Week 9 Early Games
LA Rams -3.5 (5-2) @ NY GIANTS (1-6)
The Rams and the Giants are both coming off their bye week, but they are headed in opposite directions with the Rams tied for the 1st in the NFC West and the Giants buried in the “Pit of Misery” at the bottom of the NFC East.
The Rams are coming off a nice European vacation after shutting out the Cardinals in London. They have not had a home game since October 8th when lost to the Seahawks. The Rams clearly enjoy playing in front of an actual crows of NFL fans as they are 4-0 away from the LA Coliseum and just 1-2 at home. Good news for Rams fans, the road trip continues this week with a game against Giants in New Jersey.
The Giants last game was a bad loss to the Seahawks in which the defense played well but the offense was downright terrible. Not much is going right for the Giants these days. Injuries are mounting, crippling an already weak offensive line and hurting a defense that is on the field more than 65% of the game.
Further hurting the team, coach Ben McAdoo suspended Janoris Jenkins, arguably the team’s best player this year, indefinitely for returning late from the bye week hiatus. Sure, the suspension is warranted, as was the one-week suspension given to DRC a few weeks back, but this is sign that McAdoo has lost the respect of the veterans and the locker room. The rest of the team is denying that is the case, but come on, really? If he did have control of the team, issues like this would never make it to the papers.
If not for the injuries and suspension to Jenkins, we’d be calling for a NYG upset and we’d be running to the counter to take the +3.5 points. But like the McAdoo with the Giants locker room, this season is lost. Expect the Giants offense to again struggle and the Rams offense to dominate time of possession on route to an easy win keeping Giants fans in the Pit of Misery. The Pit of Misery. Dilly dilly!
PICK: LA Rams -3.5
NEW ORLEANS (5-2) -7.5 vs. Tampa Bay (2-5)
HEAT CHECK ALERT! The Saints have won 5 games in a row staring Super Bowl rumblings down in the Big Easy. Don’t book those tickets yet Saints fans. Let’s take a closer look at those five wins:
Week 3: Beat Panthers on road 34-13 (no Olsen or Benjamin for Panthers)
Week 4: Beat Dolphins in London 20-0 (worst offense in the league)
Week 5: Bye
Week 6: Beat Lions at home 52-38 (3 defensive TDs)
Week 7: Beat Packers on road 26-17 (no Rodgers, down 7-6 at the half)
Week 8: Beat Bears at home 20-12 (replay reversal of Miller’s TD catch changed game)
Sure, that a nice win streak, but is it at all convincing? We don’t think so. The Saints D has not been tested since Stafford’s failed rally in the 4th quarter of week 6. Other QBs the team has faced include Trubisky, Hundley, Culter and Cam (who was about 50% healthy in week 3).
Tampa has too many weapons on offense to not be in this game. We’re looking for a big game from Mike Evans and Cameron Brate to grab at least one TD. Saints fans should be on upset alert which is why we love getting 7.5 points with the Buccaneers.
PICK: Tampa Bay +7.5
HOUSTON (3-4) -13.5 vs. Indianapolis (2-6)
Congratulation Houston Astros fans! Amazing to think that the Astros win in the World Series is the first major championship for the city of Houston, the 4th largest city in the Unites State. Houston has been in the news a lot this year with the World Series win being the lone positive. On the negative side, Houston suffered catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Given the severity of that situation, it is amazing to look back on that story now as the 3rd worst thing that happened to Houston in 2017, see rankings below:
DeShaun Watson’s torn ACL
J.J. Watt’s broken leg
Sad but true. After a promising start to his early career, Watson tore his ACL Wednesday in a non-contact situation during practice. As a result of the injury, Vegas moved the line 7 points making Houston a 6.5 point favorite. Losing Watson is huge, but we think Houston will still have no trouble moving the ball up and down the field this week against the 2nd worst defense in the league (yards against) no matter who the starting QB is.
Move over “Blake Bortles Facts”, there’s a new sheriff in town. “Capt. Andrew Luck” has taken over the top position of the list of Twitter NFL QB Parody accounts.
The Colts have finally placed Andrew Luck on IR, thus ending his season. But that should have no effect on the team as Luck was never close to returning this year. As a result, the reigns have been officially turned over to Jacoby Brissett, finally. The Colts lost a tough one last week to Cincinnati. But Cincinnati is a train wreck right now so that takes something away from the one point loss.
Houston continued to put points on the board last week, losing to Seattle 41-38 in what proved to be the best game of the season’s first half. DeShawn Watson threw for over 400 yards and 4 TDs against a tough Seattle defense. He should have no trouble moving the ball up and down the field this week against the 2nd worst defense in the league (yards against).
Even with Captain Luck on the sidelines trying to rally the troops, there will be no saving this lost season. Houston will win by at least a touchdown, covering the 6.5.
PICK: HOUSTON -6.5 (line adjusted down from -13.5 due to Watson’s injury)
TENNESSEE (4-3) -4.5 vs. Baltimore (4-4)
Each week there is a game full of field goals, missed extra points and penalties leading to a wonky final score of 13-9 or something similar. Somehow, that game always involves Tennessee or Baltimore. Well, bad new football fans, this week Titans and Ravens meet in Nashville an epic battle of mediocrity.
We’re confident that each team will have at least 4 or 5 offensive drives that look promising but result in a turnover or bad penalty leading to long field goal. Spotting each team 4 field goals, we fell this game comes down to which offense can muster a touchdown. Tennessee is coming off a bye giving Marcus Mariota two weeks of rest for his aching hamstring. Baltimore also had extended rest after badly beating Miami last Thursday night giving Joe Flacco enough time to recover from a vicious blow to the head. The edge goes to Mariota and the Titans who will prevail 16-12 (missed extra point of course) so give the 4.5 and take the Titans at home.
PICK: TENNESSEE -4.5
JACKSONVILLE (4-3) -4.5 vs. Cincinnati (3-4)
Jaguars results so far in 2017
Week 1: Win
Week 2: Loss
Week 3: Win
Week 4: Loss
Week 5: Win
Week 6: Loss
Week 7: Win
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: ?
We like patterns, especially when they are this predictable. Great timing on the bye week as the Jags avoided a loss in week 8. Now in an odd week, the “good” Jaguars will show up and be ready to play. With already arguably the strongest pass rush in the league, the Jaguars bolstered the defensive line in the off week picking up Marcell Dareus in a salary dump trade with the Bills. Dubbed “Sacksonville”, the Jags defensive line adds another All Pro lineman. Wow! Too bad they still have Blake Bortles at QB.
Andy Dalton must be nervous heading into this game. Dalton has already been sacked 22 times this season and the Jaguars D is leading the league in that category with 33. The heavy pass rush will force Dalton into making some bad throws, something he’s already pretty good at doing.
Leonard Fournette will be back for Jacksonville, keeping the ball on the ground and out of Bortles’ hands. Between Fournette controlling the ground game and the clock and the Jaguars D playing the whole game in Cincy’s backfield, we think the Jags cruise to an easy win.
PICK: JACKSONVILLE -4.5
CAROLINA (5-3) -2.5 vs. Atlanta (4-3)
You heard it here first, if the Falcons lose this game, Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian will be fired and deservedly so. This is not an outlandish predication given some of the latest sports prognostications that have come through:
There have been rumblings about the Falcons offensive performance under Sarkisian and we’re pretty sure he was saved by the Meadowlands Monsoon last weekend and a close Falcons win. Surprisingly, no one is calling for his job. We are. If the Falcons fail to generate any significant offensive against the Panthers a change needs to be made.
The Panthers traded away their best WR this week in a surprising move. Apparently, he was clogging up the middle of the field and the Panthers wanted more room for Christian McCaffrey gimmick plays. Cam Newton was not so happy with trade as he was given no notice that they were trading his good friend.
Cam’s a pro, but this trade will definitely have an impact on his on-field demeanor (which is already terrible). This will be a close game that can go either way. Take Atlanta and the points, Sarkisian will do just enough to keep his job.
PICK: Atlanta +2.5
PHILADELPHIA (7-1) -7.5 vs. Denver (3-4)
Week 6 flashback: Denver is 3-1 coming off a bye, facing the 0-5 NY Giants at home. Final Score: NY Giants 23 – Denver 10. Be careful Eagles fans, this same thing could happen to you.
Denver made a QB change this week, electing to start Brock “The Heist” Osweiler in place of Trevor Siemian. Why refer to Osweiler as “The Heist”? Well, because he earned it.
If the Osweiler can manage a W, it will be the first win for a QB on the Browns payroll since 12/24/16. Of course it would be for another team, Browns fans can't have nice things.
This is a scary spot for the Eagles. It will be their 3rd home game in a row and next week the Eagles have a bye. Perfect spot for a let-down game. The Broncos are coming off an island game (only game on) loss that included five turnovers. The betting public remembers the last game and bets accordingly. Eagles looked great beating the Redskins, Broncos looked terrible losing to the Chiefs. We think there is a bit of an overreaction both ways. The Eagles are good, not great. And the Broncos are okay, not terrible. This line is 3 points too high. Take the Broncos and the points in the...wait for it…Me Undies Backdoor Cover of the week.
PICK: Denver +7.5