Week 9 NFL Picks: Odds Predictions and Top Prop Bets for Full Schedule

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 5, 2017

Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins (34) rushes past Miami Dolphins defenders in the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

This is a crucial NFL week, as numerous matchups feature two teams fighting to stay alive in the early playoff race.

The Atlanta Falcons (4-3) and Carolina Panthers (5-3) are trying to gain a strong foothold on an NFC wild-card spot, and they both have eyes toward the 5-2 New Orleans Saints at top of the NFC South.

The NFC North has a similar situation, with the 4-4 Detroit Lions facing off against the 4-3 Green Bay Packers in a battle to keep within striking distance of the division-leading 6-2 Minnesota Vikings.

It should be a fun week of football. Until the games kick off, here's a look at some odds, game props and picks to get you ready for Week 9 action. All spreads and over/under totals are via OddsShark, while Oddschecker provides the game props.

You will also find write-ups on three predictions that deserve further explanation: one shootout picked to go well over the over/under total, one blowout for a game with a four-point spread and one contest wherein a road underdog is predicted to win outright.

           

Atlanta Falcons (-2.5, 41.5 O/Uat Carolina Panthers

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Writer Pick: Panthers 34, Falcons 27

Game Prop Best Bet: Carolina Panthers (race to 20 points)

                                                 

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (-3.5, 42 O/U)

Writer Pick: Ravens 21, Titans 13

Game Prop Best Bet: Baltimore Ravens (winning margin: 1-13)

            

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6, 38.5 O/U)

Writer Pick: Jaguars 27, Bengals 10

Game Prop Best Bet: Total touchdowns (under 5)

                                

Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5, 42 O/U)

Writer Pick: Eagles 23, Broncos 13

Game Prop Best Bet: Philadelphia Eagles (score first touchdown)

              

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-6.5, 45.5 O/U)

Writer Pick: Texans 20, Colts 17

Game Prop Best Bet: Houston Texans (winning margin: 1-6)

                     

Los Angeles Rams (-4, 42 O/Uat New York Giants

Writer Pick: Rams 30, Giants 7

Game Prop Best Bet: New York Giants (under 14.5 points)

                   

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-7, 52.5 O/U)

Writer Pick: Saints 24, Buccaneers 10

Game Prop Best Bet: New Orleans Saints (alternate point spread: -10)

                    

Arizona Cardinals (-2.5, 39 O/Uat San Francisco 49ers

Writer Pick: Cardinals 21, 49ers 20

Game Prop Best Bet: Arizona Cardinals (winning margin: 1-6)

                     

Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5, 44.5 O/U)

Writer Pick: Seahawks 21, Redskins 10

Game Prop Best Bet: Washington Redskins (under 17.5 points)

                           

Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys (-2.5, 53.5 O/U)

Writer Pick: Chiefs 35, Cowboys 27

Game Prop Best Bet: Kansas City Chiefs (alternate point spread: -6.5)

                 

Oakland Raiders (-3, 44 O/U) at Miami Dolphins

Writer Pick: Raiders 20, Dolphins 17

Game Prop Best Bet: Total touchdowns (under 5)

                  

Detroit Lions (-2, 43.5 O/Uat Green Bay Packers

Writer Pick: Packers 20, Lions 17

Game Prop Best Bet: Total touchdowns (under 5)

            

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

Will the Atlanta Falcons understand that their best bet to defeat Carolina is to feed superstar wide receiver Julio Jones more than 10 times in this game?

Atlanta might have a tough time on the ground against a Panthers run defense that only gives up 3.8 yards per carry that route.

But the Carolina pass defense has been hit and miss all year. If the Panthers get to the quarterback (or at least pressures him), it's usually a long day for the opposition, as it was for the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

If not, then the secondary might give up some big plays, as it did against the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles.

On offense, Carolina shouldn't have much issue moving the ball against a disappointing Atlanta defense that ranks fifth-last in the NFL, per Football Outsiders, even though No. 1 wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has been traded to the Buffalo Bills.

Although the Panthers struggle running, they have the weapons to move through the air. Keep an eye on running back Christian McCaffrey, new No. 1 wide receiver Devin Funchess and tight end Ed Dickson to help move the chains all day.

This will be a shootout, but the Panthers will find a way to win thanks to some heroics from quarterback Cam Newton.

                    

Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants

The New York Giants are playing out the string, one of four teams that can safely say they are doing so (the others being the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers).

Their offense is missing close to half of its starters because of injury. On defense, shutdown cornerback Janoris Jenkins is suspended, and two starting linebackers and a defensive end are out with injuries (B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Casillas and Olivier Vernon).

Considering Big Blue was disappointing on that side of the ball already (24th, per Football Outsiders), this could be a big day for Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, who might carry the load all game en route to a monster stat line.

On defense, the Rams have defensive tackle Aaron Donald. There is no player in the league with a higher grade (95.3 out of 100 points), per Pro Football Focus. In fact, Donald is the only one who has crossed the 95-point threshold.

He should have a field day against a New York Giants offense that is missing Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall in addition to their two best offensive linemen (Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh).

Quarterback Eli Manning is going to have a tough time staying on his feet long enough to look for open receivers. And the already struggling running game is in trouble against the stout Rams front.

This could be the blowout of the gameweek. The Rams should take this one easily.

              

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans

The upset special will occur in Nissan Stadium as the Baltimore Ravens grind out a low-scoring victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Baltimore may have found an offensive superstar in running back Alex Collins, who rushed for 113 yards on 18 carries while catching two passes for 30 yards in a 40-0 defeat of the Miami Dolphins in Week 8.

Collins, who started his career with the Seattle Seahawks before making his way east to Baltimore before his second pro season, is a tough and violent runner averaging six yards per carry. Football Outsiders gives him the highest DVOA rating of any running back who has accrued 64 or more rushes.

Tennessee's run defense is decent (14th in Football Outsiders' DVOA), but the Baltimore rush attack may be featured prominently in this contest simply because the Ravens defense looks stronger than the Titans offense on paper.

Baltimore is fourth in the league in fewest yards allowed per attempt (6.2), which may prove problematic for quarterback Marcus Mariota, who has struggled on and off this year, in part because of a hamstring injury.

Furthermore, the Ravens are tied for first in the NFL with 17 takeaways. Tennessee has done a good job taking care of the ball outside a dreadful five-turnover performance against the Houston Texans, but it has to be careful against the Ravens' ball-hawking defense (five players have at least two interceptions).

If the Baltimore defense does its job, then the offense could control the time of possession, which means we might see Collins wearing the Titans down and pulling off some big runs.

Look for that scenario to happen as Baltimore pulls out a low-scoring win to move to 5-4 on the year.

                    

Predictions are subject to change because of a variety of factors, including injury, weather and further news and analysis.