Thank heavens for the Indianapolis Colts’ bye week. In keeping true to form, the Colts not only covered as five-point underdogs against Denver, they won straight up.
So the season-long winless streak continues on Colts games involving the spread. It was a lousy week all the way around, 8-5 straight up and 5-8 against the spread.
No Colts game hopefully means a decent bounce-back week.
(Odds by Oddshark.com)
Bills +2.5 at Jets — The Bills are a different bunch when healthy and last week’s rout of Miami gave every indication Buffalo is getting it together. Coach Rex Ryan will enjoy his return to New Jersey against his former team. Pick: Bills 23, Jets 20.
Jaguars +6 at Ravens — There’s nothing like the Jags losing as expected but covering, which they did last week at the Jets. What are the odds they do it two weeks in a row? Baltimore is coming off a much-needed bye week. Pick: Ravens 27, Jaguars 23.
Lions +10 at Packers — No confidence in Detroit at this point, especially at Lambeau Field. Granted, Green Bay has lost two in a row and is suddenly a question mark, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers will come out firing and not let up. Pick: Packers 38, Lions 17.
Dolphins +5.5 at Eagles — Perhaps the line is because Philadelphia is so unpredictable, but it doesn’t make much sense. Miami defeated two AFC South Division teams, then reverted to form in losing badly. Pick: Eagles 34, Dolphins 17.
Browns +6.5 at Steelers — Don't know if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger playw, but Landry Jones has a decent supporting cast in wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back DeAngelo Williams. And the Browns are just bad. Pick: Steelers 23, Browns 16.
Bears +7 at Rams — Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler came to life in a comeback victory at San Diego Monday. But now he’s facing a team that plays well at home and has a defense. The Rams will rebound from losing in OT. Pick: Rams 27, Bears 20.
Cowboys -1 at Buccaneers — Sooner or later, Dallas has to right the ship and get a win, right? While Tampa Bay is an unpredictable bunch and coming off a home loss to the New York Giants, the hunch is the Bucs will surprise at home. Pick: Buccaneers 24, Cowboys 20.
Panthers -4 at Titans — Props to Tennessee for going on the road and winning at New Orleans in overtime. Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota is showing he can make plays if given the time to throw. But Carolina is on a serious roll. Pick: Panthers 26, Titans 16.
Saints Even at Redskins — While New Orleans has proven again it can score, the other obvious reality is this team doesn’t have much of a defense, either. Washington is coming off a bad loss at New England, but that happens to most teams. Pick: Redskins 27, Saints 24.
Vikings +3 at Raiders — Oakland almost pulled off a road win at Pittsburgh and is proving to be difficult on a weekly basis. Minnesota has managed to put together a solid win streak, but hunch is the Vikings are going down. Pick: Raiders 27, Vikings 23.
Chiefs +3.5 at Broncos — Quarterback Peyton Manning gets his latest records, passing Brett Favre for all-time quarterback wins and career passing yardage. Denver’s defense also rebounds from slipping on the road at Indy. Pick: Broncos 26, Chiefs 16.
Patriots -7 at Giants — This sure seems like a trap because the initial hunch is to take New England to win and cover. But the G-Men, for all their faults, have enough weapons to make life interesting for New England, especially at home. Pick: Patriots 27, Giants 23.
Cardinals +2.5 at Seahawks — Both NFC West rivals got a bye week to prepare. Arizona isn’t afraid of anybody, but Seattle is primed for a statement win to let everyone know the Cardinals aren’t going to just run away with the division. Pick: Seahawks 20, Cardinals 16.
Texans +12 at Bengals — Well, after thinking Cleveland could somehow cover with the same spread last week, no way is the same mistake made two weeks in a row. Granted, Houston is a bit better than Cleveland, but not much. Pick: Bengals 34, Texans 17.
Last week: 8-5 (.615).
Overall: 86-46 (.652).
Last year after Week 9: 88-45-1 (.660).
Last week: 5-8 (.385).
Overall: 64-63-5 (.504).
Last year after Week 9: 70-62-2 (.530).