Week 9 was great for my football picks and my handicapping confidence overall. Both my Panthers and Saints spread picks beat the spread in the NFL and I also went 4 for 4 with my CFL picks this week. I’m not sure, but this may be my first 2-0 NFL week of the season. My record now sits at 7-13 on the season and if I can have another big week I could start seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
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Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins
- Minnesota -1.5
- Washington +1.5
The Redskins gave a spirited effort in Seattle this past week to pull out a 20-17 road win over the Seahawks. The offense had a lot of trouble moving the ball on the ground, but Cousins was able to pull out a couple big plays that lead to touchdowns, which proved to be enough to get the win. The Redskins are only 4-4, but they’ve had a very difficult schedule with their losses coming to the Eagles (x2), Cowboys and Chiefs. This was another very tough game, especially on the road, but the fact that the Skins were able to pull it out shows that they can get wins against top teams in this league.
It doesn’t get any easier for Washington this week as they host the Vikings who, even without Sam Bradford, have managed to work their way to a 6-2 record, primarily thanks to some great defending. The Vikings have only allowed 135 points in 8 games this season, which is second to only the Jaguars in the NFL. That said, the Vikings strength of schedule is far easier than the Redskins to this point in the season. The Vikings have won four in a row, but those wins are over the Browns, Ravens, Packers (without Rodgers), and Bears. Yes, the defense is strong, but these are some of the worst offensive teams in the league (Rodger-less Packers**). According to FootballOutsiders.com DVOA, the Vikings have a fairly average defense (ranked 9th), but they have just played weak competition. The Redskins are ranked 13th DVOA, so the defenses are really basically a wash in this game.
On the offensive side of the ball I give the edge to the Redskins. If Jordan Reed can play then I don’t think Cousins will have any trouble moving the ball against the Vikings, especially at home.
On a neutral field I would actually give a very slight edge to the Redskins heading into this game, so I will take a point and a half at home all day long.
Play: Redskins +1.5
Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions
- Cleveland +10
- Detroit -10
Detroit played a very strong game in Green Bay last night to get a fairly easy win over the Aaron Rodger-less, Green Bay Packers by a score of 30-17. Matt Stafford was finally able to make some big plays against the blitz using Theo Riddick out of the backfield, and Marvin Jones once again made some big plays in order to get the Lions into the end zone. Detroit has struggled to put up red zone points this year and without a big red zone threat receiver or a big “move the pile” type of running back that struggle will continue. Lucky for them though I don’t think the red zone issues will be a problem against the Browns.
Cleveland is now 0-8 on the season and they’ve actually had a pretty weak schedule with losses to the Ravens, Colts and Jets to name a few. The Browns are coming off a bye week, but they gave up 33 points to the Case Keenum lead Minnesota Vikings in week 8 and there defense has been even worse on the road this season.
With Theo Riddick finally getting going, Golden Tate still playing well despite being a bit banged up, and Marvin Jones Jr. playing lights out of late, I don’t see how the Lions don’t put up a big number at home this weekend. The defense should be able to keep the Browns to under 20 points with ease, and the offense should put up 30+ to easily cover this spread.
Play: Lions -10