2020 Week 9 NFL Game Picks & Locks
GB (5-2) @ SF (4-4) / SF +2.5
- In all honesty with all the COVID cases surrounding this game we have no clue how it's still scheduled to take place. While the Packers are really hurting at the RB position it's NOT EVEN CLOSE to what the 49ers are dealing with. SF will be without Garoppolo, Kittle, Aiyuk, Trent Williams and Bourne offensively. Even though there is depth at RB for SF other than that they are absolutely devastated. We realize that the GB defense just allowed Dalvin Cook to run all over them but nobody for the 49ers has that type of ability currently. Simply put, yes the Packers might have their own issues defensively and no proven WR #2 opposite Davante Adams, but this is a game that will allow them to overcome that and probably relatively easily. We love everything about GB in this game.
DEN (3-4) @ ATL (2-6) / ATL -3.5
- The Broncos are coming off an astonishing come from behind victory where you would have thought they were playing the Falcons, but that matchup is actually taking place this week. For Atlanta they beat the Panthers but in the process lost Calvin Ridley, which is a potentially HUGE blow if he can't suit up for this game. In all honesty that is the main storyline that has to be tracked here as even if the Falcons are still the better team offensively their defense will even the playing field for Denver. And on the flip side the Denver defense is more capable than the Atlanta unit and can further narrow that already small gap. At the end of the day with these teams looking like they are on similar playing fields we look to the QB where we give the advantage to Matt Ryan. Don't get us wrong the Broncos can absolutely get a win here which is why we LOVE them on the spread but for Atlanta as long as Ridley plays we are willing to take a chance on them outright.
SEA (6-1) @ BUF (6-2) / BUF +2.5
- Seattle got back to their winning ways in convincing fashion last week while the Bills were on the verge of potentially losing to the Patriots, but then got bailed out by a Cam Newton fumble. And yes, the Bills game was one of those that was affected by heavy wind last week but the real problem is that the Josh Allen we saw at the start of the season has all of a sudden disappeared. As a result, this offense isn't as potent and has dealt with consistency issues. To be fair though, we expect this to be a bounce back game for Allen since if the Bills want to keep pace with Seattle, Allen will have to put up a BUNCH of points. And in truth this is extremely realistic vs a Seattle secondary that has been getting exposed since the start of the season. On the flip side, Seattle is still unsure if they will have Chris Carson back but we believe vs a suspect Bills rush defense they will be able to overcome that potential loss. With all these factors in place we have to give the edge to the more consistent QB and the MVP so far in Russell Wilson who has had much better command of his offense compared to Allen these last few weeks. While we expect a lot of point to be scored here, we think Seattle will pull away late and win by 4-5 points.
CHI (5-3) @ TEN (5-2) / TEN -5.5
- Another week, another exposing loss for the Bears where we see that their offense isn't reliable enough for them to be true contenders. To be fair though, the Titans are coming off an arguable even worst loss as they got upset by the Bengals last week. While this brings up consistency questions about the Titans it's not even remotely on the same level as the Bears. From top to bottom offensively the Titans are the better team offensively. As is always the case for the Bears their only saving grace will be their defense. And to be fair we think that will be enough to keep this game close for 3.5 quarters, but at the end of the day when it matters most the offense won't be able to make the big play to earn the victory. As long as the Bears continue to only play 1 quarter of decent offense they can't be trusted, but we still give them the benefit of the doubt on the spread due to their defense.
DET (3-4) @ MIN (2-5) / MIN -3.5
- .The Lions got absolutely waxed last week vs the Colts as their defensive weaknesses were once again exposed. But heading into this game they could have even bigger issues on the offensive side of the football in particular. The Lions will for sure be without Kenny Golladay, but with the news of Stafford being place on the COVID/IR list that is where things get really concerning. We all remember how much the Lions struggled without Stafford last year and it'll likely be pretty similar this week. The Vikings are coming off an astounding upset over the Packers where they rode Dalvin Cook to the victory and if they were smart they would employ the exact same formula this week. Without Stafford and Golladay we give a sizeable advantage to the Vikings offense. Neither one of these defenses are all that great so this game comes down to offensive performances and without Stafford we think this one will be a wrap.
BAL (5-2) @ IND (5-2) / IND +2.5
- Tough loss for the Ravens last week vs the Steelers, but we've been saying it for a while, unless Lamar Jackson plays at an MVP level every week this is a flawed offense. The normal saving grace here would be the defense for the Ravens but they have been ravaged by COVID cases and if all those players are unavailable then the Colts could be in a great position to pull off the upset. At this point in time the most sure thing for this game seems to be that it will be a low scoring one with both teams having a chance to win. In that scenario, even with the Colts having a good defense, we don't believe it's on the same level as the Steelers and for that reason we expect Lamar Jackson to be able to put the Ravens in a position to win this game. Furthermore, if the affected defensive players for the Ravens are somehow cleared for this game (which could be the biggest story here) then we also like the Ravens on the spread as they'll cause havoc for Rivers.
CAR (3-5) @ KC (7-1) / KC -10.5
- Congrats Carolina fans this is the week you've been waiting for as CMC is expected to finally return from his ankle injury. Unfortunately, it will also be vs the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. Personally, if CMC returns we expect him to have a lighter workload initially and even with receivers like Anderson and Moore the Panthers won't be able to hang with the Chiefs. KC just obliterated the Jets through the air and while we don't expect this will be that easy of a win, the Chiefs should still be locks here. We expect a return to focusing on the rushing attack for KC vs this CAR defense and honestly with how much the Panthers secondary struggles with speedy WR's this could yet again be a big day for guys like Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman. The spread is the only thing worth considering here as it's a bit of a big number, but we tend to favor KC as the Panthers will need some garbage time luck to stay in this game and we don't see that happening vs this defense.
NYG (1-7) @ WAS (2-5) / WAS -3.5
- This was a game we saw a few weeks ago and back then we said this would be a series that would likely be split and we are sticking to that. Washington barely lost that game after a failed 2-point conversion so we know this game will be close. The Giants have the better skill players in this case, but they face the much tougher defense and will also be on the road. For Washington as long as Kyle Allen doesn't get turnover happy we expect them to be able to get the victory here. And even though Daniel Jones has piled up some wins vs Washington in a low scoring, close game where Jones also has his fair share of turnover problems we will take the team with the better defense. The one thing worth saying is that with WAS at -3.5 taking the Giants on the spread seems like the best pick to make here and one of the safer picks of the week.
HOU (1-6) @ JAX (1-6) / JAX +6.5
- This could very well be the game where we see the Jaguars move on from Gardner Minshew as we will see the debut of rookie Jake Luton. For Houston, despite all the trade rumors surrounding their players they didn't move a single piece and come into this game positioned very well. This Jaguars team has been a defensive mess all year long and we expect a BIG game from Deshaun Watson, David Johnson, and the Houston WR's. And as bad as the Houston defense has been when you take into account that this will be the first start for Luton and we could see a spike in turnovers for the Jaguars offensively which is what gives us confidence that the Texans win this game and could even turn this game into a blowout. We love the Texans offense here and this game could very well feature one of the higher scoring totals of the week so taking the over on the points could be a good bet as well.
LV (4-3) @ LAC (2-5) / LAC -1.5
- This is one of the tougher games to predict on the week as it features a divisional clash featuring the Chargers who specialize in keeping games close and finding ways to lose them late. Yes, the Chargers might have the better weapons in this game and Herbert has brought a spark to their offense but the Chargers continue to find ways to lose games. Maybe it's because of the defense, the coaching, or the offense and their inability to put teams away but one way or the other it happens every single week. With the spread being so close, this game should be viewed as a pick'em and for us that means taking the Raiders. No doubt both teams will have a chance to win this game and there will likely be a lot of points put up here. If that's the case even the smallest mistake could be a big difference here so for that reason we give the slight edge to the more experienced QB in Carr.
PIT (7-0) @ DAL (2-6) / DAL +10.5
- The Steelers have an efficient offense, the best defense in the NFL, are still undefeated and now face a team that is seemingly switching QB's every single week. This could be one of the most lopsided games we see this entire week as the Cowboys have lost their entire offensive identity without Dak Prescott. Regardless of who plays QB for Dallas this game is going the way of the Steelers and you can take that to the bank. We expect the Steelers defense to likely hold Dallas to under 10 points total and from there the rushing attack of the Steelers should take center stage in this game. In fact, don't be surprised to see Pittsburgh sit it's starters come the 3rd/4th quarter, that's what we think of this matchup. The spread is high but your confidence in the Steelers dominating should be just as high if not higher.
MIA (4-3) @ ARI (5-2) / ARI -4.5
- The Dolphins shockingly got a very comfortable win over the Rams last week but it wasn't due to stellar play from Tua instead it was owed to their underrated defense. Now Miami will face the Cardinals and their stacked offense with a red-hot Kyler Murray who has also been a force on the ground. Both teams will be without their starting RB's (Gaskin and Drake) but we believe that this is actually a benefit for the Cardinals as Chase Edmonds is more well rounded due to his pass catching. On the flip side if the Dolphins want to keep pace with the Cardinals this will have to be a game where Tua airs it out and piles up the passing yards. Favorably so for Miami this will be much easier to do vs the Arizona defense which is why we give them a chance in this game and think it will be a close affair. But, when push comes to shove we think the Cardinals are the more trust-worthy offense and Murray gives them the slight edge due to his dual-threat abilities.
NO (5-2) @ TB (6-2) / TB -4.5
- This is rematch of a Week 1 affair where the Saints pulled out the win amongst two teams that are relatively evenly matched. In fact, we said at the start of the year that this series will be split with the home team getting a victory each and wouldn't you know it the Bucs are at home this time. Offensively there are A LOT of big storylines here! For the Saints they are expected to finally get Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders back which will add a much needed passing boost to their offense. But for the Bucs well this will be the Antonio Brown game as he will make his season debut. Now, before we get too crazy let's acknowledge that all these guys will probably be on a bit of a pitch count so their full affect won't be quite felt. For the Bucs the status of Chris Godwin is still also up in the air which could be key here especially when considering the spread. In retrospect though, this Bucs defense is what gives is confidence in taking TB to win this game as we think it can slow down the best weapon for the Saints in Alvin Kamara which will be crucial.
NE (2-5) @ NYJ (0-8) / NYJ +7.5
- The Patriots continue to struggle offensively but silver lining at least they aren't as bad as their opponent in the Jets. Currently the expectation is that the Jets will have Sam Darnold available but as we say every week in regards to the Jets, it probably won't matter. And as bad as the Patriots have been this year if there were ever a game to trick people into thinking you've figured it out it would be vs the Jets. In fact, that's exactly what we think will happen here as the Patriots hold the advantage over the Jets in almost every category and should finally get back to their winning ways. We expect a big rushing performance from the Patriots and a stout defensive effort as they beat up on the Jets.
- GB, KC, HOU, PIT, NE