Injuries are a part of playing in the NFL, but Bears tight end Zach Miller suffered such a badly dislocated knee in Sunday’s loss at the Saints that there was fear Miller’s leg might have to be amputated. On Monday, Miller needed “urgent vascular surgery” to repair the damage done when Miller came down awkwardly while trying to catch a pass in the end zone. It appeared Miller made the catch, but it was ruled otherwise while Miller was on his way to the hospital. It looks like Miller will avoid losing the leg but he’s obviously done for the season. Here are two interesting NFL Picks with the latest odds and lines for Week 9: Bucs-Saints and Colts-Texans.
Week 9 Top NFL Picks, Odds & Expert Predictions
Buccaneers at Saints NFL Odds & TV Info
When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, New Orleans
Radio: WDAE 620 AM (Tampa Bay) / WWL 870AM (New Orleans)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Saints -7
Why Choose Tampa as part of your NFL Picks?
The Bucs are one of the NFC’s biggest disappointments at 2-5 and on a four-game losing streak. They lost 17-3 at home to Carolina on Sunday. The Panthers put the game away in the fourth quarter, intercepting Jameis Winston twice, with Mike Adams’ pick leading to Newton’s 25-yard TD pass to Kelvin Benjamin to make it 17-3. The Panthers forced three turnovers by Winston, limiting the Bucs to Patrick Murray’s 41-field goal in the third quarter.
Winston completed 21-of-38 passes for 210 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. He was struggling through a shoulder injury, air mailing throw after throw while continuing to display questionable decision-making. The third-year pro also lost a fumble when he tried to pitch the ball while getting sacked. Doug Martin rushed 18 times for 71 yards. Mike Evans caught 5-of-10 targets for 60 yards.
This was the third straight week in which the Bucs failed to score an offensive touchdown in the first half. Sluggish starts have become the new norm, even if the Bucs have quietly become the league’s top passing team and have the league’s second-most productive offense in terms of yardage.
The Bucs were 9-7 team last year that made significant talent upgrades — particularly on offense — and hasn’t produced in spite of that. The Bucs’ three points against the Panthers were their fewest in a game since Week 16 against the Green Bay Packers in 2014.
Why Choose New Orleans as part of your NFL Picks?
The Saints and Bucs split last year, each winning at home. New Orleans (5-2) won its fifth straight Sunday, 20-12 over Chicago. Drew Brees completed 23 of 28 passes for 299 yards against a Bears defense that ranked sixth against the pass.
Brees now has 6,011 career completions and joined Hall of Famer Brett Favre (6,300) and Peyton Manning (6,125) as the only players in NFL history with at least 6,000 completions. Brees reached the milestone in his 240th career game and is the fastest in NFL history to accomplish the feat (Manning, 259 games and Favre, 286).
Running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara each ran for touchdowns for New Orleans. Ingram finished with 99 yards from scrimmage, including 75 on the ground, but his two late fumbles kept the Bears in the game into the final minutes. Kamara had 76 yards from scrimmage — 48 receiving.
Coach Sean Payton said he expects a gradual return from top CB Delvin Breaux, who is eligible to be activated from injured reserve this week after breaking his fibula in the preseason. “It’s just getting the physical, the cardio, all the football-playing elements up to speed. I don’t think you just flip the switch and then, ‘Bang,'” said Payton.
Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore has been a driving force behind the Saints’ five-game win streak, playing at almost a lockdown level as their No. 1 cornerback. He now has two interceptions — one that he returned for a touchdown two weeks ago against Detroit, and this one to seal the victory against Chicago.
Colts at Texans NFL Odds & TV Info
When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston
Radio: 107.5 FM (Indianapolis) / KILT 610AM (Houston)
Stream Option: DirecTV to Go
Opening NFL Lines: Texans -13
Why Choose Indianapolis as part of your NFL Picks?
The Colts aren’t going to win this game, but they might cover that big spread. Indianapolis has two wins and they are over the two winless teams in the NFL, Cleveland and San Francisco. Indy played decent this past Sunday in a 24-23 defeat at Cincinnati. Lineman Carlos Dunlap batted Jacoby Brissett’s pass into the air, grabbed the ball and ran 16 yards to the end zone for a game-turning touchdown. The Colts drove to a fourth-and-4 at the Cincinnati 48-yard line, and Brissett was hit as he threw an incompletion with 1:18 to go.
Colts tight end Jack Doyle had 12 catches for 121 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown. Brissett was 25 of 39 for 233 yards with the one pivotal interception and four sacks. Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals for the Colts and moved into a tie with Gary Anderson for second-most points in NFL history with 2,434. Brissett threw his third interception in the fourth quarter or overtime this season. Indianapolis is now 2-3 on the season when having a lead in the fourth quarter.
As a matter of fact, the loss took away what was one of the Colts’ best offensive performances (minus the Brissett interception) in weeks. They had 331 yards of total offense and had the ball for more than 33 minutes while committing only one turnover.
The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday and there’s some talk the Colts could deal top WR TY Hilton. He is under contract through 2020 at salaries of $8 million this year, $11 million in 2018, $13 million in 2019, and more than $14 million in 2020. GM Chris Ballard isn’t the one who drafted or extended Hilton, so there’s some chatter Hilton could be available at the right price. It would likely take an early mid-round pick. Hilton is having a career-worst season without Andrew Luck (shoulder) and has just 61 yards over his last three.
Why Choose Houston as part of your NFL Picks?
The Texans (3-4) lost the game of the year thus far in the NFL, 41-38 in Seattle on Sunday. Houston rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson passed for 402 yards and four touchdowns. Watson has thrown at least three touchdown passes in four consecutive games and is the first rookie in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
Watson has 16 touchdown passes in his past four games, the most in league annals by a rookie in any four-game span. This season, Watson has 19 passing touchdowns, the most ever by a rookie in his first seven games of a season. Watson has also passed Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (18 from 1998-1999) for the most passing touchdowns by a player in his first seven career games.
Watson drove the Texans down the field twice in the fourth quarter while trailing the Seahawks and gave his team the lead both times. The first was a 2-yard touchdown pass to Lamar Miller after Watson escaped pressure and evaded a Seahawks defender. The second was a 72-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins. Watson did have three interceptions, including a pick-six on the Texans’ second drive of the game.
The Texans’ 14 first-quarter points were the first time the Seahawks have allowed 14 points in the first quarter of a home game since 2012. Seattle also entered the game having allowed just two points and no touchdowns in the first quarter. Before Sunday, the Seahawks also had not given up a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Expert Predictions & NFL Picks for Week 9
Buy that Saints number down to 6.5 and take New Orleans. I’m holding off on Colts-Texans to see if the line gets above 14 points. If it does, go Indy as part of your NFL picks for Week 9.