How about a 4-0 week? That’s good for an 11-5 mark on the year, proof that it really doesn’t pay (literally) to pick every game, just the ones you feel good about. So here are a few I feel good(ish) about in Week 9:
Last week: 4-0
Pittsburgh at Baltimore (-2)
The Ravens completely dominated the second half in Week 4, and if not for a goal-line fumble the 26-14 score would have been quite lopsided. Baltimore desperately needs a win after dropping two straight, and are the Steelers really a 5-2 team that should be unbeaten on the road after nine weeks? Not to mention, will Pittsburgh really win at M&T Bank Stadium two years in a row? The answer to all is: no. Pick: Ravens.
Atlanta at Washington (-2)
The Skins keep winning close games and the Falcons specialize in losing them, so this looks obvious… but maybe too obvious. Still, I like the Redskins at home because even if the Falcons put up points, they can’t prevent them. Pick: Redskins.
New York Jets at Miami (-3)
Normally this is one I’d stay away from, but I like the Dolphins here because they’ve already rattled Sam Darnold’s cage once, and I think the extra rest will do the Dolphins good. This figures to stay close, and the Dolphins’ defense is riddled with injuries, but since their Week 1 shellacking of the Lions, the Jets have been a bit of a disaster on the road, averaging just 13 points per game in those three losses. Take the home team to squeak by. Pick: Dolphins.
Houston at Denver (-1.5)
Can you say Case Keenum revenge game? This could be the spot where the Texans’ five-game winning streak ends, even as Demaryius Thomas returns to Denver just days after being traded away. Denver needs to re-establish (or just plain establish) some Mile High mystique in 2018, and this could be the week. Houston has had extra time to prepare, but something tells me Keenum could have a big day. Pick: Broncos.
L.A. Rams (-2) at New Orleans
The game of the week right here. I love how the Saints have been playing, and I just can’t see the Rams continuing to win without at least one hiccup. There will be points aplenty in the dome, and the Rams’ ferocious D-line could give Drew Brees fits at times, but I also think New Orleans’ defense, maligned after a Week 1 debacle, could harass Jared Goff. Go with the home team to knock off the last unbeaten team in the NFL. Pick: Saints.
Green Bay at New England (-5.5)
It’s Brady, it’s the Patriots, it’s Sunday night, and it’s the Packers on the road. This all points to — what else? — another Brady milestone. This week it’s the 300th combined win between him and Aaron Rodgers, and Brady breaking 1,000 career rushing yards (!). The Patriots rarely lose after September, and I don’t see the Packers’ defense, shredded a few weeks ago by San Francisco, having enough in the tank to slow the Patriots. Pick: Patriots.