We had our first nightmare of a week in Week 8, and I'm honestly not very upset about it. I'm still trying to figure out how the Cincinnati Bengals blew out the Tennessee Titans, how the Minnesota Vikings ran past the Green Bay Packers and how the New York Giants gave Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a game. If you were on those picks, bravo to you. I also felt a bit robbed since I missed my New Orleans Saints pick by one point and then also my Buffalo Bills pick by half a point. But, it happens.
Even with last week's failure comes a big opportunity. A chance to rebound! Below, I will give you my top five picks of the week, followed by the rest of the bunch. Let's go ahead and jump in.
All NFL odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.
Top five picks record: 21-18-1
Overall ATS record: 67-46-3
Which teams will cover the spread in Week 9? Pete Prisco, R.J. White and SportsLine's Kenny White join Will Brinson to break down their best bets and every game; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox/NFL Network)
Point spread: Packers -7.5
The 49ers have had a nightmare of a week when it comes to injuries and COVID-19, and it's not even worth listing out all of the players that won't be available against the Packers. All you have to know is that new starting quarterback Nick Mullens is going to have to find a way to lead this team to victory without his left tackle, his star tight end, three of his best wide receivers and two of his top running backs. The Packers are an impressive 5-2 against the spread this season, and while they lost last week, they are 9-0 against the spread following their last nine against-the-spread losses. Green Bay has some injury issues of its own, but I'm taking the Packers to cover tonight.
The pick: Packers 30-17
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Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Seahawks -3
This is a big game for Russell Wilson. The NFL passing touchdown leader can surpass Peyton Manning for most wins by a quarterback in his first nine seasons and can surpass Brady for most wins, including postseason wins, by a quarterback in his first nine seasons. Wilson has only played Buffalo once, but he scored four touchdowns including a career-high three rushing scores. The Bills are on a four-game losing streak against the spread, which is the third-longest active streak in the NFL. Even though they won their last two matchups, they have been unable to cover. Another point worth making is that Wilson is a beast on the road in the Eastern Time Zone. Seattle is 7-1-1 against the spread since 2018 and 9-0 straight up out on the other side of the country, and Wilson has an 18-7-2 against-the-spread record since 2012 -- which is the best in the NFL!
The pick: Seahawks 36-27
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Texans -6.5
The Texans' lone cover this season actually came against the Jaguars earlier this year! I correctly picked that game, and I'm taking them to cover yet again. Jacksonville has lost all three of its last games by double digits, and rookie quarterback Jake Luton is slated to make his first career start in place of the injured Gardner Minshew. Since the start of last season, quarterbacks making their first career start are 12-5 against the spread -- but that stat also includes the likes of players like Kyler Murray, Drew Lock and Justin Herbert. I'll take the Texans to win by a touchdown.
The pick: Texans 26-18
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Vikings -4
You never know what kind of Minnesota team you're going to get on Sunday. Will it be the Vikings team where Kirk Cousins throws three interceptions and loses by double digits, or will it be a Vikings team that centers their game plan around Dalvin Cook again, and wins with ease? With that being said, I'm going to take the Vikings for two reasons. First off, Cousins has never lost nor failed to cover the spread against the Lions since joining the Vikings. It's the one NFC North team that he owns. Additionally, the Lions placed quarterback Matthew Stafford on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Stafford is considered a "high-risk close contact" from a non team member. That last contact came on Monday, which means it's possible Stafford could come off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday and play against the Vikings. Even if that does happen, he will not be able to practice all week. If Stafford can't play, Chase Daniel, an 11-year veteran, is in line to start for the Lions. I'm going to bet that Stafford plays, but it has to hurt the Lions' chances that their starting quarterback can't practice this week.
The pick: Vikings 31-23
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Steelers -14
Some bettors are scared to place money on large spreads, but I actually have found success doing so. Without Dak Prescott, the Cowboys lost by 28 points to the Arizona Cardinals, 22 to the Washington Football team and 14 to the Philadelphia Eagles. I think one of the best teams in football can beat Dallas by at least two scores -- especially when you consider Pittsburgh has the best against-the-spread record in the NFL (6-1). The Steelers blitz at the highest rate in the NFL (44 percent), and the Cowboys have struggled to protect whoever is playing quarterback. I'll go ahead and take the Steelers here.
The pick: Steelers 28-13
Other Week 9 picks
Giants (+2.5) 26-23 over Washington
Ravens (-2.5) 27-22 over Colts
Chiefs 30-20 over Panthers (+10.5)
Titans (-6) 30-23 over Bears
Broncos (+3.5) 28-26 over Falcons
Raiders (PICK) 30-24 over Chargers
Cardinals (-4.5) 27-21 over Dolphins
Buccaneers 25-23 over Saints (+4.5)
Patriots (-7.5) 20-10 over Jets