Below are my confidence level straight up picks for Week 9. The picks with a confidence level of 1-5 (a group that went 8-3 last week) will be available to all NFL Pickwatch readers. 


The selections with a 6+ confidence level, a group of games that have netted a 173-69-2 record since 2020 (including 16-9 since Week 4), will be available exclusively to Pickwatch Pro subscribers. Pickwatch Pro is a great service that allows subscribers to download the best expert data in the industry, see team-by-team winners for every expert, and provides access to Upset Watch, which has been the ultimate cheat code to beat the sportsbooks over the last six years. Combine those elements with the top level of my weekly picks and it makes for a must-subscribe service for anyone serious about betting.


LA Chargers at Atlanta


The betting public expects that this will be a high scoring game, as the over/under for this matchup is 49.5 points. It might seem that the Chargers’ offense is driving that number, but Los Angeles won’t have Mike Williams and may not have Keenan Allen for this contest. That will put some governors on the Chargers offensive horsepower, but the LA defense is also driving this, as the Bolts have allowed 24+ points in five of the last six games. Atlanta has scored 23+ points in all but two games largely on the strength of a superb rushing attack and that will come in handy against a Los Angeles rush defense that has allowed 200+ rushing yards in two of the past three games and 130+ rushing yards in four of the past five. Combine that with the potential woes of the LA offense with Williams and Allen and a cross-country trip for the Chargers and the Falcons are the preferred option.


KC’s pick: Atlanta


Confidence level: 2


Carolina at Cincinnati


The Panthers were only a missed 48-yard PAT away from having a two-game win streak headed into this contest, as head coach Steve Wilks has Carolina playing at or above its talent level. Cincinnati cannot say the same, as the defending AFC champions have been quite inconsistent this year and looked listless in a 32-13 destruction at the hands of the Browns last week. Cincinnati cannot run the ball, having gained fewer than 100 rushing yards in all but one game since Week 1, and can’t stop the run, having given up 662 rushing yards in the past four weeks. Those trends will allow Carolina to keep the game close, but the talent disparity between Joe Burrow and PJ Walker is too wide, so Cincinnati is the pick here by a small margin.


KC’s pick: Cincinnati


Confidence level: 3


Miami at Chicago


It’s an interesting quarterback contrast in this matchup, as Tua Tagovailoa is perceived to be having a fantastic year and Justin Fields has the perception of struggling, and yet Fields has been playing just as well as Tagovailoa of late despite not having nearly as much talent around him. These improved performances by both quarterbacks have only led to a 45-point over/under total for this matchup, which seems low considering that these teams combined for 60 points last week. Chicago does have Khalil Herbert and now Chase Claypool to provide some big plays, but Chicago just can’t match the home run abilities of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, so the Dolphins are the choice here.


KC’s pick: Miami


Confidence level: 4


Green Bay at Detroit


The Packers offense hasn’t exactly been playing great of late, but the real problem in Green Bay’s four-game losing streak is that it has allowed 23+ points in each of those games (and in the one before the losing streak began). A terrible rush defense is the culprit, as the Packers have allowed 790 rushing yards over the past five games. Detroit may have the capacity to attack that weakness with the combination of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, but Swift is dealing with ankle and shoulder injuries that have limited him to only 32 carries all season long. The Lions also have huge defensive weakness of their own, including a secondary that is so bad that Detroit just fired its defensive backs coach. This should be an entertaining game that lands in the Packers column due to Detroit not being able to fully exploit the Packers rush defense woes.


KC’s pick: Green Bay


Confidence level: 3


Las Vegas at Jacksonville


Jacksonville is such a frustrating team to prognosticate, as the Jaguars have a lot of talent on their roster that is coached well yet it hasn’t been able to put enough together to notch a win since Week 3. The Raiders are in a similar boat talent-wise, as they have a fantastic collection of offensive talent, but their defense is one of the worst in the league and there are already question marks regarding whether or not Josh McDaniels is once again out of his depth as a head coach. Those factors alone might make the Jaguars a better pick, but when one adds in this being a 1 PM ET road kickoff for a Raiders team that is already 0-4 on the road and Jacksonville is the way to go.


KC’s pick: Jacksonville


Confidence level: 3


Indianapolis at New England


Bill Belichick has shown for decades that he knows how to accentuate strengths and limit weaknesses on his club. The Patriots are certainly doing that this year, as after some early season offensive struggles, New England has now scored 22+ points in five of the past six games. The Patriots also have one of the most opportunistic defenses in the league, having tallied 2+ takeaways in all but two games this year. Belichick also knows how to rattle young quarterbacks and New England gets one of those in Sam Ehlinger, a rookie who is making his first road start in the NFL. Combine that with Jonathan Taylor dealing with an ankle injury and the Patriots land this one.


KC’s pick: New England


Confidence level: 4


Seattle at Arizona


Pete Carroll came into this season wanting to get back to his preferred formula of power rushing on offense and generating a lot of takeaways on defense. Kenneth Walker III has given him the former and is a major factor in Seattle rushing for 136+ yards in four of the past five weeks. The Seahawks defense has been arguably the most consistent defense in the league in takeaways, as it has posted two of them in seven of its eight games. The Cardinals don’t have as clear of a formula for success, which is why Arizona seems to bounce back and forth between preferred modes of transport on offense. The Cardinals defense also doesn’t fare well against power rushing teams, which is why Arizona has allowed 136+ rushing yards in three of the past four games. All things being equal, it’s better to take the team with the clearer vision, especially when that team can run the ball, so Seattle is the pick.


KC’s pick: Seattle


Confidence level: 3


LA Rams at Tampa Bay


This looked like one of the best games of the year when the schedule came out, as it had two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in a rematch of a very exciting NFC Divisional battle. This isn’t going to live up to the expectations, as the Buccaneers have lost five out of the last six games and the Rams have lost three out of the last four. Neither team can run the ball, as these clubs have combined for only three games with 100+ rushing yards. The Bucs can pass well, but they can’t stop the run (821 rushing yards allowed in the past five weeks) and they haven’t generated a takeaway since Week 4. The Rams haven’t been able to pass nearly as well and now Cooper Kupp is dealing with an ankle injury. Los Angeles also can’t generate takeaways, as they have tallied one since Week 2. Add it up and this game has all the makings of a train wreck, so the best tiebreaker to use is home field.


KC’s pick: Tampa Bay


Confidence level: 1


Tennessee at Kansas City


Give the Titans credit for knowing what kind of team they want to be. Tennessee started the year slowly but has since concentrated on power rushing and stopping the run. They have done both quite well, as they racked up 314 ground yards last week and have given up 65 or fewer rushing yards for four straight games. That combination has protected a weak Titans secondary, but Kansas City won’t sit idly by and let the Titans turn this into a slugfest. Patrick Mahomes will target the coverage weaknesses in the Tennessee secondary and force the Titans out of their conservative game plan and that will lead to a Kansas City victory.


KC’s pick: Kansas City


Confidence level: 5


Baltimore at New Orleans


There may not be a better run blocking team in the NFL than Baltimore, as the Ravens have rushed for 150+ yards in seven straight games. Baltimore may have also found a new weapon in the form of Isaiah Likely, as he posted some superb numbers last week while taking over after Mark Andrews was injured. The Ravens have also activated two potential impact defensive players from injured reserve and added linebacker Roquan Smith via a trade. Andy Dalton has turned the Saints offense around in many ways by putting up big plays and limiting turnovers, but New Orleans still has a penchant for getting into shootout games that it cannot win, as they are 1-3 in shootouts this season. Baltimore will take the Saints down that path, and it will lead to another loss for New Orleans.


KC’s pick: Baltimore


Confidence level: 4


KC’s 6+ confidence level picks, a group of selections that have gone 173-69-2 since 2020 (including 16-9 since Week 4), are available exclusively to Pickwatch Pro subscribers.