Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)
Here are my Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:
Seattle Seahawks -16 (over Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
When the Buccaneers head to Seattle, where the Seahawks are nearly impossible to beat (by a good team), the Bucs will be without safety Dashon Goldson. With or without Goldson, however, the Bucs are simply overmatched.
Since the Russell Wilson era began last year, the Seahawks have won all 11 of their home games. Not only are seven of those wins by double-digits, but more than half (six) of those wins have a scoring margin of at least 20 points including two of their three home games this year.
I see this game developing into a 31-3, 35-6 type of laugher.
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Houston Texans +3 (over Indianapolis Colts)
Both teams are coming off a bye and while some expected a strong start by the Colts, few expected the Texans to be 2-5 going into this primetime matchup.
There are a number side stories in this one with Case Keenum, who played in his high school and college football in the area, getting the start. He started before the bye as well but that game was in Kansas City. Even though they lost Arian Foster early to a hamstring injury, Keenum looked solid against the Chiefs great pass defense.
In addition, Andrew Luck returns home to Houston as well. In two games against the Texans as a rookie last year, Luck threw four touchdowns and no interceptions, but he also threw for less than 200 yards in each game and completed less than 50 percent of his pass attempts.
Perhaps this more of a hunch than anything considering Foster is a game-time decision due to his hamstring, but I like the Texans to put together a strong showing on Sunday night.
Chicago Bears +11 (over Green Bay Packers)
Losing a team's starting quarterback is usually a big loss and the Bears will be without Jay Cutler for at least one more week, but Josh McCown is one of the league's better backups. Not only did McCown have a week to prepare for his role as starter, the Bears are loaded with talent at the skill positions (Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, etc.) to take some pressure off McCown.
The Packers possess one of the league's most explosive offenses led by Aaron Rodgers and they have much more balance this season. In fact, they rank third in the NFL in rushing (141.4 yards per game) as Eddie Lacy has become a workhorse back (97 carries) during their four-game winning streak.
That said, the Bears defense still creates turnovers as they have a +7 turnover differential, tied for fifth-best in the NFL.
This is arguably the league's most storied rivalry and it's hard to envision it being a blowout by double digits. While I expect the Packers to win, I expect the Bears to keep it close.
Five of our contributors make three weekly picks ATS every week and they will be posted here.
[Note: John Trifone was unable to send a writeup for picks, but his three picks for Week 9 are: Browns +2.5 (over Ravens), Texans +3 (over Colts) and Raiders -2.5 (over Eagles).]