NFL Week 9 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 9 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 8 results: Rick: 7-7; Coin: 6-8
Cumulative: Rick: 54-64-1; Coin: 59-59-1

Thursday, November 5

Green Bay Packers (-5 1/2, 50) at San Francisco 49ers 8:20 pm (Fox/NFLN) - Of the numbers that stand out the 49ers 1-3 home record versus Green Bay's 3-1 road mark may be telling here. The 'Niners fell to 4-4- and the bottom of the NFC West by losing at Seattle last week, 37-27.

Jimmy Garoppolo is out again, making Nick Mullens the starter at QB, in addition to numerous injuries to running backs, making the SF offense look more like a triage unit than a football squad.

The Packers hold a 1/2-game lead over the Bears and would like to keep it that way, so expect a better effort than they showed in their 28-22 loss to Minnesota last week.

Coin Flip: Green Bay

Prediction: Packers 30 49ers 16

Sunday, November 8

Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (-4, 50) 1:00 pm (CBS) - The Broncos rallied for a 31-30 win over the Chargers last week at home and have won three of their last four, beating the Jets and Patriots while losing to Kansas City, 43-16 in week 6.

The Falcons were the best 1-6 team ever before humbling Carolina, 25-17, last week. Now they are back home and the best 2-6 team ever and will likely run rings around Denver defenders. Atlanta has two one-point losses and two more by a touchdown or less. Look for them to continue to improve.

Coin Flip: Denver

Prediction: Falcons 31 Broncos 21

Seattle Seahawks (-2 1/2, 54) at Buffalo Bills 1:00 pm (Fox) - The bills are coming off a long-awaited win at home over the Patriots, 24-21, and may be not emotionally ready to face one of the best teams in the league.

Losses to Tennessee and Kansas City suggest that Buffalo is not ready to take on the NFL elite. At 6-1, Seattle's only defeat was a 37-34 overtime road loss to Arizona. The Seattle defense still isn't at its best, but Russell Wilson is playing like an MVP.

Coin Flip: Buffalo

Prediction: Seahawks 28 Bills 23

Baltimore Ravens (-3, 45) at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm (CBS) - For all the hype surrounding Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore offense, they're actually somewhat ordinary, ranking 20th in yards per game (behind Indy), though they are 9th league-wide in scoring at 29 ppg.

The Colts are right there at 28.3 ppg and are tied with Tennessee for first place in the AFC South. The Ravens trail the Steelers by two games by virtue of Pittsburgh's 28-24 win last week. This is as good as it gets as the Colts are 3-0 at home while the Ravens are 3-0 on the road. Something must give.

Being that this could be close, the Colts +3 at home is a reasonable pick.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Colts 24 Ravens 21

Houston Texans (-6 1/2, 51) at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm (CBS) - With their 39-29 loss to the Chargers in week 7, the Jags come back from a bye week at 1-6. Since their 33-30 loss to Tennessee in week 2, none of Jacksonville's losses have been by fewer than eight points, making the Texans look pretty darn good only giving 6 1/2.

Houston, however, is also coming off a bye week after being drubbed by the Packers, 35-20. They are 0-3 on the road. This is a return meeting from week 5, in which the Texans won their only game of the year, topping the Jaguars, 30-14. The result may be a little closer, though Houston seems to have Jacksonville's number.

Coin Flip: Houston

Prediction: Texans 27 Jaguars 13

Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs (-10 1/2, 52 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Kansas City is 7-1 and has a bye coming up after this contest. It's extremely difficult to take a stand against the NFL champs, especially with Carolina losing three straight coming in to this.

The Panthers were dropped by Atlanta last week, 25-17, so if a 1-6 team can beat them by 8, it would figure that a 7-1 team could be them by more, especially since the Panthers were home for that Atlanta loss and are now hitting the road.

Coin Flip: Carolina

Prediction: Chiefs 40 Panthers 14

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-4, 52 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - With Dalvin Cook back in the lineup, the Vikings stopped their two-game losing streak with a monumental, 28-22, win over the Packers in Green Bay, but the Vikings are only 2-5.

Since last week's game followed a bye week, the Minnesota win may indicate that the team is fully healthy. Holding Aaron Rodgers to just 22 points isn't a bad showing for the defense but they'll have to do it again against Matthew Stafford and the Lions, who are right above them in the standings at 3-4.

Detroit was slammed, 41-21, by the Colts last week at home, and heading out on the road isn't going to make their job any easier. These two meet agin in week 17 and Minnesota is 5-1 in the last six meetings.

Coin Flip: Detroit

Prediction: Vikings 31 Lions 24

Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans (-5 1/2, 46 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Tough call here as both teas have a penchant for close games and are fighting for first place or playoff placings in their respective divisions. The 5-3 Bears lost by three points in OT to the Saints last week, while the Titans were overwhelmed in Cincinnati, 31-20.

Tennessee's bad habit of falling behind early in games and the inconsistency of kicker Steven Gastkowski are reasons to favor the Bears. Tennessee has lost two straight and may have gotten a bit overconfident after their 5-0 start.

The Bears need to be more consistent on offense, but Tennessee defenders have been generous, allowing 26.3 points per game. The Bears give up an average of just 20.8 (8th).

Coin Flip: Chicago

Prediction: Bears 27 Titans 24

New York Giants at Washington Football Team (- 3, 41) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Following a solid showing against Tampa Bay Monday night, the 1-7 Giants may have the feeling that they can win the NFC East. They've already beaten this Washington team, 20-19, in week 6, and they lost to the Eagles by a point, 22-21 two weeks ago.

Their defense is on a par with Washington's (24.9 to 23.6 points allowed per game), and if the offense can score three touchdowns, they may be a winner. Washington and the Giants are the #30 and 31st-ranked offenses in the NFL, respectively.

Coin Flip: NY Giants

Prediction: Giants 21 Unnamed Team 19

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