It doesn’t seem possible. It seems like just moments ago, the NFL season was brand new, and we had a flurry of other sports to accompany it. However, baseball and basketball have crowned champions, and we are remarkably halfway through the NFL season. After Week 8 was littered with chalk and basically zero significant upsets, Week 9 brought us more of what we’re accustomed to as fans — upsets and teaser-busters.
As we look over our futures tickets from the spring and summer, some of them make us feel like we have a crystal ball, while others leave us scratching our heads with buyer’s remorse. Let’s finish strong and have a great second half of the season ... on to Week 9.
Jets (+ 8.5) over Patriots
Nothing pretty to see here. This will likely be an ugly game between teams that are tough on the eyes. But getting over a touchdown against a Patriots team with no playmakers at receiver — all of whom are undrafted and basically unheard of — is an opportunity to jump on as it sits above a very key number. Expect the Patriots to run the ball, which will run the clock, and keep this game close and low-scoring. Look for a very unappealing 17-13 type of game Monday night in what should be one of the lower-scoring games of the year. Plug your nose and take the points (maybe the Under too).
Seahawks (moneyline -135) over Bills
Neither team has a top defense, but the Seahawks simply have an overwhelming advantage at the most important position. Josh Allen throwing into the wind is not something of which I want any part. Also, Seattle might be trending up. Jamal Adams, Carlos Dunlap, Chris Carson and Damon Harrison have chances to play this weekend. Typically this might be a letdown spot coming off a big win vs. the 49ers, but with the coveted top spot in the NFC well within reach, the Seahawks should be focused and able to outclass a mediocre Bills team. The Seahawks and Russell Wilson have entered Patrick Mahomes territory, where scoring 30+ points is almost a certainty each week. It will be hard for the Bills to match that firepower. Wilson (-200 for MVP) will add to his candidacy and score the road win.
Colts (+ 3) over Ravens
The key to beating the Ravens is making them one-dimensional and forcing them into a drop-back passing game. The Colts are stout against the run and can do just that. Last week, with the return of star linebacker Darius Leonard, the Colts held Detroit running backs to 19 yards on 12 attempts. The Ravens will be without All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley, guard Tyre Phillips is questionable and cornerback Marlon Humphrey is out. When you bet this game might be just as important as whom you bet. You can wait and hope 3.5s pop back up, but you also run the risk of it going under the key number of 3. I think the 3s will stick, and I like the Colts.