2023 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 9

NFL picks and score predictions for Week 9 of the 2023 season.
NFL picks
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9 of 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) @ Houston Texans (3-4)

Sunday, November 5, 1:00 PM ET

An interesting matchup in Houston coming up this week as the Texans are home to face the 6th-ranked Buccaneers scoring defense. Never an easy challenge for a rookie QB to go up against a top-10 defense, but CJ Stroud has looked up to the task so far this season.

Interestingly enough, these two teams are tied for 6th in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing exactly 18.3 points per game so far this season. That isn't overly surprising coming from a Todd Bowles defense, especially with some of the guys the Bucs have on that side of the ball. But the turnaround for the Texans defensively with DeMeco Ryans in the head coach's chair?

That's a big-time turnaround. Houston ranked 27th in scoring defense last year.

I think the Texans are rightly favored at three points playing at home in this game. We've seen some good stuff from Baker Mayfield this year, but it was always more believable that the Texans were perhaps a little ahead of schedule when it came to their turnaround and development than the Buccaneers sustaining any sort of overachieving with Mayfield at QB.

I think in this one, we're going to see the Texans keep showing progress offensively, but maybe the defense does a little flexing in this one. Maybe the offense gets a number of additional opportunities by forcing the Bucs offense to make mistakes.

Prediction: Texans win 24-16