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For the gambler in you, Week 9: SD to win again in Eastern Time

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Philip Rivers will lead San Diego to a win in Washington. (USATSI)
Philip Rivers will lead San Diego to a win in Washington. (USATSI)

Each week, we'll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you'll read all week. Because if you can't lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what's the point of watching sports at all?

Note: Home team is listed first in Against the Spread.

Game One: Redskins +1.5 vs. Chargers
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 2-5Overall: 5-1-1
Home: 1-2Home: 3-0
Away: 1-3Away: 2-1-1
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 10thPass defense: 25th
Rush offense: 6thRush defense: 16th
Pass defense: 26thPass offense: 6th
Rush defense: 30thRush offense: 15th

Verdict: What does it say about this game that every CBSSports.com expert picked the Chargers to win? Well, one thing it says is that the Redskins are much worse than many of us expected, but perhaps more interestingly, this tells us that the Chargers are a better squad than many of us would have imagined. They're 4-3, and though they're a few games behind the Chiefs and Broncos in the AFC West, they still have a decent-enough chance to win the second wild card spot in the AFC. Quarterback Philip Rivers is having a strong season, and the defense has allowed a combined 15 points in the past two games. Plus, the Chargers have won four-straight games in the Eastern Time zone. Go San Diego here.

Game Two: Panthers -7.5 vs. Falcons
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET FOX

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 4-3Overall: 2-5
Home: 2-1Home: 2-2
Away: 2-2Away: 0-3
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 28thPass defense: 20th
Rush offense: 8thRush defense: 21st
Pass defense: 10thPass offense: 4th
Rush defense: 2ndRush offense: 32nd

Verdict: As I already brilliantly deduced here, the Panthers will beat up on the struggling Falcons and cover that spread. Here's the biggest reason. While Matt Ryan has been fine this season (though maybe not as good as his $100 million-plus contract would hope), Atlanta's run game has been terrible. And after the Falcons finally got Steven Jackson back after he had missed the previous five weeks, he gained six yards on 11 carries vs. the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling are averaging 3.2 and 3.6 yards per carry, respectively. With Carolina's second-ranked rush defense, Sunday could be ugly for Atlanta.

Game Three (largest spread of week): Seahawks -16.5 vs. Jaguars
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 5-3Overall: 1-6
Home: 2-1Home: 0-3
Away: 3-2Away: 1-3
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 27thPass defense: 5th
Rush offense: 4thRush defense: 17th
Pass defense: 3rdPass offense: 25th
Rush defense: 15thRush offense: 22nd

Verdict: How good are the Seahawks. I mean, I know they're good. Maybe, even really good. But are they really, really good? I'm not sure yet, and I've lost a little bit of confidence in them after last week's win against the Rams that came down to the very last play of the contest (I mean, who would have expected Kellen Clemens almost to win that game(. Seattle is perhaps the most-difficult place for a road team to play in the NFL, but the Seahawks have won by 17 points or more only twice this year (and one of those was the Jaguars!) and not since Week 3. Yes, the Buccaneers have armloads of problems, but take them to cover anyway.


Steven Jackson -- Yards per carry Week 9?

Over/Under 3½

Jackson looked unimaginably awful last week in his return from a hamstring injury. This season, he's averaging 3.3 yards per carry, and the Panthers allow opponents only 3.7 yards per carry. Either way, I'll go under, because at this point, you have to wonder if Jackson is done as an effective NFL running back.

Will the Chiefs allow 17 points or less in Week 9 vs Buffalo Bills

Yes -110

No -110

If Thad Lewis were to start this game for the Bills, I could think about going No on this one (that's insane that I just wrote that, by the way). But if it's Jeff Tuel or Matt Flynn who has to play quarterback for Buffalo, I have confidence that the Chiefs, just like in every other game they've played this season, will allow 17 points or less. So, go Yes.

Last week: 1-2 against the spread; 1-1 on prop bets. Overall this year: 13-11 against the spread, 10-9 on prop bets. Last two years: 39-46 against the spread; 44-26-1 on prop bets.

See my picks and all the CBSSports.com experts here.

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