2012 Week 9 NFL picks

NFL is heading into second half of the regular season as the month of November starts. With an exception of interconference matchup between Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants which will get the most of the attention, Week 9 doesn’t bring us lots of interesting games. As usual, another NFL week will start on Thursday Night with a division game between Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers. Here’s my pick for Thursday Night Football game:

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers, Thursday 8:20 PM (ET). This has to be it, I mean as in a must win for the Chargers. If they lose to the Chiefs at home they can forget about the post-season. QB Matt Cassel will start for the Chiefs on Thursday Night which could end up being a good thing, for the Chargers that is.
Pick: Chargers 23-16, Result: Chargers 31-13
Against The Spread:Chiefs (+8.5)

Photo: chargers.com

Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Bengals are coming off a bye week and probably wish they could somehow avoid this game. The Broncos played great last Sunday Night and will hand another loss to the Cincinnati team who is already 0-3 this season against teams with winning record.
Pick: Broncos 31-20, Result: Broncos 31-23
Against The Spread: Broncos (-3.5)

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). The Browns tied NFL record for most wins (10) in games in which they’ve scored 7 or fewer points. Only 7 points were enough to beat the inefficient Chargers last week. The Ravens beat the Browns 23-16 in Week 4. Since then the Browns got better and the Ravens actually got worse. I expect close game which could be decided in overtime, Ravens win.
Pick: Ravens 23-20 (OT), Result: Ravens 25-15
Against The Spread: Browns (+3.5)

Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Looks like the Cardinals are the team I actually thought they were before the season started. After 4-0 start they’ve lost 4 straight. Looking at Arizona’s schedule things could get even worse. First for the Cardinals are the Packers. In other words, 5th straight loss for the Cardinals.
Pick: Packers 27-19, Result: Packers 31-17
Against The Spread: Cardinals (+10.5)

Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Last week Chicago wasn’t impressive in a win against Carolina at home but a win is a win. Titans on the other hand came close but lost in overtime against the Colts at home. Look for the Bears to play great defense yet again which should be good enough for another W.
Pick: Bears 24-20, Result: Bears 51-20
Against The Spread: Bears (-3.5)

Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Miami is a team on a rise and with defense being its better part the Dolphins won 3 straight games. The Colts won 2 straight but I think they will have hard time scoring against the Dolphins and even harder time stopping Miami’s running game.
Pick: Dolphins 23-17, Result: Colts 23-20
Against The Spread: Dolphins (-2.5)  

Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Interesting matchup between 2 teams with young and dynamic quarterbacks. Rookie QB RGIII and the Redskins are back home for this one and that’s the only reason I believe they can come out victorious. Panthers’ QB Cam Newton played better recently and he’ll keep his team in this game against bad Redskins’ defense.
Pick: Redskins 26-24, Result: Panthers 21-13
Against The Spread: Panthers (+3.5)

Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). WR Calvin Johnson scored only 1 TD this season but this could be a game in which he scores multiple touchdowns. Feels like a must win for the Lions if they want to be considered a contender in a superior NFC.
Pick: Lions 22-16, Result: Lions 31-14
Against The Spread: Lions (-3.5)

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Both, Bills and Texans had a bye week and will be well-rested come Sunday. I usually stay away from double-digit spreads in the NFL, but this looks to me like a good bet. Texans’ defense will be too much for mistake-prone Bills. Not only defensively, Houston will also have plenty of success on the offensive side of the ball.
Pick: Texans 29-17, Result: Texans 21-9
Against The Spread: Texans (-10.5) 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders, Sunday 4:05 PM (ET). This is second consecutive road game for the Buccaneers. The last time they played was Thursday Night so they had plenty of time to rest. I bet they can hardly wait to play the Raiders even if it is on the road. Tampa Bay’s balanced offense will be too much for Oakland.
Pick: Buccaneers 26-21, Result: Buccaneers 42-32
Against The Spread: Buccaneers (+1.5)

Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks, Sunday 4:05 PM (ET). Tough loss for Seattle last week in Detroit. This week,  playing at home they’ll have a chance to get back on track. Minnesota doesn’t play as good as it’s played few week ago and could continue to make mistakes on the road.
Pick: Seahawks 27-17, Result: Seahawks 30-20
Against The Spread: Seahawks (-4.5) 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants, Sunday 4:25 PM (ET). Superstorm Sandy messed-up Steelers’ travelling plans and forced the Giants to adjust their weekly preparation schedule. It impacted both teams, I was thinking about an upset here but Giants should have the edge playing at home. Steelers are playing better with each week and will be tough opponent for the Giants.
Pick: Giants 20-19, Result: Steelers 24-20
Against The Spread: Steelers (+3.5)

Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons, Sunday 8:20 PM (ET). Eventually the 7-0 Falcons will lose a game this season. I’m not so sure if the Cowboys can pull it off in Atlanta where Falcons rarely lose a game but QB Tony Romo is 19-2 in November games and maybe the Cowboys can keep this game close and actually win one of those in the end.
Pick: Cowboys 28-25, Result: Falcons 19-13
Against The Spread: Cowboys (+4.5)

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints, Monday 8:30 PM (ET). Another game, another chance for all of us to see if QB Michael Vick and the Eagles can show up and play to their potential. In the past it was hard to beat QB Drew Brees and the Saints in their house, especially in primetime, but recently that has changed. I think the Eagles have a chance to come up with a much-needed win.
Pick: Eagles 27-24, Result: Saints 28-13
Against The Spread: Eagles (+3.5)

Bye Week: New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams

Week 8 record straight-up: 9-5
Overall: 76-42

Against The Spread: 5-9
Overall: 63-55


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