I went 9-3-1 against the spread last week. I even hit on underdog moneylines with Oakland and Cincinnati. They weren’t huge payouts, but it was icing on a strong week of picks.
Sunday afternoon may end up being Peyton Manning’s last game in Indianapolis. Will he cover?
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 9 of the 2015 NFL season.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-11.5) – My pick is Cleveland Browns
Johnny Manziel will start this game at QB for the Browns. This line is a tad bloated, but I still see the logic of people betting on the Bengals. Joe Haden and Donte Whitner are both out with injuries. Manziel is a big enough wild card in this game that I’m taking the points. The short week affects teams in weird ways.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets (-7) – My pick is New York Jets
This line was taken off the boards at many sportsbooks as they wait on which QB will start for the Jets. I’m going to assume Fitzpatrick will start. The Jets defense has been eating up teams and Jacksonville is like a wounded gazelle in the Serengeti. I’m taking the Jets to cover by a touchdown.
St. Louis Rams at Minnesota Vikings (-2) – My pick is St. Louis Rams
I struggled over this pick. This game will be won on the ground. Minnesota hasn’t faced a team that runs the ball a lot since Week 1. They let Carlos Hyde run for 168 yards. Minnesota has been great against the run since, but that game does give one caution. Todd Gurley has been fantastic since coming back from ACL surgery. I’m going to go with the upset and take the Rams as a possible moneyline play.
Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5) – My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh lost Le’Veon Bell for the season just as they got Ben Roethlisberger back. Big Ben wasn’t great last week in their loss to Cincinnati. DeAngelo Williams has been really good as their ‘change of pace’ back this season. Oakland has been better than expected as Derek Carr has matured into a Pro Bowl candidate. I don’t like Oakland traveling across the country. Pittsburgh is a tough place to play. I’m taking the Steelers.
Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers (+3) – My pick is Green Bay Packers
I watched the entire Colts/Panthers game last week. Their secondary was fantastic for most of the game. I also watched the entire Packers/Broncos game. The Packers played like horse sh*t. I don’t expect Aaron Rodgers to have a poor outing in back-to-back games. The Panthers are due for a loss. I didn’t like how they laid off the gas late in the game and let the Colts back in it. I’m taking the Packers to take care of business on the road.
Washington Redskins at New England Patriots (-14) – My pick is New England Patriots
A two-touchdown point spread is a bit ridiculous, but I see it happening. New England’s offensive line is a mess, but Redskins doesn’t have much of a pass rush. Washington has also been out-gained by over a 100 yards in each of their last three games. I’m taking New England to cover on Sunday.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-3) – My pick is Buffalo Bills
Miami looked like they were getting things straightened out, then they ran into New England last week on Thursday Night Football. I guess any team can play really well against Houston and Tennessee. Tyrod Taylor is expected to start at QB for Buffalo. The loss of Cameron Wake really hurts Miami. They will need a strong pass rush to win this game. I don’t see it happening. I’m taking Buffalo to cover at home.
Tennessee Titans at New Orleans (OFF) – My pick is
This game is the off the board until we know Tennessee’s starting quarterback. If the line is less than New Orleans by a touchdown, take the Saints.
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (+7) – My pick is Atlanta Falcons
The Niners are a sh*ts how right now. Colin Kaepernick is getting benched to ‘clear his mind’ and San Francisco will start Blaine Gabbert. Yes, the same Blaine Gabbert that was so bad that even the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t want him as a backup. The Niners also shipped tight end Vernon Davis to Denver. Atlanta hasn’t been great the last few weeks, but it won’t take many points to cover this game.
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5) – My pick is New York Giants
First off, last week’s Giants/Saints game was insane, right? The Giants secondary was horrible, but Eli Manning was on fire. Tampa Bay has been pretty good in their last three games. They should be 3-0 during that stretch, but they gave up a huge lead against Washington. Tampa Bay is a young team and still makes mistakes on defense. I’m taking the Giants who will exploit those mistakes.
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (+6.5) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Ugh. I’ve been a Colts fan all my life. It’s really difficult to watch the Colts this season. It’s like I’m watching a car accident in slow motion. Indy fired offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who I feel has been great in that role. He even interviewed for a head coaching vacancy in the offseason. Someone had to go and it wasn’t going to be the general manager, but I highly doubt Hamilton was the issue. Peyton Manning has been playing at about 60% of his old self, but Denver is still undefeated. This could be Peyton’s last game in Indy. I’m taking Denver to cover at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (+3) – My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas beat Philadelphia earlier in the season by the score of 20-10 in Philly. Tony Romo got injured in that game. Matt Cassel is now the starting quarterback this time around. He is clearly working with a limited amount of the playbook. Dallas will put in more plays each week. They lost by a point to Seattle last week. The Seahawks have played like garbage on the road this season and they continued that trend. The Eagles are coming off a bye week and will cover on Sunday Night Football.
Chicago Bears at San Diego Chargers (-4) – My pick is Chicago Bears
Chicago lost Matt Forte for a couple weeks after he sprained his MCL against Minnesota last week. The Bears have lost back-to-back games by only a field goal. They have been much better since Alshon Jeffery came back from injury. The Chargers have also been coming up short in close games. Philip Rivers has been trying to win games by himself. The running game hasn’t been there. He received bad news this week that their #1 receiver Keenan Allen could be lost for the season with a lacerated kidney. I’m going to take the points in this game.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob