if he gets enough room to move his feet in the open field. Because it’s over when he does. No Henry here, however. And the Rams might be rolling out Von Miller for this matchup. I’m not sure you can set the over high enough here — the Rams throw when they’re winning and the Titans sans Henry should be whipping it around to A.J. Brown. A full touchdown is a bit much but there’s no reason Matthew Stafford can’t name his number here.

The Pick: Rams 38, Titans 28

Bets: Over 53.5

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ETTV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Pittsburgh Steelers
-6.5

Meanwhile on Monday night, there isn’t a number LOW enough. The Bears and Steelers have a total of 40 and it might keep dipping as next week gets closer. The Steelers’ offense is pretty gross but it’s effective enough relative to Chicago. The Bears finally let Justin Fields do Justin Fields things last week, will it continue?? A full touchdown feels like a bit much here but the Steelers are just better on both sides of the ball? I think? Maybe? This game somehow has massive playoff implications. Gross. 

The Pick: Steelers 21, Bears 14

Bets: Listen to the podcast

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