Only 26 teams are in action on the NFL upcoming schedule, and the Week 9 slate consists of an interesting mix of games. Two teams are favored by more than 10 points, but a few of the matchups feature two of the best teams in each conference.
Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 9, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas casinos.
Cleveland Browns (+11) at Cincinnati Bengals
It’s hard to bet against the Bengals, considering they are the only NFL team that hasn’t lost against the spread this season. But the Browns get the slight edge here because they are getting so many points. Cleveland has done well against the spread as underdogs under head coach Mike Pettine, going 10-4-1 in their last 15 games. They’ve managed to lose by just one score against the Raiders and Broncos, and they kept it close with Arizona last week for most of the game. The Bengals have covered the spread in just one of their last four Thursday night games, including a loss at home against the Browns around the same time last season.
Prediction ATS: Cleveland
Oakland Raiders (+4.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
When the regular season ends, this could end up being the most important game in determining the final AFC playoff spot. Both teams are near the top of the wild-card standings, and they are seemingly out of their divisional races. Losing Le’Veon Bell will hurt Pittsburgh, and Ben Roethlisberger didn’t look completely recovered from his knee injury in the team’s Week 8 loss. The quarterback should bounce back with a better performance, but Derek Carr has been terrific for Oakland, and the game could be decided by a field goal, either way.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
St. Louis Rams (+2.5) at Minnesota Vikings
The Rams’ defense continues to impress, not having allowed a touchdown in their last two games. They rank sixth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per attempt, and St. Louis could pick up a big road win if they limit Adrian Peterson’s effectiveness. Todd Gurley might be even better than Peterson at this point in his career, and he’s facing a Minnesota defense that ranks 25th in yards allowed per carry. The Vikings are very good at home, but that wasn’t a problem for the Rams when they upset the Cardinals in Arizona earlier this season.
Prediction ATS: St. Louis
Miami Dolphins (+3) at Buffalo Bills
If this game had been played last week, the betting line would be very different. But now that Tyrod Taylor is back and the Dolphins are without Cameron Wake, the Bills should win for the first time in almost a month. The bye week has helped Buffalo get healthy, and they already have a 27-point win over the Dolphins in Miami this year.
Prediction ATS: Buffalo
Washington Redskins (+14) at New England Patriots
The undefeated Patriots seem like a lock to win by at least seven points, considering they’ve done so in all seven games this season. But they’ve let teams score points in garbage time this season, and the same could happen on Sunday. The Steelers, Bills, Colts and Jets all lost to the Patriots by just one score because they scored in the final two minutes.
Prediction ATS: Washington
Green Bay Packers (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers
Green Bay suffered their first loss last week, and it might be time for Carolina to lose their first game of 2015. The Panthers are one of the NFC’s best teams, but they’ve been fortunate to remain undefeated, winning close games against subpar competition. Aaron Rodgers will bounce back after throwing for just 77 yards against Denver, and Cam Newton and his 78.1 passer rating could have trouble keeping up with the Packers’ offense.
Prediction ATS: Green Bay
Atlanta Falcons (-7) at San Francisco 49ers
After their 5-0 start, it’s becoming clear that the Falcons are not a top team. They haven’t had a convincing win since they beat the lowly Texans in Week 4, and they could have easily lost their first three games. Blaine Gabbert can’t play much worse than Colin Kaepernick has, and the 49ers have actually been competitive at home, going 2-2 and playing the Packers tough in one of those losses. Atlanta should win, but it won’t be a dominant performance.
Prediction ATS: San Francisco
New York Giants (-2.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Giants won’t score 49 points again, but they have one of the league’s most explosive offenses when they are on their game. The Bucs don’t have much of a home-field advantage, needing to beat the Jaguars a few weeks ago to get their first win in Tampa Bay since 2013. The Bucs followed up their first two victories this year with losses, and that trend should continue on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: New York
Denver Broncos (-5) at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are simply not a good team, especially since Andrew Luck keeps making so many costly mistakes. Averaging a little over two interceptions per game, the quarterback could struggle mightily against Denver, who has the NFL’s best defense. The Broncos forced Aaron Rodgers to have one of the worst games of his career, and Peyton Manning doesn’t have to be great for Denver to win.
Prediction ATS: Denver
Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) at Dallas Cowboys
The return of Dez Bryant should help the Cowboys’ offense, but this team can’t win without Tony Romo. They’re 0-5 with Brandon Weeden or Matt Cassel as the starter, and it won’t matter who gets the call on Sunday. The betting line is only less than a field goal because the Cowboys are home, but they’ve gone just 5-7 in their last 12 games in Dallas.
Prediction ATS: Philadelphia
Chicago Bears (+4) at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are just 2-6, and they are now riddled with injuries. San Diego doesn’t have much of a home-field advantage, going 2-4 in their last six home games. If the Bears hadn’t allowed touchdowns in the last two minutes in each of the last two weeks, they’d be on a four-game winning streak. Chicago has a good chance to beat the banged up Chargers, and even if they do blow another game on Monday night, they can still cover the four-point spread.
Prediction ATS: Chicago
Jacksonville Jaguars (+7) at New York Jets
The Jets have been dominant against bad teams this season, beating the Browns, Colts, Dolphins and Redskins by at least 13 points each. Jacksonville is still one of the AFC’s worst teams, and they’ll suffer a similar fate on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: New York
Tennessee Titans (+8) at New Orleans Saints
Marcus Mariota is likely to start, and he’s an upgrade over Zach Mettenberger, but the Titans still have one of the NFL’s worst offenses. Tennessee has scored 14 points or less in five of their last six games, and they won’t be able to keep up with New Orleans, whose offensive is currently firing on all cylinders.
Prediction ATS: New Orleans
Season Record: 64-50-5