NFL Week 9 Preview: Halfway Home
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Cue up the Bon Jovi, we're halfway there and the first half of the season has brought the usual chaos we know and love as NFL fans. Will Levis is the best rookie QB in his class, Zach Wilson has the Jets over .500 and Taylor Swift is Travis Kelce’s good luck charm - a very normal set of headlines gracing our front pages these days. Every week brings new chaos and excitement, much like our weekly contests that are here for your picking pleasures.
Last Sunday’s action had a couple of surprises in the Chiefs and Niners losing in rather ugly fashion, while teams like the Dolphins and the Lions might actually be…for real? At times it feels like things are upside down, but let’s not get spun around in regards to my picks as we’re halfway home on regular season action. I’m riding a three week heater and it’s time to make it four, let’s engage on the lines.
Games of the Week
Dolphins vs Chiefs (-2.5) - 9:30 am ET - It’s the first NFL game being played in Germany, and boy did they hit the jackpot for an introduction to NFL football. Bundesliga fans and Germans abroad will be frightened at the amount of scoring taking place in this one. The over/under is surprisingly low at 50.5 for the moment, and it feels like a “last team with the ball wins” type of game.
Seahawks @ Ravens (-5.5) - 1 pm ET - Here we are again with Geno Smith leading the Seattle Seahawks to wins upon wins. It’s nothing too glamorous but it has them atop their division at 5-2, and now they head to a tricky spot against the dynamic Ravens and Lamar Jackson, also on a nice pace in productivity this season.
Bucs @ Texans (-2.5) - 1 pm ET - If you haven’t seen extended play from Texans Rookie QB C.J. Stroud, might I suggest this week to check him out. It’s clear he has the chops to play in the league for a while, and the Bucs defense will be a stern test for his eyes and his decision making. It’s one thing to have the talent, but can you read the defenses across the league correctly? Time will tell.
Vikings @ Falcons (-4.5) - 1 pm ET - Both teams finding themselves at even 4-4 and in very different places. Atlanta is building around an improving Desmond Ridder and an Electric Bijan Robinson, while MInnesota has just lost Kirk Cousins and next week’s starter is indeed a mystery. I’m waiting and watching to see who emerges as QB no.1 in Minnesota so the spread is understandable.
Cowboys @ Eagles (-3) - 4:25 pm ET - A classic Sunday afternoon FOX matchup featuring NFC East foes that endlessly do battle in the trenches. I nailed a great spot for the Cowboys last week, but I'm not sure this is another one for the Boyz. The Eagles should be a lot less caught off guard at the jump than they were in their lackluster win over the Commanders.
Fishy Lines to Watch
Cardinals @ Browns (-8) - 1 pm ET - Take a picture degenerates - the Browns are favored by more than a touchdown. The Dawg Pound should be humming but the line does make me scratch my head. After all, it is the Browns.
Bears @ Saints (-7.5) - 1 pm ET - I’m married into being a sympathetic Bears supporter, nut boy is it tough to watch Tyson Bagent operate that offense. I’m actually surprised the line isn’t closer to double digits as the Saints have the brains to win with ease here.
The Primetime Pick
Bills @ Bengals (-3) - 8:20 pm ET (Sunday) - It’s hard to forget the massive egg that the Bills laid at home to Cincy in the playoffs last year, and now is their moment to exact some revenge and get right again. This line shows me that the Joe Burrow belief is back and was cemented with the win on the road in San Fran. This could be the beginning of a bandwagon run if you want to hop on now.
Week Nine Plays To Watch
(11-4 last three weeks?!)
Dolphins/Chiefs Over 50.5 before it shoots right up!
Falcons -4.5 due to the uncertainty at Vikings QB.
Eagles -3, a flip on last week’s Cowboys lock.
Cardinals +8, cause sometimes the yuckiest plays are indeed the wisest.
Saints -7.5, sad times for the Bears as Justin Fields remains sidelined.
Lock of the Week (2-3 this season)
Bengals -3 - Time to hop aboard the Jackpot Joey Burrow midseason heater bandwagon.
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