NFL Picks: Week 9 Fades & Games to Avoid

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:54 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 2:54 PM GMT

While sports bettors might be tempted to place their bets, find out which of this weekend's matchups could spell disaster for your NFL picks.

In the NFL this week, I waded through the releases from the sportsbooks and found three contests which should be avoided like those Milky Way Halloween minis that are leftover. As any NFL football handicappers worth his salt will tell you, sometimes it isn’t the games you play that make you money, it’s the ones you pass on which save you money.

AFC Division Battle is Fraught with Danger

Among the many aspects we are learning this season, one is Joe Flacco is not Aaron Rodgers. Flacco is without Anquan Bolden and missing tight end Dennis Pita. The reigning Super Bowl championship quarterback has eight TD’s and eight interceptions and has done little to elevate his team’s play.

In Cleveland, this is ALWAYS a big game since owner Art Modell took the Browns to Baltimore and renamed them. Later, different facts came out about the reasons for the move, however, long time Cleveland fans only remember three years of no NFL football in the 1990’s.

Baltimore is 10-4 and 9-5 ATS at Cleveland in the past 21 years, yet the Ravens are not the same team as the last several years and Cleveland has done better this season versus average offenses like the Ravens. Best to pass.

San Diego and Washington is a Pick for a Reason

When the NFL odds were sent out for this nonconference clash, hardly a ripple was made by those making NFL picks.

San Diego has been better than presumed at 4-3, covering the spread five times. Even though they are coming off a bye week, this will be the Chargers third 10:00 am Pacific start in seven weeks and while they have won and covered both, could the Bolts be looking ahead to Denver next week?

Washington only moved up to 29th in total defense because other teams have played worse, not that the Redskins have gotten better. Last week the offense made a negative contribution with five turnovers in the Mile High City, which turned a 14-point lead into a 24-point thrashing by the Broncos.

If most online sportsbooks think that this game is a coin flip, I will not disagree.

[gameodds]16/226994/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Division Dandy on Sunday Night Football

Even though Matt Schaub is “probable”, undrafted Case Keenum will get another start for Houston. The former Houston Cougar gets to live the dream, playing before people who at least know his story and as teammates Ben Tate said, “He’s (Keenum) a natural born leader”.

The stage could hardly be bigger for Keenum and he’s running a team which was supposed to be a true Super Bowl contender and has instead fallen off the grid with five straight defeats.

While the Texans have suffered from horrendous play from Schaub, you do not have such a losing streak because of one player and the Houston locker room is full of underachievers of players and coaches.

One team that is not underachieving is Indianapolis, who is surpassing all preseason prognostications and those generating sports picks at 5-2 SU. The Colts changed their style of offense to be more a running and play-action passing team and more physical on defense, and its worked.

Here is the unknown about Indy moving ahead, what will the loss of Reggie Wayne mean? The veteran receiver was the guy everyone looked up to for strength when times got tough and Andrew Luck knew who to throw the ball to when making a third down was a requirement.

Houston should be jacked to face the division leader off a bye week and the Colts want to show they can win without the unquestioned leader. Go ahead, pick a team, I dare ya.

[gameodds]16/226999/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds] 

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