It’s time to hit the road, with a destination of NFL Week 9.
Also during that stretch? Seven of my ten selections are road teams.
On the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin’ music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
Sure, there have been a number of iffy performances picking spreads during the 2018 NFL season and I certainly dug myself quite a hole in the SportsChump-TWHS NFL Pick ‘em Contest.
It was an uphill battle. I had to swim upstream.
Tiny salmon swimming in a stream
Tiny salmon chasing that impossible dream
Sorry, I’m back – back on track – much like my ATS strategy. That’s the real point here.
And that brings us to NFL Week 9 and what strategy to tackle. Does a person “go back to the well” and maintain the focus on road teams?
Or do you close your eyes, hit the road and floor it, even when the bridge is out?
Yes and no.
I do tend to lean towards the road teams when the lines are heavily in favor of a mediocre team playing at home. The Dallas Cowboys are a great example of that this week.
So, the short answer is yes – but only for this week. Long-term – it depends on Vegas.
For now, we are on the road again and here are MY FIVE LOCKS for the week, with my NFL Week 9 WINNERS against the spread in RED.
KP’s Road Warrior NFL Week 9 Picks
FIVE – Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)
Let’s get the outlier out of the way, shall we? Sound that Viking Gjallarhorn, because my one home team of the week is Minnesota. The Lions have been a more balanced and consistent team when establishing Kerryon Johnson and the run game. But this week, Detroit faces Minnesota’s fifth-ranked run defense (91.8 ypg), which has allowed ZERO carries of 20 or more yards. On the other side, it’s a big ask for Detroit’s defense to handle Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Kirk Cousins. Sure, the Lions are 7th in passing yards allowed, but its ‘D’ has just two interceptions, tied for the second fewest in the NFL. In fact, only the lowly Bucs have fewer (1).
Expect an efficient day from Cousins. Vikings cover at home.
FOUR – Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)
Road warrior ONE – the Tennessee Titans. Start by looking at the schedule. The Titans have been in close games all season long. Five of Tennessee’s games have been decided by three points or fewer. In the pass game, Dallas adds Amari Cooper, but faces a Titans pass defense that is 9th in total yards and has allowed just nine touchdowns through seven games.
This feels like one of those down and dirty games in the trenches. A lot of running with Zeke and a hefty dose of Dion Lewis. Derrick Henry, too. Because of that, give me the Titans and the points on the road.
THREE – Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (-1)
Road warrior TWO – The Texans are rolling these days. Toss in Demaryius Thomas, acquired at the deadline. Sure, Thomas may need time to get acclimated, but he gets to face his former team right out of the gate. That adds an interesting wrinkle to this one. But in the end, there’s one reason why this isn’t my highest confidence game of the week: the trenches. Denver is tied for 2nd in the NFL in sacks (24). Rookie Bradley Chubb is thriving, adding more defensive firepower alongside Von Miller. Houston, on the other hand, is fifth in sacks allowed (26). Deshaun Watson is on fire, but could he get rattled by Denver’s pass rush? Maybe.
But not enough in my eyes. Texans win on the road.
TWO – Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns (+8.5)
Road Warrior THREE – Patrick Mahomes vs. the Browns? Yes, please. Cleveland is cleaning house, which is something the front office should’ve done prior to the season. I can’t understand making such a roster overhaul, but leaving the same hapless coaching staff intact. Either way, we all know the drill here. The players are either going to come out fired up and immediately respond, or we’ll be looking at adjustments and the same ol’ Cleveland Browns. Outside of Mahomes and the weapons on offense, let’s also keep in mind that the Chiefs defense has quietly put together a few very strong performances. Dee Ford, for example, has four sacks in his last two games and eight total on the season. The Browns have allowed 33 sacks on the season – and yes, that’s the most in the NFL. See where this is going?
Chiefs cover on the road – and in a big way.
ONE – Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots (-5.5)
Road Warrior FOUR – Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Geronimo Allison is doubtful, but most of the other weapons will be available for Rodgers. Aaron Jones was finally unleashed last week and Green Bay is likely to use him a lot on Sunday, too. The Patriots, meanwhile, saw its 38-point streak end last Monday night in Buffalo. But stats and chatter aside, is there a better matchup than Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady? Everyone knows that Rodgers lives for this kind of challenge. As a side note, don’t sleep on some of the talent in Green Bay’s secondary, too. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is gone, but players like Jaire Alexander are underrated. This should be a fun one to watch.
Packers keep this one close. Give me Green Bay and the points.
2018 NFL Season to Date (ATS)
Time to stop for gas… and maybe some Milk Duds.
As always, thanks for cruising along with me – and thanks for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Movie/Music Credits: Road Trip | Willie Nelson