Thursday, August 18

NFL Picks, Week 9 Predictions: 49ers Shocked Cardinals; Rams take down Titans; The Bengals line the Browns

Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes are the headliners for the Packers-Chiefs showdown in Week 9, but there’s a lot more on the schedule.

Who will win the battle of Ohio? Cincinnati and Cleveland square off in a matchup of teams trying to keep up in the super-competitive AFC North. Baker Mayfield led the Browns to a pair of wins against Joe Burrow last season. Will the Bengals get revenge?

The Titans will find out what life is like without Derrick Henry, and that comes against the Rams, who just added Von Miller in a highly successful trade. Los Angeles appears poised for a second Super Bowl appearance with Sean McVay.

The Monday Night Football showdown between the Steelers and Bears should be fun too. Can veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger keep the hot streak going against rookie Justin Fields?

Every week Sporting News will pick up games directly, and we are looking to continue the hot streak. Here’s a look at our seasonal totals:

With that in mind, below are our picks and predictions for Week 9:

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NFL Week 9 Picks and Predictions

  • New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-11.5)

Thursday, 8:20 pm, FOX / NFL Network

A huge line shows no faith in the Jets, even after their first win of the season behind backup quarterback Mike White. The Colts are 0-1 ATS favorites, but are home in a short week. Carson Wentz won’t make the same mistakes that haunted Indianapolis in last week’s loss to the Titans.

Choose: Colts 27, Jets 17

  • Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

This could turn out to be the best game of the week. Both teams are in pursuit of the AFC North. The Browns are the most desperate team here after falling to 4-4. Baker Mayfield led Cleveland on a sweep over the Bengals last season, but those games were decided by a total of eight points. This one is played in the 1920s, and Ja’Marr Chase catches the TD that won the game late.

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Choose: Bengals 29, Brown 28

  • Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys (-7)

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

Dak Prescott didn’t have to come back quickly due to a calf strain, and that extra rest will pay off at home against the Broncos. Denver is a .500 team, but has lost its last two road games. The Broncos have the second-best scoring defense in the league, but the Cowboys have too much trouble on offense with the top-ranked offense.

Choose: Cowboys 24, Broncos 17

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  • Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (-7)

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

This will be ugly. Two of the three worst scoring offenses in the NFL are on the same field. Both teams have lost seven straight games, and the Texans and Dolphins each have a turnover rate of -4. Take the home team in a brutal game of watching.

Choose: Dolphins 19, Texans 16

  • Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-5.5)

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

The Saints have a quarterback intrigue with Jameis Winston likely out. Trevor Siemian played the hero role in the win against the Buccaneers, and Taysom Hill (concussion) is expected to return. New Orleans has been difficult to understand and is 1-3 ATS as a favorite, but they have won the last three meetings against the Falcons.

Choose: Saints 23, Falcons 20

  • Las Vegas Raiders (-3) at New York Giants

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

Las Vegas has won two games in a row since Jon Gruden resigned, and the bye week coincides with the Giants playing in a short week. The early cross-country kick is always a concern, but the Raiders have had time to prepare. Derek Carr shines again.

Choose: Raiders 27, Giants 22

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  • New England Patriots (-3) at Carolina Panthers
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Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

Are the Patriots a playoff contender? New England has won three of its last four games. Mac Jones continues to be an efficient answer at quarterback, and the Panthers haven’t managed to clear 200 passing yards in their last four games. The Pats pull off a road win that won’t be easy to go above .500 for the first time this season.

Choose: Patriots 24, Panthers 20

  • Buffalo Bills (-14) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

The Bills have a decided advantage here, even on the road. Buffalo has won five games by double digits, and that’s based on the strength of the league’s best scoring defense (15.6) and a balanced offense led by Josh Allen. The Jaguars are a double-digit underdog for the first time under Urban Meyer. Can they cover the spread, at least?

Choose: Buffalo 34, Jacksonville 17

  • Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

The Vikings are in a tough spot after the Sunday Night Football loss to Dallas, but they’ve played well on the road this season despite inconsistencies on offense. Will it be enough to be with Baltimore, which is coming off a bye week after a crushing loss to Cincinnati? Probably not.

Choose: Ravens 30, Vikings 26

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  • Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, 4:05 pm, CBS

The Eagles are 0-3 at home under first-year coach Nick Sirianni, and the Chargers are looking to bounce back after a tough loss to New England. Los Angeles is also 2-1 on the road with first-year coach Brandon Staley. Justin Herbert comes back and pulls the Chargers off a two-game losing streak, but it will be tight.

Choose: Chargers 31, Aguilas 27

  • Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5)

Sunday, 4:25 pm, FOX

It’s the first time we’ve had Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes II on the same pitch, which automatically makes it the most glamorous game on the schedule. Rodgers and Mahomes II will make great plays, but the difference in the game will be defense. Green Bay has found a way through injuries to put together a top-10 unit that will pressure Mahomes on some bad decisions. Meanwhile, Rodgers should get Davante Adams back. If the Packers continue the race, they will walk away from Arrowhead Stadium with another underdog victory.

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Choose: Packers 31, Chiefs 28

  • Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, 4:25 pm, FOX

The Cardinals and Niners played a 17-10 game earlier this season, and this time San Francisco is home. The 49ers can control the clock with Eli Mitchell, who is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games. Kyler Murray will also make plays, but this will be Arizona’s next test of adversity.

Choose: 49ers 28, Cardinals 26

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  • Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)

Sunday, 8:20 pm, NBC

This is the only matchup on this week’s schedule between two teams with record-winning teams. Unfortunately, Tennessee will have to continue without Derrick Henry (foot), and that will put pressure on Ryan Tannehill to do more. The Titans and Rams have nearly identical numbers on defense, but Los Angeles has the advantage at home.

Choose: Rams 31, Titans 21

  • Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)

Monday, 8:15 pm, ESPN

The Steelers were left for dead after a shaky start, but three straight wins put them back in contention for the AFC North. Rookie Justin Fields has shown promise for the Bears, but he faces a furious passing rush led by TJ Watt (8.5 sacks). It’s another black and blue loss for Chicago

Choose: Steelers 25, Bears 17

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