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The Broncos somehow upsetting the Chiefs last week prevented us from having a profitable week, but we're back at it with 5 fresh picks poised to put us back on track.
This week we have 2 totals, 2 moneyline picks, and—for the first time this season—a team total pick.
Best NFL Week 9 Betting Picks
Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins OVER 49.5 – 9:30 am ET
This pick may seem too obvious, but the Dolphins are the top offense in the NFL, and it's not even close. They are putting up 33.9 points per game this season, nearly 6 points more than the second-best offense in the league.
The Chiefs are also a team that can score seemingly at will. The wild card of this game will clearly be the location. It's the NFL's first game in Frankfurt, Germany, and both teams had to travel across the pond for this battle.
Will the jet lag affect these two typically explosive offenses? Don't count on it.
Take, for example, the Jaguars games against the Bills and Falcons. The Jaguars scored 23 in the first game against the Falcons (who only scored 6), and the next week was a high-scoring game, 25-20 against the Bills.
The Chiefs and Dolphins average 57 points per game. Conversely, the Bills and Jags have better defenses, keeping opponents to just 36.5 combined points per game, and the Dolphins/Chiefs give up 41.6 points per game on average.
All those stats support the seemingly evident assumption that this game will be a shootout. Just look at the QBs; they both rank in the top 5 of the league in yards, touchdowns, and quarterback rating. Despite the potentially tired legs of the jet-lagged players, I think they'll both score big in this one.
Arizona Cardinals UNDER 14.5 Team Points @ Cleveland Browns – 1 pm ET
We gave out the Browns as a pick with our Week 9 opening line plays and, as predicted, they are now even a bigger favorite against the Cardinals than they were early in the week.
The fact is Arizona is putting rookie Clayton Tune in an absolutely terrible spot for his first career start. He will be on the road against one of the best defenses in the NFL.
The Browns are 1st in the league allowing only 260 yards per game. They are allowing only 12.75 points per game at home this year and the Cardinals are only scoring 12.75 points per game on the road this year.
Look for the Browns to load the box and force Tune to beat them through the air, which seems unlikely given his lack of experience. It will be a challenge for the Cardinals to get the ball in the end zone more than once and they should be trailing and, at some point, FGs won’t be an option as they try to catch up.
Play the Cardinals team total UNDER 14.5 on Sunday afternoon.
Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons UNDER 37.5 – 1 pm ET
Kirk Cousins is out for the season with a knee injury, and while they went out and traded for veteran Josh Dobbs on Tuesday, they'll start rookie Jarren Hall at QB.
Hall isn't necessarily a bad quarterback; he had a 66% completion percentage, 3,100 pass yards, and 34 total touchdowns last year for BYU. However, that's college, and as we all know, success in college, especially at BYU (Zach Wilson) does not always translate to the NFL.
My best guess of how this game will play out is that head coach Kevin O'Connell won’t ask a lot of Jarren Hall. That means lots of runs, short passes, and bleeding nearly all 40 seconds on the play clock between each play.
It also means that the emphasis in practice this week will be defense, and they'll be looking to keep Atlanta from hitting big plays and winding up in the endzone. It's a recipe for a short, low-scoring game with crafty offense and stifling defense on both sides.
Atlanta has also had their own QB struggles as Desmond Ridder came out of last week's game with a concussion and did not return despite apparently clearing concussion protocol. Backup QB Taylor Heinicke came in and played well enough to earn the start this week in a somewhat surprising move by head coach Arthur Smith.
With both teams having uncertain quarterback situations and decent defenses (Atlanta has given up 20.1 points per game, and Minnesota has given up 20.3 points per game), I see this as a very low-scoring affair.
Los Angeles Rams Moneyline (+142) @ Green Bay Packers – 1 pm ET
The Rams are my underdogs this week, not necessarily because I believe that they are that great, but rather because I believe the Packers are just that bad.
The Packers are on a four-game losing streak, and their only two wins came against the Bears and the Saints in a close 1-point game. They've lost to both the Broncos and the Raiders within the last four weeks, and QB Jordan Love's seat has gotten hotter as the season has progressed. The same goes for coach Matt LaFleur.
The Packers' offense has reminded me a lot of the New York Giants' lethargic offense, especially when Saquon is hurt, and I don't believe that they can stay in a game when the Rams start scoring touchdowns.
The question for the game will be how the Rams’ offense will perform. Their defense is mid, giving up 333 yards per game and 23 points, but better than both Raiders (337 ypg and 23.4 ppg) and Broncos (405 ypg and 28.3 ppg), who each kept the Packers under 20 points in their matchups.
That leaves the Rams with the ability to easily outscore them with just a few big drives or plays. Luckily for the Rams, they have the 9th best offense in the league in terms of yards per game with 354.5 and are in the top half of the league in terms of scoring with 21.9 points per game.
Obviously, the wild card here is Matt Stafford's thumb, but I'm banking on him being ready to go. They can also rely on Darrell Henderson, who is a big play threat, and Royce Freeman, who has over 5 yards per rush this season.
The Rams look like a solid underdog choice this week.
Las Vegas Raiders Moneyline (-125) vs. New York Giants – 4:25 pm ET
The Raiders had a house cleaning of sorts when they fired head coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler. That should put players on notice that their jobs may not be safe as new head coach Antonio Pierce will be evaluating every position, which should bring out the best from everyone on the team.
The Raiders have also benched QB Jimmy Garoppolo and will give rookie Aidan O’Connell the starting job.
The good news is that O’Connell has weapons at WR like Davante Adams and Jakobi Myers to help in the passing game.
This will also be a game where the Raiders can rely on RB Josh Jacobs and the run game as the Giants rank 24th against the run allowing 127.4 yards per game.
The Giants will get QB Daniel Jones back from a neck injury, but he will likely need some time to get back up to game speed and shake off some rust, which will be tough to do against a Raiders front led by Maxx Crosby who is constantly pressuring the QB.
This is a tough spot for the Giants. They are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Jets that all but ended their season and now they fly across the country for a non-conference game.
The Giants have won just 3 of their last 10 road games, while the Raiders have won 6 of 10 at home.
The changes in Vegas may all be for the better, with the spread so close to PK, play the Raiders on the moneyline on Sunday afternoon.
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