Good Evening
Good Evening

NFL Week 9 picks: Pats shut down Ravens to get to 9-0; Giants cover, Jets don't; Packers lock of the week

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 27: Stephon Gilmore #24

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 27: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots defense Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns during a game at Gillette Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images/Billie Weiss

In honor of Halloween, let's take a look at which teams have been a trick or treat to back this season against the spread.

First, the treats: The 49ers were 6-1 ATS entering Week 9, followed by the Packers, Saints and Rams at 6-2. The Colts (5-2), Lions (5-2), Jaguars (5-3), Vikings (5-3) and Cardinals (5-3) are right behind then.

Now, for the tricks: The Falcons (2-6), Chargers (2-6), Jets (2-5), Bears (2-5), Bucs (2-5) and Browns (2-5) have been the worst teams to back. The Giants, Eagles and Chiefs are all 3-5.

Underdogs went 8-7 ATS last week and are 69-51-1 for the season. Road teams went 8-6 ATS and are 72-44-2.

My most confident picks ATS this week are the Packers, Patriots, Bucs, Jaguars and Vikings. Tricky games to avoid: Jets-Dolphins and Bears-Eagles.




TV: Ch. 4, 8:20 p.m.

Patriots by 3; O/U: 45.5

Eight down, eight to go. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are halfway home to another 16-0 regular season, and this will be the Patriots’ toughest challenge yet. John Harbaugh is 3-6 vs. Belichick, with two wins in the playoffs, and while he had an extra week to prepare for the Pats, it won’t be enough. New England’s defense might be the best one he’s ever seen, and even the elusive Lamar Jackson will have trouble finding running room. Belichick will make Jackson beat him through the air, but Stephon Gilmore and the McCourty twins will have that covered. How good has Belichick's Pats been against first and second-year quarterbacks? They're on a 21-game win streak in such matchups (including their last three games against Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield), the longest in NFL history (remarkable stat courtesy of PointsBet). The Pats have heard nothing but “they haven’t faced a good team." They’ll be looking to make a statement in prime time, and led by their dominant defense, they will.

The pick: Patriots

JETS (1-6) AT DOLPHINS (0-7)

TV: Ch. 2, 1 p.m.

Jets by 3; O/U: 42.5

If the Jets hadn't beaten the Cowboys (that really happened, right?), this would be 0-7 vs. 0-7. Things have gotten so bad for Adam Gase's new team that Adam Gase's old team appears to be in better shape. For a squad that is supposedly tanking for the top pick, Miami (3-0 ATS run) hasn't played like it of late. It led early in the fourth quarter at Buffalo and was up 14-0 at Pittsburgh on MNF. The Jets have been pushovers the last two weeks and now the clubhouse is a complete mess after all the trade talk drama. I don't really want to pick this game but I'll take the home team getting points against a Jets team that shouldn't be favored over anyone.

The pick: Dolphins



TV: ESPN, Ch. 11, 8:15 p.m.

Cowboys by 7; O/U: 47.5

Dallas favored by 7? At MetLife Stadium? Against a reeling New York club? Stop us if you’ve heard this before. Much like the Week 6 matchup against the Jets, the Cowboys take on a desperate team at home as the Giants look to avoid a fifth straight loss. Dallas, off a bye after its 37-10 win over the Eagles, won’t be caught off guard this time like it was in a 24-22 loss to the Jets. But this still feels like a couple too many points. Daniel Jones, who fumbled in his only series at the end of the Week 1 loss at Dallas, finds a way to keep this rivalry rematch close enough.

The pick: Giants


TEXANS (5-3) VS. JAGUARS (4-4)

TV: NFL, 9:30 a.m.

Texans by 1.5; O/U: 46.5

This is the Texans’ first trip to London. The Jaguars? It’s their home away from home, as this will be the seventh straight season in which they played across the pond (3-3 all-time). In a matchup of two teams fighting for position in the crowded AFC South (5-2/5-3/4-4/4-4), that familiarity could be key. Gardner Minshew, Leonard Fournette & Co. also won’t have to worry about J.J. Watt. Houston won the first matchup, 13-12, at home in Week 2 after turning back Doug Marrone's two-point conversion gamble. This one should go down to the wire again.

The pick: Jaguars

1 p.m. GAMES


Colts by 1; O/U: 43

This should be a pretty close matchup between two teams off ugly comeback wins. Indy is 3-0 ATS on the road with two outright wins, including at Kansas City. Pittsburgh may be down to its fourth running back because of injuries. The Colts are more consistent and will also have the added benefit of knowing what a win would mean for the tight division race, as Houston and Jacksonville play at 9:30 a.m. Could this come down to an Adam Vinatieri last-second field goal for the second straight week?

The pick: Colts


Panthers by 3.5; O/U: 42

Kyle Allen and Carolina were humbled in a 51-13 loss at San Francisco. Allen (4-1 as a starter) now takes on Ryan Tannehill (2-0) in a battle of backups who have stepped up. Carolina's defense is a step up from the Titans' last two opponents, the Chargers and Bucs, so give me the Panthers at home with the added motivation of bouncing back after their worst loss.

The pick: Panthers


Line: OFF (Mahomes status uncertain)

Note: If Patrick Mahomes plays, the Chiefs likely will be small favorites (1-3); if he doesn't play, the Vikings figure to be favored by a similar amount.

Even if Patrick Mahomes plays (it's doubtful he does), the Vikings would be the pick. Their passing attack and Dalvin Cook's explosiveness out of the backfield will give the Chiefs defense fits all day. Mike Zimmer's defense, on extra rest after a TNF win, will frustrate Matt Moore and hand Kansas City its fourth straight home loss, an unthinkable stat a month ago.

The pick: Vikings

BEARS (3-4) AT EAGLES (4-4)

Eagles by 5; O/U: 42

Philly showed what a desperate team could do with a big win at Buffalo. Now it hosts a desperate Chicago team on a three-game skid. This is a double-revenge game, as Eagles running back Jordan Howard takes on the team that traded him in the offseason and the Bears face the team that upset them at home in the playoffs last season. The Eagles should win but the Bears need this game just as much, or even more, so expect a close (double doink?) finish.

The pick: Bears


Bills by 9.5; O/U: 37

Washington went 2-0 ATS in a matter of five days . . . despite scoring just nine points! They covered as 9.5-point underdogs vs. the 49ers (9-0 loss) in Week 7 and then 16.5-point underdogs at the Vikings (19-9 loss) last Thursday night. Buffalo is 0-3 ATS as a home favorite. I'd prefer it if Case Keenum plays over Dwayne Haskins, but Washington should be able to run it successfully on Buffalo like Philadelphia did and keep this inside the big number.

The pick: Redskins

4 p.m. GAMES



Packers by 3.5; O/U: 48.5

Remember last week how I said everything has gone Green Bay's way this season? Well, that's the case again here as they essentially get a home game at Lambeau West. The traveling Cheeseheads (hey, that's a good band name) will outnumber any remaining Chargers fans and be treated to another comfortable win led by Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and a defense that will stop a sputtering offense whose coordinator was just fired. The Chargers (2-6 ATS) have lost three straight at home, the last two against a winless Denver team at the time and a one-win Pittsburgh team starting its third-string QB. This game is a total mismatch, and the Packers (6-2 ATS) won't have to worry about a road atmosphere.

The pick: Packers

BUCS (2-5) AT SEAHAWKS (6-2)

Seahawks by 5.5; O/U: 52

Russell Wilson and Seattle are clearly more consistent than Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay. But when you pick every game every week, you start to pick up on certain tendencies. Seattle is 0-4 ATS at home, with two one-sided losses and two wins by one point apiece. Winston and Mike Evans should have success on deep balls against a beatable secondary. I’m going to go with a hunch that this is another weird game in Seattle that is closer than you’d think.

The pick: Bucs

LIONS (3-3-1) AT RAIDERS (3-4)

Raiders by 2.5; O/U: 50.5

Oakland returns home for the first time since Week 2(!), and fans will be treated to a "last to have the ball wins" kind of game. Matthew Stafford (16 TD passes, 2,093 yards, 105.3 rating) and Derek Carr (11/1,695/103.6) will have big days against two of the bottom three pass defenses in the NFL, so play the over; over and over again. This is a toss-up, but I trust Stafford to make one more big play.

The pick: Lions


Browns by 3; O/U: 39

This line went from Browns +1 to Browns -3 after the Broncos announced third-string QB Brandon Allen was starting. If Cleveland is to make a second-half run (the schedule is favorable), it NEEDS to win here. The Broncos are 1-3 at home. Baker Mayfield won at Denver last season, and he will do it again -- with lots of help from Myles Garrett and the pass rush.

The pick: Browns


(best bets in bold)


64-56-1, 6-2 best bets

Last week: 7-8

Dolphins Giants Jaguars Colts

Panthers Vikings Bears

Redskins Packers Bucs

Lions Browns Patriots


49-71-1, 0-8

Last week: 7-8

Jets Giants Texans Colts

Panthers Vikings Bears

Bills Chargers Seahawks

Raiders Browns Ravens


54-66-1, 4-4

Last week: 6-9

Dolphins Giants Texans Colts

Panthers Vikings Eagles

Bills Packers Seahawks

Raiders Browns Patriots


60-60-1, 3-5

Last week: 6-9

Jets Cowboys Texans Colts

Panthers Vikings Eagles

Redskins Packers Seahawks

Lions Browns Patriots

New York Sports