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Week Nine Picks

November 2nd, 2017

Even I can’t complain about these results.

I went 13-0 straight up in week eight. It wasn’t exactly the toughest slate of games to pick. But still. And even with the added challenge of picking against the spread, I finished 9-4. I can’t imagine ever doing any better than that.

For the season, I now stand at 76-43 (.639) straight up, 57-58-4 (.496) against the spread.

And all of that points squarely to a major correction in week nine. Which is to say here’s what really, really not to expect.

Buffalo (-3) at NY Jets
A week ago, I said I’d have to consider buying into the notion of Buffalo as a contender for a postseason berth if they beat Oakland handily. And then the Bills went and beat the grog out of the Raiders. So I guess I’m officially on board the bandwagon. Maybe not enough to pick the Bills playing on the road on short rest — if they were playing a good team. But they’re playing the Jets. I expect the Bills to come out +2 in turnovers and +10 in points scored.

Denver (+8) at Philadelphia
The Broncos can make all the cosmetic changes to their starting lineup they want, they’re not suddenly going to become a good football team. And when you’ve got a not good football team traveling for the third straight week and playing a very good football team, it isn’t terribly difficult to peg the result. Eagles by 17.

LA Rams (-3.5) at NY Giants
For all the Rams success so far this season, I still suspect they’re a year away from being a truly dangerous football team. But the Giants are only a danger to themselves at this point. Los Angeles by six.

Tampa Bay (+7) at New Orleans
The Saints defense isn’t terribly good (which is going to present rather a problem in January), but it does a fine job of shutting down bad offenses. New Orleans by 10.

Cincinnati (+4.5) at Jacksonville
No one will ever be able to say Andy Dalton fell off a cliff at age 30. He only turned 30 on Monday, and he’d already fallen off a cliff by that point. Maybe the Bengals defense will hold the Jaguars’ margin of victory down to something like seven. But probably not.

Atlanta (+1) at Carolina
I refuse to devote to this game the energy it would take to flip a coin. So I’ll go with the home team. Panthers by three.

Indianapolis (+7) at Houston
The Deshaun Watson injury unquestionably derailed an exciting debut season for a young talent. But it didn’t really change a whole lot about 2017 for the Texans. They weren’t really going anywhere with Watson; they can just as easily not go anywhere without him. And with or without him, they’re still a better team than the Luck-less Colts. But maybe not a full touchdown better. Houston by 4.

Baltimore (+5.5) at Tennessee
I’m not sure I understand the spread on this game. In fact, if these teams were playing in Baltimore, I wouldn’t hesitate to take the Ravens. I suspect the Titans find a way to win it at home, but I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t come down to the wire. Tennessee by a point.

Arizona (-2) at San Francisco
The 49ers probably have their quarterback of the future. But not of the moment. And still, they’re at home. And facing an opponent that’s worse than many realize. San Francisco by a field goal.

Washington (+7.5) at Seattle
I’m not sure the Seahawks’ four-game win streak has been all that impressive. And I don’t expect to be any more impressed when they extend it to five. Seattle by nine.

Kansas City (+2.5) at Dallas
When it looked like the the Cowboys were going to have to play without their dickhead running back, I had the Chiefs coming out on tip by a field goal. But now that’s changed (again), so I’m flipping it around. Dallas by three.

Oakland (-3) at Miami
It would be almost impossible for both teams to lose this game. I think. Raiders by one.

Detroit (-2.5) at Green Bay
I don’t know. Brett Hundley‘s probably gonna have some degree of success at some point, right? Packers by four.

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