NFL Predictions Week 9: Odds, Spread and Picks for Entire Schedule

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2018

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) gives the thumbs-up signal during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Thursday night's Week 9 opener between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders might not have been particularly suspenseful, but the rest of the slate is intriguing.

We're going to get a divisional battle between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, another showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens and a potential playoff preview when the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints face off.

We'll also see a clash between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks, plus the quarterback duel of the year between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

It's going to be an exciting ride, and an unpredictable one. Trying to predict the action is half the fun. That's what we're going to do here, as we run down the latest lines and spreads, per OddsShark, make our score predictions and examine some of the gameweek's most enticing plays.


Week 9 Vegas Lines, Over/Unders and Predictions

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5, 48.5 O/U): Vikings 30, Lions, 23

Chicago Bears (-10, 37.5 O/U) at Buffalo Bills: Bears 26, Bills 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-6, 55 O/U): Panthers 30, Buccaneers 28

Kansas City Chiefs (-8, 52 O/U) at Cleveland Browns: Chiefs 35, Browns 27

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3, 45 O/U): Jets 24, Dolphins 22

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3, 43 O/U): Steelers 23, Ravens 20

Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins (-2, 48 O/U): Falcons 22, Redskins 18

Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks (-1, 47.5 O/U): Chargers 26, Seahawks 24

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (-1, 46 O/U): Texans 28, Broncos 23

Los Angeles Rams (-2, 57.5 O/U) at New Orleans Saints: Saints 31, Rams 28

Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots (-5.5, 56.5 O/U): Patriots 27, Packers 23

Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys (-5, 40 O/U): Cowboys 24, Titans 21


Minnesota Vikings -5.5 over Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have been one of the hardest teams to figure out this season. They have earned statement wins over the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers while also losing to the likes of the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets.

Sunday's game is going to tell us a lot about the Lions—and about the 4-3-1 Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota may have to survive without wideout Stefon Diggs, who is dealing with a rib injury.

Michael Fabiano @Michael_Fabiano

The Vikings have promoted WR Chad Beebe from their practice squad. Not a good sign for the status of Stefon Diggs.

The Vikings will survive, and they will win by at least six points. The Detroit defense, which is allowing an average of 373.4 yards per game, is decent but has also been inconsistent. Against the Seattle Seahawks, for example, it couldn't find an answer for quarterback Russell Wilson, who tossed three touchdown passes.

Expect Kirk Cousins and Co. to reach the end zone with some regularity against Detroit, and expect the Lions to struggle keeping up. Detroit won't have an easy time rushing against Minnesota's fifth-ranked run defense (91.8 yards per game allowed), and passing will be a tougher task now Golden Tate is with the Philadelphia Eagles.


Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns OVER 52 Points

This won't be the first time Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and Kansas City Chiefs signal-caller Patrick Mahomes have met. Back in 2016, Mayfield's Oklahoma Sooners and Mahomes' Texas Tech Red Raiders went head-to-head in one of the most exciting games in recent memory.

Oklahoma won a 66-59 barn-burner, and the two quarterbacks combined for a whopping 1,279 passing yards.

While the Chiefs-Browns matchup isn't likely to have that many offensive shenanigans, the potential is definitely there for a high-scoring affair.

Mahomes is surrounded by weapons like Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill. He's also emerging as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

"Talent wise, I thought he should have been [the No. 1 draft pick]," Mayfield said of Mahomes, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. "When it comes down to it, throwing the ball is throwing the ball, and he's really good at it."

The Browns don't boast Kansas City's offensive firepower, but they do have weapons. Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and Duke Johnson make up a solid trio of pass-catchers, while Nick Chubb is a bruising young runner. Cleveland also looks to be getting wideout Rashard Higgins back in the lineup.

Tom Withers @twithersAP

#Browns could have WR Rashard Higgins back Sunday. He practiced today. Missed three games with knee injury.

Kansas City's 31st-ranked defense (432.4 yards per game allowed) should help Cleveland keep pace on the scoreboard, and this one should hit the over.


Adrian Peterson OVER 79.5 Yards Rushing

One interesting prop that Oddschecker has shared involves Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson and his matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. The over/under there is set at 79.5 yards, and we like the over.

For one, Peterson has delivered a stiff uppercut to Father Time and has returned to Pro Bowl form. He's averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has rushed for at least 97 yards in each of his past three games.

"Everyone else around is surprised," Peterson said, per Brian McNally of NBCSports.com. "I'm not. I expect greatness from myself. That's why I put the work in.

Peterson has become a central piece of Washington's offense, and he's going to need to be against Atlanta. With Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley on the field, the Falcons have the ability to strike quickly and compile points in a hurry. Leaning on the run and limiting Atlanta's offensive opportunities will—or at least should—be the game plan.

Atlanta doesn't exactly have a shut-down run defense, either. The Falcons are ranked 20th against the run, allowing an average of 112.7 yards per game on the ground. As long as Peterson is the focal point of Washington's rushing attack, he should reach the 80-yard mark.