If you don’t count the Bucs game, the other four were won by a total of 15 points — with two of those four separated by only three. I knew going in it was going to be some tough calls. I almost feel relieved that I went 2-3. It could have been worse. On the bright side, I went 4-1 on the over/under, missing only the Titans vs Colts game where the actual number was a large 65. The NFL must love the parity the league is experiencing. At this point in the season — basically the halfway point, there are six teams in both conferences who could make a case for going deep into the playoffs. Without further ado, I give you week #9.
Jets at Colts (-10.5), over/under 46.5
Mike White starting in place of injured rookie Zack Wilson shocked the Bengals in the Big Apple Sunday. All he did was throw for 405 yards and three touchdowns. Throw in that he also caught the two-point go-ahead score. White became only the second player (Cam Newton) since 1950 to throw for over 400 yards in their first start. He also set a record for completions in a player’s first start with 37 out of a total of 45 attempts. Not too shabby for a fifth-round pick of Dallas in 2018 out of Western Kentucky. What can White do in his second start this week in Indianapolis (White officially named the starter for this week)? If there were no spread, I would take the Colts, but there is, and ten and a half is a lot of points to give a team that caught fire last week. Take the points and the over. Both scored over thirty in week #8. I’d be very surprised to see a defensive game holding the numbers under.
Texans at Dolphins (-7), over/under 45.5
What can you say about this game? Both are sure bets to miss the playoffs by a long shot. Both have had their moments. It’s a toss-up, but I’m going with the home team and the seven. Reluctantly I’ll go with the over by a smidge.
Broncos at Cowboys (-7.5), over/under 50
Dak Prescott probably could have played against the Vikings but was held out using much caution. Prescott is enough to cover the points on a very good Cowboys team. Give the points and go with the under as the Broncos haven’t scored over 27 all season, with the 27 coming in a win over the Giants in the season opener. Their 4 wins came against 4 of the worst in the league (Giants, Jags, Jets, and the Washington Football Team). In 2021 they have not beaten a single good team.
Vikings at Ravens (-5.5), over/under 49.5
The Vikings are the Vikings, nothing to see here. Give the points with the Ravens at home and take the under.
Patriots at Panthers (+3), over/under 43
Patriots aren’t going anywhere for the second season, post-Brady. Pats did impress last week, beating a pretty good Chargers team. The Panthers beat an average Falcons squad. Take Belichick and give the three and take the over just barely.
Bills at Jaguars (+14), over/under 48.5
The bills covered 14 against the Dolphins in Miami. I see no reason to believe they shouldn’t cover 14 in Jacksonville as well. Give the two touchdowns, and take the under.
Browns at Bengals (-2.5), over/under 46
The Browns continue to dig themselves into a hole in 2021. The Bengals bounce back from a surprising loss to an unheralded first-time starter and record-setter Mike White and the Jets. Truly this could go either way. It depends on what version of both teams show up Sunday. Give the two and a half and take the over as the Bengals have scored 34, 41, and 31 over the last three weeks.
Raiders at Giants (+3) over/under 47.5
Giants have lost to the Broncos, Washington, and the Falcons. The only game that surprised; was the win over the Saints. Give the three, and since the Giants have barely scored over 20 points in three games this season. The Raiders, though, have scored over thirty in all but one of their five wins. Take the over.
Falcons at Saints (-5.5) over/under 43
It doesn’t seem to matter who the quarterback is in the Saints offense. With a healthy Kamara, they will roll. Trevor Siemian, who Sean Payton has complete faith in will start at quarterback. The Falcons without Ridley lack the attention-getter that Pitts could benefit from. It’s an underwhelming offense in Atlanta with no true running back. Give the five and a half and reluctantly take the over by just a bit.
Chargers at Eagles (+2.5) over/under 50.5
The Chargers offense, when it’s on, can score points in bunches. Eagles’ offense is rather ho-hum for the most part with a limited passing attack and no stud at running back well. He’s playing quarterback, to be honest. Give the skimpy two-and-a-half and take the Bolts while going with the under by just a bit.
Packers at Chiefs (-3), over/under 55.5
Aaron Rodgers will be out in this one due to Covid-19 protocols. The second-year quarterback Jordan Love has been announced as the starter. The Chiefs have no stud at running back, and the Packers do, which will make the difference, as long as Love doesn’t give the game away. Take the three and go with the under in a bold prediction.
Cardinals at 49ers (+2.5) over/under 46.5
Cardinals rebound for their second win over San Francisco in 2021. Give the two and a half and go with the under.
Titans at Rams (-6.5), over/under 54
Without Derrick Henry, the Titans will be looking to pass a bit more. This one should be a scoring fest. Give the six and a half and take the over.
Written by: J.D. Stenger