Week 9 NFL Picks: Can Jaren Hall Lead the Way for the Vikings?
There’s always a little extra pep in my step when I get to write this column after a strong week. Week 8 was just that as we went 10-5-1 against the spread, fully taking advantage of a full 16-game slate despite a brutal beat in the Cardinals/Ravens game.
Now, it’s all about continuing that momentum and climbing back to .500 with the second half of the year approaching. There’s a chance that this can be a whole new year soon, so we need another big showing for the Week 9 NFL picks. Before we get into those selections, here is a full look at how we did in Week 8:
- Bills -8.5 (L)
- Cowboys -6.5 (W)
- Vikings win (W)
- Falcons -2.5 (L)
- Saints +1 (W)
- Dolphins -9.5 (W)
- Giants +3 (T)
- Jaguars -2.5 (W)
- Eagles -6.5 (W)
- Texans -3 (L)
- Seahawks -3.5 (W)
- Chiefs -7 (L)
- Ravens -8.5 (L)
- Bengals +5.5 (W)
- Chargers -8.5 (W)
- Lions -8 (W)
Season Record: 58-67-4
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Spread: Steelers -2.5
- O/U: 36.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Titans +2.5
This is less of a Will Levis pick as it is a Titans defense pick. Levis, of course, balled out in his first NFL showing by passing for 238 yards and 4 TDs against the Falcons. This is going to be a very difficult test for the rookie on the road and on a short week against a stout Steelers defense. However, Kenny Pickett very well could be limited with his rib injury, and Pittsburgh’s offensive line just hasn’t been up to snuff. Titans pull off an upset here on Thursday night.
Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs
- Spread: Chiefs -2
- O/U: 50.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Chiefs -2
Miami is running into Kansas City at exactly the wrong time. The Chiefs lost in embarrassing fashion to the Denver Broncos last weekend, and Patrick Mahomes played one of his worst games as a pro (albeit while battling the flu). The defense is still a strong group, and Mahomes will bounce back in a big way this weekend in Germany.
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints
- Spread: Saints -8.5
- O/U: 41.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Saints -8.5
This is a dangerous one. The Saints finally have gotten some things going on offense over their past six quarters of football, but this team just seems to constantly get in its own way at the worst times. Still, this is not a good Bears team, and they seem like they will be without Justin Fields for another week. The crowd will be rocking in New Orleans, and they win big.
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
- Spread: Falcons -4.5
- O/U: 37.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Vikings +4.5
Perhaps the homerism has come out, but I feel like the Vikings can hang around with this Falcons squad even without Kirk Cousins. Their defense has been playing some terrific football, allowing fewer than 100 rushing yards in six of their first eight games. Against a team that heavily relies on the running game (tied for the sixth-most carries per game), this unit needs to step up in a big way again, and Jaren Hall can’t turn over the ball. As long as that happens, Minnesota has a chance here.
Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
- Spread: Browns -8
- O/U: 37.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Cardinals +8
It’s the week of rookie QBs for our purposes. Clayton Tune is in line to make his first NFL start, and he was one of my favorite QB prospects in the 2023 Draft. It’s time to put my money where my mouth is, and I’m picking the Houston Cougar product to keep this game within a touchdown even against a tough Browns defense. Cleveland leads the league in turnovers (that’s right, it’s not the Vikings anymore) despite already having their bye, and Arizona will force a couple more this week.
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers
- Spread: Packers -3
- O/U: 38.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Rams +3
As long as Matthew Stafford is the Rams QB this weekend, I see potential for another road upset here. The Packers offensive line is going to have trouble stopping Aaron Donald, and their secondary only got thinner after trading away Rasul Douglas. Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, and Tutu Atwell should be licking their chops ahead of this matchup.
Washington Commanders at New England Patriots
- Spread: Patriots -3.5
- O/U: 40.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Patriots -3.5
The Commanders played two consecutive road games before going back home to host the Philadelphia Eagles, and now, they’re back on the road again. The Patriots aren’t a good team by any means, but with Washington shipping out two of their top pass rushers and having gone through a tough stretch schedule-wise, New England takes care of business here.
Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens
- Spread: Ravens -6
- O/U: 44.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Ravens -6
Baltimore had a bit of a down game on Sunday against the Cardinals, but it took a weird onside kick and last-minute field goal for it to be a single-digit game. Even on a bad day, this team is capable of winning games by multiple scores. After Seattle’s hard-fought comeback victory against Cleveland, they may be due for a down game. I’ll take the Ravens to cover the points at home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans
- Spread: Texans -3
- O/U: 39.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Texans -3
Houston is coming off a really rough loss to the Carolina Panthers, and now, they head home looking for revenge against another NFC South team. Tampa Bay’s defense is strong, but they’ve scored fewer than 20 points in each of the three games after their bye. Houston will get back on track here.
Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers
- Spread: Colts -2.5
- O/U: 44.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Panthers +2.5
The Indianapolis Colts have been the worst scoring defense and worst passing defense this season. They cannot stop anybody, having given up 37+ points in each of their last three games. Carolina is coming off their first win of the season, and we are seeing positive signs from Bryce Young over the past few games. The Panthers keep it going here as they have no real incentive to lose without their first-round pick.
New York Giants at Las Vegas Raiders
- Spread: Raiders -2
- O/U: 37.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Giants +2
Man, this is a gross game. The Raiders fired just about everyone in their organization following their debacle against the Detroit Lions, and Jimmy Garoppolo has been benched for Aidan O’Connell. Daniel Jones seems like he is set to make a return this weekend, and as long as the Giants defense continues to take care of business, they should be able to win this game.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
- Spread: Eagles -3
- O/U: 46.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Eagles -3
The Dallas Cowboys have proven again and again that they are capable of beating up on bad teams in this league, but can they hang with the best groups? They were dominated by the 49ers a few weeks back, and that was right before everything fell apart in San Francisco. Jalen Hurts is a bit banged up, but the Eagles are going to win this game.
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
- Spread: Bengals -2
- O/U: 49.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Bengals -2
The Bengals have been rolling over the past few weeks, and Buffalo just looks out of sorts despite winning on Thursday night last week. Perhaps this is a game where we get the great version of the Bills again, but until that happens, I can’t go against Cincinnati here.
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets
- Spread: Chargers -3.5
- O/U: 40.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Chargers -3.5
The Chargers secondary has not been all that great this year, but what they are fantastic at is stopping the run. They will force Zach Wilson to throw the ball, and while the past couple weeks have been decent for the Jets QB, that still is not a winning recipe in New York. Chargers take this game on Monday night.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.