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NFL Week 9 picks

JP Starkey returns and makes his pick for each and every game in Week 9, including Dallas' showdown against the Atlanta Falcons.


The Dallas Cowboys look to give the NFL's only unbeaten team a loss in Week 9 -- but we've also got a pretty exciting slate of football games throughout the day on Sunday.

As always, I'm back to make my weekly picks.

Odds, as always, courtesy of OddsShark.

Denver Broncos (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals -- Trap game here for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Headed east to Ohio through two time zones, though, they are getting an hour back thanks to falling back.

The Broncos have been on a roll lately, winning three of their last four contests, but I'll take the Bengals in the upset win at home.

Baltimore Ravens (-4) at Cleveland Browns -- I've been on record all year saying that the Browns are better than their record indicates, and they'll be getting a boost this weekend when Phillip Taylor returns from injury.

I don't think the Browns will win the game, but they'll play hard enough to cover.

Arizona Cardinals (+10.5) at Green Bay Packers -- Double digit spreads always scare me off. Yes, Arizona's offense is terrible, but the Packers weren't able to put away the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

I'll take the Packers to win and the Cardinals to cover.

Buffalo Bills (+10.5) at Houston Texans -- Like the Cardinals-Packers game, I don't think the Bills have much of a chance, but I'm not going to bet on the Texans dominating so much that they win by 11.

C.J. Spiller has a nice day (please?), and keeps the Bills close. Texans win, but Buffalo covers.

Miami Dolphins (-1) at Indianapolis Colts -- Ryan Tannehill is probably going to play, but even if he does, I don't know if the Dolphins will beat the Colts. Not that I'm huge on Indy, but they're the home team, and have played well this year -- and it's not like Miami is awesome.

Give me the Colts in the upset.

Detroit Lions (-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars -- No, Detroit isn't awesome this year, but they're looking a little better as of late. Better enough to beat the Jaguars with ease, regardless of where the game is played.

Lions win, and cover.

Chicago Bears (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans -- I'm not in love with the Bears or Jay Cutler, and I think they're probably (definitely) the better team. Still, this game just reeks of trap game for the Bears, going into Tennessee against a team that desperately needs a win to stay alive in the playoff race.

I'll take the Titans in an upset win.

Carolina Panthers (+3.5) at Washington Redskins -- My how the mighty have fallen. Cam Newton goes from Superman to... what exactly? I still think he's a capable quarterback, but he must become a more accurate passer.

I'll take the Redskins to win, but the Panthers cover.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2) at Oakland Raiders -- Yuck. Aside from Detroit-Jacksonville, this is probably the most unappealing game of the entire week. It is a Super Bowl rematch at least, but, it's also the most underwhelming Super Bowl rematch I can think of.

Tampa Bay has been the much better team this year, and I can't think of any legitimate reason to pick the Raiders over the Bucs, other than homefield. Give me Tampa Bay in the "upset."

Minnesota Vikings (+4) at Seattle Seahawks -- Sort of an interesting game here, as both teams have legitimate playoff aspirations at this point, and both teams are relatively young teams.

I'll take Seattle at home to win, but the Vikings keep it close enough and cover. Homefield at Seattle is one hell of an advantage -- just ask the Packers or Patriots.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) at New York Giants -- I'm not a big believer in the Steelers this year, but they have played some pretty good football since their bye week, winning three of four games.

The Giants will play really, really hard, especially given the circumstances in New York and New Jersey, but Pittsburgh's pass defense will bring Manningface out in full force. Steelers win.

Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) at Atlanta Falcons -- Jerry Jones and Rob Ryan have certainly made their opinions clear on Sunday's game, and to be honest, it's the type of game that I can totally see the Cowboys winning -- and then watching the Cowboys to go on and lay a turd over the rest of the season.

Just because I can see it happening, though, doesn't mean I'll predict it. Falcons win, Cowboys cover. Matt Ryan is too much for Dallas' defense.

Philadelphia Eagles (+3) at New Orleans Saints -- Pretty good Monday Night Football matchup here, with two teams desperate for wins. Michael Vick is playing for his job -- and Andy Reid may very well be coaching for his.

Darren Sproles won't be playing for the Saints, and his loss could be a pretty big factor. I don't have it in me to pick the Eagles on the road given how many issues Philadelphia has had this year, so I'll go New Orleans to win -- and cover.

Be sure to follow JP Starkey on Twitter.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.