Week 8 of the NFL provided us with plenty of entertainment; from Arizona’s first loss to a gripping overtime divisional game. Let’s hope for more of the same in Week 9.
Last week’s parlay was a bust, but I was right on six out of my ten other bets.
With NFL odds for Week 9 finding their range, let’s preview all 14 games.
This week’s parlay will again consist of five teams, while I shall be making other picks for the remaining games.
Jets: Third-year QB Mike White led the Jets to their second win of the season. White became the second QB with 400+ yards on their first start in NFL history. He finished with an impressive 405 yards and three TDs.
A fully fit stable of receivers helped White. Michael Carter was the most productive rusher and receiver with 77 and 95 yards, respectively. Jamison Crowder also managed 84 yards.
Somehow, the defense limited Chase to just 34 yards. The front seven was also able to stop the Bengals rushing for over 50 yards. Finally, Shaq Lawson had a timely interception to set up the Jets’ winning drive.
Colts: Indy lost to the Titans in overtime on Sunday. Carson Wentz threw two late interceptions, which cost the Colts the game. One of those interceptions was on their own five-yard line and ended up being a pick-six, rather than taking the safety.
Michael Pittman continued his excellent form with 86 yards receiving and two TDs. The Colts did have some joy running the ball; Taylor finished with 70 yards.
The defense picked off Tannehill twice and sacked him three times. The front seven did an outstanding job to limit Henry to just 68 yards at an average of 2.4 yards per carry, before he was injured.
The Colts are now 3-5 and a long way off the playoffs. However, they aren’t out of the hunt yet, and a win over the Jets will boost their chances.
The Jets will be without Wilson again and are hoping to find a winning combination for the rest of this season. The Colts are heavy favorites, and I think they will cover the spread of -10.5.
However, I am betting on the teams hitting under 47 points.
Browns: Cleveland lost to the Steelers on Sunday. Baker Mayfield returned from injury and threw for 225 yards. However, Mayfield didn’t look 100% healthy and probably shouldn’t have started.
Kareem Hunt was out again, but Nick Chubb returned and went for 61 yards. It was a very unproductive day for the run game, which is unusual for this Browns team.
The defense wasn’t able to provide its normal pressure on the opposition QB. The front seven finished with two sacks and no interceptions.
Bengals: The Bengals lost to the Jets on Sunday. Joe Burrow threw for 259 yards and three TDs. He had another solid game, but he was a bit inaccurate with a 62% competition rate.
Ja’Marr Chase had a surprisingly quiet day with only 41 yards. Chase was often double-teamed, meaning Burrow had to go to Tee Higgins, who finished with 97 yards. The run game was limited to just 41 yards.
The defense struggled to contain White, who threw for 405 yards. The D finished with two sacks and four tackles for a loss. However, they did force two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
This game is an important divisional game. If the Browns win, they can draw level with the Bengals. The Browns’ run game needs to return to its dominant self.
This game will provide an exciting match between two intriguing teams. The Bengals are favorites for this game as there are still doubts over Mayfield’s health. I think the Bengals will win and cover the spread of 2.5 points.
However, I am predicting both offenses going lights-out so that these teams will hit over 45.5 points.
Broncos: Denver won their first game in four weeks on Sunday. Teddy Bridgewater showed his upside with an impressively accurate display. He completed 73% of his passes.
No other player had a fantastic day, but the run game did have some success with 4.15 yards per carry. Tim Patrick had a solid day with 64 yards from just three receptions.
The defense couldn’t control Washington’s run game that finished with 112 yards. However, the secondary did manage two picks at timely points in the game.
Cowboys: Dallas beat the Vikings 20-16 on Sunday. Cooper Rush filled in for the injured Prescott. Rush threw for 325 yards, two TDs, and an INT. He settled in after the first quarter and was faultless for the rest of the game.
Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb went for 122 and 112 yards, respectively. They were outstanding, making defenders miss and gaining plenty of yards after catch.
The defense held Cousins to just 184 yards from 23 completions. The front seven did struggle with only one sack, and they conceded 78 yards to Dalvin Cook.
The Broncos ended their four-game losing streak, meaning they are back in the playoff hunt. The Cowboys have extended their lead in the NFC East.
The Cowboys are heavy favorites for this game, even with a question mark of Prescott’s fitness. I think the Cowboys will win and cover the spread of seven points.
I am betting on the teams scoring under 50 points.
Texans: Houston lost to the Rams at NRG Stadium. A 22 point fourth quarter wasn’t enough for a successful comeback. Davis Mills returned to his impressive form with 310 yards, two TDs, and an INT.
Brandin Cooks was the most productive receiver again. Cooks finished with 83 yards and a TD from just six receptions. The running game was disappointing again, with only 44 rushing yards.
The defense conceded five TDs from just eleven drives. Stafford was allowed to go for 305 yards, and the Rams’ running department racked up 165 yards.
Dolphins: Miami lost to the Bills in a close match. Miami was in the game until the fourth quarter. Tua Tagovailoa regressed after two positive weeks. He only had 205 yards and a rushing TD.
The receivers were disappointing except DeVante Parker, who managed 85 yards. The run game was non-existent again, with just 68 rushing yards at an average of 3 yards per carry.
The defense finally turned up for the first time this season. They only conceded 351 yards to the explosive Bills offense and only 122 total yards in the first half.
The Fins’ defense had a confidence-boosting performance, but they still weren’t as good as they were last season. This game is for pride with both sides sporting disappointing 1-7 seasons to date. The Fins are favorites. I think Miami will win, but they won’t cover the spread of -7.
I am betting the under at 46 points, owing to both offenses struggling this season.
Falcons: Atlanta lost to the Panthers at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Matt Ryan had a shocking day with only 146 yards from 20 completions. He also threw two picks, which luckily didn’t lead to points.
After an explosive break-out game last week, Kyle Pitts only managed a paltry 13 yards on Sunday. The passing game wasn’t backed up by the running backs, who totaled 79 yards.
The Panthers’ run game trampled on the defense. The Panthers’ running backs totaled 203 yards. This took the pressure off Sam Darnold, who only had 129 passing yards. The Falcons didn’t register a sack. Not a good day at the office.
Saints: New Orleans had a shock win over the Bucs on Sunday night. Jameis Winston left the game due to injury. Trevor Siemian replaced Winston and led the Saints to victory.
Siemian was wildly inaccurate with a 55% completion rate. The Saints relied on their run game to win with 152 rushing yards for the day.
The defense led the way with two interceptions and a fumble recovery, with all three turnovers leading to points by the Saints’ offense. Kwon Alexander had an excellent game with a sack and two tackles for a loss.
The Saints are 5-2 and pushing the Bucs for the NFC South title. New Orleans is the most challenging team to call with their very inconsistent offense. The Falcons are playing for pride with a playoff push seeming inconceivable. I don’t think these teams will hit over 44 points as Siemian will start on Sunday.
I am betting on the Saints to win and cover the spread of -5.
Raiders: Las Vegas is coming off their bye week. The last time out, they beat the Eagles 33-22. Derek Carr was faultless with 323 yards, two TDs, and he completed 91% of his passes.
All of the receivers chipped in, but TE Foster Moreau led the way with 60 yards. The run game was productive as well, with 119 yards from 29 carries.
The defense shut down the Eagles by forcing three fumbles, two of which they recovered. The secondary held Hurt to just 236 yards by deflecting seven passes.
Giants: New York lost to the Chiefs in a tight game on Monday night. A fully fit stable of receivers helped Daniel Jones throw for 222 yards and two TDs. Jones looked afraid to take deep shots resulting in many screen pass plays.
Deontae Booker finished with 125 total yards. It was a most productive game for Booker, who could break tackles and gain plenty of yards after catch.
The defense played soft coverage, limiting Mahomes to throwing short passes. He averaged less than 6 yards per catch, with 275 yards from 48 attempts. The Giants also picked off an ugly pass by last season’s AFC star QB.
The Raiders are looking like a force to be reckoned with since Jon Gruden was fired. The Giants could and probably should have beaten the Chiefs, which would have helped them in their playoff chances. I think Carr will find some joy against this Giants’ defense. I think the Raiders will win and cover the spread of -3.
I am adding the Raiders as the first team in my parlay.
Patriots: New England held out to beat the Chargers by three. Mac Jones wasn’t lights-out, but he did have a solid game. He ended with 218 yards but had a 51% completion rate.
The brunt of the offense was focused on the run game, which ended with 141 yards. Nelson Agholor was the best receiver with just 60 yards.
The pick-six that Adrian Phillips scored was the deciding factor in this game. That was Phillips’ second pick of the day, which ended a very successful game for the secondary. They only conceded 223 yards to the explosive Herbert.
Panthers: Carolina beat the Falcons by six. It was a dominant display by the running backs. They rushed for 203 yards, with Chuba Hubbard leading the way with 82 yards.
Sam Darnold didn’t have much pressure on him due to the rampant run game. This meant he only threw for 129 yards from 13 completions. D.J. Moore was the most productive receiver with 59 yards.
The defense was able to pick off Matt Ryan twice; both were at timely moments in each drive. The secondary also limited Ryan to just 146 yards and the Falcons’ run game to 82 yards.
The Panthers are now 4-4 and are still well placed for a wild card spot for the playoffs. The Pats are also 4-4 and on the bubble of the AFC playoffs.
This is a vital game for both teams to maintain their positions in the playoff picture. I think Sam Darnold and the Panthers’ offense will struggle against the Pats’ organized defense.
Therefore I am betting on the Pats to win, and I am adding them to my parlay.
Bills: Buffalo struggled offensively in the first half against the Dolphins. The Bills only managed 122 yards and a solitary field goal. However, Buffalo turned on the heat in the second half and scored three TDs.
Josh Allen finished with 249 yards and two TDs. Allen also had 55 rushing yards from scrambling out of the pocket. Cole Beasley had his first big day of the season. He finished with 110 yards from ten receptions.
The defense held Miami to just three first-half points. The Fins’ run game averaged 2.9 yards per carry, and Tua Tagovailoa finished with just 205 yards.
Jaguars: The Seahawks trampled all over the Jags on Sunday. Trevor Lawrence attempted an incredible 54 passes and was only able to complete 32 of them for 238 yards.
The run game wasn’t used too much, with 19 carries achieving 82 yards on the ground. TE Dan Arnold was the Jags’ most productive receiver with 68 yards from eight receptions.
The defense limited Geno Smith to just 195 yards. However, the secondary couldn’t stop Tyler Lockett from catching 12 passes for 142 yards. The front seven totaled three sacks and seven tackles for a loss.
The Bills are huge favorites for this game after the Jags’ disappointing performance on Sunday. I think Josh Allen will go lights-out and put up a significant number yet again against a weak Jags secondary. Lawrence could struggle against the Bills’ quality secondary. Therefore, I think these teams will hit under 49 points.
I am taking the Bills to win and cover the two-touchdown spread of -14, as the Jags will struggle to trouble the scoreboard.
Vikings: Minnesota lost to the Cowboys on Sunday. It never looked like the Vikings were going to beat the Cowboys who were missing Prescott. Cousins hardly threw a pass longer than ten yards meaning he only finished with a season-low 184 yards.
The Cowboys finished with 438 total yards compared to the Vikings’ 285 total yards. This offense needs to figure out how to involve Justin Jefferson more. JJ was only targeted four times.
The defense couldn’t stop second-string QB Cooper Rush from throwing for 325 yards. The front seven also couldn’t pressure Rush, so he had time to make the big plays.
Ravens: Baltimore fell apart in the second half against Cincinnati in Week 7. Lamar Jackson completed less than 50% of his passes that ultimately proved costly in the fourth quarter.
The run game was held afloat by Jackson with his 88 rushing yards. Jackson also connected with Marquise Brown, who finished with 80 yards from just five catches.
The defense didn’t have an answer for Ja’Marr Chase, who finished with over 200 yards. The front seven was helpless against the Bengals’ running backs, who averaged 4.8 yards per carry.
The bye week may well prove enough for both Latavius Murray and Sammy Watkins to return from their leg injuries, which will boost the Ravens’ offense.
The Vikings haven’t been able to put in a complete performance all season. I think the Ravens will bounce back and cover the five-point spread.
Therefore I am adding the Ravens to my parlay.
Chargers: The Chargers produced another lackluster offensive performance after their bye week. Justin Herbert and his weapons looked somewhat incompetent for the second straight game. Herbert finished with 223 yards, two TDs, and two INTs.
However, the Chargers did find some joy running the ball. They finished with 163 yards. This was against an excellent run defense as well. Austin Ekeler also added 60 receiving yards, which rounded out an excellent day for the running back.
The defense couldn’t pressure Rookie Mac Jones. They finished with just one sack and very few pressures. The defense should have an easier time against the generally pass-heavy Eagles.
Eagles: Philly dominated the woeful Lions in a 38 point win. Jalen Hurts only threw for 103 yards from 14 attempts. This was due to the Eagles running the ball down the Lions’ throats all game.
The rushing department finished with an astonishing 236 yards. The running backs averaged 5.2 yards per carry and scored four TDs. Credit has to go to the offensive line for creating enormous holes for the running game.
The defense only conceded six points and 279 total yards. The front seven also had six sacks and seven tackles for a loss. It was a dominant performance by the defense that didn’t put a foot wrong all game.
Given Herbert’s previous performances, it would appear that he’s in a temporary slump. This matchup against an Eagles secondary that has been disappointing this season could end Herbert’s blip. The Eagles will be looking at this game as a must-win to close the gap to the Cowboys in the NFC East. I think the Chargers will win and cover the spread of -2.5.
However, I am betting on both QBs going lights-out and scoring over 50 points.
Packers: Green Bay held off a comeback drive to beat the Cardinals by three. Aaron Rodgers was able to keep the drives alive even though he didn’t produce the most outrageous stats.
The run game backed up Rodgers with 151 yards at an average of 4.4 yards per carry. RB Aaron Jones was excellent with 59 rushing yards, 51 receiving yards, and a TD.
The defense did concede 274 yards to an injured Kyler Murray. However, the front seven did limit the Cardinals’ run game to just 3.7 yards per carry due to three tackles for a loss.
Chiefs: Kansas beat the Giant by three to win a messy game. The Chiefs’ offense still doesn’t seem to be clicking in part due to costly turnovers. The Chiefs’ offense has now turned over the ball the most in the league.
Travis Kelce had a quiet day with just 27 yards, but Tyreek Hill made up for Kelce’s low yardage. Hill finished with 94 yards, and it was apparent that the Chiefs were trying to involve him more than in recent weeks.
The defense was lucky with the Giants’ offense conceding multiple penalties. The defense played soft coverage such that Jones couldn’t take deep shots. He finished with just 222 yards through the air.
The Chiefs will be hoping for a win to get them back into the playoff positions. The Packers are now the number one seed in the NFC. They will be looking to gain a lead over their NFC rivals.
This will be a massive test for Kansas’ offense. Based on the past few games, I think the Chiefs will struggle to move the ball. This is the closest game to call according to the sportsbooks all weekend.
I am confident about the Packers and am adding them to my parlay.
Cardinals: Arizona’s hopes of the perfect season were scuppered by the visiting Packers last week. Arizona would have beaten Green Bay had AJ Green looked for the ball in the end zone late on an ultimately intercepted pass. As it was, both teams now sit atop the NFC Standings with 7-1 records, alongside the Rams.
Even though Kyler Murray was carrying an injury, he could still throw for 274 yards, but he was intercepted twice. The run game was kept quiet by the Packers; the RBs totaled 74 yards.
The defense only relinquished 184 yards to Aaron Rodgers, but the front seven couldn’t stop the Packers’ running backs from grinding out 151 yards. That defensive unit also only managed one sack.
49ers: San Fran beat the Bears by 11 points on Sunday at Soldier Field. Jimmy Garoppolo put in one of his more complete performances against the Bears, throwing for 322 yards as well as two rushing TDs.
Deebo Samuel once again stood out with a 171-yard day. Rookie Elijah Mitchell managed 137 rushing yards and a TD. However, both Mitchell and Samuel exited the game with injuries.
The defense held Fields to just 175 passing yards. However, the Bears’ run game trampled the 49ers’ front seven. The Bears finished with 176 yards at an average of 4.9 yards per carry.
The Cardinals will hope their running backs can find their form again against the 49ers’ shaky run defense. When these teams met earlier in the season, San Fran lost by a 17-10 scoreline.
The Cardinals’ first loss seems to be a bump in the road on the way to the playoffs. I am confident of the Cardinals returning to winning ways and they will cover the spread of -2.5.
The Cardinals make it into my parlay.
Titans: The Titans pulled off another impressive win Sunday against the Colts. Tennessee overcame an early 14-0 deficit to win in overtime. However, they lost Derrick Henry to injury, an absence that will likely change the course of their season.
Ryan Tannehill threw two interceptions early on in the game. Luckily they weren’t costly. He finished the game with 265 yards and three TDs. A.J. Brown was outstanding for Tennessee; he finished with 155 yards.
The defense did have a lucky pick-six. However, they relinquished 31 points and 231 yards to Carson Wentz. They also only managed one sack.
Rams: The Rams dismantled the Texans by 38-22 in a game that really wasn’t that close. Matthew Stafford was excellent again with 305 yards and three TDs.
The offense is thriving off their oppositions, who are afraid of both their running and passing plays. The running department finished with 165 yards. Cooper Kupp continued his excellent season with another 115 yards.
Ernest Jones was excellent. He finished with seven tackles, including a tackle for a loss and half a sack. The front seven also limited the Texans to 44 yards.
The Titans signed Adrian Peterson on Monday as a replacement for Henry. The Titans will now rely on Tannehill and his connection with star receivers, Jones and Brown. The Rams will be looking to keep rolling on and claim the number one seed in the NFC.
I think the Rams will win, but they won’t cover the spread of 7.5 points.
Bears: Chicago lost to the 49ers 33-22 on Sunday. Chicago was without head coach Matt Nagy, as he was sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols. This likely played some part in their loss.
The Bears did see rookie Justin Fields put together a solid performance of 278 total yards, including 103 rushing yards and a rushing TD. However, he continued to hold onto the ball a bit too long at times, leading to being sacked four times.
The defense did concede 322 yards to Jimmy G from just 17 completions. The front seven was trampled on by Eli Mitchell, who finished with 137 rushing yards.
Steelers: Pittsburgh squeezed out a win against the Browns on Sunday. The Ben Roethlisberger-led offensive is still struggling to score enough TDs to be able to compete with the top teams.
Big Ben finished 266 yards and a TD, but he was wildly inaccurate again. Najee Harris continued his excellent rookie season with 120 total yards and a TD. The offense doesn’t look to be missing JuJu Smith-Schuster, with Diontae Johnson going for 98 yards.
The defense limited the returning Nick Chubb to just 61 yards. The secondary never let Baker Mayfield gain any momentum. Mayfield finished with 225 yards and no TD passes.
The Steelers are surviving but not thriving under Big Ben. They are now 4-3 and could make a playoff push if they can become more explosive on offense.
The Bears are now 3-5, but they are still well placed for a wild card spot in the NFC. Unsurprisingly the Steelers are favorites for this game, and I think they will cover the spread of -6.5 in a low-scoring affair.
However, I am betting on both teams scoring under 40.5 points, with both offenses struggling to create chances.