Football picking mediocrity continues at The Wife Hates Sports in 2022.  Shit happens.  Yes, I turned the censor button off this week.  Watching Penn State collapse in the fourth quarter against Ohio State will do that to a person.  The SportsChump is ahead this season and I checked… the Earth is still on its axis.  In a text thread this week, I joked to the ‘Chump that the way this season’s selections have gone, I should go back to taking on a coin flip and see who wins.  He agreed.  So here we are, contemplating this week’s top College Football picks and Week 9 NFL Bets.

Picking Brady and the Bucs has flopped.  Penn State against the spread, I’m winless.  My usual road team favorite plan has also fallen faster than the regime of Dan Snyder (we hope).

So, checking the lines in College Football and the NFL this week, I originally narrowed it down to thirteen games – and well, that seemed quite fitting.  The unlucky 13.

To add to that list of thirteen games, I decided to pick my top five by confidence (as we do in this pool), but keep the rest and make those picks, too.  I’ll add a coin flip for each picks and see who wins (or, uh… I guess what wins).  Please don’t be the penny.

No, not that Penny.

Here are our TOP FIVE Best Bets for the week (all against the spread), including our Week 9 NFL Bets and Week 10 College Football Best Bets.  This includes picks from the SportsChump and a coin flip – plus some extra picks from TWHS.

Our lists are ranked in order of confidence, from 50 “points” down to 10.  Please note that the lines for my picks are all taken from DraftKings Sportsbook (maybe some day they’ll notice).

DraftKings Sportsbook: Week 9 NFL Lines | Week 10 College Football Lines

The Wife Hates SportsChump: Week 9 NFL Bets and Top College Picks

KP’s Picks: The Wife Hates Sports

$50: Philadelphia Eagles (-13.5) at Houston Texans

Brandin Cooks is out for the Texans, taking away a key way that Houston tries to stretch the field on offense.  Now let’s add in Philadelphia’s multi-dimensional rushing offense that ranks 6th in the NFL (149.6 ypg).  That talented running group headlined by Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders is taking on a Texans defense that was just torched by Derrick Henry and ranks last in the NFL against the run (164.7 ypg).  No road game or fancy new red helmets are going to slow down the undefeated Eagles this week.  Not the short rest.  Not anything.  Eagles cover on the road.

$40: Buffalo Bills (-12) at New York Jets

Let’s stick with the heavy NFL favorites, shall we?  I have catching up to do in this pool.  For the Bills, we know the talent that Josh Allen brings to the table.  This is more so on the Buffalo defense, which ranks 1st in total defense, 1st against the rush, and 9th against the pass.  Yes, the Jets are solid defensively, too – but let’s check New York’s pulse on offense.  James Robinson is still trying to fit into this offense that lost Breece Hall a few weeks ago.  That leaves the pressure on Zach Wilson, who has had his name smeared across the media all week.  Is he the guy?  His performances against lesser defenses (3 TD, 5 INT, 41.7 QBR in five games) have been far from stellar.  Bills cover on the road.

$30: Penn State Nittany Lions (-14) at Indiana Hoosiers

Death, taxes, and missing on Penn State ATS this season – that’s the drill.  Still, this PSU team showed signs last week against the Buckeyes.  That’s prior to the typical James Franklin collapse in the 4th quarter.  There was creativity on offense.  The defense shut down a talented Ohio State team through 3 1/2 quarters.  Sean Clifford had four turnovers and the Nits led with approximately 9 minutes to go.  Now, Clifford faces an IU pass defense that ranks 102nd against the pass, allowing 19 TD through the air (with just 5 INT).  The run defense isn’t much better, which means the freshmen duo of Singleton and Allen should feast.  Penn State covers on the road.

$20: Tennessee Volunteers (+8) at Georgia Bulldogs

Let’s stick with “the crazy” and pick the game of the week.  Seriously, the Vols – the #1 Tennessee Volunteers – are eight-point ‘dogs on the road at Georgia?  Talk about disrespect.  Let’s check some team stats.  The rushing offenses are similar (Georgia – 22nd, Tennessee – 24th).  When it comes to passing offense, both rank in the top ten (Tennessee – 2nd, Georgia – 8th).  When it comes to run defense, both teams also rank in the top ten (Georgia – 4th, Tennessee – 9th).  The difference statistically is on pass defense, where the Bulldogs rank 13th in yards allowed and Tennessee sits 127th.  However, the Vols have 9 INT and just 10 TD allowed in 8 games.  Overall, this game comes down to Heisman favorite Hendon Hooker (21 TD, 1 INT) and win or lose, he keeps this game close.  Give me Tennessee and the points.  

$10: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-5.5)

I spun over to the Colts-Patriots game for two reasons: 1) Jonathan Taylor’s ankle injury and 2) New England’s home field advantage.  There were a number of games I considered making the list this week, and it really comes down to Bill Belichick versus the experience of the Colts on offense.  Assuming Taylor is hampered or doesn’t go, it’s Sam Ehlinger, Deon Jackson, and an inexperienced offense facing Belichick at home.  To top it off, the Colts also have two offensive linemen questionable as we close in on the weekend.  Give me the Pats to cover at home.

KP’s Picks: 6-13

  • Tulane Green Wave (-7.5) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Maybe people think Tulane is distracted by the playoff ranking.  Tulsa hung with Ole Miss and Cincy, but I like this Green Wave team.
  • Michigan State Spartans (+17.5) at Illinois Fighting Illini: Sparty has to learn from last week’s chaos.  Expect them to improve this week.  That and Illinois is good, but they don’t blow anyone out.
  • Clemson Tigers (-3.5) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish: A 17-point win over Syracuse and everyone thinks ND has figured it out, but Clemson is the more balanced team.
  • UCLA (-10.5) at Arizona State: Facing three ranked teams this season, the Sun Devils have lost by 17 points or more each time.
  • Miami Dolphins (-5) at Chicago Bears: The Bears lose the center piece of its defense, while Tua and Tyreek Hill carry an offense that can top Chicago by a TD or more.
  • Alabama Crimson Tide (-13.5) at LSU Tigers: I just picture Brian Kelly dancing.  I also picture Nick Saban’s 48-10 record against Top 25 teams dating back to 2014.
  • Las Vegas Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5): Something isn’t right with the Vegas offense and the Jags know how to win at home
  • Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at New Orleans Saints: If Mark Andrews doesn’t play, that’ll be a hit, but Isaiah Likely can pick up the slack. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens “D” finds a way in a close game.


Coin Flip Picks vs KP

Note: The Home team is Heads, Away is Tails

  • Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans (+13.5) – Heads
  • Buffalo Bills (-12) at New York Jets – Tails
  • Penn State Nittany Lions (-14) at Indiana Hoosiers – Tails
  • Tennessee Volunteers (+8) at Georgia Bulldogs – Tails
  • Indianapolis Colts (+5.5) at New England Patriots – Tails
  • Tulane Green Wave (-7.5) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane – Tails
  • Michigan State Spartans at Illinois Fighting Illini (-17.5) – Heads
  • Clemson Tigers (-3.5) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Tails
  • UCLA (-10.5) at Arizona State – Tails
  • Miami Dolphins (-5) at Chicago Bears – Tails
  • Alabama Crimson Tide (-13.5) at LSU Tigers – Tails
  • Las Vegas Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) – Heads
  • Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at New Orleans Saints – Tails

For what it’s worth, I’m disturbed how many times the coin flip made the same pick.


SportsChump’s Picks

$50 on Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Atlanta Falcons

The Chargers lost their last game to the Seahawks.  There’s no disrespect in that.  Anyone who takes the new-look Seahawks lightly this season has taken an L.  Don’t look now but those same, Russell-Wilson-less Seahawks are in first place in the NFC West.  I’m pretty sure no one had that on their pre-season bingo card.  But back to the Chargers.  They’ve been stewing about that loss for two weeks and travel to Atlanta to exact a little revenge.  The last time the Chargers were blown out like that (see: Jacksonville), they went on a three-game win streak.  On paper, the Chargers are infinitely better than the Falcons who, ironically lead the NFC South. 

That won’t last, however.  This is the type of game that the Chargers must win if they want any shot at being considered Super Bowl contenders, which they’re perfectly capable of when healthy.  They just need to prove it on the field, especially against the teams they should be beating.  The Falcons luck may be running out shortly as they still lack their one-man wrecking crew Cordarelle Patterson.  I don’t think the Falcons, as feisty as they are, have enough firepower to hang with a determined Chargers team that should come out of their bye firing on all cylinders.  I feel comfortable laying the three points and taking the Chargers to cover.

$40 on Minnesota Vikings (-3 ½) at Washington Commanders

I was wrong last week about Minnesota.  This team is pretty good.  They have their foot on the necks of the rest of the collective NFC North and don’t appear to be letting up any time soon.  I thought they wouldn’t cover against Arizona, and they did.  On the opposite sidelines, I like what Ron Rivera has done with a Washington Commanders team that I once thought was the worst team in the league.  But they’re not.  This team has somehow mustered up four wins.  Believe it or not, Washington has won three straight games.  That’s misleading, however, as those wins all came against teams with losing records: Chicago, Green Bay, and Indianapolis. 

Unlike those teams, Minnesota does not have a losing record.  They are a rather impressive 6-1 and although they’re not blowing teams out, they’re doing what it takes to win.  Add to that a little resentment with Kirk Cousins going against the team who didn’t consider him their quarterback of the future and I’m sure Captain Kirk will have a little extra in store for Dan Snyder this weekend.  The Vikings are only laying three-and-a-half in a game they should win handily over a banged-up Commanders team.  Add to that too much noise about Dan Snyder once again selling the team and I see too many distractions in Washington.  Vikes cover.

$30 on Clemson Tigers at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+3 ½)

Am I the only one around here waiting for Clemson to stumble?  They remain undefeated and even by their already lofty standards are having a successful season.  They’re 8-0 with wins over three ranked teams.  Notre Dame on the other hand, is having a disappointing season, by their standards.  Once considered a contender to mix things up in the polls, they lost their first two games to Ohio State and Marshall.  They have, however, won five of their last six, the only loss a squeaker to Stanford.  They’re coming off a big road win at Syracuse and appear to be playing the kind of football we thought they were capable of. 

At this point, they’d like nothing more than to ruin Clemson’s perfect season.  They’ll get their chance.  They invite the Tigers into South Bend this Saturday night.  I have a feeling this game, the toughest left on Clemson’s schedule, might be the one that trips up their undefeated season.  The Domers are getting three-and-a-half in a game that Vegas thinks will be tight (over/under 44).  I’ll likely bet the upset outright but since this is all about the take (see: Farley/McCartney), I’ll take Notre Dame plus the three-and-a-half.

$20 on Alabama Crimson Tide at LSU Tigers (+13 ½)

All eyes will be on Georgia-Tennessee this weekend as they should be.  It’s the most important game of the slate.  But there’s another SEC game that people might want to pay attention to.  That’s Nick Saban returning to the stadium where he once coached: Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Saban brought LSU a national championship in a former lifetime (2003).  He aspires for his eighth this season, which would add to his already impressive collection, but a few things stand in his way, and their uniforms have stripes.  Bama has already lost to Tennessee.  One more loss, especially this weekend, and they can kiss any shot at an SEC title goodbye. 

Three teams remain tied for first atop the SEC West standings (Bama, LSU, and Ole Miss) meaning the winner of this game has the inside track to Atlanta.  Ole Miss plays Bama next week.  Ole Miss’ only loss of the season was to, you guessed it, LSU.  I’m not sure the Tigers have what it takes to upset Alabama but fourteen points, at night, in Death Valley, is a lot to lay.  And the closer this game is late, the closer to Crimson Nick Saban’s complexion turns.  Bryce Young’s Heisman repeat chances aren’t extinguished yet and he’d do a lot to get his name back in the mix with a big win on Saturday night… but two touchdowns, in front of that crowd?  Just seems a bit much.  That’s why I’m taking LSU plus the thirteen-and-a-half.

$10 on Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texas (+14)

Everyone loves Philly.  And rightfully so.  The Philadelphia Eagles remain the NFL’s only unbeaten team.  That’s partially because they’re pretty darn good, partially because they don’t play in the AFC and perhaps, most importantly, because they’ve only played two teams with winning records.  This Thursday night, they travel to Houston which, ironically, are the two cities playing in the World Series.  The Texans are not a great football team.  They have one win on the season.  However, they play tough.  If you exclude their road loss to the Raiders two weeks ago, they’ve been in every game they’ve played. 

This is a one-win team whose point differential on the season is only -38.  I still believe in this defense, despite what Philly might choose to throw at it.  Side note: Houston is only allowing five fewer points a game than the Philadelphia Eagles.  The World Series looms large in the background with Game Five being played in Philadelphia that very same night.  There’s just too much weirdness going on between these two cities for this Thursday’s football game to be the blow out oddsmakers expect.  I’m not sure the Houston Texans can pull off an upset, but I have this sneaking suspicion the Eagles will get Houston’s best, and that best is good enough to keep things close.  In a game that Vegas likes low scoring (over/under 45), I’ll take the Texans plus the two touchdowns.


Chime in with top picks for the week.  Also, if you have interest in being a guest picker, please let us know via the comments below.  Thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!


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