And that's what we call a bounce-back! After what was a rough Week 7 for most bettors, I roared back in Week 8 with a strong 11-4-1 ATS record for the slate while rolling to a 4-1 ATS mark with my locks of the week. 

We were fortunate to have Seattle take the lead and cover in the final seconds of its matchup with the Browns, but we were also on the wrong side of a couple of bad beats that should have made this record even better. We lost our ATS on the Bills on Thursday night thanks to a late touchdown by Mike Evans (assisted by bouncing off the helmet of a Bills defensive back) and then the Cardinals getting within the number against the Ravens thanks to a successful onside kick. While those bad beats stung, it's hard to complain with this type of week. 

We'll look to bring this momentum into Week 9 starting with my five locks of the week.

2023 record

Regular season
Locks of the Week ATS
: 20-20
ATS: 59-59-4
ML: 73-49

All NFL odds via SportsLine consensus odds.

Vikings at Falcons

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX, fubo)  

Both quarterback situations are in flux between these teams, but Minnesota's is more dire with Kirk Cousins (Achilles) going down for the year. They'll start rookie Jaren Hall and have Joshua Dobbs -- whom it acquired in a trade with the Cardinals -- as his backup. Meanwhile, Taylor Heinicke, who played the second half for Desmond Ridder in Week 9, will start this game for Atlanta, and I think he's an upgrade for Arthur Smith's team. So, Atlanta has the edge here at a key position and sports a defense that is allowing just 4.9 yards per play so far this season. 

Projected score: Falcons 27, Vikings 20
The pick: Falcons -5

Cardinals at Browns

Arizona will be starting rookie fifth-round pick Clayton Tune in this game. That's about as tough of a landing spot into the NFL as you can imagine for the youngster, as he'll go into Cleveland and face a Browns defense that can torment even the most seasoned signal-callers. The Browns defense is a league-best on third down (28.3% opponent conversion rate) and allows just 260 yards of total offense per game. Myles Garrett also has 8.5 sacks on the year and can wreck a game on his own when he's firing on all cylinders. This game has blowout potential no matter what the Cleveland offense looks like. 

Projected score: Browns 30, Cardinals 17
The pick: Browns -8

Seahawks at Ravens

There are a ton of great matchups in Week 9, but this might be the one I'm most interested in. The Ravens were my preseason pick to win the AFC and reach the Super Bowl, while I personally have some regular season futures invested in Seattle (my preseason NFC West winner). Baltimore's defense has been stellar throughout the season, leading the league in both sacks (31) and points allowed (15.1). But don't sleep on Seattle's defense, either, especially after adding Leonard Williams. Over the last four games, the Seahawks have allowed just 12.5 points per game and have piled up 21 sacks. The way both of these units are rolling, I expect this to be a tight game, so I'll take the points with a Seattle team that is 4-1-1 ATS in its last six games. That said, I think the Ravens find a way to win at home.

Projected score: Ravens 27, Seahawks 24
The pick: Seahawks +5.5

Commanders at Patriots

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX, fubo)  

Washington sold the farm Tuesday, dealing away both Montez Sweat and Chase Young before the deadline. It is clearly in rebuild mode, and I wonder if that realization within the locker room could result in a deflated effort Sunday. The loss of those two figures along the defensive line should also give Mac Jones time to move the ball against a unit that already ranked 31st in points per game allowed (28.5) this season. The Commanders have also been unable to protect Sam Howell (41 total sacks this season), which I think Bill Belichick will exploit. It'll be an ugly game, but the Patriots enjoy a much-needed win and cover.

Projected score: Patriots 24, Commanders 17
The pick: Patriots -3.5

Bills at Bengals 

  • Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, fubo)  

I find the Bills very hard to trust at the moment. At home against the Buccaneers last week, some poor execution and poor decision-making allowed Tampa Bay to hang around for far too long and ultimately come through the backdoor to cover. That's been something that has sprouted up several times this season, which has me skeptical about their chances of hoisting a Lombardi Trophy this year. Josh Allen's team is also just 1-3 on the road, and it's large in part because of the dramatic drop off in production from the quarterback, who has six interceptions and six touchdowns while logging an 83.7 passer rating in games not at Highmark Stadium entering Week 9. Meanwhile, the Bengals looked like the team that went to the Super Bowl a few years ago in their win over the 49ers last week. Joe Burrow looks back at full strength, so I'm taking the kid glove off of Cincinnati and looking at them as a legit Super Bowl contender. At home in prime time, the Bengals are 5-1 ATS. Give me the home team with another statement win.

Projected score: Bengals 33, Bills 24
The pick: Bengals -2.5

Rest of the bunch

Titans at Steelers
Projected score: Steelers 23, Titans 17
The pick: Steelers -2.5

Dolphins at Chiefs (in Germany)
Projected score: Dolphins 30, Chiefs 24
The pick: Dolphins +2.5

Rams at Packers
Projected score: Packers 27, Rams 21
The pick: Packers -3

Bears at Saints
Projected score: Saints 28, Bears 17
The pick: Saints -7.5

Buccaneers at Texans
Projected score: Buccaneers 23, Texans 21
The pick: Buccaneers +2.5

Colts at Panthers
Projected score: Panthers 24, Colts 21
The pick: Panthers +2.5

Giants at Raiders
Projected score: Raiders 23, Giants 20
The pick: Raiders +2

Cowboys at Eagles
Projected score: Eagles 27, Cowboys 23
The pick: Eagles -3

Chargers at Jets
Projected score: Chargers 24, Jets 20
The pick: Chargers -3