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Casino City's Week 9 NFL Circa Million V 2023 Pro Football Contest Picks

3 November 2023

The Casino City team didn’t record a 5-0 week, but a winning record of 3-2 is a step in the right direction after a few tough weeks in a row. The trade deadline came and went this week, so now the top teams can make their playoff push, while squads toward the bottom of the league can relish in their draft capital and status. Hopefully, we can continue our winning-record momentum with our picks this weekend.

Cleveland -7.5 over Arizona
What’s the best way for the Browns to put last week’s 24-20 road loss at Seattle in the rearview mirror, while still keeping pace with the teams above them in the AFC North? The answer is to face a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. Despite its own signal caller situation, Cleveland enters this weekend’s home game with a 4-3 overall record, but more impressively it still boasts the league’s top defense, as it only allows an average of 260 total yards per game. As of now, it looks like PJ Walker will make his third start under center for injured starter Deshaun Watson, but during those games he’s given the Browns more than a fighting chance to go along with their defense. Where Cleveland has really shined over the past three weeks is on the ground where the offense has rushed for a league-leading 155 yards per game behind Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt.

Talk about trial by fire. That’s exactly what’s going to happen to newbie signal caller Clayton Tune this weekend as the Cardinals take the field following the trade deadline after dealing Josh Dobbs, who had started every game this season. Despite appearing healthy again, it appears starter Kyler Murray will be sitting out another week. Whether Arizona, which enters the game with a 1-7 record following last week’s 31-24 home loss to Baltimore, just wants to see what it has in the rookie or whether it wants to keep hold of its current top spot in the 2024 NFL Draft order is up for debate. However, what’s not up for debate is the Cardinals offense ranks 21st entering this week, while their defense allows the 130.6 rushing yards per game, which is the eighth most in the league.
Arizona enters the game 1-4 ATS in its last five games, and going up against the best defense in the NFL isn’t going to change its luck.

LA Rams +3 over Green Bay
The Los Angeles Rams are currently only one game out of a playoff spot with a 3-5 overall record, so this is a must-win game for them against the 2-5 Packers if they want to make a push for the postseason.

The big question mark around this game is the health status of QB Matthew Stafford who did not practice on Thursday due to a thumb injury. If Stafford is unable to play, Brett Rypien is next in line to take the snaps.

Luckily for the nephew of Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien, he has two of the best wide receivers this season at getting open in Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua.

The reasoning behind our pick though has more to do with the struggling Packer offense. Over the last three games, Green Bay only scored a total of 30 points, including last week despite getting Aaron Jones back.

Quarterback Jordan Love has really struggled over the last few weeks and if Aaron Donald is going to be beating the pass protection, it will be a rough day for the signal caller in the backfield.

Houston -2.5 over Tampa Bay
Similar to Green Bay, the Buccaneers are experiencing issues with their offense. During the last three games, Tampa Bay only found the endzone a total of three times. Houston, sitting a 3-4 on the season, needs to get back to .500 to keep itself in the AFC Wild Card race.

Last week, the Texans suffered a really tough 15-13 loss to Carolina. It was the first victory of the season for the Panthers. Now back at home, rookie QB C.J. Stroud is ready for a bounce back game.

The signal caller out of Ohio State has been impressive thus far with 1,800 passing yards and nine touchdowns through the air, limiting himself to just one interception on the season.

Sure, Tampa Bay showed some fight last week against Buffalo in a 24-18 loss, but one of those scores came late in the fourth when the Bills were just trying to keep the clock moving.

Washington +3 over New England
It’s often said that players don’t tank seasons, front offices do. Earlier this week, the Commanders new ownership sure didn’t give its team much optimism for the rest of this season as it traded away two main pieces of the defense, Montez Sweat and Chase Young, at the trade deadline. However, if that first line is true, then the players left on this Washington team are sure going to be looking to improve on its 3-5 overall record and who better to do it against than the Patriots, who rank 26th in the NFL on defense. Furthermore, New England, enters the game ranked almost last in sacks, which is great news for Commanders’ signal caller Sam Howell, who leads the league with 41. Howell is coming off his best game of the season as he threw for 397 yards and four scores last weekend in a 38-31 home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. On the season, the second-year signal caller has thrown for 2,146 yards and 13 scores. Washington’s offense is complemented by running back Brian Robinson Jr., who’s rushed for four touchdowns, as well as wide receivers Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, who’ve combined for four scores.

If it wasn’t for the Las Vegas Raiders, also known as New England West prior to this week’s firings, then the Patriots would be in the lead for the team with no direction. Somehow, New England enters this weekend’s home game with a 2-6 overall record. However, it’s almost unfortunate that the Patriots defeated the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills as it leaves New England with the current fifth pick in the NFL Draft. If last weekend’s 31-17 road loss to Miami told us anything, it’s that the Patriots just don’t have the horses to keep up with the talented teams from the front office, to the head coach, to the quarterback, and down the rest of the roster with the skill positions on both sides of the ball.

New England is the only team in the NFL without a non-divisional win this season, furthermore this streak goes back to Week 15 last season. It’s not going to change this week against the Commanders.

Indianapolis -2.5 over Carolina
No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young celebrated his first career NFL victory last week over Houston, 15-13. Arguably one of his best games so far this season, Young threw for 235 yards and a touchdown, but the offense still only managed to score 15 points.

The Indianapolis Colts, on the other hand, have put up some bigger numbers offensively over the last two weeks, despite both resulting in losses.

The running back duo of Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss have been giving defenses problems, while backup quarterback Gardner Minshew has been decent enough to keep the Colts in games.

Neither of the two teams have elite receivers for these QBs to get the ball to, but the Colts have shown they can score more often than Carolina. Indy wants a high scoring game since it favors the Colts, plus it is unlikely that Carolina’s offense can keep up with an opponent scoring in the high 20s or low 30s.

Week 8 Results: 3-2
Season Record: 14-24-2
Casino City's Week 9 NFL Circa Million V 2023 Pro Football Contest Picks is republished from
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.