• Max Carlson

Max Against the Spread | Week 9: You Like That?!

After an abysmal start to the season, I’ve bounced back with some really solid weeks in the last month, and my overall record is now just below .500. For whatever reason, I had a really tough time making these Week 9 picks, and I’ll likely stay away from most of these games this week. Let’s jump in and see if we can get our overall record at or above .500 after this week.

Last week’s record: 10-4

Season record: 44-46



Raiders (+2.5) @ 49ers (-2.5)

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It hurts to type this out, but I’m not even betting Monopoly money on the 49ers tonight. No Raiders jokes from me this week; just immeasurable sadness and infinite despair.

My pick: Raiders (+2.5) (-110)


Bears (-10) @ Bills (+10)

The Bills again find themselves with a huge point spot from the Vegas bookies, and for the second week in a row, I’m taking the favorite. There’s not really anything analytical I can say here other than this:

“Do you really trust Nathan Peterman to do anything?”

My pick: Bears (-10) (-110)


Buccaneers (+6) @ Panthers (-6)

The Bucs are an annoying team this year. The QB carousel doesn’t make betting easy, as you just don’t know what team is going to show up. I’m taking Carolina in this one, as they’ve been playing some really good football as of late. Six points at home against the Mysterious Pirates of West Florida doesn’t seem like too tall of a task for Cam Newton and the boys.

My pick: Panthers (-6) (-110)


Chiefs (-8.5) @ Browns (+8.5)

Kansas City finally failed to cover the spread last week, and of course it had to be the week where I confidently titled my piece “Taking Mahomes to the Bank.” I’m not fazed, as they get a Cleveland team this week that will be trotting out a new coaching staff in the wake of their fearless leader Hue Jackson’s ride into the sunset. The Cleveland defense has been good this year, but they won’t be any match for their opposition.

My pick: Chiefs (-8.5) (-110)


Jets (+3) @ Dolphins (-3)

Osweiler vs. Darnold. What a time to be alive. I just threw a dart at my AFC East dartboard and it looks like Miami is the pick here. Hammer with confidence. 

My pick: Dolphins (-3) (-110)


Steelers (+3) @ Ravens (-3) 

The fierce rivalry between these two teams usually creates exciting, close games. The Ravens have been one of those inconsistent teams this year and as a result, their games have been really difficult to bet on. I’m taking Pittsburg to cover on the road here, and depending on my mood Sunday morning, I might take them on the money line to win outright. 

My pick: Steelers (+3) (-120)


Lions (+4.5) @ Vikings (-4.5) [SLAM DUNK OF THE WEEK]

The Vikings are an easy play in this one. They’re a much better team on both sides of the ball, and now they don’t have to worry about covering Golden Tate, as he was recently traded to the Eagles at the trade deadline. I’m making this my slam dunk of the week, and you should too. Go take some money out of your Grandma’s savings account and throw it all on this game, then surprise her with a nice payout!

My pick: Vikings (-4.5) (-110)


Falcons (+1.5) @ Redskins (-1.5)

The Redskins have been one of the biggest surprises in football this year, led by new QB Alex Smith and the seemingly ageless wonder, Adrian Peterson. The offense will have to put up a lot of points to keep up with Matt Ryan, but given the state of Atlanta’s defense, I don’t think that will be much of an issue. I’m taking the home team to cover in what should be a great game.

My pick: Redskins (-1.5) (-110)


Texans (+1) @ Broncos (-1)

Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson will likely be running for his life all game against the nasty Denver defensive line, but even without Will Fuller, I think the Texans narrowly escape with the victory and the cover. New Texans WR Demaryius Thomas making his debut in front of his old crowd will be an interesting dynamic, and I expect his new QB to get him involved early and often. 

My pick: Texans (+1) (-110)


Chargers (+2) @ Seahawks (-2) 

I’d normally go Chargers all day in this one, but the Seahawks are quietly playing some really good football. With the raucous home crowd at their back, I think they’re going to continue to roll in this one, while covering the small spread at the same time.

My pick: Seahawks (-2) (-110)


Rams (+1) @ Saints (-1)

A fun matchup here, between the two best teams in the NFC. Drew Brees at home is tough to beat, and with this small spread, it’s essentially a pick ‘em contest. I’ve been going back and forth all day on this one, but I’m going to take the Rams. That team is firing on all cylinders.

My pick: Rams (+1) (-110)


Packers (+5.5) @ Patriots (-5.5)

Another rare Rodgers underdog spread in this one, as the Green Bay Packers head to Foxboro for what should be a fantastic showdown between two of the best QB’s to ever do it. Once again, with a spread of this size, I’m taking Aaron Rodgers’ Packers and not looking back. I’m not saying they’ll beat New England outright, but they’ll keep it within 5.

My pick: Packers (+5.5) (-110)


Titans (+6) @ Cowboys (-6) [FADE OF THE WEEK]

This is another contest that is really hard to pick. I’m leaning Dallas at home in this one, as the Titans have been playing some really bad football as of late. If Amari Cooper can step in and make an impact, then this Dallas offense can really turn things around. That being said, it’s the Cowboys, so who the hell knows?

My pick: Cowboys (-6) (-110)

Parlay of the week:

Vikings (-4.5)

Steelers (+3)

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