N.F.L. Week 9 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread

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Texans at Broncos, 4:05 p.m., CBS

After 125 career regular-season games (and a Super Bowl win) for the Broncos (3-5), Demaryius Thomas will start his new life as a member of the Texans (5-3) in Denver. It’s not quite irony, but it certainly should provide some motivation for the former Pro Bowl wide receiver to get off to a hot start. Houston needs him after a season-ending injury to Will Fuller V. Pick: Texans +1

Lions at Vikings, 1 p.m., Fox

They both lost last week, but the Vikings (4-3-1) can justify the result as it came against New Orleans, one of the hottest teams in the N.F.L., and it might have gone the other way if not for a fumble by a player who never fumbles. The Lions (3-4), on the other hand, were demolished at home by Seattle, which typically does not travel well. Minnesota has a talent advantage, a home-field advantage and an “Adam Thielen gets 100 receiving yards every week” advantage. So unless Thielen, one of the most sure-handed players in football, fumbles away a red zone opportunity for a second straight week, the Vikings should be fine. Pick: Vikings -4.5

Jets at Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS

The Jets (3-5) have lost two straight, managing a combined 27 points in those games, but compared with the Dolphins (4-4), they are hot. Miami has lost four of five, will start Brock Osweiler at quarterback, won’t have the team’s second-best wide receiver, Albert Wilson, and might not have its top receiver, Kenny Stills. The Jets are banged up as well, but they should keep it close or get a road win. Pick: Jets +3

Titans at Cowboys, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

The Cowboys (3-4) have won only two of their last four games, but the two losses came by a combined 6 points. They are tougher on defense than they have been at any point in recent memory, and their offense is starting to get into something resembling a groove. The Titans (3-4) make nearly every game a fight, and this one should be no different. Dallas can win a trench battle with the right use of Ezekiel Elliott, but the final score may be a lot closer than 6 points. Pick: Titans +6.

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