NFL picks 2015: Week 9

Best week of season still can't solve Colts when factoring in spread.

Overall trends continue to climb, although it doesn’t include picking Colts games with the spread. That streak has now reached 0-8, after the Colts lost but covered at Carolina. The straight up record in Colts games is 4-4.

For the season, a 12-2 week bumped the straight up record to 78-41, which is just off last year’s pace. An 8-4-2 record against the spread boosts the overall total above .500 for the first time at 59-55-5. There’s some work to be done to catch last year’s spread percentage of .545.

On with Week 9, and for those looking to choose the opposite of whatever is decided on the Colts’ home game against Denver, the Broncos are giving five points and the pick is for Peyton Manning and his teammates to win and cover at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Week 9

(Odds by Oddshark.com)

Browns +12 at Bengals — How can anyone resist such a juicy point spread in a short week? Well, Johnny Manziel playing quarterback for the Browns sure makes it even more tempting. What the heck. We’ll take the points. Pick: Bengals 33, Browns 23.

Dolphins +3 at Bills — The return of Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor should make a difference for Rex Ryan’s struggling team. We haven’t forgotten how the Bills and Taylor took apart the Dolphins in Miami earlier this season. Pick: Bills 31, Dolphins 24.

Packers -2.5 at Panthers — After Green Bay flat-lined at Denver as similar road favorites to this week, many might be inclined to take Carolina. But the Colts had the Panthers on the ropes Monday. Green Bay rebounds. Pick: Packers 26, Panthers 20.

Rams +1.5 at Vikings — There’s no denying St. Louis is playing better football of late, but so too is Minnesota, with a 5-2 record that includes 3-0 at home. It’s the most uncertain outcome of the week, so we’ll stick with the home team. Pick: Vikings 22, Rams 20.

Redskins +14 at Patriots — New England had some extra time off after demolishing Miami on a Thursday night, and now the line is even larger for a Redskins visit. How can we pass on those points? Well, it worked against the Dolphins. Pick: Patriots 41, Redskins 24.

Titans +7.5 at Saints — All of a sudden, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has reverted to touchdown machine form and the Saints are winning games again. The defense is atrocious at times, but Brees doesn’t need much margin for error. Pick: Saints 38, Titans 17.

Jaguars +8 at Jets — The Jets have issues with injured quarterbacks, but there’s still no reason to expect Jacksonville to go into New York (err, New Jersey) and knock the Jets down a peg, not after Gang Green got embarrassed at Oakland. Pick: Jets 26, Jaguars 16.

Raiders +6 at Steelers — This one ought to be fun to watch, presuming Oakland is as explosive on offense as last week. Pittsburgh missing Le'Veon Bell is a big deal for fantasy owners, but DeAngelo Williams will get it done. Pick: Steelers 30, Raiders 23.

Falcons -7 at 49ers — If Colin Kaepernick were starting for the home team instead of Blaine Gabbert, the hunch would be to take San Francisco and the points. But the memory of Gabbert from AFC South games past is scary. Pick: Falcons 23, 49ers 13.

Giants -2.5 at Buccaneers — The G-Men scored 49 points last week and lost. That undoubtedly made for a humbling week of preparation for this trip to Tampa. Props to the Bucs for a road upset at Atlanta, but New York is better. Pick: Giants 30, Buccaneers 27.

Broncos -5 at Colts — Manning returns to Lucas Oil Stadium with the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense and the chance to set a couple of NFL records. He’ll get at least one of those, all-time wins. The Colts will lose their fourth straight game. Pick: Broncos 27, Colts 20.

Eagles -3 at Cowboys — At some point, Dallas will surprise somebody. Philadelphia is inconsistent enough to be a likely candidate, but the gut instinct is that the Eagles will have just enough offense to win a close one on the road. Pick: Eagles 27, Cowboys 23.

Bears +4.5 at Chargers — San Diego is reeling but being home against a suspect defense should make the Bolts look a lot better. No Matt Forte in Chicago’s backfield will make life that much more difficult for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Pick: Chargers 38, Bears 31.

Picks totals

Straight up

Last week: 12-2 (.857).

Overall: 78-41 (.655).

Last year after Week 8: 80-40-1 (.665).

Spread ‘em

Last week: 8-4-2 (.643).

Overall: 59-55-5 (.517).

Last year after Week 8: 65-54-2 (.545).

Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.

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