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We remain .500 overall with a .500 Week 8.
We remain .500 overall with a .500 Week 8.
Photo by Jack Gorman

NFL Week 9 — This Weekend's Best Bets

So the Astros' 2019 playoff run topped out at "within eight outs of a World Series title," congrats to the Washington Nationals, who were overall the better team over the last week in one of the strangest World Series I've ever seen in my lifetime. As I write this post, I am just hours removed from the worst part about your team losing a Game 7 — waking up the morning after and realizing that it is reality, that the Astros best assembly of talent ever was not good enough to win it all.

Still, that hasn't stopped the oddsmakers from forecasting that they are the favorites to win it all next season:

So there's that, and that's a good segue into the sweet medicine that makes the pain of the Astros' losing go away — gambling on American football on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, an afternoon that is now open to watch games, since the Texans kick off at 8:30 a.m. in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars. We went 3-3 last week, let's try to get back into the win column with a nice 6-0 ATS weekend:

DOLPHINS +4.5 over Jets
We are practically at the halfway point of the season, the Jets are 1-6, the Dolphins are 0-7, and I think it's safe to say that only one of the two teams in this game thought they'd be where they are right now. The Dolphins have been constructed to go 0-7, the Jets have been constructed to ride Sam Darnold and Le'Veon Bell back to relevance. It's not really working. In this game, I'll point to stats like the Jets going 2-10 SU in their past 12 divisional road games (4-7-1 ATS), and their 3-17 SU record in their past 20 road games overall (6-13-1 ATS). However, this pick comes down to two things — first, the Jets shouldn't be a 4.5 point road favorite against anybody, and second, I think the Dolphins players are motivated to win a game, and this will be one of their few remaining legitimate chances.

Browns/BRONCOS UNDER 39
This is the battle of two dysfunctional teams whose quarterbacks had some viral media moments this past week. First, there was Joe Flacco, who may be worse at his job than any other NFL employee is at theirs, questioning the Bronco coaches...

Flacco is now out with some sort of back or neck injury (does it matter what it is?), and Brandon Allen, who's never taken a snap in the NFL starts this Sunday. Meanwhile, here is Baker Mayfield's continued implosion from Wednesday, storming off in the middle of his media session:

Both teams have two wins on the season, this feels like a hideous 19-13 kind of game, with two offenses who can't get out of first gear, and two defenses that actually have some players. Under, it is!

Packers -3 over CHARGERS
Packers/CHARGERS OVER 48

The Packers' 7-1 renaissance under Matt Lafleur has been one of the more compelling stories of 2019, and after a few injury and bad-head-coach plagued seasons, Aaron Rodgers finds himself back at the top of the odds board for the NFL MVP. This is listed as a home game for the Chargers, but my guess is that the Chargers' soccer stadium is going to be crawling with pasty cheeseheads looking to escape Wisconsin in early November. So, in effect, I just need the red hot Packers to cover a three point spread against a 3-5 Charger team that can't get out of its own way. Sign me up!

Patriots -3.5 over RAVENS
Two of the Texans first three opponents after the bye week face off here, so if you're a Texans fan, done watching football at around noon on Sunday, make this one appointment viewing. As for the handicap on this game, this Patriots defense is ridiculous, and while Lamar Jackson has done a nice job of rounding out his game this season by adding some degree of a throwing element to his ungodly ground game, this feels like a game where Bill Belichick will be able to cut off the head of the snake enough to cover a 3.5 point spread. The Pats remain undefeated.

Cowboys -7 over GIANTS
The Cowboys are coming off a bye week before which they regained some momentum with a 37-10 thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles. That win continued a trend of dominance over the NFC East, during which the Cowboys have gone 10-1 both SU and ATS in their last 11 division games. The Cowboys have the league's top ranked offense, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA stats, and the Giants have the 26th ranked defense. The Cowboys should have plenty of ways to cover a seven point spread.

LAST WEEK: 3-3
SEASON NFL ATS RECORD: 24-24 (50.0 percent)

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

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