Week 9 NFL odds, picks: Falcons deliver upset in Washington plus more of Pete Prisco’s best bets

After a slow start to the season, I went 4-1 last week with my best bets. That puts my record at 18-19-3 as part of Team OddsShark in the Westgate SuperContest.

The only thing that kept me from a 5-0 record last week was the Minnesota Vikings getting beat at home by the New Orleans Saints. I still say if Adam Thielen doesn’t fumble in Saints territory late in the half, the Vikings win the game. Oh, well. Time to move on to a big week in the NFL with a lot of interesting games.

Of this week’s best games, I am only using one of them here in my picks. I like the Saints over the undefeated Rams in the Superdome. I passed on picking the Packers-Pats and Steelers-Ravens games as part of my best bets.

Let’s hope I can continue the hot streak, even if, being honest, I don’t love the card this week.

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Falcons +1.5 at Redskins

The Falcons are coming off a bye, so they are rested. They are also really coming on as an offense, which will challenge a good Redskins defense. Atlanta is third in passing yards, while the Redskins are 13th in passing yards allowed. Look for a big game from Matt Ryan as the Falcons win on the road.

Broncos -1 vs. Texans

This game will come down to the Denver pass rush — and especially Von Miller — getting all over Deshaun Watson. The Texans’ offensive line isn’t very good, particularly the tackles. That will show up in this one. I think it leads to turnovers that lead to points. Denver takes it.

Vikings -4.5 vs. Lions

The Vikings didn’t play well last week at home, and neither did the Lions. But this week the Vikings will turn it around with their defense, a unit that has had some issues this year. The Vikings will limit the Lions’ run game and force Matthew Stafford to throw a lot, which will lead to turnovers. Vikings take it.

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Saints -1.5 vs. Rams

This comes down to two dynamic offenses with two outstanding play callers. But at home, I think Drew Brees and Sean Payton will get the best of Sean McVay and Jared Goff. The Rams will want to run Todd Gurley as usual, but the Saints are first in the league against the run. They will limit him, while their running game will help open things up for Brees. Lay the small number.

Titans +6.5 at Cowboys

These two are both coming off a bye, so they are rested. For me, this comes down to two physical teams that will play a close game. I don’t see the Cowboys pulling away here. Their offense is too limited in the passing game. But the Titans are 19th against the run on defense, which means a lot of Ezekiel Elliott and a lot of eating up the clock. That’s why it’s close. Take the points. 

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