It's impossible to believe the halfway point of the Season is already here. TRO's here to keep chugging along, making it's weekly picks. Here's who we're on against the spread for Week 9:
via Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Coming off of a fairly average week, 8-7 overall (2-2 First Four Downs and 6-5 from the Field), we maintained a slightly above even record through the first half of the season. We'll take being correct against the spread more often than not, even if it's by a small margin. Check out who we're on this week as we try to expand on that margin:
TRO'S FIRST FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down: Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (-2.0)
via Harry How / Getty Images
Anytime you can get a 7-1 team as an underdog, it's usually a good idea to take them. San Francisco is certainly a better team than their record, but the Cardinals are simply better than they are on both sides of the ball. They have too many offensive weapons, and are coming off of a mini bye week from playing last Thursday night. Look how quickly they rallied against the Packers late last week. All we need is them to win here, and they should do so without much doubt.
2nd Down: Las Vegas Raiders (-3.0) @ New York Giants
via Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports
The Raiders have been one of the bigger surprises of the Season. It's been great to see Derek Carr play at this level. The only reason this spread is as low as it is, is the fact that the Giants played an overrated Chiefs team very closely last week, and the game is in New York. They don't have the defense to stop this Raiders offense, who will have a fully healthy Josh Jacobs following the bye week, and Daniel Jones makes too many mistakes for Maxx Crosby and this Las Vegas defense not to capitalize. Raiders by 7+.
3rd Down: Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
via Kyusung Gong / AP Photo
We've been wrong about the Chargers the past couple of weeks. This is the perfect opportunity for them to bounce back. Vegas has bought into their recent struggles, setting this spread very low. Even if Los Angeles underperforms and plays poorly, they should squeak out a 3+ point win against the streaky Philadelphia Eagles. This game won't likely be a blowout, but the better team will prevail.
4th Down: Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
via Kareem Elgazzar / USA Today Network
The Cleveland Browns feel like they are hanging on by a thread. Look for the Bengals to be itching to bounce back after being stunned by the New York Jets. This is a crucial division game for both teams, and we think Cincinnati will pull out a 3+ point victory in front of their home crowd.
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (-10.0)
This one feels like a trap, like Vegas is begging us to take the Jets. We can't drink the Mike White Kool Aid just yet, despite his phenomenal debut. The Colts will look to run the ball all game long, and will squeak out a 14 point win doing so.
Tennessee Titans @ Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)
The Titans couldn't have picked a worse matchup for their first game without Derrick Henry. The Rams' front 7 (with newly acquired Von Miller) will fare much better stuffing the run against the Tennessee running committee, and Matt Stafford will pick this secondary apart, winning by 2 scores.
Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys (-10.0)
Dak Prescott is back, and the Dallas defense is coming off of one of its more impressive performances of the season. Dallas is just in another class than Denver, and they'll win by more than 10 points.
Minnesota Vikings @ Baltimore Ravens (-6.0)
Baltimore will squeak out a cover, winning by 7 or 8. After losing to Cooper Rush at home, and losing Danielle Hunter for the Season, Vikings fans are restless, Mike Zimmer's seat is hot, and it's starting to feel like anarchy in Minnesota. The hype around Baltimore cooled down a bit due to a big Bengals loss and their bye week, so they have been flying under the radar this week. They will remind everyone where they belong among the League's ranks against the Vikings.
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (-6.5)
New Orleans should win this game, but they will be coming back down to Earth a bit after upsetting Tampa Bay without Jameis Winston. The Falcons will keep this game close, as they often do against New Orleans.
New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
The Panthers might get Christian McCaffrey back, but they also might be without Sam Darnold. Bill Belichick should scheme something up to frustrate P.J. Walker (or Sam Darnold) into committing more mistakes than Mac Jones. Even if Carolina steals a win, it won't be by more than 3.
Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins (-5.5)
These 2 teams are fairly evenly matched. The Dolphins are probably better, but the Texans will be starting Tyrod Taylor for the first time since Week 1. He's far less mistake-prone than Davis Mills, and that should go a long way in keeping this game close, at least enough where it won't be decided by more than 2-4 points.
Buffalo Bills (-14.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars don't have anything to throw at the Bills on either side of the ball. Buffalo will win by 17+, and we might even see Mitch Trubisky at some point.
Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
The Packers won't have Aaron Rodgers, but they will have Davante Adams. They also have the running game and defense to frustrate Kansas City who still has not looked very good, despite their win over the Giants.
Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
This should be a close, defensive slug fest, much like the Steelers - Browns game. The Steelers are the better team, but the Bears present enough matchup problems to hang in there.