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Week 9 NFL picks: Johnny Football, Blaine Gabbert, what a week to be alive

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We're back with Week 9 NFL picks for our Yahoo! pick 'em contest. I've also included my pick against the spread for Thursday Night Football between the Bengals and Browns.

Welcome back for another round of picks! Week 9 of Thursday Night Football kicks off later tonight, with the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals are unbeaten, coming off a big road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. I still don't know how they will perform in the playoffs, but they are taking care of business right now. On the other hand, the Browns are starting Johnny Manziel over an injured Josh McCown. Johnny Football on a short week will certainly be something to behold.

I'll be posting my full picks against the spread on Saturday, but for today, I have posted my straight up picks down below, as well as my ATS pick for TNF. You can view the NN pick 'em contest results over here. I put together a 9-5 Week 8, which brings me to 77-42 for the season.

The San Francisco 49ers opened as a field goal underdog to the Atlanta Falcons this week, but it is not at all surprising the line has climbed to 7.5-points. Even with the Falcons coming off a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they are facing a 49ers team that benched Colin Kaepernick, traded Vernon Davis, and lost two running backs to injury. They have serious issues. Of course, the Falcons have struggled against bad teams, losing to the Bucs and barely beating the Tennessee Titans. I'd love to bet against the 49ers right now, but I am leaning toward staying away from this game.

On Thursday, the Bengals host the Browns as a double digit favorite. The line opened at -10, and has climbed as high as 12.5 points. Manziel is starting on a short week, which would certainly be enticing to bet against. However, this is a divisional matchup in a short week, and the Bengals defense while decent, is far from great. I am taking the Bengals to cover because of Johnny Football.

Here are my Week 9 picks for our pick 'em contest.

Browns @ Bengals: Bengals
Packers @ Panthers: Panthers
Washington @ Patriots: Patriots
Titans @ Saints: Saints
Dolphins @ Bills: Bills
Rams @ Vikings: Vikings
Jaguars @ Jets: Jets
Raiders @ Steelers: Steelers
Giants @ Buccaneers: Bucs
Falcons @ 49ers: Falcons
Broncos @ Colts: Broncos
Eagles @ Cowboys: Cowboys
Bears @ Chargers: Chargers