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DaLEO's Week 9 Power Rankings:
- Kansas City Chiefs (same)
- Pittsburg Steelers (same)
- Arizona Cardinals (was 6)
- Seattle Seahawks (was 4)
- Baltimore Ravens (same)
- Buffalo Bills (was 8)
- Green Bay Packers (was 3)
- Tennessee Titans (was 7)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (same)
- Indianapolis Colts (previously unranked)
Week 9 Preview and Picks:
- Kansas City Chiefs vs Carolina Panthers (Sunday 1pm)
As I am writing this, Christian McCaffery is still questionable for Sunday’s game. With the Chief’s run defense being one of their weaknesses, I think this is very important information. The current line is set at -10.5 in favor of the Chiefs and if there is no McCaffery, I am on that all day. Teddy cannot be trusted right now with only 9 touchdown passes and 6 interceptions. If the Panthers are forced to try and throw the ball to keep up with the Chiefs without being able to run and control the clock, this game will get out of hand quickly.
Conversely, the Panthers have been able to hang around and keep things close, especially limiting throwing teams to lower points (Falcons 23, 25 / Saints 27), the exception being earlier in the season with the Cardinals, Raiders and Bucs. As things stand, I like -10.5 and anything up to -12.5 without McCaffery. The weather in KC Sunday is going to be in the 70s and partly cloudy, which seems to be a recipe for an all out attack from the Chiefs.
- Pittsburg Steelers at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday 4:25pm)
The Cowboys are looking at a quarterback change on Sunday and the question isn’t whether they are going to be able to beat the Steelers, but whether or not they can avoid being completely embarrassed again this season. The line right now is -14 and that gives me pause. Double digit spreads this year have not been treating me well, and this is certainly a game that could be overlooked by the Steelers.
Do I think the Steelers have a chance at losing? No. Someone is going to beat the Steelers this year, but it’s not going to be the Cowboys who will be on their fourth quarterback. This could however turn into an ugly boring game of running and punting with the Cowboys finding a way to cover. According to ESPN right now, 70% of bets are being placed on the Steelers at -14 and it just gives me great pause. I will be interested to see what the line is on Sunday morning, and may tease it down to -13.5 and take the over 42. If Tomlin elects to air it out and unleash Claypool and JuJu against the terrible secondary of the Cowboys, Ben could be in for a big day and the points could come. There’s also the realistic possibility of two Steelers defensive scores. I will probably put money down on them to score as well, those odds have yet to be released. In short, lay the number with the Steelers if it’s under two touchdowns, I wouldn’t go higher than that.
- Arizona Cardinals vs Miami Dolphins (Sunday 4:25pm)
The Cardinals are coming off of a bye week, while the Dolphins are coming off Tua’s first win versus the Rams. This has the making of a perfect learning opportunity for Tua, and I am all over the Cardinals at -4.5 up to -6.5 (if the line moves). I am going to hammer this game. I think the Cardinals aren’t getting enough respect on the defensive side of the ball. I don’t think the stats have shown it, but this is a good team.
For the Dolphins, as I stated in the last blog, that win versus the Rams was a complete team win, and I do not think they will be able to play at a high level like that the whole game this weekend. I think that more of the owness will fall on Tua to perform during the game and his mistakes and lack of experience will have them fall short. Budda Baker is going to be licking his chops on Sunday ready to feast. I also don’t think the Dolphins have the depth and consistency to handle the Cardinals offense.
- Seattle Seahawks at 6. Buffalo Bills (Sunday 1pm)
This is the game of the week in my opinion. We will get to see a cross conference game and get a feel for how the strength of the NFC is matching up to the strength of the AFC. The Bills at home are a +3 point underdog and the concern here is the quality of wins that make up their 6-2 record as well as the consistency of their offense. The good news for the Bills, is they are going up against a Seattle team with a defense that is not what it used to be.
For the Seahawks there are also concerns about travel and time difference. This game will feel like 11am for them, but the weather will be beautiful at 66 degrees and sunny. Seattle’s run defense has been the most consistent for them, so if the Bills are going to have a chance at winning they are going to need to handle Wilson and look to air it out to Diggs while not turning the ball over. This is one where it seems too easy to pick the Seahawks, and I am going fade the public and take the Bills +3 with a prediction that Diggs has 2+ TDs.
- Baltimore Ravens at 10. Indianapolis Colts (Sunday 1pm)
I have the Ravens ranked at 5, but I think they may be frauds. Both of these teams have good records, but have beat some really bad teams. Indy should be undefeated in my opinion with their two losses coming from the inconsistent Browns and a Week 1 loss to the Jaguars. The line right now is -2 in favor of the Ravens.
The last decently mobile quarterback that the Colts faced was Baker Mayfield and the Browns and that didn’t end well. The Ravens are also coming off a loss to the Steelers that has left a bad taste in their mouths. It’s for that reason that I am going to ride with the Ravens at -2, but am not confident. This game will probably come down to a last possession and a field goal. It’s for this reason that I am taking the Ravens, because Tucker is the truth.
- Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (Thursday Night Football)
This is an injury / COVID game. So many people aren’t playing, and the line keeps moving around -7 and -7.5 for the Packers who are favored away at the 49ers. There’s one thing in my mind remains the same. Aaron Rodgers is 31-15 ATS after a loss (11-7 ATS as a favorite of 7.5+). With 63% of people on the Packers, there is a large contingent that believe the 49ers defense will be able to impose their will.
I am going to ride again with the Packers, but if they can’t win this game, their hopes of success this year are done. As we start the second half of the season, games will be more and more competitive and they need to win this game. They are hungry and they are going to win, and I think they do so by 10+. Rodgers has got to be disappointed with last week and I bet he bounces back big tonight. Barstool Sportsbook has boosted odds of 300+ passing yards and a Packers win at +380 and I took that as well.
- Tennessee Titans vs Chicago Bears (Sunday 1pm)
As I am writing this, the Bears have just closed down their facility due to COVID. Provided the game is still played on Sunday, It’s going to be a defensive battle, and I love the Under 46.5. At home right now the Titans are at -6, and I think that’s too much. Both teams are coming off two losses and will be looking to right the ship. I will take the Bears at +6, but look for it to be decided by a field goal or turnover late.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints (Sunday Night Football)
It’s not Ravens – Steelers, but the Bucs vs Saints rivalry is real, and it becomes even more entertaining with the TD record race between Brees and Brady. The winner also gets sole position of first place in the division, so it’s fitting to be our Sunday Night game. Both teams have been great against the rush on defense, forcing their opponents to throw the ball.
Brees and Kamara were both listed on the injury report, but both downplayed any alarms to espn.com. I can’t imagine them not going on Sunday night. Right now the Bucs are favored at -4, and this may be a trickster game. I play the game in my head, because if it’s close, I should take the Saints and the four points. However, are the odds makers trying to bait people into that pick? To me, it’s a gut feeling, and while the Bucs have been good on defense, they haven’t faced Brees with all of his weapons. I will be on the Saints +4, and I think they win outright, so I will sprinkle moneyline as well.
I may also mess around and look at a player prop for Kamara to get 2+ TDs.
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