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NFL Week 9 Free Picks – Can Green Bay, Indy Rebound In Tough Matchups?

Posted by Matthew Forrester on 11/8/2015 9:00:05 AM

Despite a massive amount of teams on bye this Sunday, my NFL Week 9 free picks have zeroed in on five great matchups that are worth all your money and then some. Let’s break down the most important matchups on the day schedule this coming weekend.

CAROLINA PANTHERS +2.5 over Green Bay Packers (1pm EST)

Another loss by Green Bay on the scale that they lost to Denver puts them right in the same “Uh oh…do we trust these guys?” territory that Seattle finds themselves in. And it’s rightfully deserved.

I alluded to this last week when I wrote about the primetime games, noting that Green Bay’s offense couldn’t sustain the points per game they’d been putting up. They went from 5th last week to 10th this week, and continue to be abysmal at collecting first downs. They had 14 against Denver last weekend and are near the bottom of the pile in that stat category.

Granted, that was against the very best defense in the NFL on the road. The problem is that they find themselves facing a similarly strong defense in Carolina, a team that ranks 7th in passing yards allowed with just 228.9 thanks in large part to Josh Norman who basically deleted T.Y. Hilton the entire game. He can do the very same to Randall Cobb who remains the only real threat in a Green Bay passing offense that ranks just 28th in the league. Norman is one of the best commodities to rely on in NFL Week 9 free picks, and is perhaps the most undervalued player at any position.

Everyone loves singing the praises of Aaron Rodgers, but his avid supporters are running out of excuses. At some point, Rodgers has to put this team on his back and live up to the title of Best Quarterback in the NFL. He ranks 26th in passing yards this season and after nine weeks it’s safe to say that’s an honest ranking regardless of bye weeks. He should be top-10 no matter the roster he has around him. You guys know he has one game above 300 yards this season right?

Carolina’s run game will once again set the tone against a rush defense that has allowed 124.4 yards on the ground, ranking just 25th, and are coming off a game where they were obliterated by Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Andersen. This should be Carolina’s game to lose.

Green Bay didn’t just have a bad game last weekend – they more so revealed that they’re a defense that can’t stop a good run game, and an offense that can’t develop any type of rhythm.

Put your personal biases away in this one and get behind Cam Newton if you haven’t done so already. The only reason that they let Indy back in to the game last week was because they fell asleep after Andrew Luck put up three brutal quarters of football. They won’t take their foot off the pedal in NFL Week 9 free picks.

St. Louis Rams +1 over MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1pm EST)

This is purely a bet on St. Louis’s defense against an overwhelmed Teddy Bridgewater and a rush defense that’s ranked 15th in the league going up against the defacto Best Running Back in the NFL in Todd Gurley. The only reason Minnesota has been able to stay competitive is because of the threat Adrian Peterson represents. St. Louis has a top-10 defense that will be able to limit him with a five guys up front, while dropped bodies in to coverage to make Bridgewater panic as he usually does. Gurley is the new Peterson. Get used to it.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS -6 over Oakland Raiders (1pm EST)

I sincerely want to get on the Oakland bandwagon, but I’m hesitating in my NFL Week 9 free picks for the same reason that they’ve been able to smoke teams lately. Oakland has taken advantage of east coast teams visiting them at home. Now this young Oakland squad is going to have the same type of trouble they had earlier this year in a loss at Chicago with an early game on tap in a hostile environment on the other side of the continent.

People have been betting against Pittsburgh at their own peril, and their last two failed to cover the spread. So that’s fair. But DeAngelo Williams is not the worst fill-in for Le’Veon Bell, and Oakland’s pass defense is still one of the worst in the NFL. Trust in Big Ben doing what he and Pittsburgh do at home. Pittsburgh is 10-2 ATS when playing a team with a winning record overall, and 7-3-1 ATS when playing at home.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS +2.5 over New York Giants (4:05pm EST)

The Giants are a team that’s a bit better than everyone thinks, but you can’t put up a monstrous offensive effort in a loss and keep your heads up. The Bucs just vanquished Atlanta in a game they dominated for the most part, and are one of my favorite takes in NFL Week 9 free picks because of the state of mind in New York. It can’t be good after that heartbreaking loss to New Orleans last weekend.

Case in point: New York is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing 30 points the previous week.

Tampa’s Jameis Winston is looking like a real threat regardless of what you think of him personally. And the Bucs are riding a hot 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS streak that included that silly loss on the road against Washington. At home against a Giants team on a slippery slope, they’ll come through as one of the bigger upsets this Sunday. Nearly the entire betting community is going in the other direction with New York, but you’re smarter than that right?

Denver Broncos -4 over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4:25pm EST)

The best defense in the league playing against Peyton’s former team with an injured Andrew Luck and an injured T.Y. Hilton on a short week? Yes please. Take all my freaking money. As mentioned earlier, that sporadic flurry from Luck late in the game against Carolina was a blip in the radar and things returned to normal in overtime. There is no part of me that thinks Indy has a leg to stand on here, and Denver is trending upwards in the best possible direction as a lock for NFL Week 9 free picks. I shouldn’t have to explain this one. It’s a no-brainer.

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