Scully’s NFL Week 9 picks: Healthy Bucs will blow past Saints

Profile Picture: James Scully

November 4th, 2020

Pittsburgh remained unbeaten with a victory over Baltimore in Week 8 of the NFL season, and the Steelers are now 6-1 against the spread. In Week 9, Pittsburgh will travel to face Dallas, which is an appalling 0-8 ATS.

Underdogs continued to perform well, with a 10-4 ATS record in Week 8, and teams grabbing points are now 64-53-1 ATS on the season.

I like a couple underdogs in Week 9.

Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons

Sun, November 8 2020, 6:00 PM

Atlanta Falcons






O 50

Denver Broncos






U 50

Denver arrives in Atlanta on the upswing.

The Broncos rallied from a 24-3, third-quarter deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Falcons has been terrible at home, with a 0-4 ATS record. The points are appealing with Denver.

After they earned their first win at Minnesota, the Falcons came back with a disappointing home showing against Detroit. They are in the same role against Denver, which has played every team on its schedule tough, except Kansas City and Tampa Bay.

The Broncos gave Pittsburgh and Tennessee all they could handle in close road losses and covered both times. Drew Lock found his groove during the fourth quarter in Week 8, when he completed 14 of his 18 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns. Denver, which is still in the playoff hunt at 3-4, gained valuable momentum against the Chargers.

Atlanta, which is 1-14 ATS in its last 15 games against AFC teams, should not be laying this many points in Week 9.

Pick: Broncos +3.5

Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Sun, November 8 2020, 6:00 PM

Minnesota Vikings






O 52

Detroit Lions






U 52

I'm not buying Minnesota, which threw only 14 passes when it defeated a flat Green Bay in Week 8.

Detroit has won three straight on the road and averaged nearly 30 points in those games. The Lions will bounce back after a disappointing showing against a formidable Indianapolis defense.

Detroit still has plenty to play for, with a 3-4 record, and the Lions will tailor their defense to slow down running back Dalvin Cook, who was Minnesota’s entire offense (163 rushing yards on 30 carries) in Week 8.

The Lions lost wide receiver Kenny Golladay to injury early in the Indianapolis game, which basically ended their afternoon from a mental perspective, but they’ll regain focus against a vulnerable 2-6 divisional foe.

The Vikings lack faith in quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw three interceptions in an ugly loss to Atlanta in their last home game, and this is too many points to lay with inconsistent Minnesota.

Pick: Lions +4

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mon, November 9 2020, 1:20 AM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers






O 51.5

New Orleans Saints






U 51.5

Tampa Bay targets big games, destroyed Green Bay in an important test earlier in the season, and the Buccaneers had this date circled since a mistake-filled opener at New Orleans.

The Saints have been terrible against the spread, at 1-5 in their last six games, and their woes are likely to continue.

Tampa Bay went through the motions against the Giants on Monday night, but the Bucs faced the same situation earlier this season at Chicago. The Buccaneers lost that game and bounced back stylishly against unbeaten Green Bay.

Tampa is healthier entering Week 9 and figures to receive a boost from the addition of wide receiver Antonio Brown, who will make his season debut.

The New Orleans defense has taken a step back this season. It has allowed 28.1 points per game (23rd in the NFL), despite a number of low-scoring teams on the schedule.

Drew Brees continues to rely upon running back Alvin Kamara (nine catches Week 8) in the passing game, because the veteran quarterback can’t get the ball downfield to receivers, and New Orleans won’t be able to match points with Tampa Bay.

Pick: Buccaneers -5.5

James Scully's NFL ATS record heading into Week 9: 10-14