- Kenneth Cotterill
Top 5 Games To Watch - Week 9
Season Record (27-13)
It was a tough week for myself, to say the least, as some potential upsets just did not come to fruition. Jimmy Garappolo and George Kittle went down with injuries and Baker Mayfield no-showed as Cleveland and San Francisco both lost by double digits. No point in looking at the past though, as I still have an almost 70% success rate this year and can bounce back quickly with a solid week. Cincinnati, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia are all on bye weeks but that does not mean there are not some absolute bangers this coming weekend.
5. Carolina Panthers (3-5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)
I mean, anytime the Kansas City Chiefs take the field, they are must-watch television (minus last week against the pitiful Jets). The Chiefs have been on cruise control the past few weeks, beating down Denver and New York, but this will be a tougher matchup for them. Carolina may have lost their last three in a row, but this is still a good football team. Teddy Bridgewater could have number one option Christian McCaffrey back, which completely changes this Panthers offense.
The uncertainty around Christian's return is what has me skeptical about how close this game will be. I will be taking Kansas City regardless, but the point spread and point total line should be monitored. If Christian is a go, which I think he will be, then Carolina will just barely cover the current -11.5 spread. If he is a no go, take Kansas City to win this game by two touchdowns or more. 52.5 points should be covered with CMC, but will not be without him. Either way you should watch this game if for no other reason than to see how many points this potent Chiefs offense can put up.
Kansas City 35 - Carolina 24
4. Miami Dolphins (4-3) vs. Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
This game may have looked like a stinker at the start of the season but these two up and coming teams have surprised many. Miami was viewed to be in rebuild mode but Ryan Fitzpatrick, and now Tua Tagovailoa, have led this team to an above .500 record so far. Tua got his first win over the Rams last week, but it was mostly the defense and special teams that made it happen. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are coming off their bye week but have won three in a row coming into this one.
Arizona being at home is huge, but this game is a must-watch due to the two young quarterbacks. Tua will have to play much better in this game if he wants to get his second win. Luckily he has some dynamic weapons like Devante Parker to help him out. On the other side of this matchup, Deandre Hopkins should be in line for a big day. I like Arizona to win by slightly more than a field goal. The point line is not there, but if the line is 55.5 or less, hammer the over and make some cash money. This game is the late afternoon matchup to watch, and it should be fun to see these teams duke it out.
Arizona 31 - Miami 27
3. New Orleans Saints (5-2) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
These division rivals are set to square off for the second time this season, this time in Tampa Bay. Both teams come into this game firing on all cylinders, with Tampa Bay picking up wins in their last three outings and New Orleans in their last four. Michael Thomas has still yet to play since week one, but he may be needed in this one for the Saints to sweep the season series. The quarterback matchup in this one leans towards Tom Brady who has thrown seven more touchdowns and just one more interception than his New Orleans counterpart, Drew Bree's, this year.
New Orleans won by eleven back in September, but Tampa Bay will bounce back to split the season series. If the Buccaneers lethal defensive line can keep Kamara in check and get to Brees they should win this one comfortably. You cannot completely stop a player of Kamara's caliber, but you can certainly make things more difficult for him. Take the 54 point over with all these offensive weapons but keep an eye on the -4.0 for Tampa Bay. If that shoots up or dips then bet accordingly.
Tampa Bay 35 - New Orleans 31
2. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) vs. Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
This matchup features two teams with the same record despite their vastly different week eight results. Baltimore, at home, turned the ball over four times and lost to their rival Pittsburgh by four points. They ran the ball incredibly effectively, picking up 265 rushing yards against a strong Pittsburgh defence. Indianapolis traveled to Detroit and hung a 41 pointer on the Lions. Phillip Rivers had three touchdowns in the game, despite TY Hilton going down with an injury. This was Rivers's best game as a Colt, and he'll be looking to keep that momentum going this week against the Ravens - their biggest test of the season, so far.
The ground game will play a huge factor in the outcome of this game. The Colts have the second-best rushing defense, giving up just 79 yards per game, while Baltimore is the best rushing team averaging 178 yards per game. If Indianapolis can keep the Ravens under 150 yards on the ground and force Lamar Jackson to throw the ball then the Colts are in good shape. I am taking the Ravens because I believe Rivers will struggle, throwing at least one interception against this Ravens defense. Baltimore will win as underdogs and you should take the under in this defensive battle.
Baltimore 24 - Indianapolis 21
1. Seattle Seahawks (6-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (6-2)
Two weeks in a row I have gone against the Seahawks and last week they made me pay. DK Metcalf looked unstoppable and Russell Wilson padded his MVP case as they beat the 49ers by 10 at home. However, the defense is still nothing special, as they gave up 27 points to the injury riddled 49ers who lost both their quarterback, Jimmy Garopolo and their number-one pass catcher, George Kittle. Buffalo, on the other hand, played a hard-fought game against the Patriots at home. They were just able to squeak out the win as Cam Newton fumbled late to seal the deal for the Bills. Josh Allen struggled, throwing for just 154 yards and no touchdowns, but he will bounce back this week.
You can make it three weeks in a row going against the Seahawks because I like the Bills to pick up a statement win this week. They have received little credit so far and I think at home they will expose the Seahawks defense. Allen will throw for 3 touchdowns, possibly four, and Russell's defense will let him down again. The Bills will win as the -2.5 point underdog and both teams will combine to hit the 54.0 point line as well. DK will have another big game but the Bills have a better defense, which is why I like them to cause a crucial turnover in Buffalo.
Buffalo 38 - Seattle 35
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