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NFL Week Nine Picks

November 8th, 2020

Yep, week eight was a complete disaster for me.

And, you know, it kind of was a disaster for everyone, including most of the teams that went in as favorites. So there’s that, which makes me feel not at all better about the fact that I finished 7-7 straight up, 5-9 against the spread.

For the season, through week eight, I’m 76-42-1 (.643) picking them straight, 52-63-4 (.454) with the points. I’m not happy about any of it. And my 1-0 start to this week hasn’t helped much.

Let’s have a look at what not to expect on Sunday and Monday, shall we?

Denver (+4) at Atlanta
The home team is probably less bad. And even if it’s close, the way you beat the Falcons if you happen to be one of the few teams that’s not just straight out better than they are is by passing effectively and not turning the ball over. These are things the Broncos can’t do. Atlanta by six.

Seattle (-3) at Buffalo
The Bills are the second least impressive division leading team in the league (though it’s a distant second, obviously, given the disaster that is the NFC East). The Seahawks are among the best teams in the league. And Seattle’s now in the business of collecting wins to ensure home field through the postseason. The outcome of this game should be clear by the middle of the second quarter. Seahawks by 14.

Chicago (+6.5) at Tennessee
A second-tier team playing at home ought to be able to beat a third-tier team playing on the road. Right? Titans by seven.

Baltimore (-1) at Indianapolis
This is one of those matches that probably comes down to where the game’s played. It’s being played in Indy. Colts by a field goal.

Carolina (+10) at Kansas City
Are the oddsmakers just, like, worried about hurting the Panthers’ feelings or something? Chiefs by 21.

Detroit (+4) at Minnesota
The Vikings dressed up as an actual NFL team for Halloween. It should be interesting to see if they can carry the illusion through a second straight game. Minnesota by three.

NY Giants (+2.5) at Washington
I challenge the assertion that is a professional football game. Brand X by a point.

Houston (-7) at Jacksonville
Even the Texans shouldn’t be able to find a way to lose this game. Houston by four.

Las Vegas (pick ’em) at LA Chargers
The Raiders are supposed to be the better team here. I’m not convinced they are. Or at the very least, I don’t think they’re better by much. And the Chargers are at home. Los Angeles by a point.

Pittsburgh (-14.5) at Dallas
This should be ugly. Steelers coast through the second half (because why not?) and only come out ahead by 20.

Miami (+5.5) at Arizona
The Bills are underperforming substantially enough that the Dolphins should be in contention in the AFC East. And yet … . Cardinals by a touchdown.

New Orleans (+4.5) at Tampa Bay
That Tom Brady’s just lucky he plays in the weak NFC South where none of the other teams have any real talent. Buccaneers by three.

New England (-9.5) at NY Jets
With apologies to the home crowd (which is to say my home crowd) these Patriots aren’t good enough to be giving two scores to anyone. New England by seven.

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