National Football League

Stalter’s Week 9 Picks Against the Spread: Gonna Be a Chiefs-Cowboys Shootout

Last Week: I went 3-2. Lost the Seahawks (-6.5 vs. Texans) and 49ers (+13 at the Eagles), but picked up wins with the Jets (+6.5 vs. Falcons), Steelers (-3 at Lions) and Panthers (+1.5 at Bucs).

Broncos at Eagles, 12:00 p.m. CT

Let me get this out of the way first: Brock Osweiler isn’t good. He was an abject failure in Houston. A colossal free agent bust. He’s starting today against an underrated Eagles defense and he’s not going to play well.

Now that that’s out of the way: I love the Broncos +7. Denver isn’t a horse [bleep] team. They’ve had horse [bleep] quarterback play. Trevor Siemian is atrocious. If Osweiler can just protect the football then he’ll be an upgrade over Siemian. Plus, the 49ers couldn’t take advantage of the Eagles losing left tackle Jason Peters but the Broncos will.

I have two picks for you, because I think this is going to be low-scoring in Philly.

The Pick: Denver Broncos +7 and the under 41

Chiefs at Cowboys, 3:05 p.m. CT

I hate this matchup for the Chiefs. Honestly, this is a pure strength versus weakness matchup on both sides. The Cowboys are vulnerable against the pass, which plays into Kansas City’s hands offensively. But the Chiefs are extremely vulnerable versus the run, which suits Dallas.

With Ezekiel Elliott “back,” the Cowboys are going to pound Kansas City’s front, eat clock, steal possessions and roll. This is going to be a shootout, so I’ll give you another bonus play: Cowboys 35, Chiefs 31.

The Pick: Dallas Cowboys -2.5 and the over 53

Bucs at Saints, 12:00 p.m. CT

I faded Tampa a week ago but I like the Bucs here. Excuse my skepticism, but I’m not buying that the Saints have suddenly transformed into a great defense. Are they creating turnovers and generating sacks? Very much so. But they’ve taken advantage of an inconsistent Carolina offense, a Jekyll & Hyde Dolphins team, a Aaron Rodgers-less Packers team, and a Bears offense that doesn’t believe in the forward pass. Don’t get it twisted, New Orleans is a bona fide playoff contender and the team to beat in the NFC South. That said, that defense isn’t the second coming of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

The Bucs have problems. Jameis Winston is banged-up and their offensive line can’t protect him. Their defense can’t generate a pass rush and their secondary is a mess. This is not the sleeper team everyone thought they were at the start of the season.

That said, this is a divisional game and the Bucs are desperate. The Saints also haven’t had their “how-in-God’s-name-did-they-lose-to-that-team” moment yet. I’ll take the points.

The Pick: Tampa Bay Bucs +7

Raiders at Dolphins, 8:30 p.m. CT

You’re not interested in the Sunday night game. I don’t blame you. I’m not either. But if you want a game to play since you’re going to watch it anyway, this is a great game to take the over.  The over is 4-0 in the last four meetings and neither team plays much defense.

The Pick: Over 44

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