Week Nine Predictions

NFL: DEC 18 Buccaneers at CowboysLast week was by far my best for predictions to date, and hopefully that trend continues as the playoff picture unfolds. Six teams are on bye this week and with all the injuries taking place, teams sure need it. While severe injuries are common in football, I can’t remember a year where so many marquee players have gone down. From some of the faces of the sport (Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr, J.J. Watt, Andrew Luck), to younger emerging talents (David Johnson, most recently Deshaun Watson) and veteran future hall of famers (Eric Berry and Joe Thomas), the injury bug has not been selective this season.

Unlike sports such as the NBA, the NFL doesn’t really market the individual talents and personalities of players, and most fans are either rooting for laundry or their fantasy teams that respective week or season. This particular year hasn’t helped the cause, so let’s just hope for the best in terms of players across the league being able to stay healthy.

Last week: 12-1, Season: 71-48

Last week against the spread: 9-4, Season: 61-58

Game of the weak: Colts vs Texans: The past 48 hours have been quite the roller coaster for Houston sports fans. After the Astros won their first World Series in franchise history Wednesday night, news came out Thursday that Deshaun Watson’s season came to an end after tearing his ACL in a non-contact practice drill. The good news for Houston fans is while ACL’s take eight or so months to recover from, championship banners hang forever.

On the same day, the Colts finally bit the bullet and placed Andrew Luck on injured reserve to miss the remainder of the season. The good news for Colts fans is at this point Jacoby Brissett might be the second best quarterback standing in the AFC South.  For the Texans, this is an ideal matchup for Tom Savage as the Colts secondary has been struck hard with injuries. I’m always hesitant of “looks the part” QB’s whose draft buzz starts climbing thanks to workouts in shorts, so even if I wasn’t particularly high on Savage before, a less than adequate performance here could be really telling. Colts 17 Texans (-13.5) 23

Game of the week: Chiefs vs Cowboys: The Chiefs got back on track Monday night and now have another test this Sunday going on the road to face the Cowboys. One thing the Cowboys have been able to do this season on defense is generate pressure on quarterbacks, so I’ll be interested to see if Alex Smith continues to stay aggressive.

If you rushed to pick up Alfred Morris or Darren McFadden on your fantasy waiver wire, I’m sorry because Ezekiel Elliott has now been cleared to play this Sunday. As we’ve seen before with these things (ex Tom Brady and deflategate), no matter how long it’s drawn out, you’ll end up serving the suspension. While the Cowboys at 4-3 would be better off having Elliott miss six games this year rather than waste a new 2018 season, that isn’t going to happen. Despite all the legal drama off the field, this does have the makings to be a very good game that comes down to the end. Chiefs 27 Cowboys (-0.5) 23 

Ravens 16 Titans (-0.5) 20

Falcons 21 Panthers (-1.5) 24

Buccaneers 21 Saints (-7.5) 28

Rams 24 Giants (+3.5) 17

Bengals 16 Jaguars (-4.5) 23

Broncos 14 Eagles (-8.5) 24

Cardinals 20 49ers (+2.5) 17

Redskins 23 Seahawks (-7.5) 30

Raiders 24 Dolphins (+3.5) 21

Lions 21 Packers (+2.5) 23

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