That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Micheal Profetta is back with his NFL picks against the spread. Micheal will be re-joining the NFL’s Future team on a more frequent basis. As always we will await Profetta’s first mock draft of the season, but here’s his NFL week nine picks against the spread.
Denver (-4) at Cincinnati
The Bengals are fresh off their bye and desperately need a win at home to remain relevant in the muddled AFC playoff picture. The Broncos are 1-10 in their last 11 games in the Eastern time zone. This contest may have the makings of an upset, but I’m not betting against Peyton Manning and Co. right now.
Game Prediction: Broncos 33, Bengals 20
Arizona at Green Bay (-10)
The Cardinals offense is a poop sandwich. However, Ray Horton’s defensive unit travels well. The Packers should make it four wins in a row going into their bye, but their banged-up secondary invites the backdoor cover.
Game Prediction: Packers 23, Cardinals 17
Miami (-2) at Indianapolis
Another fourth-quarter comeback from Andrew Luck and the Cardiac Colts? I can see it.
Game Prediction: Colts 17, Dolphins 13
Baltimore (-3.5) at Cleveland
The young and talented Browns are emerging as a tough out. Trent Richardson should be able to victimize a leaky Baltimore run defense and keep this one close. I’ll take the points, but a heavier workload for Ray Rice and a bounce-back performance by Joe Flacco should be just enough for the Ravens to make it ten straight wins vs. Cleveland.
Game Prediction: Ravens 20, Browns 17
Buffalo at Houston (-10)
Buffalo GM Buddy Nix recently proclaimed that Chan Gailey will remain the Head Coach in 2013. Too bad Nix won’t be around to make that decision. Arian Foster could eclipse 100 yards by halftime in a romp.
Game Prediction: Texans 32, Bills 13
Carolina at Washington (-3)
The Washington secondary is bad. The Carolina secondary is worse.
Game Prediction: Redskins 35, Panthers 30
Detroit (-4.5) at Jacksonville
The Jags have showed some grit over the last few weeks and the Lions have yet to defeat an opponent by more than four points, so I’m tempted to take the underdog. However, in a game in which both teams may be helpless against the pass thanks to injury-ravaged secondaries, I like Mikel Leshoure to make the difference against Jacksonville’s 25th-ranked run defense.
Game Prediction: Lions 27, Jaguars 21
Chicago (-3.5) at Tennessee
Over the last few weeks, Chicago’s sleepwalking offense has repeatedly been bailed out by their opportunistic defense. I’m guessing that this is the week that their luck runs out. A mistake-free game from Matt Hasselbeck, some tough, clock-killing yards from a rejuvenated Chris Johnson, and a dominant performance from Kamerion Wimbley is the recipe for an upset in Tennessee.
Game Prediction: Titans 23, Bears 16
Minnesota at Seattle (-4)
Russell Wilson has yet to throw an interception at CenturyLink Field, where Seattle is 3-0 this season. Christian Ponder has struggled recently, as has the Minnesota run defense (which bodes well for Marshawn Lynch). All signs point toward a Seattle victory…which is why I’m taking the Vikings to win outright. It’s just been that kind of season.
Game Prediction: Vikings 23, Seahawks 20
Tampa Bay at Oakland (-1.5)
While the Raiders have showed defensive improvement in winning two straight, that improvement must be taken with a grain of salt when you consider their opponents (Jacksonville and Kansas City). The Tampa Bay offense is red-hot and well-rested after dismantling Minnesota last Thursday. The loss of Carl Nicks stings, but the Bucs have proven resilient under Greg Schiano.
Game Prediction: Buccaneers 26, Raiders 20
Pittsburgh at N.Y. Giants (-3)
Two well-coached, hard-nosed squads that feature quarterbacks that you hate to bet against. When in doubt, go with the home team.
Game Prediction: Giants 24, Steelers 20
Dallas at Atlanta (-4)
This game has become a popular “upset special”. The logic being that the Cowboys (3-4) are desperate, while the Falcons (7-0) have little to play for with the NFC South title all but a formality. I’m not buying it. For a team to walk into the Georgia Dome, where Matt Ryan is an astounding 29-4, and come out with a victory, they have to be healthy, well-coached, disciplined, and careful with the ball. You know…all those things that the Cowboys aren’t.
Game Prediction: Falcons 30, Cowboys 24
Philadelphia at New Orleans (-3)
Two teams who need this game to save their seasons. Call me crazy, but my money is on Drew Brees over Michael Vick in a pressure situation.
Game Prediction: Saints 31, Eagles 19