The week didn't start out very well, as the Miami Dolphins beat the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime, with the game ending on a safety. That not only gave Cincy the loss, but it also foiled my against the spread pick. Cincy was favored by three.
Six teams this week are on a bye, so there are only 11 games left on the Week 9 docket. Here are my picks against the Vegas spread for Sunday and Monday.
Chiefs (-3) at Bills: I'm done trying to figure out how the Chiefs do it, but when they are sacking the quarterback at a record pace, creating turnovers and their quarterback doesn't screw things up, how can you pick against them, especially when they are playing the Bills. Notable fact: It is only the second time in 25 seasons an 8-0 team playing a team with a losing record is NOT favored by more than a field goal. Notable fact No. 2: teams the week AFTER playing the Saints are 46-81 against the spread. Pick: Chiefs -3.
Vikings at Cowboys (-10): Christian Ponder starts again for Minnesota, while the Cowboys get running back DeMarco Murray back in the lineup. While I expect Dallas to win, they are not terribly great against the spread. They have covered only six of 22 games as a home favorite. Likewise, the underdog in Dallas games is 40-16 ATS over the last four years. I like Dallas to win, but not to cover. Pick: Vikes +10.
Titans (-3) at Rams: Poor Rams with no Sam Bradford. They do, however, have a fantastic defensive line pass rush. This will keep them in the game. The truth is I like the Rams in a straight up win, so naturally I will go with them plus the points.
Saints (-6) at Jets: The Jets have been wacky this year, winning every other game. That would mean they win this week after having their doors blown off against Cincinnati. However, New Orleans is 13-2 against the spread in their last 15 games. The Saints roll by at least a touchdown.
Chargers (-1) at Redskins: Philip Rivers continues to play at an extremely high level (74 percent completion percentage!). Washington continues to struggle and Robert Griffin doesn't look right. The NFC East is bad and San Diego is not. Take the Chargers here. With a one-point spread, it is simply picking a winner, unless the improbable tie occurs.
Falcons at Panthers (-7.5): The Panthers have been impressive. The Falcons can't seem to stop anyone. However, Atlanta is 22-5 against the spread after a loss (they fell to the Cardinals last week). I don't think the Falcons win straight up, but they will keep it within a touchdown. Take the points here.
Buccaneers at Seahawks (-16.5): This is a scary spread. Tampa is plain bad, but 16.5 is big. At this point, winless teams are decent against the spread (62 percent historically), plus Seattle had a short week. Their offensive line issues will continue. They will win, but take the points. That's just too many for a team that has some talent on defense.
Ravens (-2.5) at Browns: Baltimore has won 11 straight over Cleveland. However, they have not been impressive. In my straight up picks, I have the Browns in the upset. Clearly I think they will win against the spread, too, then.
Colts (-2.5) at Texans: I honestly don't know why the Colts are not favored by more. They already have beaten the 49ers, Seahawks and Broncos. Why couldn't they beat Case Keenum? This pick is easy. Indy rolls.
Bears at Packers (-10.5): No Jay Cutler for Chicago. Aaron Rodgers is missing a ton of weapons, but he is still Aaron Rodgers and he still has Jordy Nelson. As much as Josh McCown is a great guy, he won't be able to matchup up with Green Bay at home. Packers by a bunch.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
- 5 questions with Darren Urban, Kent Somers and Jess Root
- Arizona Cardinals: How are the players from the 2013 draft class doing?
- Arizona Cardinals: Karlos Dansby having 'legendary' season
- What has been the best performance of the 1st half for the Arizona Cardinals?
- Falcons vs. Cardinals: Offensive and defensive snap counts, observations