NFL Week 9 Thursday Picks

Here are Will and Derek’s picks for the Week 9 Thursday night game. Picks for the remainder of the games will run on Friday.


(Home team in caps. Line per consensus.)

New Orleans (-3) at CAROLINA

The Basics

New Orleans: 3-4, 2nd NFC South, #2 total offense, #5 scoring offense, #28 total defense, #26 scoring defense

Carolina: 3-4-1, 1st NFC South, #24 total offense, #24 scoring offense, #21 total defense, #25 scoring defense

Derek: To take New Orleans on the road, or not to take New Orleans on the road? The Saints looked like the Saints again on Sunday night, meaning they’ve once again moved us back into the unenviable position of deciding if they’re good enough to win games outside of the Superdome.

I’m not buying in just yet. The Saints are 0-4 on the road, and road teams on Thursday night seem to have a disadvantage. While it’s pretty easy to imagine Drew Brees throwing for 500 yards in this game, I just can’t lay three points given the situation. I’ll take Carolina.

Will: Wait, 3-4-1 is really all it takes to be first place in the NFC South? Should we start a team? We could do that, right? Yikes, NFC South, get it together.

So, yes, this game, hmmm. I really want to pick the Saints. I’ve always liked the city of New Orleans, and Drew Brees seems like a nice guy, and the Saints blocking a punt at home in the first game after Hurricane Katrina is one of the coolest sports moments ever:

That makes it all the sadder that I can’t take the Saints in good conscience. Their road woes are indeed discouraging, as is their 3-4 record against the spread. I can’t wait to see Rob Ryan parlay this into another defensive coordinator job.

All this said, I’m not comfortable picking the Panthers, either. They haven’t won since October 5. They’ve given up 30-plus points three times. Counting on Greg Olsen is like counting on a broken abacus. I’m going to make a bold pick, a brave pick, a dumb pick, and say that the Saints win by exactly 3 — a push! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bet on zero in roulette.


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