Nostrathomas closed strong in Week Eight and feels good heading into his NFL Week Nine picks. Last week Nostrathomas finished 2-1 with his top three, 8-5 against the spread and a blazing 12-1 straight up.
NFL Week Nine Picks
There are only 12 games to be had on the NFL’s Week Nine Sunday/Monday slate but there’s value to be had. There are also three games that should be close and exciting late on Sunday. Nostrathomas will call those payback after forcing a Thursday night “snore fest” on fans.
At this point in the season, Nostrathomas is 11-12-2 with his top picks, 48-52-2 against the spread and 67-30-1 straight up.
All point spreads taken on Saturday morning from Vegasinsider.com.
NFL Week Nine Best Bets
Kansas City Chiefs -8.5 vs Cleveland Browns (1 PM ET; FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH)
Gregg Williams takes over the headset from the departed Hue Jackson in this home game against one of the best in the NFL this week, the Kansas City Chiefs. William’s defense, especially against the pass has been the bright spot for the Cleveland Browns so far in 2018. Cleveland’s defense is currently first in the league in passer rating at 77.1 and eighth in net passing yards allowed.
What works against the Browns is they’re facing one of the premier passing offenses in the NFL. The Los Angeles Chargers burned the Cleveland defense for 444 total yards three weeks ago and the Pittsburgh Steelers ravaged them for 421 total yards last week. This week they get the quarterback who’s on his way to setting the single-season passing touchdowns record, Patrick Mahomes.
This spread opened with Kansas City favored by -10.5 before dropping to its current number. That and Andy Reid is 11-1 against the spread in his last 12 games should give fans the confidence this week to lay the points and take the Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs 32 Cleveland Browns 18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers -6.5 (1 PM ET; Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)
Ryan Fitzpatrick took over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense in the final series of the third quarter last week and engineered an 18 point, fourth-quarter comeback against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Buccaneers lost the game but Fitzpatrick won back the starting quarterback job. Based on that performance, prognosticators are throwing their money behind Tampa Bay as they travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers. Nostrathomas says that’s an overreaction to last week’s performance though.
What few are taking into account is that Winston was given back his starting job after Tampa Bay’s bye week because Fitzpatrick slumped terribly in Weeks Three and Four after a hot start to the season. The Pittsburgh Steelers held him to an 84.3 passer rating in a 30-27 victory and the Chicago Bears turned him into Ryan Fitz-tragic in their 48-10 Week Four win.
Fitzpatrick has made a career on flashing starting quarterback talent, then reverting to form. The Bengals defense had prepared all week for Jameis Winston and was burying him before the switch. Carolina’s defense will be preparing for Fitzpatrick. For the Panthers, Cam Newton has been preparing to face one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. While experts and fans concentrate on his running ability, Newton’s 97.4 passer rating is getting overlooked.
As long as the point spread remains below a full touchdown take Carolina to win and cover.
Carolina Panthers 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20
Houston Texans +1 vs Denver Broncos (4:05 PM ET; Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO)
The Denver Broncos have lost five of their last six and have no business being favored over anyone, much less against the red-hot Houston Texans. Houston is riding a five-game win streak and has been looking more dominant by the week.
This past week the Texans have shown that they’re serious about not just winning the AFC South, but about being a player in the postseason. Last week, Houston lost wide receiver Will Fuller, who suffered a torn ACL in his right knee. To fill the void of losing Fuller, the Texans jumped into the trade market and picked up a quality replacement in Demaryius Thomas, oddly enough, from the Broncos.
Between Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson will still have his full complement of targets on Sunday. Take advantage of this opportunity bet the Texans and get a point as an added gift for your money.
Houston Texans 26 Denver Broncos 19
The Best of the Rest
Chicago Bears -10 vs Buffalo Bills (1 PM ET; New Era Field, Buffalo, NY)
Last season the Bears wouldn’t have been favored by 10 points over a high school team. This week the Buffalo Bills are forced into starting Nathan Peterman. Even with Khalil Mack likely to be held out for a second straight week, Chicago’s defense has been filing their fangs in anticipation.
In the 23 stats Nostrathomas uses to analyze games the Bears are superior to Buffalo in 22. They’re in the league’s top 10 in 17.
The Bills are still relatively strong on defense but that’s not going to help with Peterman leading their offense. They are also only 2-6 against the spread this season. Take Chicago to cover and cover the double-digit spread.
Chicago Bears 26 Buffalo Bills 10
Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings -5.5 (1 PM ET; U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN)
Nostrathomas might have given the Detroit Lions more consideration if they still had receiver Golden Tate. Instead, Matthew Stafford will have T.J. Jones and Brandon Powell, who combined have only three catches on the season, to take Tate’s place.
The Minnesota Vikings have won 16 of the last 20 at home in this series and 7-4-2 against the spread in the last 13. Take Minnesota to win and cover.
Minnesota Vikings 30 Detroit Lions 22
Atlanta Falcons vs Washington Redskins -1.5 (1 PM ET; FedEx Field, Washington D.C)
The Washington Redskins are 6-1 vs spread last seven at home and brought in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to shore up their secondary. The Atlanta Falcons have been strong with the Matt Ryan to Julio Jones connection but the Redskins are a better team all-around. Atlanta also has one of the worst run defenses in the league facing a revitalized Adrian Peterson.
Take the Redskins to win at home and cover.
Washington Redskins 27 Atlanta Falcons 24
Too Close to Call but Nostrathomas Picks Them All
New York Jets +3 vs Miami Dolphins (1 PM ET; Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL)
One of the areas to look at in this game will be Miami’s defense. It’s gotten so bad that head coach Adam Gase had to give defensive coordinator Matt Burke a vote of confidence last week.
Brock Osweiler has fallen back to Earth after his big afternoon against the Bears in Week Six. For New York, running back Isaiah Crowell should have a big game running against the Dolphins generous defensive front.
The Jets are 5-0-2 against the spread in their last seven visits to Miami. Pick the road dog to cover in this game.
New York Jets 25 Miami Dolphins 20
Pittsburgh Steelers +3 vs Baltimore Ravens (1 PM ET; M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD)
The Baltimore Ravens have been riding their defense to victory this season, at least until last week. The Steelers are on a three game win streak since their 26-14 loss to the Ravens in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers have won in their last two visits to M&T Bank Stadium and are currently playing better football.
Nostrathomas is picking the road dog again to win and cover.
Pittsburgh Steelers 23 Baltimore Ravens 20
Los Angeles Chargers vs Seattle Seahawks, Pick (4:05 PM ET; CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA)
This game has been bet to “pick ‘em”, which doesn’t help in trying to predict a winner here.
If running back Melvin Gordon was certain to play for the Los Angeles Chargers it would be easier to pick them. However, this is only the Seattle Seahawks third game at home this year and the tea m is on a roll. This is also their first game back home after the death of team owner Paul Allen.
Between another two teams that are evenly matched, Nostrathomas is taking the one at home.
Seattle Seahawks 27 San Diego Chargers 23
Los Angeles Rams vs New Orleans Saints +2 (4:25 PM ET; Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA)
Both teams have perfect records against opponents that are currently over .500 this season. The Los Angeles Rams are 3-0 and the New Orleans Saints are 2-0. In both teams last five against the spread, New Orleans is a perfect 5-0, the Rams are 1-4. An additional trend also turns the Saints way. New Orleans is 9-3 in late afternoon games at home under head coach Sean Payton.
This is going to be an exciting game and the scoreboard might explode before it’s finished. Nostrathomas can give you stats that can make an argument for either team winning. Trends say pick the Saints though, especially when Las Vegas is being generous and giving them two points at home.
New Orleans Saints 29 Los Angeles Rams 26
Green Bay Packers vs New England Patriots -5 (Sunday Night Football, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA)
The Green Bay Packers have yet to win on the road this season although they gave the Rams all they could handle last week. The trouble for Green Bay is, they’re playing a New England Patriots team that is 4-0 at home. That record includes the only loss that has been hung on the Chiefs so far in 2018.
The Packers will be tough but overall New England is the better team this season. If you must bet it, take the Patriots to win and cover at home.
New England Patriots 34 Green Bay Packers 28
Tennessee Titans vs Dallas Cowboys -5 (Monday Night Football, AT&T Stadium, Dallas, TX)
Since 2016, the Dallas Cowboys are 10-3 in prime time games. They are also 3-0 at home this season. The Tennessee Titans are 0-3 in their last three games in primetime on the road and 1-3 on the road in 2018.
This is a tough game to call with both teams coming out of their bye weeks. Statistically, Dallas is the better team and should win and cover. Still, there are times this season when the Titans have risen to the occasion.
If you must bet this one to make up for a rough Sunday you’d be better off taking the “over 40” than picking against the spread here.
Dallas Cowboys 27 Tennessee Titans 19
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