NFL Week 9 ATS picks: Lions shock Packers, Patriots beat Colts


The NFL's Week 8 schedule was awful. Only one game featured two teams with winning records and the quality of football was pretty bad.

Week 9 should provide more compelling action.

There are a couple really good matchups, including a pair of division leaders going head-to-head when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans on "Sunday Night Football". The Los Angeles Rams will visit Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC playoff rematch. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets will battle in a showdown between the top two teams in the AFC East (at least based on records). 

What can we expect from this week's slate?

Here are our best bets against the spread for the Week 9 games. All start times listed are ET. All betting lines via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Philadelphia Eagles (-13.5) at Houston Texans

Time/TV channel: Thursday, Nov. 3 at 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime

Over/Under: 45

The Eagles are still the only undefeated team in the league at 7-0, and it's difficult to predict the Texans ending that run. Houston has the second-worst record in the league 1-5-1 and scores the fourth-fewest points (16.6) per game.

So, we know the Texans are a bad football team, but are they lose-by-14-or-more bad? 

The short answer is yes, and it's mostly because of the Eagles. Philly ranks No. 3 in points scored and total yards per game. The Eagles rushing attack averages 149.5 yards per game, and that success should continue against a Texans run defense that was destroyed by Josh Jacobs and Derrick Henry in back-to-back losses to the Raiders and Titans. Houston gives up the most rushing yards per game (186) of any NFL defense. 

The Eagles are 5-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last six games and have won five of their last six road matchups. Anything can happen on a short week, but the Eagles should have little trouble dominating a vastly inferior Texans squad. 

Pick: Eagles -13.5

Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Detroit Lions

Time/TV channel: Sunday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX

Over/Under: 49.5

Aaron Rodgers is 3-5 for the first time in his career, and if he and the Packers can't beat the 1-6 Lions, then it will be time to sound the alarm in Green Bay.

And yet there aren't many reasons to think the Packers will definitely cover this spread. They are 1-4 ATS in their last five games and a lackluster 2-8 ATS in their last 10 matchups with the Lions. Detroit played much better than expected in Week 8 in a 31-27 loss to a good Miami Dolphins team. The Packers also are 2-6 in their last eight road games and 0-5 ATS in their last five matchups at Ford Field. 

The Lions aren't a good team, obviously, but they've been competitive in most of their defeats. Four of their six losses came by four or fewer points. The Packers probably will win this game, but the Lions can definitely cover 3.5 points. Detroit's offense ranks No. 9 in points scored per game, No. 4 in total yards and No. 3 in red zone efficiency.

Pick: Lions +3.5

Buffalo Bills (-11.5) at New York Jets

Time/TV channel: Sunday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS

Over/Under: 46.5

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson played awful last week in a 22-17 loss to the Patriots at home. He threw three costly interceptions and completed just 48.8 percent of his passes (20-of-41). Wilson likely will have even more trouble against a Bills defense that's arguably the league's best.

Buffalo's defense ranks No. 3 in yards allowed and No. 1 in points allowed per game. This unit also leads the league with 11 interceptions and ranks No. 7 in sacks. The Bills offense isn't too shabby, either, led by quarterback and MVP candidate Josh Allen. Buffalo's 29 points scored per game are the second-most in the league.

The Bills also are 4-2 ATS in their last six games against the Jets and haven't lost to New York since Dec. 29, 2019. Buffalo should continue to roll with another double-digit win Sunday to maintain their position atop the AFC East standings.

Pick: Bills -11.5

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-5.5)

Time/TV channel: Sunday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS

Over/Under: 40

The Colts are a mess. They fired their offensive coordinator earlier this week and benched veteran quarterback Matt Ryan in favor of 2021 sixth-round draft pick Sam Ehlinger. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has largely owned rookie and second-year QBs in his career, and Ehlinger likely will be the next victim.

The Colts are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games and have lost eight of their last nine matchups versus the Patriots. Indy hasn't won in Foxboro since 2006. 

The Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last five games and their defense has forced the most turnovers in the league with 16. It's hard to envision Ehlinger going into Gillette Stadium and playing well against a Belichick-coached defense.

Pick: Patriots -5.5

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