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NFL Week 9 Picks and Predictions: Is Rams-Buccaneers battle a must win?

Rams must beat Bucs or begin soul searching instead of soul snatching

NFL: JAN 23 NFC Divisional Round - Rams at Buccaneers Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the NFL nears the halfway mark and the calendar flips to November, the contenders and pretenders will begin to separate themselves from each other. Week 9 is sure to go a long way in clarifying some lingering questions concerning certain teams.

The Los Angeles Rams hit the road this week to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a contest between two teams that were expected to be major players in the NFC. Tampa gets the courtesy 3-point cover via playing at home. As it turns out, this game between the two sub .500 squads is ripe with wild card implications.

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When you consider how L.A. has looked this season—especially against good teams—in conjunction with the trajectories of the San Francisco 49ers and surprising Seattle Seahawks, the Rams have to win every potential tie breaker game against other NFC opponents. Tom Brady and the Bucs still have a shot at winning the putrid NFC South, even with how bad they’ve been.

The aforementioned Seahawks head to the desert to do battle with the Arizona Cardinals. DraftKings Sportsbook expects a shootout, giving this matchup the highest over/under of the week at 49.5 points. Arizona is an unexpected 2-point favorite.

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This is the first of three consecutive division games for the Cards, as they attempt to climb out the basement of the NFC West. The stretch of division games comes at a bad time for Arizona, as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was released late last week, likely limiting the time that could be used for Kyler Murray’s film study.

Make sure to visit Tallysight for all your sports betting needs, from both college and professional football to the NBA! Check out my weekly picks below.