Against The Spread: Carr can keep Saints motoring, Burrow’s Bengals are back!

Against The Spread: Carr can keep Saints motoring, Burrow’s Bengals are back!

Do you agree with our NFL predictions for Week 9?

Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs at 14:30

The game of the weekend, maybe the game of the season!

Two of the best offenses in all of football and the top two teams in the AFC face off in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Dolphins are coming off a great win over AFC east rivals the New England Patriots where wide receiver Tyreek Hill broke the record for fastest player to reach 1,000 yards in just eight games.

Miami quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, leads the league in passing yards to this point and is favourite to win MVP.

However, the reigning league MVP, Patrick Mahomes, and Superbowl champions, Kansas City Chiefs, stand in the Dolphins way.

The Chiefs are coming off their worst performance in years in a defeat to division rivals, Denver Broncos – a game which saw no passing touchdowns from star quarterback Mahomes.

Mahomes was fighting an illness in that game and now has to travel to Germany to face a Dolphins defence boosted by returning cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Get the popcorn ready because this will be an all-timer.

Pick: Miami Dolphins +1.5

Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns at 18:00

Two teams in quarterback limbo at the moment face off in the 6pm slate.

The Cleveland Browns on the defensive side of the ball have been dominating teams; putting up historic numbers with Myles Garrett leading the way with 8.5 sacks through eight weeks.

The Browns lead the league in yards allowed and are set to face an Arizona Cardinals offence who just traded away their starting quarterback for all their games this season, Joshua Dobbs.

Meanwhile, Cardinals head coach Shane Steichen has suggested we may see the return of former no.1 pick Kyler Murray from the ACL injury he suffered last season.

It is hard to imagine they will force him to return against this historic Browns defence and therefore it will be rookie Clayton Tune set to make his debut.

Pick: Cleveland Browns -8.5.

Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints at 18:00

Rookie Tyson Bagent will start another week for Chicago and after a decent debut in a week 7 win against the Raiders, he was brought back down to earth in their week 8 capitulation against the Chargers.

Bagent threw two picks in that game and never really came close to hurting a previously struggling Chargers team.

The Bears are favourites once again to have the no.1 pick in next years draft for the second year in a row and they are facing a Saints team who starting to get a bit of momentum.

Saints quarterback, Derek Carr, just had his best performance with his new team and the return of running back, Alvin Kamara, has given their offense an elite weapon to push them towards finishing atop the NFC South.

Pick: New Orleans Saints -8.5

Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers at 18:00

The Rams and Packers are two teams who came into this season where expectations were low in comparison to years in recent memory.

The Rams who suffered from a Superbowl win hangover in the 2022 season which saw them lose a number of key players on both sides of the ball.

Having started the first four games of the season without star wide-out Cooper Kupp, they seemingly found another star in rookie Puka Nacua.

The Rams have three wins on the season but have struggled in games against the top teams in NFL and just got blown out by the Dallas Cowboys where Rams veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a thumb injury which may cause him to miss this game.

The Pack, after a strong start to the season, seem to have fallen off a cliff with their offence in recent games.

Jordan Love looked to be the answer early on after he was handed the reigns from four-time MVP winner Aaron Rodgers, but Green Bay are currently on a four game losing streak where they are a bottom ten offence on the ground and through the air.

The Pack are three point favourites in this one but I expect a bounce back performance from the Rams even if Stafford is out of the game.

Pick: Rams +3

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons at 18:00

Bit of a theme this week with two more teams dealing with issues in the quarterback position.

Vikings’ Kirk Cousins tore his achilles and will miss the rest of the season whilst Falcons head coach finally came to the conclusion (that everyone else came to weeks ago) that quarterback Desmond Ridder is out of his depth and belatedly benched him for Taylor Heinicke.

Heinicke looked decent in his season debut midway through last week and hopefully can unlock this Atlanta offence with so many weapons.

Despite trading for Joshua Dobbs at the trade deadline day on Tuesday, the Vikings look set to start rookie Jaren Hall, who will have to try utilise an offence that is also missing star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

Rookie Jordan Addison has stepped up immensely the past two weeks in Jefferson’s absence so one would hope he can have similar chemistry with his new rookie passer.

There’s just too many obstacles in my eyes for the Vikings to overcome Arthur Smith’s men, so I fancy the Falcons in this one.

Pick: Falcons -3.5

Seattle Seahawks @ Baltimore Ravens at 18:00

A great match-up in this one as the most in-form team in the AFC faces off against a staunch Seattle Seahawks defence.

Baltimore ranks top five in rushing yards this season but Seattle have a top ten rush defence so expect to see Lamar airing the ball out.

Seattle are not to be trifled with either, as they overcame a strong Browns defence last week.

Rookie Jaxon Smith Njigba seems to have finally arrived and just adds to the weapons at Geno Smith’s disposal.

I expect to see a Ravens win but it will be tighter than what the bookies are giving the Seahawks credit for.

Pick: Seahawks +5.5.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Houston Texans at 18:00

Two teams in a bit of a transitional period at the moment.

Buccaneers, coming into this season off the back of the retirement of Tom Brady, seemed to have found a more than serviceable solution to their quarterback situation with the addition of misfit and former no.1 overall pick in Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield, whose career looked over following his fallout with the Cleveland Browns, seems to have gotten his swagger back as he continues to utilise the Tampa Bay’s receiving core of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

Texans coach Demeco Ryans has finally given a bit of hope to a franchise which has had a tumultuous last couple of seasons.

And they appeared to have found the pick of the draft as no.2 overall pick C.J. Stroud broke numerous records in the early part of the season.

I can imagine the Texans going on a nice playoff run in the future since they have found their franchise guy…but I favour The Buccaneers in this game.

Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers ML

Washington Commanders @ New England Patriots at 18:00

To be honest, these are two teams who seem to have punted on the season.

The Commanders just traded away their best two defensive linemen, Montez Sweat and Chase Young, and The Patriots have experienced their two worst results in Belichek’s coaching career this season.

Watch this at your peril – it is an absolute toss-up who’s going to actually win the game.

Patriots are at home in Foxborough so I would lean towards them.

Pick: Patriots ML

Indianapolis Colts @ Carolina Panthers at 21:05

The Panthers recorded their first win of the season last week in a great game where the no. 1 overall pick Bryce Young defeated no. 2 overall pick CJ Stroud.

Panthers are still a team very much in transition and building for an exciting future.

The addition of veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen has definitely helped his rookie quarterback settle into life in the NFL.

Panther’s head coach Frank Reich will be looking for a big result from his current team as he returns to face the team that fired him a year ago.

The Colts are reeling from three defeats in a row where they were able to move the ball well on offence but were outscored heavily by their opponents.

We are unfortunately missing out on a battle between Bryce Young and no. 4 overall pick Anthony Richardson who is out for the season.

I think this is a game where Young and Coach Reich can build on last week’s win playing at home.

Pick: Carolina Panthers +2.5

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles at 21:25

The two leaders of the NFC East face off in the prime game of the evening kick-offs. Both teams have superstar weapons on both sides of the ball.

Cowboys are coming off a huge win against the LA Rams last week which saw quarterback Dak Prescott throw for four touchdowns and 304 yards with a stellar performance from star wide receiver Ceedee Lamb, who caught two touchdowns and had over 150 receiving yards.

They are going to need another similar performance to overcome this Eagles defence who recently added all pro safety, Kevin Byard to an already stacked defence.

The reigning NFC champions have not lost a step in their pursuit to return to the Superbowl this season and currently have the best record of all the teams in the NFL.

AJ Brown will look to continue his form in this match-up against a weaker Dallas secondary since the injury to Trayvon Diggs earlier in the year.

With Philly at home – and their recent additions to improve their roster –  it’s hard to see them lose to a Dallas team who are yet to beat a top tier team this season.

Pick: Philadelphia Eagles -3

New York Giants @ Las Vegas Raiders at 21:25

This is up there with the Patriots and Commanders game. Both teams are rock bottom of offensive statistics in the entire league.

The Raiders just sacked Josh McDaniels and benched Jimmy Garoppolo but they will hopefully be rejuvenated with their interim head coach.

Daniel Jones has returned as the Giants starting quarterback but, despite being paid a massive contract in the summer, has been a huge disappointment.

Keep your eyes on the Eagles and Cowboys game because this is gonna be a shocker.

Pick: New York Giants +1.5

Sunday Night Primetime – Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals at 1:20

Two AFC juggernauts face off in what has been a slow start for both franchises this season.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has only begun to look like himself the last two weeks after nursing a calf injury in the early stages of the season.

His side just defeated NFC heavyweights San Francisco 49ers and have shot right back up into contention to be the AFC’s representative in February’s showpiece event.

The Bills and Josh Allen have also had a ropy start to the season, having suffered defeat at the hands of teams like the Patriots and the Jets.

And, although they did manage to beat their division rivals the Dolphins, it is the latter who look in line to win the AFC East this year.

The Bills have suffered a few major injuries on the defensive side of the ball which could be a good reason as to why they don’t look anything like the team we saw in previous seasons.

They will find it tough against a Bengals side finally hitting their stride.

Pick: Bengals -2.5

Monday Night Football Los Angeles Chargers @ New York Jets

The last game of the gameweek is between two sides who came into the season with very high expectations…and have certainly not lived up to those expectations.

The New York Jets acquired veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the off-season but he only lasted four plays in his debut before tearing his achilles.

While, the Jets have had to turn to Zach Wilson who looked to have fallen out of favour with almost everyone in New Jersey.

He has managed to secure a few wins, with the Jets defence being a large reason for them getting over the line in those wins.

The Jets remain in the play-off race and will hope to see the return of Rodgers sooner rather than when it is too late.

On the other hand, the Chargers have one of the worst defences this season and, despite their offence putting up great scores in their last few games, they just cannot seem to get a good run going.

Pick: New York Jets +3.5