Let’s Just Flip a Coin: NFL Week 9 Picks

NFL Picks

We are not gamblers. That doesn’t mean we can’t pretend. Some of these choices have actual thought put into them. More of these choices were made with gut, intuition, and a little thing called grit.

Employ these recommendations at your own peril. Gambling is ungentlemanly.

[Home team in caps. All lines per VegasInsider.com consensus. Bye: Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Seattle]

PITTSBURGH (-4.5) vs. Oakland

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Derek: Man, we suck at picking games. Next time I should wait until after I finish my picks for this week to count up how I did last week. My confidence is lower than Blaine Gabbert’s QB rating. Everything is upside down. I can’t even joke about the 49ers in the correct section.

Something something west coast team in a 10 a.m. PT game something something Raiders second worst pass defense in the league something something Steelers cover.

Will: I’m on the road this week. As I write I’m en route to Columbus, Ohio to see the Buckeyes battle the Golden Gophers. That means I’m making these picks without any sort of research, which may not make a damn bit of difference. With that in mind, I’ll take the Raiders in Derek Carr’s official coronation game.

NEW YORK JETS (-7) vs. Jacksonville

Derek: The Jets have lost two in a row. Luckily, they’ll be getting the cure for what ails them: a visit from the Jaguars. Mercifully, it looks like Geno Smith will not be involved. Jets get back on track.

Will: This spread would have to be at least three points higher for me to consider the Jags. Jets all day.

MINNESOTA (-2) vs. St. Louis

Derek: God help me, I’m starting to wonder if the Rams might actually be good. They’re (mostly) winning games they should win and hanging with good teams. It’s an odd look for a team that used to only show up against good teams on its road to 8-8. Now they get the team I pegged for regression earlier this week. Rams win.

Will: I do believe the Rams are at least semi for real. Their defense oughta be stout enough to hold Adrian Peterson in check, and I have less than full confidence in Teddy Bridgewater to make up the difference. St. Louis takes it on the road.

BUFFALO (-3) vs. Miami

Charles Trainor Jr/Miami Herald

Charles Trainor Jr/Miami Herald

Derek: Perhaps we overrated Dan “Vince Lombardi Tom Landry Bill Walsh” Campbell after the Dolphins beat two of the worst teams in the league. Pending the outcome of Sunday’s game, I’m demoting him to Dan “Marv Levy Marty Schottenheimer Bud Grant” Campbell. I say he leads the Fins to victory. The Bills have been favored three times this year (twice at home) and in those games they either got smacked around or lost to the Jaguars. Unable to relish the underdog role, the Bills fall again.

Will: I BELIEVE IN DAN CAMPBELL. Dolphins cover in Buffalo.

NEW ORLEANS (-8) vs. Tennessee

Derek: The Titans aren’t good, but they’re now subject to the interim coach boost. The problem is they don’t have the benefit of a bye week and now they have to travel to New Orleans, where the Saints are suddenly good at home again. In my time on this site, I’ve come to find that the Saints like to wait until you think you have them figured out and then pull the rug out from under you. This has the signs of a Saints blowout, so I will stupidly pick the Saints to cover. Now to sit back and watch them play as badly as they did against Tampa in Week 2.

Will: I like the Saints. I like New Orleans. I’m glad they’ve gotten it together. I don’t trust em with an eight-point spread. I’ll stupidly take the Titans.

NEW ENGLAND (-14) vs. Washington

Derek: DeSean Jackson should be back for Washington. That’s nice. He’s probably the kind of player you want on your team if you want to beat New England. Other than that, I don’t see where the Redskins have an advantage. Admittedly, I am scared of a Kirk Cousins explosion in garbage time like the one Tyrod Taylor had against New England in Week 2. That’s obviously the sort of nonsense that could lead to a backdoor cover. But the Patriots had extra time to prepare, so they’ll probably score 80 in the first half. I’ll take New England.

Will: I’ve been rolling with the Pats all year. My picks have sucked lately, so I’ll change it up. Go Washington!

Green Bay (-2.5) vs. CAROLINA

Derek: Andrew Luck did everything he could to give Carolina the game on Monday night, but the Panthers needed overtime to put down the imploding Colts. Aaron Rodgers didn’t exactly inspire confidence against Denver, but I’m going to call that a fluke. Do you think we’ll ever see Rodgers finish a game with 50 net yards again? I sure don’t. And I think Rodgers will take out his frustration on the Panthers, who are playing on a short week. Rodgers is 18-5 against the spread after a loss. Packers cover.

Will: Such disrespect for the Panthers! I think it’s justified. The Pack gets back on track.

Atlanta (-7) vs. SAN FRANCISCO

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America

Derek: I’m trying not to overthink this one. The 49ers defense is decent at home and the Falcons haven’t looked good in a long time. But do they really need to against Blaine Gabbert? The Falcons haven’t covered since October 4, but the 49ers only score 13.6 points per game. That’s the worst in the league by far, as the next worst team (Tennessee) scores 17.9 points per game. I’ll say the Falcons hold The Mighty Gabbert in check and get enough out of Julio and Devonta Freeman to cover on the road.

Will: I want so badly to pick against Atlanta, but I want more strongly to not pick Blaine Gabbert. If the Falcons don’t cover this, they are bullshit. I’ll pick them to be not bullshit.

New York Giants (-2.5) VS. TAMPA BAY

Derek: First of all, I just want to say that if you place a wager on this game, you may have a problem. Many people need to hit rock bottom before they seek help, and betting on this game just might be the sign you need. These teams are schizophrenic, and the only reason I’m picking it is because I have to. Is this the Tampa team that gets blown out at home by the Titans, loses to the Texans and blows huge leads against the Redskins? Or the one that can beat the Saints and Falcons on the road? Will we see the Giants offense that scores 49 in New Orleans or the one that scores 7 in Philadelphia? Will we see the Giants defense that shut Dallas down or the one that made Colin Kaepernick look good? My favorite matchup is Eli and Beckham vs. the Tampa secondary, so I’ll take the Giants. I don’t feel good about it.

Will: I like knowing — or at least imagining — that there are people out there who got super psyched when they saw this line. The world needs degenerates. But yeah, I got nothing here. I generally kinda like the Giants, but I also like crab legs. I’m taking the Bucs!

Denver (-5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS

Derek: I’ve seen no evidence that the Colts will be able to move the ball against Denver. Plus, they decided to switch offensive coordinators even though it wasn’t a bye week. It worked out so well for Jim Bob Cooter and the Lions, didn’t it? Sure, the Colts could win, but they’ve shown me absolutely nothing to make me believe that they will. Denver remains unbeaten.

Will: Word is that Andrew Luck isn’t healthy, which bodes less than well for his matchup with the league’s best defense. I’m tempted to pick the Colts to cover, but I can’t pull that trigger. Peyton’s new team beats his old one.

Philadelphia (-2.5) vs. DALLAS

Derek: I can’t explain it other than a gut feeling, but I like Dallas here. They badly need this game to still be in the NFC East hunt when Tony Romo returns in two weeks. Remember how pitiful the Eagles looked trying to score the first time they played Dallas? That was before noted scumbag Greg Hardy joined the defense. I think the Cowboys will find a way to pull it out.

Will: No idea. I’ll take the points.

SAN DIEGO (-4) vs. Chicago

Derek: A tough game to pick, since most of what I’ve seen from these two teams has been unimpressive. Each will be without a star player, as Matt Forte isn’t expected to play and Keenan Allen is out for the year. I really don’t like either side, so I’m taking the points.

Will: I’m wary of agreeing with you too much — for the readers’ sake, but I will also take the points.

Last week

Derek: 4-8-2

Will: 3-9-2

Overall

Derek: 57-56-6

Will: 56-57-6



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