Some of the NFL’s best teams are scheduled for a bye week, leaving what is expected to be a very competitive slate of games. More than half of the point spreads have been set at three points or less.
Last week was an impressive showing for the favorites, who covered nine of the 13 contests. The New York Giants were the only underdog to win outright.
Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week Nine.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at Miami Dolphins
The Bengals might be the hottest team in football, and the Dolphins have lost four straight. Playing at Sun Life Stadium shouldn’t make much a difference for the Dolphins, who have one of the worst home-field advantages in the NFL.
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Prediction ATS: Cincinnati
Atlanta Falcons (+7.5) at Carolina Panthers
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense has struggled without Julio Jones and Roddy White, but the quarterback’s four interceptions last week were an aberration. Their loss to the Cardinals was their first that came by more than one score. Atlanta should be able to keep it close in this NFC South matchup.
Prediction ATS: Atlanta
Minnesota Vikings (+10.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Whether Josh Freeman or Christian Ponder starts at quarterback, it shouldn’t make much of a difference. The Cowboys have an explosive offense, and Minnesota won’t be able to keep up one with one of the league’s worst signal callers under center.
Prediction ATS: Dallas
New Orleans Saints (-6) at New York Jets
Geno Smith has looked very much like a rookie in the past three games, throwing one touchdown and five interceptions. In order for the Jets to remain competitive, they’ll have to force Drew Brees and company to turn the ball over a few times. However, the Saints have the least amount of giveaways in the NFL.
Prediction ATS: New Orleans
Tennessee Titans (-3) at St. Louis Rams
Both teams have a hard time scoring, so it should be a close game. Kellen Clemens might only have to make a few plays to give the Rams a chance to win.
Prediction ATS: St. Louis
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Buffalo Bills
The Chiefs have shown no signs of slowing down. The betting line isn’t that wide because the Chiefs are on the road, but it hasn’t mattered much where they play their games. Buffalo should make this a tight game, but Kansas City will likely pull away in the fourth quarter.
Prediction ATS: Kansas City
San Diego Chargers (-1) at Washington Redskins
Phillip Rivers has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks this season, failing to have a game with less than an 86.4 passer rating. It might be difficult to find a worse secondary than the Redskins, and Rivers could have another big day.
Prediction ATS: San Diego
Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have been undervalued all season long, going 5-2 against the spread. The Eagles have scored 10 total points in their last two games, and Nick Foles could have trouble against an Oakland defense that has played surprisingly well.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+16.5) at Seattle Seahawks
It’s one of the biggest lines this season, but heavy favorites have done well in 2013. In Week Eight, four of five double-digit favorites covered the spread. The Bucs seem to get getting worse every week, and they’ll likely fall victim to the home dominance of the Seahawks.
Prediction ATS: Seattle
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns
The Ravens haven’t lost to the Browns since 2007 and all of those wins have come by at least six points. With Cleveland entering the game on a three-game losing streak, Sunday should be no different.
Prediction ATS: Baltimore
Pittsburgh Steelers (+6.5) at New England Patriots
The Steelers have a below-average offense, but the Patriots rank just 17th in points per game. The Patriots have struggled against the league’s better defenses, and the Steelers could have a chance to pull off the upset. Their inability to score, though, will make it tough for Pittsburgh to win outright against a smart New England squad.
Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) at Houston Texans
The Texans have shot themselves in the foot week after week with turnovers, making them 1-6 against the spread for the season. The health of running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate is in question, which will limit an offense that is led by an inexperienced quarterback.
Prediction ATS: Indianapolis
Chicago Bears (+10.5) at Green Bay Packers
The Packers only losses have come on the road to the 49ers and Bengals, who are a combined 13-3. With Aaron Rodgers going head-to-head with Josh McCown, Green Bay should get their third straight double-digit win.
Prediction ATS; Green Bay