NFL Week 9 Picks and Predictions: Lock of the Week, Upset of the Week, and Scores for Every Game

    We here at Pro Football Network look to keep the positive momentum going in our NFL Week 9 Picks and Predictions.

    NFL Week 9 Picks and Predictions: Lock of the Week, Upset of the Week, and Scores for Every Game

    The most unpredictable NFL season in memory got even wilder with the biggest trade deadline day ever. How will the flurry of moves impact the on-field product? We try to make sense of it all with our NFL Week 9 Picks and Predictions.

    All lines are as of Wednesday and are courtesy of Caesars.

    NFL Picks and Predictions: Lock of the Week

    Betting line
    Packers -3.5; Packers -190, Lions +158; O/U 49.5

    The Lions already have an eye, and maybe even two, on 2023. After a 1-6 start, they’re in line for the No. 1 pick in the draft.

    Lions GM Brad Holmes on Tuesday did his part to ensure that Detroit picks first for the fifth time in club history.

    MORE: Early Week 9 Bargain DFS Targets

    He traded his leading receiver, tight end T.J. Hockenson, to a division rival (the Minnesota Vikings). That shows you how little the Lions care about getting wins the rest of the way.

    We should listen to what the Lions are saying.

    Plus, we simply cannot see an Aaron Rodgers-led team laying a fifth-straight egg, particularly against a defense that ranks last in yards per play allowed (6.5), points allowed (32.1), and EPA per play (.20).

    The Packers need to save their season Sunday, and we expect them to play like it.

    Beasley: Packers 29, Lions 21
    Miller: Packers 21, Lions 17
    Robinson: Packers 25, Lions 20

    NFL Picks and Predictions: Upset of the Week

    Betting line
    Cardinals -2; Cardinals -130, Seahawks +110; O/U 50.5

    A game and a half separate first and last place in the NFC West. That’s not a surprise.

    What is surprising: The Seahawks, winners of three straight, are the ones on top of the division, not at the bottom.

    These teams will meet Sunday for the second time in 22 days. The Seahawks might have changed their entire season during that first meeting. After allowing 30.8 points per game in Weeks 1-5, their defense has completely turned it around since, surrendering 45 total over their last three.

    The Seahawks ranked 31st in defensive EPA through five games (.17). They’re second in the three weeks since (-.17).

    Combine that with a quarterback in Geno Smith, who is fourth in QBR (66.6), and the Seahawks look less and less like a fluke by the week.

    Cardinals seemingly are who they are as well — a five-loss team whose three wins have come against teams that are a combined 7-16.

    Beasley: Seahawks 28, Cardinals 24
    Miller: Seahawks 33, Cardinals 24
    Robinson: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 25

    More NFL Picks and Predictions

    Philadelphia Eagles vs. Houston Texans

    Betting line
    Eagles -14; Eagles -800, Texans +550; O/U 45

    Is it too soon to talk about the Eagles running the table in the regular season? Not when their schedule keeps burping up opponents like the one they face Thursday.

    The Eagles’ first seven opponents have a combined winning percentage of .444. That’s the ninth-easiest schedule in football. Just four of their 10 remaining games are against teams currently with winning records.

    So a 17-0 regular season – on the 50th anniversary of the perfect 1972 Dolphins team – isn’t out of the question.

    Eagles-Texans, on paper, is the biggest mismatch of Week 9 – arguably the league’s best team against arguably the worst.

    The Eagles are second in point differential (11.1) and yard differential (97.3). The Texans are 29th (-5.4) and last (-114.9) in those categories.

    — Adam H. Beasley

    Beasley: Eagles 30, Texans 15
    Miller: Eagles 35, Texans 10
    Robinson: Eagles 33, Texans 10

    Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Commanders

    Betting line
    Vikings -3.5; Vikings -190, Commanders +158; O/U 43.5

    The Minnesota Vikings officially hold the second-best record in the NFC after the Giants lost to the Seahawks. However, they’re only 18th in team DVOA, making them one of the “worst” 6-1 teams ever.

    However, Minnesota has talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They just traded for one of the better young tight ends in the NFL, and they already have arguably the best receiver in the game. Additionally, they have an offensive line that’s improved over the past 12 months and one of the more talented running backs in the league. But their defense must improve if they want to remain consistent.

    Meanwhile, the Commanders continue to remain relevant, even after losing starting quarterback Carson Wentz. They’ve won three in a row, and their defensive interior could cause problems for Minnesota.

    — Dalton Miller

    Beasley: Vikings 25, Commanders 19
    Miller: Vikings 28, Commanders 20
    Robinson: Vikings 24, Commanders 21

    Carolina Panthers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

    Betting line
    Bengals -7; Bengals -345, Panthers +270; O/U 42.5

    The Bengals burned us. We thought they had established enough consistency that they would roll the hapless Browns last week. But our lock of the week broke into a million pieces with the worst Cincinnati showing of the year.

    And now injuries are starting to add up. The offense wasn’t the same without Ja’Marr Chase. And the defense probably won’t be the same without Chidobe Awuzie, who suffered a significant knee injury in Week 8.

    “I’m confident that’s not who we are,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said after the game.

    We’ll soon find out if that’s the case. They’re back at home against a team with nothing to play for but pride. The Panthers have been a better team with PJ Walker under center.

    In fact, they’re a missed extra point away from leading the division.

    Can Walker keep it going? History suggests no.

    His EPA+CPOE over the last two weeks (.09) is probably an outlier compared to his career body of work (-.01).

    — Adam H. Beasley

    Beasley: Bengals 26, Panthers 18
    Miller: Bengals 21, Panthers 17
    Robinson: Bengals 23, Panthers 15

    Miami Dolphins vs. Chicago Bears

    Betting line
    Dolphins -5; Dolphins -225, Bears +185; O/U 44

    No team improved more in Trade SZN than the Dolphins, who acquired talented pass rusher Bradley Chubb and upgraded at running back (gaining Jeff Wilson Jr. while shedding Chase Edmonds).

    And you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a team that lost more in Trade SZN than the Bears, who dealt defensive cornerstones Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith to contenders.

    Chicago did upgrade on offense, trading for wide receiver Chase Claypool, but there’s no doubt the Bears are a diminished team compared to two weeks ago.

    So let’s all agree that the Dolphins are a significantly better team than the Bears. Even before the trades, the Dolphins dominated the Bears in DVOA (12th to 29th).

    The only potential equalizer Sunday is the weather. Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t play great in the cold and wind. The forecast is a mixed bag for the Hawaiian: it’s supposed to be a very pleasant 61 degrees at kickoff, but it’s expected to be a bit breezy.

    — Adam H. Beasley

    Beasley: Dolphins 26, Bears 20
    Miller: Dolphins 34, Bears 28
    Robinson: Dolphins 29, Bears 19

    Los Angeles Chargers vs. Atlanta Falcons

    Betting line
    Chargers -3; Chargers -170, Falcons +143; O/U 49

    The Chargers are coming off a Week 8 bye, but their injury issues aren’t going anywhere. Already without Joey Bosa, Rashawn Slater, and JC Jackson for the foreseeable future, Los Angeles will face the Falcons sans receiver Mike Williams. Fellow pass catcher Keenan Allen (hamstring) may not play either, so this could be the Austin Ekeler Show again.

    Justin Herbert’s average depth of target is still just 6.8 yards, 34th among 39 qualifying quarterbacks. He’s behind Baker Mayfield and just ahead of Taylor Heinicke and Daniel Jones. We’d love to see the Chargers air it out against an Atlanta secondary missing A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward, but Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter aren’t exactly downfield threats.

    On the other side of the ball, the Falcons will stick to their script. Atlanta posts 33.5 rushing attempts per game, second-most in the NFL behind the Bears. The Chargers can’t stop the run – they’ve given up at least 130 rushing yards in four of their last five games, including 200+ twice. Sometimes, the game plans write themselves.

    — Dallas Robinson

    Beasley: Chargers 25, Falcons 24
    Miller: Falcons 31, Chargers 30
    Robinson: Chargers 26, Falcons 24

    Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

    Betting line
    Bills -13; Bills -650, Jets +460; O/U 47

    The Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles look like the two best teams in the NFL. While the Bills are seen as a team that hasn’t been matched in years, most metrics see them as an average “league best.” That probably says more about the rest of the league than the Bills.

    MORE: Early Week 9 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

    Josh Allen has played like an MVP through the first half of the season, and the Bills’ defense is one of the best in the league. Despite blitzing less than any team but Chicago, the Bills rank inside the top 10 in sacks and QB hit percentage.

    Conversely, Zach Wilson is not quite playing like an MVP candidate. The second-year quarterback looked lost against the New England Patriots a week ago. The Jets are a talented team, but Wilson needs to play a much cleaner brand of football if New York is to contend in the AFC.

    — Dalton Miller

    Beasley: Bills 27, Jets 21
    Miller: Bills 31, Jets 17
    Robinson: Bills 31, Jets 14

    Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots

    Betting line
    Patriots -5.5; Patriots -250, Colts +205; O/U 39.5

    The Indianapolis Colts are in a tailspin.

    Their continued half-hearted quest to find a quarterback has finally left them out to dry like a towel rack. The Colts offense is horrific, and it won’t be improving with its current construction. The offensive line is in shambles, making it impossible to run the football with any success.

    The Patriots are a more talented team than the Colts, but Mac Jones has regressed in 2022 without Josh McDaniels calling the shots. Only Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, and Kenny Pickett have thrown more interceptions, and all have done so with more attempts. Jones has shown more ability to create on his own in 2022, matching his scrambling total from a season ago, but it’s led to more ball-control issues.

    — Dalton Miller

    Beasley: Patriots 23, Colts 14
    Miller: Patriots 20, Colts 14
    Robinson: Patriots 22, Colts 18

    Las Vegas Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

    Betting line
    Raiders -1; Raiders -125, Jaguars +105; O/U 48

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are just 2-6, but they are much closer to a middle-of-the-pack team from a team efficiency perspective. Think of them as the opposite of the Giants and Vikings. Instead of winning games late, the Jaguars lose them.

    Meanwhile, the Raiders look completely lost. Las Vegas has continued to ignore their issues on the offensive line, making all the talent they have surrounding them about as useful as a concrete parachute.

    The Raiders had high hopes in the offseason, and after a strong start, the Jaguars had playoff hopes (and still somehow do) in a bad AFC South. If Jacksonville is to make the playoffs in 2022, they’ll need to limit their mistakes. They’re fifth in drive success rate, but 27th in turnover rate, which has thwarted their efforts more than their own ability.

    — Dalton Miller

    Beasley: Jaguars 27, Raiders 22
    Miller: Jaguars 24, Raiders 21
    Robinson: Raiders 26, Jaguars 21

    Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Betting line
    Buccaneers -3; Buccaneers -155, Rams +130; O/U 42.5

    Tom Brady has faced the Rams three times since joining the Buccaneers in 2020, and he’s lost on all three occasions, including in January’s NFC Divisional Round game. Tampa Bay and Los Angeles combined to score at least 51 points in each of those contests -– the 42.5-point over/under for Sunday’s matchup is indicative of their current offensive struggles.

    The Bucs are dead last in rushing efficiency, while the Rams boast one of the league’s best run-stopping defenses. It’s difficult to imagine Leonard Fournette getting going against L.A., so it will be on Brady to find chunk yardage via whichever Tampa Bay receiver isn’t being guarded by Jalen Ramsey.

    Matthew Stafford and co. have the NFL’s worst offense by expected points added and second-worst by yards per play. The Rams’ offensive line won’t be able to hold up against a Bucs defense that blitzes 31.4% of the time, seventh-most in the league. Thus, expect more of the same for LA’s offense: screens and the quick game to Cooper Kupp, with the hope he can turn nothing into something.

    — Dallas Robinson

    Beasley: Buccaneers 24, Rams 17
    Miller: Buccaneers 20, Rams 16
    Robinson: Buccaneers 24, Rams 20

    Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs

    Betting line
    Chiefs -12.5; Chiefs -650, Titans +460; O/U 46.5

    The Titans are excellent at designing and executing game-specific plans, as evidenced by their Week 8 victory over the Texans in which rookie quarterback Malik Willis attempted only 10 passes (including just one in the second half).

    Even if Ryan Tannehill returns on Sunday, Tennessee will likely lean into a Derrick Henry-heavy approach. The Titans’ best strategy is controlling the clock and keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field. They simply don’t have the offensive pieces to keep up with the Chiefs.

    Kansas City’s offense is overwhelming. They’ve scored at least 30 points in three of their last four games and posted more than 500 yards of offense against the 49ers’ vaunted defense in Week 8. Expect Mahomes to continue his MVP campaign and remain efficient, even if the Titans manage to limit his volume.

    — Dallas Robinson

    Beasley: Chiefs 28, Titans 19
    Miller: Chiefs 30, Titans 16
    Robinson: Chiefs 30, Titans 18

    Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints

    Betting line
    Ravens -3; Ravens -155, Saints +130; O/U 48

    The Ravens ran over the Buccaneers in Week 8, totaling 231 yards on the ground. They’re unlikely to have that much success against a Saints run defense that ranks first in EPA, so Lamar Jackson could top his season-high of 38 passing attempts.

    MORE: 2022 Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

    The only question is who he’ll be throwing to. Rashod Bateman has already been ruled out of Monday night’s game, while Mark Andrews is dealing with a shoulder injury. Head coach John Harbaugh said Andrews’ issue is not a “major thing,” but with Baltimore heading into a bye in Week 10, they could play it safe and hold out their star tight end.

    Meanwhile, the Saints’ defense -– which had given up at least 30 points in three consecutive games -– shut out the Raiders in Week 8 while allowing just 183 yards of offense. Facing Lamar is a much different challenge, and New Orleans will have to work to contain him in the pocket.

    — Dallas Robinson

    Beasley: Ravens 25, Saints 24
    Miller: Ravens 30, Saints 24
    Robinson: Ravens 24, Saints 17

    Season Standings Through Eight Weeks

    Adam Beasley: 67-55-1 straight up, 58-63-2 against the spread
    Dalton Miller: 70-52-1, 58-63-2
    Dallas Robinson: 80-42-1, 63-58-2

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