Week 9 is here, and we aren’t going to waste too much time getting into the Team NESN picks for the Westgate SuperContest.
NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle are struggling to gain any sort of consistency, and as a result, they’re stuck in the middle(ish) of the standings as part of Team OddsShark. It’s been a rough season so far, but this is the week they turn things around … hopefully.
Here are their five against-the-spread picks for the premier football handicapping contest.
Denver Broncos (-7.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
The Broncos turned it over five times Monday night, faced a short week and now have to travel again to take on a red-hot Eagles team. Not great on paper, which is among the reasons we’ll take the Broncos. There’s just something a little fluky with that line, and it’s especially appetizing with that extra half-point. It’s a risk to put faith in Brock Osweiler, who will make the start in place of the struggling Trevor Siemian, but that Broncos defense — allowing an NFL-best 4.5 yards per play — keeps them in games. Just as long as they don’t turn it over five times again, of course.
New Orleans Saints (-7) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Are the Saints good? Hard to say. New Orleans has lucked out with the schedule over the last couple of weeks getting the Packers in their first game without Aaron Rodgers and then getting the Bears at home. This seems like another favorable matchup given the Bucs’ inability to take care of the football (eight turnovers in their last three games). The defense has been just as bad, too, surrendering more than 400 yards in three of the last four games. Drew Brees and Co. should continue to add to their misery Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts (-13) vs. Houston Texans, Sunday, 1 p.m.
NRG Stadium, Houston
It sometimes pays to procrastinate. The SuperContest lines are released Wednesday at which point they’re locked for the weekend; whatever the line is Wednesday, that’s the line for Thursday, Sunday or Monday. The Texans, behind Deshaun Watson’s breakout, were huge favorites against the lowly Colts. And then Watson tore up his knee at practice Thursday. The latest line has the Colts only getting seven points now, but SuperContest players who waited until later in the week get to lock in the Colts still getting 13. We’ll take it.
Tennessee Titans (-5) vs. Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.
The Titans are coming off the bye, and while the Ravens are coming off a 10-day break, there are still plenty of injury concerns for a team that seems perpetually beat up. Even when healthy this season, the Ravens have struggled to move the football, especially through the air. On the other side, the Titans also have struggled offensively at times, but they’re getting Corey Davis back, which gives them an outside dimension they really haven’t had all season. If he can spread the field even a little bit, it might open up the running game even more which is how the Titans can be their most dangerous.
Green Bay Packers (+2.5) vs. Detroit Lions, Monday, 8:30 p.m.
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisc.
Obviously, the biggest injury the Packers have dealt with this season is Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone. Tied for second, though, might be the collective decimation of the offensive line. Monday night will mark the first time all season the Packers have had their No. 1 offensive line healthy. And you better believe they’re going to embrace the thought of deploying a run-first, run-heavy attack in an attempt to pave the way for Aaron Jones, the Packers rookie running back who’s averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images