I went 5-0 in Week 8, which marked my second perfect 5-0 week in the last three weeks. I’m now 27-13 on the season, picking money line. In Week 9, six teams will have a bye: Cincinnati, Arizona, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, and the New York Giants.
Let’s keep it rolling. Here are my picks for Week 9:
MINNESOTA VIKINGS over Detroit Lions
-The 4-3-1 Vikings are a 5-point favorite at home. They’re coming off a loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 8. The 3-4 Lions are also coming off a loss, falling to the Seattle Seahawks 28-14. The NFC North is anyone’s division right now, so this might as well be a playoff game Sunday at 1 p.m. in Minnesota. In which, I’ll take the home team. This pick is as simple as Minnesota being the better team in their own building.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS over Cleveland Browns
-The 7-1 Chiefs have won two straight since losing to the New England Patriots in Week 6, beating the Cincinnati Bengals and most recently the Denver Broncos. They’ll now travel to Cleveland to take on a 2-5 Browns team that’s lost three straight and just fired their head coach and offensive coordinator. The response to a move like that in the middle of the season could go either way, but I’m not putting my money on the Browns using it to upset one of the best teams in the NFL. Kansas City is a 9-point road favorite Sunday at 1. Statistically, Cleveland actually has one of the worst pass defenses in the league. That’s not what you want going up against Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs will go into Cleveland and win their eighth game of the season.
ATLANTA FALCONS over Washington Redskins
-The 3-4 Falcons are coming off the bye, and even though they’ve won two straight games, they’ll be a 2-point underdog in D.C. Sunday at 1. The 5-2 Redskins have won three straight and are in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Washington also just acquired safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in a trade with the Green Bay Packers before Tuesday’s trade deadline. So the Falcons will have their work cut out for them on the road against a top-10 defense. That said, Washington’s offense is average at best, and I just think the Falcons’ offense will have a chance to win a close one, with their defense having some extra time to get ready for a pedestrian Redskins offense. Give me Atlanta to win its third straight.
LOS ANGELES RAMS over New Orleans Saints
-The Rams are the only undefeated team in the NFL, at 8-0, after a two-point win over the Green Bay Packers last week. Now, LA heads to New Orleans to take on a 6-1 Saints team that’s won six straight since losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. This is a battle between two of the best offenses in football. The over/under is 60. That’s right, 60. The biggest difference between these two teams is on the defensive end. The Rams have a top-five defense, allowing just 19 points per game, while the Saints’ defense ranks 23rd in the league, averaging 26 points per game. This won’t be easy for the Rams, but I believe in them too much to bet against them in this one, especially as a 2-point underdog. I can’t believe I’m even saying that the 8-0 Rams are an underdog, but here we are. I’ll take LA to stay undefeated.
LOCK OF THE WEEK: CHICAGO BEARS over Buffalo Bills
-When looking for a “Lock of the Week,” this is one of those weeks where you ask, “Who’s playing the Buffalo Bills?” Well, in Week 9, that would be the 4-3 Chicago Bears. The Bears are coming off a 24-10 win over the New York Jets and are now a 9-point favorite in Buffalo Sunday at 1. The 2-6 Bills have lost three straight and are coming off a loss to the Patriots on Monday night. Buffalo will be going with their third-string quarterback in Nathan Peterman, and I think we all know how this one is going to end. Chicago finds itself in a battle for first place in the NFC North, and with the Green Bay Packers in New England, and Minnesota battling with divisional rival Detroit, this is a great opportunity for the Bears. I don’t think there’s any way Peterman doesn’t throw at least two interceptions. The Bears will win this one, and they might win it with ease.