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Week 9 NFL Preview with Game Odds and Free NFL Sports Pick

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This weekend the Bills will have a chance to do what no other team has been able to do this year, beat the Kansas City Chiefs. And this might just be the perfect time for the Bills to pull an upset that changes the outlook of the NFL. The Chiefs haven’t necessarily been bad in previous weeks, but they’ve certainly showed some weaknesses in their games against Houston and Cleveland. The biggest variable is the fact that those games were played in Kansas City, while this one will be on the road in Buffalo. On top of that, this is the Chiefs last game before they have a bye week, which will then be followed by an anticipated showdown between their AFC West rival Denver Broncos. We hear about trap weeks in football all of the time, and this could be the perfect example for the Bills to surprise the Chiefs. If the Chiefs are able to get yet another win, it’ll be the first time they’ve gone 9-0 in the last decade. They’ll have the perfect chance to do that against a Bills team that may still be without starting quarterback EJ Manuel. KC is just over a three-point favorite, but plenty of fans will likely be hoping for an upset this weekend.

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KC Chiefs
410
Buffalo Bills

Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Detroit Lions, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to see the Minnesota Vikings come to town. While the Cowboys have had struggles this year against teams with records above .500, they have yet to lose to a team with a losing record. As for the Vikings, your guess is as good as ours when it comes to what to expect. Sure, the Bucs and Jags are the only winless teams in the NFL right now, but you could just as easily add the Vikings to that list if it wasn’t for their win against Pittsburgh. The problem for the Vikings is, unlike the Bucs and Jags where you might have a hard time naming more than three players on their team, the Vikings have one of the best players in the league with Adrian Peterson, a strong defense led by Jarred Allen, and three quarterbacks all with starting experience. This is likely a lost season for the Vikings, but it doesn’t mean that their game this weekend is lost just yet. We expect Dallas to show up and make good on their 10-point spread. However, it’s the Cowboys and you never know what to expect. Maybe Tony Romo and Dez Bryant will move past the blowup that Bryant had last week, or maybe the entire team will dissipate in front of our very eyes. With Dallas, you never know what will happen. A win would be huge for the Cowboys as they start the second half of their season, and a win for Minnesota would at least boost moral for a struggling team.

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Minnesota Vikings
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Dallas Cowboys

Just a few weeks ago the Titans were one of the top teams in the league and had a 3-1 record. Three weeks later, and one heck of a tough stretch in games, they are now 3-4 and heading into an emotional game against the Rams. The Rams, who have their own issues this season, are coached by Jeff Fisher, who was the long time coach of the Titans for nearly 300 games. The Titans are only a slight favorite to win this game, which should be alarming for Titans fans considering the Rams are starting a quarterback who made his first career start last week. However although Kellen Clemens didn’t necessarily look great on Monday, it was an overall Rams effort that made it a close game with Seattle. If the Rams can come out with the same intensity that they came out with on Monday, this could go in their favor. But if the Titans play their game and Jake Locker plays well, there’s no reason that they can’t stop their losing slide.

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Tennessee Titans
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St. Louis Rams

After getting throttled last week at the hands of Andy Dalton and the Bengals, the Jets can’t be excited to see Drew Brees and the Saints roll into town this weekend. What might be worse is that the Saints new defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, is the brother of the Jets head coach and has given new life to a previously underachieving squad. The downfall for the Saints, who always come with an explosive offense, has long been their defense. Even when they won the Super Bowl in 2009, their defense was ranked 25th in the league. But now the Saints defense is among the best in the league, allowing only 17-points a game. And when you have Drew Brees scoring you nearly 30 points a game, that gives you plenty of room to breathe. As for the Jets, well they are doing exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Jets in recent years. Fans in New York may be thinking that their team has something to prove after getting embarrassed last weekend, but it’s not likely to happen this Sunday. The Saints are only a touchdown favorite, but it could get much uglier than that. With the Ryan brothers playing one another, we assume that one team is going to want to make a statement against the other; and unfortunately for Jets fans, it probably won’t be them.

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New Orleans Saints
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New York Jets

The Redskins might’ve felt good about things two weeks ago when they beat the Bears 45-41, but now they are looking at a tough stretch. Last week they looked great against the Broncos in the first three quarters, but forgot to come out in the fourth to finish it out. The end result was a 45-21 loss that was more embarrassing than anything. Now, they have to face another AFC West team in the San Diego Chargers, who are coming off a bye-week. We’ve mentioned a few times that the Chargers are among the top teams in the NFL this year; it’s just unfortunate that they are in the same division as the Chiefs and Broncos. However, you can bet that the Chargers will want to come out this weekend and see how they compare to the Broncos with their own matchup against the Redskins. The Chargers are on a two game winning streak and will look to make it three before facing the Broncos next weekend. For viewers, let’s hope that Phillip Rivers and RGIII both do their best on their own end and make for an exciting game.

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San Diego Chargers
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Washington Redskins

We gave the Falcons a bit of credit last week. We thought that after getting over their losing streak two weeks ago, maybe they’d finally get the ball rolling against Arizona. Instead, they came out and completely halted their momentum and lost in an embarrassing 27-13 effort. This weekend they’ll be facing the Panthers, who have won four of the last four and three straight. Sure, their wins have come against teams with only four combined wins, but a streak is a streak nonetheless. The more important factor in this game may be the fact that the Panthers have played the punching bag of the NFC South for many years while the Falcons have seen success. Now that the tables have turned, the Panthers are surely looking to show they are the second best team in the division behind the Saints. Carolina is a touchdown favorite, and that seems like a fair spread to give them. We still have such a hard time believing that a team led by Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez is having such issues, but at this point it looks like a lost season for the Falcons.

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Atlanta Falcons
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Carolina Panthers

Things probably haven’t gone the way that Chip Kelly had hoped in his first year as the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. It was announced this week that the Eagles will give Nick Foles the start over Michael Vick in hopes that Foles’ presence will change things up for the sputtering Eagles offense. A lot of commotion has been made this week as to whether or not this may be the end of the road for Michael Vick in Philly, which was likely an unheard of possibility when Kelly first came to the team. As for the Raiders, Terrelle Pryor has surprised a lot of people and helped the Raiders get to three wins, only one shy of their total from last year. Pryor and the Raiders have jumped out on teams early as of late, but have struggled to keep teams out of reach throughout the remainder of the game. They’ll want to sustain throughout the game against Philly if they hope to win this one. The Raiders are only a two-point favorite in this game, and it is probably one of the more confusing games to call for the weekend.

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Philadelphia Eagles
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Oakland Raiders

From one of the more confusing games of the weekend, we move on to one of the more likely obvious games that’ll happen this weekend. Sure, we believe that on any given Sunday, a team can come out and win. But for the winless Buccaneers, it is highly unlikely that they’ll get their first win of the season against the 7-1 Seahawks. The Seahawks have had issues lately, which they displayed on Monday when they could hardly get the ball moving against St. Louis. But this weekend they are hoping they’ll get Percy Harvin back to take the place of Sidney Rice. Harvin would be a huge key for the Seahawks, especially in a game against the Bucs where they can test things out. It’s unlikely that the Buccaneers will go winless this year, but we don’t see them ending their slide on Sunday. The Seahawks are a sixteen-point favorite, which shows how confident people are in the outcome of this one.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Seattle Seahawks

When the season first started, some may not have thought that this weekends game between the Browns and Ravens would be very important. However, with both teams having three wins, this game has a lot of implications in the division and potentially on the conference. While the Bengals look to be enough games ahead to win the division, second place is wide open for either of the three teams left. The Browns have all but forgotten about their three game winning streak that they had a few weeks ago. With three loses in a row to Detroit, Green Bay and Kansas City, the Browns have gone back to the drawing board and realized that they are still a long way from success. Especially without knowing who is their starting quarterback for the long term. As for the Ravens, they certainly know who their long term quarterback is, after giving Joe Flacco a contract extension this past offseason. While many wondered how this would effect the team, the Ravens reeled off a few good wins at the beginning of the season. However with a loss to the Packers and giving up the first loss of the season to the Steelers, the Ravens could be in trouble if they lose this one too. Next week they’ll play Cincinnati, which could have huge implications on the AFC North, especially depending on how things play out this weekend. The Ravens had their bye week last weekend to give them a bit extra time to prepare, so we’ll see how that plays out. The Ravens are only a two-point favorite, so the Browns are certainly getting a bit more respect that they may not have gotten at the beginning of the year. A win this weekend could be huge boost for the Browns, who have found themselves at the bottom of the division for quite some time.

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Baltimore Ravens
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Cleveland Browns

The game between Pittsburg and New England doesn’t have nearly the implications that it has had in previous years this weekend. No less, you’d expect both teams to come out and play well against one another with the history that the two franchises they have. New England has the obviously better record, coming in at 6-2. But they have yet to have a win that all parts of their team have really gotten rolling. The Patriots will head into the bye week after this game, so that could be rejuvenating for them. As for the Steelers, their two game winning streak seems like a distant memory after their loss to the Raiders last weekend. This game would’ve been much more interesting had they pulled out that win, instead at 2-5, this is a season that Ben Roethlisberger will want to forget. We won’t rule out an upset and the Patriots are only a six point favorite, but it should go in favor of New England on Sunday.

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Pittsburgh Steelers
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New England Patriots

Another game that probably should’ve been more exciting when it came around is the matchup between Houston and Indianapolis. AFC South teams that were both expected to do well when the season started, not many people probably saw the disastrous season that would happen to Houston. When the season first started, it was thought that the Texans would lead the AFC South and the Colts might give them a run in Andrew Luck’s second year. Instead, Luck has led this Colts squad to a 5-2 record, including a huge win over the Broncos two weeks ago before their bye week. As for the Texans, they have seen things go from bad to worse. A team that some considered to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year, they are 2-5 and are having serious issues in their clubhouse. It has been debated whether or not Matt Schaub is the right piece of the puzzle to lead this team and whether or not the Texans should look elsewhere for a new quarterback. On the defensive end, linebacker Brian Cushing went down a few weeks ago with a torn ACL and will be out the remainder of the season. This game is expected to only have a field goal difference, but it could be worse than that. Considering this game is the Sunday night game of the week, expect both teams to come out big. But if the Colts get going early, there may not be much the Texans can do to stop them.

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Indianapolis Colts
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Houston texans

Before week 9 is done, an NFC North showdown will go down on Monday night as the Bears face the Packers in Green Bay. Always a great game between these two rivals, the Packers are probably happy to see the Bears at this point in the season. Just two weeks ago Jay Cutler went down with a groin injury and it’s not likely he’ll be back yet in time for Monday’s game. The Bears have lost six in a row to the Pack, and that was with the help of Cutler. So you can only imagine what things will be like for a team that has won four in a row and looks to be one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now. Josh McCown will likely get the start for Chicago against a Packers defense that isn’t completely at full strength. The problem is, they haven’t needed to be at full strength in previous weeks and have stilled been on quite a tear. Overall the Packers have one of the best offenses in the league, ranking third in rushing and fifth in passing. And after losing two of their first three, they haven’t lost since their bye week. After Chicago, the Packers will see Philadelphia, the Giants and Minnesota, so you can bet they’d love a win to even further bolster their record before this weak stretch.

Free NFL Pick:

Minnesota Vikings plus 10 1/2 against Dallas Cowboys

Final Score 24-17 Dallas