It’s a lighter schedule than usual this week in the NFL as a season-high six teams are on the bye: Cincinnati, Indianapolis, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Arizona and Jacksonville.
Here’s a quick look at all the Week 9 matchups with Sports Interaction’s NFL odds. Games Sunday unless noted.
Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers, Thursday
This is really going to challenge my glass half-full philosophy toward the NFL and life itself because this is nothing short of a brutal prime-time matchup between one-win teams that should instead be played in the middle of the night on some remote island where no one can see it. Hey, it’s in San Francisco so is Alcatraz available? The winner here actually could lose in the long run in terms of getting the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. Click here for an extended preview of this TNF matchup.
Pick ATS: Oakland
Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills
Short week for the offensively embarrassing Buffalo Bills, who are essentially tanking this season just like the Raiders are. Buffalo hosted New England on Monday without injured rookie starting QB Josh Allen. The Bears stopped a two-game skid Sunday with a 24-10 home win over the Jets. Star pass-rusher Khalil Mack sat out injured and too early to tell if he plays here. It’s Chicago’s fourth straight game vs. an AFC East foe.
Point spread: TBA (depends on what Bills do Monday and Allen)
Pick ATS: TBA
Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns
The Browns could have chosen Patrick Mahomes at No. 1 overall in the 2017 draft. Just saying … Chiefs are thrilled they didn’t as Mahomes already has 26 touchdowns passes – as many as the Chiefs had all of last season. Could be a bit of a trap game for K.C. as it’s the team’s only road game in the span of about a month.
Pick ATS: Cleveland
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
Last meeting of the season between AFC East rivals. Miami won 20-12 at the Jets in Week 2. Ryan Tannehill threw two TD passes, but he’s expected to miss a fourth straight game due to injury. Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold threw for 334 yards but actually had a poor game with two interceptions and several misses. Both of these head coaches are on the hot seat.
Pick ATS: Miami
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Neither NFC North team looked good at home on Sunday. The Lions were 28-14 losers to the Seattle Seahawks, while the Vikings were pushed around in a 30-20 loss to New Orleans in a rematch of last year’s NFC Divisional Round game. Detroit and Minnesota split last year, each winning on the road.
Pick ATS: Minnesota
Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins
The Falcons saved their season (for now) with a Week 7 Monday night win over the Giants and come off their bye. Washington also is off playing the Giants. The Skins won their third straight, 20-13 on Sunday. Adrian Peterson continues to make a case for NFL Comeback Player of the Year in rushing for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Pick ATS: Atlanta
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Who starts at quarterback for Tampa this week? After pulling Jameis Winston following his fourth interception Sunday in Cincinnati and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick leading a huge rally, only for the Bucs to lose on the last play of the game, Coach Dirk Koetter wasn’t saying. It would be a surprise if it’s not Fitzpatrick. Carolina has won four of five following Sunday’s impressive 36-21 home win over Baltimore.
Pick ATS: Carolina
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Always physical and usually close when these bitter rivals meet. The former was true in Week 4 and the latter was for a half of their first meeting. The teams were tied 14-14 all at halftime but the Ravens got four Justin Tucker field goals after intermission to win 26-14. Will this be the week the Steelers finally get back star running back Le’Veon Bell from his holdout?
Pick ATS: Baltimore
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos
Houston is on extra rest after beating up on Miami last Thursday, the Texans’ fifth straight victory after starting the year 0-3. Deshaun Watson threw five TD passes. The Broncos were 30-23 losers in Kansas City. The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, and don’t be surprised if Denver makes a deal or two in a selloff with this season already essentially lost at 3-5.
Pick ATS: Houston
Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks
The Chargers have surged back into the AFC West race on a four-game winning streak and come off their bye week. They might see the season debut of star defensive end Joey Bosa (foot injury). Seattle impressively won in Detroit on Sunday 28-14 as QB Russell Wilson had the first perfect rating of his career.
Pick ATS: LA Chargers
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints
Most weeks, this is the clear marquee matchup but it takes a bit of a backseat to the game immediately below. The Rams stayed unbeaten thanks to some late good fortune Sunday vs. Green Bay, which might have given a defensive blueprint to help slow L.A.’s high-powered offence. The Saints had the most impressive win of Week 8, going to the Vikings and winning 30-20. This one is huge for the potential top seed in the NFC playoffs.
Pick ATS: New Orleans
Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
The Sunday night game will draw mega-ratings and wagers at Sports Interaction because it’s only the second time two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and Patriots’ Tom Brady, will face off. They are the biggest stars in the NFL. It’s also probably the last meeting unless they face off in the Super Bowl.
Point spread: TBA (like Patriots around a TD)
Pick ATS: New England
Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys, Monday
It’s a bit unusual for teams both coming off bye weeks to meet , but that’s the case for these 3-4 clubs. Both are among the worst passing offences in the NFL, but Dallas tried to address that problem by trading for Raiders top receiver Amari Cooper last week.
Pick ATS: Dallas