NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 9
Written by Brandon Lewis on November 1, 2018
Thursday Night Football comes to the Bay area when the 1-6 Oakland Raiders take on the 1-7 San Francisco Niners in primetime. Both these teams have badly underachieved this season to the point. The Oakland Raiders, led by new $100 million head coach Jon Gruden, have traded away many players, including star defensive end Khalil Mack before the season, and Amari Cooper to the Cowboys two weeks ago, and do not seem to have a plan besides a complete rebuild. Meanwhile, the Niners season was over after $100 million quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL in week three against the Chiefs. The Niners have not won a game since Garoppolo went down, and the Raiders only win came against the Browns on a controversial call. Both of these teams will not be making a playoff run this year, but I am picking the Raiders because I think they’ll be able to move the ball more than the Niners.
On Monday, the Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley and named defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as the interim head coach. Williams’ style of coaching is a lot different than Jackson’s wise. Jackson’s was simple and melotone, where Williams is in the face of players, screaming at them for motivation. I think the Browns simply are motivated by the firing of Jackson, and come out behind the leadership of rookie Baker Mayfield, Gregg Williams, and new offensive coordinator Freddy Kitchens, and they shock the best offense in football in the Chiefs by shutting them down.
In Week 4, these teams met on Sunday Night Football, and the Ravens laid a beating on the Steelers 34-14. After that game, the Steelers dropped to 1-2-1, and the Ravens improved to 3-1 on the season. Since that outing, the Steelers have won three in a row, while the Ravens have lost three out of their last four to give the Steelers the lead in the AFC North. The Ravens look like the same old Ravens again while the Steelers are starting to get into form. Normally quarterback Ben Roethlisberger does not get swept by Baltimore, and I do not think it happens this year.