NFL Picks, Parlays, and Props Week 9
Last week's slate proved absolutely brutal, featuring upsets galore, bad beats aplenty, and odd play every which way.
Week 8 Vibe Check (2-3) - I was NOT prepared to live in a world where not only did the Chargers and Rams NOT cover, they lost outright. I circle back to my original theory that the Bolts must've been cursed to a never ending stream of competitive football seasons with no meaningful wins. Herbert's already starting to look a lot like Philip Rivers, a competent, even top tier QB, destined to mediocrity.
The Rams probably regret making Jared Goff the third highest paid player in the NFL after that loss. Can't even blame the time zone shenanigans, since McVay and co. have had no issues going east during his tenure.
As for our wins, Philip Rivers moved from Southern California (to a non-cursed team) and, suddenly, things are looking up. The Colts' line was so good that Jordan Wilkins went off against the Lions, frustrating Jonathan Taylor's fantasy owners, but delighting his teammates.
As for Mahomes going over 2.5 TDs, he basically had that wrapped in the first quarter. A win there was almost as easy as taking the Packers -7 on Thursday night against the 49ers, who had one eligible receiver on the roster due to COVID protocols and not a single skill player on the field from when these two teams last met in the NFC Championship game, a mere 292 days ago.
Let's see if we can find any matchups as ripe for the picking as those…
Ravens -1 over Colts
The Colts have started to surge on both sides of the ball based around their strength in the running game. They excel at both pounding the rock and stopping it in equal measure, but to be clear, they haven't faced a team as adept and inventive in their rushing attack.
Lamar looked very un-Lamar-like last week, but the Steelers D can do that to anyone and even with his four turnovers, the Ravens held the lead for a good chunk of the game and had two chances to win at the end. They are clearly undervalued coming into this week and the Colts appear to be overvalued, so this is the exact moment to take advantage and go big on the more talented and better coached team with a transcendent player at QB.
Expect the return of this Lamar Jackson this week against the Colts. Nick Wass/AP Photo
Steelers -14 over Cowboys
I would normally never recommend taking a team favored by this much, even the Chiefs last week against the Jets at 19.5 just felt a little too ridiculous, but I'll give a two touchdown head start to this Cowboy team any day. In a post-Dak world, it's become clear just how hapless Mike McCarthy looks coaching offenses in today's NFL and Mike Nolan's D matches it blow for blow. As a fan, it must be a little like Tabasco to the eye. The Steelers pass rush might account for more sacks than first downs in this one.
lololol Mike McCarthy’s deep research https://t.co/XWNPUNRBBZ— Warren Sharp (@Warren Sharp) 1603643931.0
DeVante Parker over 4.5 Receptions
The Dolphins' offense went from surprisingly fun to dull in record time under the new reign of Tua. The team went run heavy against the Rams to support their rookie signal caller. Not to mention, they didn't need to do much more after Goff imploded into himself like a dying sun.
Excluding last week, Parker has quietly shown flashes of dominance this year, and against a just barely above average Cardinals D, he might be able to show out even more. Sure, he'll be matched up with Patrick Peterson, but the former superstar has looked less impressive with age.
He's allowed catches on over 55% of targets his way, two statistical categories that he no longer ranks in the top 30 of for cornerbacks. Miami will need to establish their offense in what could either be a shootout or blowout, either way they'll need to put the ball in the air.
Congrats on ya first td bro. Many more to come🤞🏾💯 https://t.co/pnl9VBBM6s— DeVante Parker (@DeVante Parker) 1604278701.0
Los Angeles Chargers Pick'Em over Las Vegas Raiders
Let me throw out going against Jon Gruden's Raiders, who've alternated between proficiency and problematic in equal measure. Coming off the NFL punishing them with fines and lost draft picks for repeatedly ignoring COVID protocols, they'll be without Josh Jacobs, Jonathan Abrams, Trent Brown, and five other players to face the deeply unlucky Chargers. This feels like a great chance for Justin Herbert to take advantage and lead his team to a much deserved win.