It is kind of difficult to “push” a week when you’re picking five football games against the number. In Week 9, though, that is exactly what happened in this space, with a 2-2-1 performance that (easily) could have been both better or worse. 2-2-1 is anything but disastrous, though there is a bit of additional motivation to get back in the win column as the final eight weeks arrive.
Before we dive into a five-pack of hopeful winners, let’s take a step back and glance at the progress through nine weeks.
Week 9: 2-2-1
2020 Season: 24-19-2
Come get these winners.
Los Angeles Chargers (+1.5) over Miami Dolphins
Two weeks in a row, the Dolphins have won while being pretty much dominated in the box score. There is something to be said for picking up victories by any means necessary, but Miami is a bit overvalued in the market as a result. In contrast, the Chargers are snake-bitten and seemingly unable to close out a victory. Give me the team that nobody wants right now.
Denver Broncos (+4.5) over Las Vegas Raiders
The Broncos are getting healthier on defense, and I think this line should probably be three. That might not be terribly sexy from a handicapping standpoint, but 4.5 is too many.
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) over Buffalo Bills
We had Arizona last week and it didn’t go according to plan. However, the Cardinals pretty much did what we expected in the box score (as noted above in the Miami section), and it was the little things that burned Arizona. Honestly, it isn’t easy to back Kliff Kingsbury’s bunch after some of the game management messes in recent weeks, and I’ll own that. With that said, the entire universe is on the underdog in this spot, and that is usually a good sign for our principles. Lay the small number with Arizona.
San Francisco 49ers (+10) over New Orleans Saints
This number steamed all the way from as low as 6.5 to 10, and honestly, I get why. Still, the shift is now an overcorrection and getting double-digits with San Francisco is the only way to go. The Niners aren’t close to full strength, but they are well-coached and the market is going a little bit crazy after what the Saints did the Bucs last week.
Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears UNDER 43.5 points
The Bears are breathtakingly bad on offense and very potent on defense. There is some concern that a) Minnesota is shaky on defense and, b) Dalvin Cook is going insane right now. However, the Bears aren’t going to let Cook do that against a competent defensive front, and the bet here is that Chicago takes the air out of the ball and keeps this one ugly. Unders in games involving the Bears are 6-3 this season, and we’re rooting for punts and field goals on Monday evening.