(Image credit Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
I can't believe that it is Week 9 and we are at the halfway point of the NFL regular season. Before we take a look at my picks for week 9 let's take a look at my week 8 pick performance. And which teams are on a bye week.
Week 8: Record 7-8
Overall record: 54-64-3
Teams on a Bye Week
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Washington Football Team
Now that we have gone through how I went in Week 8, I will now give my weekly NFL draft picks with spreads for week 9. The Spreads from these games were all found on Draftkings.
Thursday Night Football
New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (Spread -10.5)
The Jets pulled off a big upset against the Cincinnati Bengals last week. Never in a million years would I think Mike White would come in and play as well as he did. The Jets will have to face a team that has a competent coach and say what you want with the Bengals but I am not a big fan of Zac Taylor as the head coach for the Bengals. He made awful decisions in that game. Frank Reich is a better coach and I think the Colts are better than the Jets. The offense is a bit beaten up but they are facing a Jets defense that is not that good and what is going on with John Franklin-Myers. He has disappeared since he signed a four-year extension with the team. Their secondary is young but will face a beaten-up Colts core but this Michael Pittman is a good player. I think Johnathan Taylor will have a strong game this week as well with the Jets run defense surprisingly not playing well the last few games. The Colts should be healthier on defense and on offense. However, I will take the Jets as I feel that this is too many points for me not to take the Jets even though the Colts are the home team. I think the Colts win by a touchdown or a field goal but not by 10 points. By the way, the Indianapolis Colts would have been my survivor pick for this week.
My Pick: New York Jets (+10.5)
Sunday Football 1:00 PM
Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (Spread -6.5)
You know what time it is. It is the 5th Tank Game in the Tournament for the 1st overall pick. By the way, did you know this Spread opened up as the Dolphins being 8 point favorites? Like Why? That is way too many points for Miami and the spread books came to their senses lowering the Dolphins to being 6.5 favorites which is a harder spread to pick. If the spread was still the Dolphins being 8 point favorites I would have Superlocked them this week. In my opinion that is still way too many points for the Dolphins to be favorites. I think Tyrod Taylor will be the starter in this game but I have no clue yet. Both Defenses are terrible but this game could go either way. I think the Dolphins will win this game but I will take the points with the Texans.
My Pick: Houston Texans (+6.5)
New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers (Spread +3.5)
I have no clue what to think of the Carolina Panthers but one thing is clear. This team lives and dies through Christian McCaffery. When he is on the field this team is great but when he is injured and not playing this offense is a mess. I don’t think he will play this game. I have no idea who will start at QB if it is Sam Darnold or XFL Legend/MVP PJ Walker at QB. If it were me I would put PJ in this game due to Darnold’s injury and I hate to say it but Darnold is awful. He made some awful throws the past few weeks. It stinks for me to say this because I was a big fan during his college football days with USC, but he has not looked good at all and I want to see how PJ Walker will do against New England. But I think New England is the better team and Mac Jones has surprisingly been the best rookie QB that has come out of the 1st round of this draft class. The Patriots defense is still solid as well and I think they should do well against the Carolina Panthers. I will pick the Patriots in this game but this is a no bet for me as of now. But if McCaffery is out for this game then I will bet the Patriots.
My Pick: New England Patriots (-3.5)
Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants (Spread +3)
I debated this game a lot because the Giants have played games tight but I don’t know what to think of them. Their offense is beaten up and I have no idea if Saquon will be playing. Their defense played well against the Chiefs but that offense is broken. It will be interesting to see how they play against the Giants. Let's be real and honest with ourselves here Joe Judge is a terrible head coach. I mean he blamed a headset that has been an issue for multiple weeks being the reason why they lost games including the chiefs game. Yes because it's not the terrible coaching decisions like his poor utilization of his timeouts, maintaining the poor culture of the locker room, poor clock management, and kicking a field goal on a 4th and 2 on the 5-yard line when a Touchdown all but seals the game and is not the analytical approach. Then again Joe Judge hates and refuses to utilize analytics which is not how you succeed in the new NFL. The Las Vegas Raiders can’t catch a break as they have to deal with yet another distraction after Henry Ruggs decided to drive under the influence and it resulted in the death due to that car accident. I think the Raiders will be distracted again and I will go with the New York Giants in this game spread wise but I don’t want to bet on this game.
My Pick New York Giants (+3)
Update: Henry Ruggs has officially been released from the Las Vegas Raiders as a result of this car crash. What a sudden fall from grace here is someone who went from being a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and was the first receiver taken in that draft. Was projected to have a breakout season by many analysts in the league. Had a ton of support from the coaching staff too. This kid had all the talent in the world to make an impact in the NFL. Now he is out of a job and is facing time in jail from 2-20 years for a DUI resulting in death and 1-6 years with a reckless driving charge. In total Henry Ruggs could be in jail for around 3-26 years in prison.
To be honest I don't see how Henry Ruggs comes back from this one. His NFL Career is most likely over as a result of this bad decision to drive while intoxicated.
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this crash and the family of the woman who lost her life as a result of this car accident.
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (Spread +14)
I am not going to go on long from here. I think this game is a mismatch as the Bills are better on offense and defense. The Bills are the better-coached team and I keep saying this but I doubt Urban Meyer lasts another season as the head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. This Jaguars team is so bad that they had Geno Smith look like he was the best QB in the NFL. You think they have a chance at beating Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills this week. Absolutely not and even though they are the home team I will definitely take the Bills in this game and I will be betting on this game. It would perplex me if this game was close at all because the Jaguars are a mess.
My Pick Buffalo Bills (-14)
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (Spread -6)
The New Orleans Saints are a complete mystery team this season.
No Jameis Winston as he suffered a torn ACL injury and will not return for the season. I don’t know if Taysom Hill will be ready to go. If not then Trevor Siemian will start who I honestly forgot was still in the NFL. The last I saw him was when Myles Garrett hit him low and dirty years ago (Again was not called by the Refs for some reason which I am still annoyed with to this day) which made him suffer a brutal season-ending injury. Then Luke Falk came in and started at QB. Remember him yeah I choose not to as Falk was terrible with the Jets. The Saints pulled an upset beating Tampa bay. Atlanta’s defense is absolutely horrendous and I wonder how well this offense will be, not knowing when Calvin Ridley will return after stepping away from football to focus on his mental well-being. Again Take all the time you need Calvin and I will be excited to see you return whenever you are ready. There is no chance I will bet on this game but If I were to take a team I would take the points with the New Orleans Saints as they are the home team in this game.
My Pick: New Orleans Saints (-6)
Update on Michael Thomas: News just broke while writing this that now Michael Thomas will not be returning this season due to his ankle injury. This is extremely bad news for the Saints but if there is one thing they proved is that the Saints can be effective on offense and win games without Michael Thomas. It will be interesting to see what they do with him during the offseason if they decide to keep or trade him during the Offseason. If they do try to trade him they may have to utilize the Osweiler Effect in order to get rid of his awful contract. His current Cap hit now on the Saints is according to Spotrac.com at around 24.7 Million dollars for next season. The Saints could take the option of releasing him as well due to the fact that the Saints have an Out in the 2022 offseason. It will be interesting to keep an eye on Michael Thomas for the Saints in the upcoming offseason. I wonder what Saints GM Mickey Loomis will do.
Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys (Spread -9.5)
No word yet on whether Dak will play this game. Cooper Rush performed well though and proved many who questioned his roster spot wrong when they cut Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci. The kid made some great throws against Minnesota and will face a beaten-up Broncos team. The Cowboys defense is excellent as well and Trevon Diggs is excellent. He could be a franchise player on this defense if he continues to play this well for years. The Denver Broncos on the other hand is beaten up right now. I have no idea why Teddy Bridgewater is starting as the guy is beaten up right now and can barely walk right now. Why is Drew Lock not in at quarterback? It must show that he is terrible that he is not taking over for a clearly injured QB. The Broncos strength is in defense but it is beaten up and they traded Von Miller and It is clear the Broncos are tanking now. Both head coaches in this game are terrible and I don't even know who is the better coach, McCarthey or Fangio. To be honest I don’t feel confident taking the Cowboys as 9.5 favorites against the Broncos with Cooper Rush at QB but I will go with the Cowboys in this game. If Dak is playing then I will absolutely lock this pick in.
My Pick: Dallas Cowboys (-9.5)
Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens (Spread -6)
The Minnesota Vikings are an extremely overrated football team. Their defense is brutally bad and they just lost Danielle Hunter which is a big loss to the team's pass rush. Their secondary is also bad and Cameron Dantzler is awful as he has been brutal in coverage all season. The Vikings defense is on the decline and was terrible against a Cooper Rush-led Dallas Cowboys team. I have no clue what is going on with the Vikings and I got to say Kirk Cousins is now awful but there is something not right with this offense. These are games that the Vikings can not lose because they have a brutal schedule for the rest of the season. I got to say I think the game has passed Mike Zimmer as he has made numerous questionable calls as well. I like the Ravens and I think they are the better team in this game. To add to it Baltimore is coming off a bye with an extra week to prepare and they should be a lot healthier in this game. I will go with the Baltimore Ravens in this game.
My Pick: Baltimore Ravens (-6)
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (Spread -2.5)
Cincinnati proved to us last week to A never look ahead of games and B Never trust Zac Taylor. He made some awful play calls and coaching decisions in this game and it cost them a win. I am still shocked CB Eli Apple is still on the Bengals because he has been horrible this season and is a liability for the Bengals secondary. In their division, every win and loss is important as I have no idea now who will even win this AFC North division. The Bengals are a lot healthier than the Browns are but we said this last week against the Jets. I don’t have any confidence with this game as Cleveland is still hurt and Baker is not 100%. The Browns also lost Jack Conklin which is a huge loss for this o-line. The Defense is also banged up as well and I don’t know how healthy they will be in this game. I don’t know what to pick here and this game is a no bet for me but If I had to pick a game where I would go with the Bengals I guess. Stay far away from this game this week.
My Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
Sunday Football 4:05 PM
Los Angeles Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles (Spread +2)
The Chargers have disappointed me the last few games but what else is new regarding the Chargers. The Chargers were the home team and had the New England Patriots go to the West coast and they put up a strong performance. The Chargers should have never left San Diego as there are mostly visitor fans that go to their games. The move to Los Angeles has been a complete disaster for the team. The only person that benefits from this move, in reality, is Stan Kronke as they are paying rent to the LA Rams to play at Sofi Stadium. Herbert threw a terrible interception in that Patriots game but should have a better performance with this weak Philadelphia Eagles defense. I am a pro-Jalen Hurts guy but he will have a tough time when facing the Chargers defense. The Chargers defense should do a good job providing pressure to QB’s and I think they should be able to do that with Jalen Hurts. I will not be betting on this game but if I had a choice I would take the Los Angeles Chargers in this game but I am not confident in it at all.
My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers (-2)
Sunday Football 4:25 PM
Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs (Spread -1)
This is the game of the week for me but I got to say this spread is way too low in this game. How are the Packers underdogs in this game? The only reason why the Packers did not destroy the Cardinals is half of their receiving core and coaching staff were not at the game due to being placed on the Covid list. They should do a great job against a broken Kansas City Chiefs team. That is the best way to describe the Chiefs is by calling them broken. Something is up with Patrick Mahomes as he has not been the same player he was seasons ago. I don’t know if it is something physical with an injury or something mental going on but there is something right now with how he is playing. The Running game is a mess as Clyde Edwards-Helaire is hurt and Darell Williams is terrible he stinks too. Derrick Gore looked solid but I wonder how he will do against Green Bay. The Chiefs bought at the trade deadline acquiring Melvin Ingram for Pittsburgh and we will see how he does with his new team. The Packers secondary is awful but he should be fine once Jaire Alexander and the rest of the secondary are healthy. Aaron Rodgers is still the QB and should be good in this game
UPDATE: Right when I finished writing that line, news came out that Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss this game against the Kansas City Chiefs and Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. It is a massive blow for this entire Packers team and the offense. This also sucks for Aaron as he was extremely excited to play against Patrick Mahomes and he won't be able to due to contracting Covid-19. Now it looks like Jordan Love will be the starting QB for this game and I am going to now pick the Kansas City Chiefs in this game. Aaron Rodgers is the heart and soul of this team and I have no confidence in Jordan Love. Plus he will have to play in Kansas City which is one of the toughest places to play and Peyton Manning even admitted that on Monday Night Football on ESPN.
My Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-1)
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (Spread Pick’Em)
I am not surprised at all that this spread is a Pick’Em. Especially with how injured both teams are this game could be an injury bowl. I will start with the Arizona Cardinals after they suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Green Bay Packers after Aj Green did whatever he did again. Honestly, he has done this way too many times this season and I was shocked they did not trade him at the deadline. That might be because DeAndre Hopkins is dealing with a hamstring injury he suffered against the Packers. To make it worse Kyler Murray also is dealing with an injury and could miss this game. The Defense looks lost without JJ Watt in the lineup. The 49ers are also beaten up as well with Jimmy Garoppolo playing with an injury and Trey Lance being injured as well. The defense in the secondary is banged up as well and Javon Kinlaw is out for the season due to a season-ending injury. But I have to admit that the 49ers are healthier than the Cardinals. I just think Arizona is too injured right now so I will Pick the San Francisco 49ers to win this game.
My Pick: San Francisco 49ers (Pick’Em)
Sunday Night Football
Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Rams (Spread -7.5)
This would have been the game of the week for me but Derrick Henry suffered a foot injury and I have no idea if he will be able to come back this season. They say 6-10 weeks but there are some that say the rest of the season. I honestly think the Rams are the better team, especially on offense now that Matthew Stafford finally has a competent coach, o-line, and consistent running back around him. The Titans defense is not good and the Rams are just more talented. Especially acquiring Von Miller from the Denver Broncos via the trade deadline. This Rams defense is stacked and I think it will be too much for the Rams to handle so I will take the Los Angeles Rams and I will absolutely be betting on them in this game.
My Pick: Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)
Monday Night Football
Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers (Spread -6.5)
I want to start by asking a question. Is anyone shocked that Justin Fields looked a lot better when he did not have head coach Matt Nagy on the sidelines? I am not as Fields absolutely looked a lot better when he is not getting coached by someone who is not a fan of Fields. By the way, Justin Fields would have had more touchdowns if Cole Kmet can consistently catch when he is in the end zone. Khalil Herbert is a player but Pittsburgh's defense is still a good run-stopping defense. The Bears defense should be healthier this week. I think both Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks should play this week after they didn't last week due to an injury. The Steelers are still a mess of a football team that unsurprisingly played down to competition against a backup quarterback in the NFL. Then again roses are red and violets are blue. The coaching was also a mess against the Cleveland Browns making questionable calls. Explain to me why in the world would you run a fake field goal in the second quarter when the game is tied 3-3? The Steelers had an easy kick they could have made and still would have taken the lead. By the way, that fake field goal injured your player after he took a brutal hit knocking him out for the rest of the game. Again I ask Why is Mike Tomlin still coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers again? There is no chance I will take the Steelers in this game as I don’t feel they are a touchdown favorite in this game especially when the Steelers almost lost to a Geno Smith-led team with the Seahawks. I will take the Bears but I won’t be betting this game
My Pick: Chicago Bears (+6.5)