NFL 2018 SQ Insiders: Week 9 — NFL — The Sports Quotient

Our insiders pick the Week 9 games to help you beat Vegas and your pick’em league.

Two matchups are battling for game of the week. The first is between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints. Our insiders are split down the middle in this one with an average score of 31-31. That means from our standpoint, take the points and go with the Rams +1.5.

In what should be an equally exciting game, the Green Bay Packers take on the New England Patriots. Our insiders are all on the Patriots to win 29-24 at home, but as far as the spread is concerned, that means they like the Packers +5.5 to cover. Find out the rest of our insiders picks below.


Max V

Hunter B

Matt F

Adrian N

Oakland at San Francisco
Chicago at Buffalo
Kansas City at Cleveland
NY Jets at Miami
Detroit at Minnesota
Atlanta at Washington
Tampa Bay at Carolina
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Houston at Denver
LA Chargers at Seattle
LA Rams at New Orleans
Green Bay at New England
Tennessee at Dallas
Total Record74-4575-4477-4285-34


Conglomerate Score

ATS Winner

Pick’em Winner

Why the home team will win

Why the away team will win

Oakland at San Francisco20-21OAK+2.5San Francisco has better coaching, scores 1.9 more points per game, and allows 42 yards fewer per game than Oakland. The Raiders will also be playing without starting power back Marshawn Lynch or wide receiver Amari Cooper.Oakland has produced more offense than San Fran (though only by 22 yards per game), but has the better quarterback in Derek Carr and is overdue for a win.
Chicago at Buffalo22-12CHI-8.5If Buffalo’s defense comes out as hot as it did Monday night against New England at home, they will have a shot at shutting down Chicago.Buffalo is running out of quarterbacks thanks to injuries to Josh Allen and Derek Anderson. Nathan Peterman, most famous for simply not being good, will be facing one of the NFL’s most terrifying defenses, which ranks seventh in yards allowed and eighth in points allowed.
Kansas City at Cleveland38-20KC-8.5After firing both their head coach and offensive coordinator, the Browns look like even more of a mess than they usually do. Their matchup this week against the best team in the AFC isn’t ideal. The Browns will need to rally around their interim head coach Gregg Williams and find a way to slow down the Chiefs’ offense to keep this game close. The Chiefs’ offense has been nearly impossible to stop. Regardless of how their defense has played, the offense has been able to cover up for their flaws. Expect more of the same in Cleveland this week.
NY Jets at Miami22-23NYJ+3.5Brock Osweiler has ironically played well in his duties so far this year. He has outperformed Tannehill in yards per game, yards per attempt, passer rating, and interception percentage. If he can continue to play at a serviceable level, the Dolphins can win at home over a bad Jets team.The Jets actually have a much better point differential this year than the Dolphins, -8 vs. -45. While neither has been, good, the Dolphins have just looked horrible at times. If the Jets can run the ball and maintain some consistency, they can steal a divisional game on the road.
Detroit at Minnesota21-28MIN-4.5After trading away Golden Tate, Detroit’s wideouts will have difficulty stopping the production of the Vikings’ Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Minnesota should dominate through the air in this one and may have found one of the few teams that struggles more to run the ball than they do.Kirk Cousins has been under pressure a ton this season, more than any other quarterback. That Vikings’ offensive line is not good. If Detroit can get into the backfield and disrupt the flow of Minnesota’s passing game, it can keep the score in the low 20s and have a shot to win this game.
Atlanta at Washington29-24ATL+1.5Washington has been one of the biggest surprise teams this season. Led by Adrian Peterson, they have managed to start the season 5-2. The offense should be able to continue its success against Atlanta’s defense, but if they are going to win this game, the defense must slow down Matt Ryan.Coming off of the bye, Atlanta sits at 3-4 with very little margin for error going forward. If they are going to make it back to the playoffs once again, Matt Ryan is going to have to create the win. The defense isn’t going to stop anyone, so Atlanta has to make this game a shootout.
Tampa Bay at Carolina21-27TB+6.5Carolina has won two straight and four of their last five. And they’ve done it in impressive fashion with three of the four wins coming against the Bengals, Eagles, and Ravens. This team has proven it can score on some of the league’s best defenses.Tampa may not be able to stop anyone, but it’s hard to stop them. They rank first in passing yards per game and seventh in points. The issue for them this season has been turnovers. If the good Fitzpatrick shows up and takes care of the football, the Buccaneers can win a shootout in Carolina.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore25-19PIT+2.5Baltimore has been very disappointing the past two weeks. After looking like one of the best teams in the AFC through six games, the Ravens have now lost back-to-back games and are on the verge of letting their season get away from them. Hosting their rival Steelers gives the defense a chance to get back to who they are in a low-scoring victory.Without Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh has relied heavily on James Conner, who looks like a star in the making. They already have a lead in the AFC North going into this game, but a loss will give the Ravens the tiebreaker. This is a game the Steelers know they need to win and behind a heavy dose of Conner, they should be able to come out of Baltimore with the AFC North lead.
Houston at Denver24-22HOU+2.5Deshaun Watson has been playing hurt since that Sunday night game against the Cowboys, and couldn’t even fly on a plane as recently as last week. Denver has proven that they can still rush the passer. If they can get to Watson often, then they can stop a team who just lost their big play threat in Will Fuller.The Texans are the winners of five straight games and are squaring off against a team that just traded its best receiver, to the chagrin of the locker room. Their offense is coming off of a 42-point performance and can keep things rolling against Denver.
LA Chargers at Seattle26-23LAC+1.5Seattle is hot and gaining momentum. While many counted them out early on this season, the Hawks are a dark horse to earn a wildcard spot in the NFC. They have the NFL’s fifth-best defense in yards allowed and fourth-best in points allowed, and have a strong home field advantage. Wow. I didn’t even have to mention Russell Wilson.The Bolts are riding a four-game win streak and QB Phillip Rivers is having an MVP-level season. The Chargers’ offense ranks sixth in the league in yards per game.
LA Rams at New Orleans31-31LAR+1.5TiedThe Saints went up to Minnesota and defeated the Vikings convincingly in what most thought would be a close matchup. Meanwhile, the Packers were one vintage Rodgers drive away from knocking off the undefeated Rams, but a fumbled kickoff return kept Rodgers on the sidelines. The Saints’ offense is firing on all cylinders right now, and it could prove too much for the Rams to handle.The Rams are still scoring points every week, and they just added a premiere pass rusher in Dante Fowler, Jr. Cooper Kupp should return to action this week, giving Goff another weapon at his disposal. With the best rushing offense facing off against the best rushing defense, one’s got to give. I’d put my bet on Todd Gurley and that offense.
Green Bay at New England24-29GB+5.5New England is putting it all together and look like every bit the dominant team they’ve been for the last two decades. Brady and Edelman picked up like they never left, while James White is carrying the running game admirably in the absence of Sony Michel. Foxboro is a tough beast to tackle, especially in a primetime game. The offense will come out firing in one of the best matchups of the year.If it weren’t for a late fumble, I’m fully convinced Aaron Rodgers was going to stake down the undefeated Rams. Unfortunately, he never got the chance. With the Packers idling in the middle of the pack in the NFC, Rodgers will come out with something to prove. On top of that, Green Bay’s defense proved last week it could hang with the best offense in the league thanks to Jaire Alexander and company.
Tennessee at Dallas17-19TEN+6.5The Cowboys are coming off their bye week with a brand new weapon in Amari Cooper. The Titans are one of the less intimidating teams in the league, especially on the road. Dallas’ defense should be able to contain the Titans’ one dimensional offense, especially with their crop of linebackers. Ezekial Elliott is primed for a huge game against this defense.The Cowboys aren’t a great team by any stretch of imagination, and the bye week gives the Titans a chance to rest up, get healthy and gameplan for a primetime game. Before the bye, Dion Lewis looked more like his normal, explosive self, signaling a potential change in trajectory for this offense. If Mariota can return to his late-season form from last year, the Titans should come out on top.

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