Let's focus our attention on what the NFL odds makers are hanging for this week and get out in front of it to include them to our winning Week 9 NFL picks
Browns vs. Bengals (-11)
The Battle of Ohio should be more like a massacre as the Cats have revenge on their minds after getting swept in the home and home series last year by the lowly Browns. Cleveland is banged up and the Bengals want to prove that this year's edition is for real.
NFL Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -11
Raiders vs. Steelers (-4)
There's finally hope in Raider Nation with Derek Carr proving he is the elusive true blue bona fide QB Oakland has been pining for since Kenny Stabler...or at least Rich Gannon. However, their pass defense is a wreck and passing is what Big Ben does about as well as anyone. Bottom line, Steelers have a defense and the Raiders don't. Play Pittsburgh.
NFL Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -4
Rams (+2 ½) vs. Vikings
The two most dynamic rushers in the game faceoff when Todd Gurley meets Adrian Petersen. However, the Rams have the better run stop unit, a better pass rush and yes, the better runner. The NFL odds makers have given us less than the critical three points we demand so what do we do in that situation? Buy the hook! Play the Rams.
NFL Pick: St Louis Rams +2.5
Dolphins vs. Bills (-3)
The Fins were dealt a sobering reality in Foxboro last week when the Patriots stomped them as their new head coach Dan Campbell looked on hopelessly. The Bills have had two weeks to prepare for this divisional foe and will come out swinging. Play the Bills.
NFL Pick: Buffalo Bills -3
Titans vs. Saints (-7 ½)
I can't fathom a world in which a banged up Marcus Mariota trades TD's with a guy like Drew Brees who tossed more touchdowns last week against the Giants than many of his contemporaries will throw in a quarter of a season. Is it really so hard to believe the Saints win this by double digits? Ah...no. Play the Saints and for the luvva gawd...buy the hook!
NFL Pick: New Orleans Saints -7.5
Redskins vs. Patriots (-14)
The only way the Patriots don't completely thrash the Redskins is if they become disinterested. Kind of like that video game that you keep beating to the point where anything shiny is enough to distract your attention. With Bill Belichick roaming the sidelines and Tom Brady barking plays I doubt that's going to happen. Play the Patriots.
NFL Pick: New England Patriots -14
Packers vs. Panthers (+2 ½)
Last week the Broncos exposed all the glaring weaknesses that are hurting the Packers right now. Aaron Rodgers no longer has anyone reliable to throw to with Jordy Nelson out, a gimpy Randall Cobb and a receiver in James Jones that runs hot and cold. His pass protection is getting more porous by the week and Eddie Lacy seems to be playing at 80 percent. Meanwhile the Panthers are rolling and should run all over a weak Packers run stop unit. The Cats win this one outright. Play the Panthers.
NFL Pick: Carolina Panthers +2.5
Falcons vs. 49'ers (+7)
If you have included the Falcons in your NFL picks over the last four weeks then I pity you. Matty Ice and crew have failed to cover the number during that span and it's been against lousy teams like Washington, Tennessee and Tampa Bay with New Orleans being the only decent one of the bunch. The Niners have at least done something by benching Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert. I say the 49'ers hang close at home to an overrated Falcons squad.
NFL Pick: San Francisco 49ers +7
Giants (-2 ½) vs. Bucs
The Bucs are due for a letdown after their biggest win of the season when they stunned the Falcons in Hot-lanta. The Giants meanwhile came out on the wrong end of a shootout with the Saints. Question: How do the Bucs keep up with a Giants offense that is capable of exploding as they did last week? Answer: They don't. Play Big Blue.
NFL Pick: New York Giants -2.5
Broncos (-5) vs. Colts
The Colts fired their offensive coordinator this week as the fingers are starting to point and the chips are beginning to fall. Their franchise quarterback is ailing, their defense is a mess and the season hangs in the balance. So what better team to roll into town than the undefeated Denver Broncos?! Yes, the same Denver Broncos that held Aaron Rodgers to 77 yards last week in a rout over the Packers. Lay it and play the Broncos.
NFL Pick: Denver Broncos -5
Eagles vs. Cowboys (+3)
The Eagles come to town on the heels of a whoopin' in Carolina while the Cowboys may have just played their stoutest game of the season, sans Romo and Bryant, in a narrow loss to the Seahawks. The Cowboys will be getting Romo back soon and they swept Philly last season. I like the Boyz getting the points at home against a suspect Philly squad. Play Dallas.
NFL Pick: Dallas Cowboys +3
Bears (+4) vs. Chargers
I have been inclined to fade the Bears and back the Bolts this season. But the worst thing you can do as a sports gambler is to remain in a holding pattern and stick to your preconceived notions. The Bears are not good but are better than I thought them to be while the Chargers are once again the most disappointing franchise in the league. In a game where neither side is particularly impressive why not take the points? Play the Bears.
NFL Pick: Chicago Bears +4