I finally had a 2-0 week, cashing with both the Steelers and the Saints in Week 8. With six teams on a bye this week, we have a shorter schedule, but still plenty of room for profits. There are some more juicy games on the docket, with Philly getting a nice matchup against the Texans and Seattle looking to end it’s recent turmoils against the visiting Raiders. Let’s get the bookies!
Philadelphia Eagles pk (-120) at Houston Texans pk (+100) Total: 48.5
Our first pick takes us to NRG Stadium for an inter-conference affair between Philadelphia and Houston. While the Eagles are off to a strong first half of the season, the Texans are desperate for a win as they fight to keep relevance in a tough AFC.
Philadelphia is coming off a tough loss against Arizona Cardinals where they blew a lead late to lose 24-20. While quarterback Nick Foles threw for 400+ yards, he was inefficient once again completing just 36 of 62 passing attempts. Jeremy Maclin had his best game of the season, however, catching 12 balls for 187 and two scores.
Giving up big plays has been a significant problem for the Eagles defensively. They have one of league’s worst defenses against the pass and are seemingly getting worse as the season progresses.
For the Texans, their woes also are coming on the defensive side of the ball. Everyone knows the name J.J. Watt, but behind Watt is a lackluster unit against both the pass and the run. While Houston beat the Titans 30-16 last week, they had lost three straight before that victory.
The Eagles frenetic pace offensively will be extremely hard for this defense to handle. Philadelphia will also return two starting offensive lineman, and their offense should be all systems go. LeSean McCoy, who has been subpar so far this year, should have plenty of holes to run through against the Texans front.
Houston’s offense led by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is deceptively potent. Arian Foster is one of the best backs in the game and Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins make up a great receiving tandem.
I expect the Eagles to get a lead in this one, which will force the Texans to throw, where “Fitzmagic” should be able to pick apart the Eagles’ secondary. Both Eagle cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are among the worst in the league. They should have no trouble getting big chunks of yardage via the pass.
There are some larger totals this week, but this game might be the biggest explosion in Week 9. I love the domed environment, the up-tempo offense of Philly and the weak defense that both sides bring.
My Pick: Over 48.5
Oakland Raiders +16 (-125) at Seattle Seahawks -16 (+105) Total: 43
Oakland heads to one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, CenturyLink Field. No one likes going to Seattle, and there’s a chance both the crowd and the Seahawks will be extra rowdy come Sunday.
The defending champions did get a win last week against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. It was an ugly low-scoring affair, with the Panthers winning 13-9. Locker room turmoil and a defense that is not quite as good as last year’s unit has them currently sitting at 4-3 in a tough NFC West.
There isn’t much that can be said about the Raiders that is positive. They fired their coach in Week 2 and hired Tony Sparano to take over on an interim basis. Offensively, they have been destitute and not much better defensively.
They failed to take advantage of the Cleveland Browns coming to town last week, losing 23-13 in front of their home fans. They turned the ball over several times in a game that dropped them to 0-7 on the season.
With all of that said, this is still professional football. A 16-point spread is extremely high and a tough task for even the best teams in the NFL to cover. Seattle has not looked their best this season and while I’m sure they will be up for this game, so will the Raiders.
This might as well be Oakland’s Super Bowl and a win on Sunday might take some of the pain of their lost season away. Of course, it’s highly unlikely they pull the upset, but I think there’s a high chance they keep it within double-digits.