NFL Picks Week #9 (2022 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #9)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Wednesday November 2nd, 2022 at 1 pm Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
We crushed the bookies last week in the NFL, wow! The picks on sides and totals that I shared on my Patreon page for Week 8 generated a 4-1 record, while the famous lucrative proposition bets yielded a 5-1 record. In other words, we racked up 9 wins and 2 losses last week in the NFL. Way to go, guys!
In this post, I’ll share with you my 2 strongest NFL picks of the week. Then, as I have done recently, I will finish with some quick-fire picks on the remaining games, just for fun, even though I don’t necessarily believe they are worth betting. Ready, set, let’s goooo!!!
PICK #1: TAMPA BAY BUCS -2.5 VS LOS ANGELES RAMS
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: the Rams are 6-0 ATS in their last six visits in Tampa Bay. That is a source of concern for sure if you are betting the Buccaneers this weekend. Also, Tampa has failed to beat the spread in each of their last five contests in front of their home crowd.
That being said, there are many more arguments backing the Bucs for this upcoming game. First, Tampa will be more rested since they played the Thursday night game last week.
More importantly, the revenge factor will be in full force here. Indeed, the Bucs suffered a 34-24 setback in L.A. in Week 3 last year, before losing in the playoffs against Sean McVay’s squad by a 30-27 score in Tampa. In those games, Matthew Stafford tossed 6 TD passes versus 0 interception, while accumulating 366 and 343 passing yards in those games, respectively. I am sure those losses are still very fresh in Tampa’s minds, and they will be out for blood this Sunday.
The Bucs defense lost Shaquil Barrett to an injury last week, which is a big blow to this unit. However, chances are good that the team will get the following players back on the field: cornerback Carlton Davis, safety Antoine Winfield, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and wide receiver Russell Gage. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin feeling healthier each week, I believe the Bucs could easily break out of their slump.
Meanwhile, on the Rams’ side, their star wide receiver Cooper Kupp got hurt last week. McVay expects him to be available this Sunday, but it is not a guarantee either. Even if he plays, I’m not sure he will be as effective as usual. He is obviously a key component to an offense that ranks deal last in the league in terms of EPA (expected points added).
For all of these reasons, give me Tampa laying 2.5 points at home against the Rams.
PICK #2: MIAMI DOLPHINS -4.5 AT CHICAGO BEARS
I understand that Chicago’s offense has improved lately. After scoring an average of 15.5 points per game during their first six matches, the Bears averaged 31 over their past couple of games. And that was against New England and Dallas, two above-average defenses.
But the problem this Sunday may not be Chicago’s offense, but rather their defensive unit. Before the season began, they were expected to be among the league’s worst. So far, they had done surprisingly well, but it all fell apart last week in Dallas when they surrendered 49 points. And things won’t get better now that the organization has traded perhaps its best two players on defense, Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn.
Moreover, despite the recent improvement I still don’t trust Justin Fields very much. Keep in mind he has thrown 7 TD passes compared to 6 interceptions. Chicago relies a lot on its ground game, but that turns out to be Miami’s strength on defense. As a matter of fact, they rank 9th in the NFL with respect to their EPA defending the run, versus 30th in the league against the pass.
I would also like to point out the fact that Miami holds a 5-0 record when Tua finishes the game this year. They also acquired the outstanding edge rusher Bradley Chubb from Denver to boost their pass rushing skills.
After scoring more than 30 points in a game, Miami is 6-0 against the spread. Meanwhile, the Bears are 0-6 ATS at home when facing teams with a winning record. They simply struggle to keep up with strong teams. Give me the Dolphins to crush Chicago at Soldier Field.
Let’s continue with unofficial picks on the remaining games. Again, I want to emphasize the fact that I do this for entertainment purposes, and I am not suggesting at all that those betting tips are worth risking your hard-earned money.
- In the Thursday night game, all statistics and metrics point in the direction of taking the Eagles despite the huge point spread. Now, for some reason I have this gut feeling that Houston is the correct play here. I could see the Eagles having a letdown game after facing their state rivals from Pittsburgh, and awaiting a divisional matchup with the Commanders. Philly will almost certainly win this matchup, but I would personally tend to go with the Texans +13 points at home against the Eagles.
- I was close from taking the Chargers -3 in Atlanta as one of my official picks. Maybe it will become an official play later in the week. We’ll see how it goes as I keep digging further day by day. In this case, the numbers indicate to take the Falcons and the points, but I am still going with L.A. They are coming off their bye week. Atlanta’s secondary is decimated, which is bad news when facing Justin Herbert. The Chargers are 12-3 ATS following a double-digit home loss. The Falcons are 3-13 ATS after scoring more than 30 points. Give me the Chargers laying 3 points.
- If forced to bet, I’d go with the Panthers +7.5 in Cincinnati, but this is a very low confidence play. Over a four-year period, road underdogs by 7.5 points or more, which are also coming off four straight games as underdogs, have posted a 63-45 record ATS, a 58% winning rate. Cincinnati’s weak spot on defense turns out to be against the run, which fits well with the Panthers who prefer to keep the ball on the ground.
- Earlier this week I was close to betting Detroit +3.5 points against the Packers. If forced to bet this game, that would remain my pick, but I don’t like it as much anymore. Green Bay will be on the road for the third consecutive week, and they also traveled to London less than a month ago. Meanwhile, the Lions are at home for the third time in four weeks. The Packers failed to beat the spread the last five times they went to Motor City.
- Here is one more wager that I came close from taking: the Colts +5.5 at New England. Personally, I would find it hard to bet a team as a 5.5-point favorite when my QB, Mac Jones, has 3 TD passes versus 7 interceptions. The Pats have four wins, but they occurred against the Steelers, the Lions, the Browns and the Jets, while the Colts managed to upset the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year. However, I refrained from betting because I am wary of Sam Ehlinger making his first road start against Bill Belichick, who is know to eat rookie QBs for breakfast. Still, my lean would go to Indy +5.5 points.
- It’s hard to go against the Bills, but I would lean towards Buffalo -12 in New York. The Packers showed last week that you can take advantage of Buffalo’s run defense. That is certainly the strategy that the Jets have in mind, especially given that their passing game has been awful. They might have some success doing it, but Buffalo’s offense will be too much for the Jets.
- My next lean goes to the Vikings laying 3.5 points in Washington. Kirk Cousins gets to face his former team, and he hopes to create a good connection with his new star tight end, T.J. Hockenson. The Commanders are riding a three-game winning streak, but all of their wins this year occurred against bad offenses: the Colts, the Packers, the Bears and the Jaguars. Every time they faced a team with a decent offense, they lost.
- In the Vegas versus Jacksonville meeting, I would tend to go with the Jags as 1.5-point underdogs. Despite their 2-6 record, their point differential this year is +14, compared to -11 for the Raiders. Jacksonville has also faced tougher opponents. Indeed, their 2022 opponents have produced a 31-27-3 record, while Las Vegas’ opponents have obtained a 24-27-1 record. The Raiders pass defense is next-to-last in the NFL in terms of the EPA statistic, which is something Trevor Lawrence will take advantage of.
- It seems like everybody is taking the Seahawks in Arizona this weekend. Early on, I was pretty excited about the idea of betting the Cardinals, but this feeling has vanished. Arizona has 3 offensive linemen either out or listed as questionable. Their defense has struggled the past few weeks, while Seattle’s defense has done the opposite by showing great signs of improvement lately. Arizona will try to avenge an earlier 19-9 loss back in Week 6. The Cards faced teams whose combined record is 33-26, while the same figure for Seattle’s opponent is 28-34. Therefore, we have a lot of mixed information, and I just cannot make up my mind. I’ll go with Arizona, but I have very little confidence.
- The Chiefs are coming off their bye week, and they will be at home for the fourth time in five weeks. They also want to avenge an awful 27-3 defeat against those same Titans last year. Tennessee’s point differential is -6, even though they have a 5-2 record. They haven’t scored more than 24 points this year, while the Chiefs average 32 per game. So, even though many people are taking the Titans due to Derrick Henry, my lean goes to the Chiefs -12.5 points.
- Finally, let’s discuss the Monday nighter. I would tend to pick the Saints +3 points in this matchup. Their defense was supposed to be very strong in 2022, but they had not played up to expectations so far. That was before last week, a game in which not only did they shutout the Raiders, but they didn’t let them cross midfield until there were two minutes left in the game. That is stunning! And we’re talking about a Raiders offense that is normally above average. I believe New Orleans’ defense has finally turned the corner, and they will make things difficult for the Ravens, who are without their best wide receiver, Rashod Bateman, and a banged up Mark Andrews at tight end.
I hope you enjoyed these Week 9 picks in the NFL! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this post, I appreciate you my good friend!!!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)