The calendar will finally read November when Sunday hits on Week 9 and that can mean we're not too far away from turkey and fixings being accompanied by some NFL playoff-making (or breaking) games. Until those lovely few days near the end of the month, however, we'll have to instead dive right into this appetizer full of fascinating matchups across the league.
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Nov. 2.
Here are this week's best NFL picks against the spread:
Tennessee Titans (4-4) at Carolina Panthers (4-3), 1 p.m. ET
The Panthers got crushed by the 49ers last week but return home hoping to get back on track against a Titans team that has been able to turn things around recently. Carolina will still be sticking with Kyle Allen at QB despite Cam Newton's quasi-return to the sidelines, which probably is why the line has come back a little. There's still opportunity though as Riverboat Ron's squad has looked like a better team more consistently this season. The Pick: Panthers -3.5
Indianapolis Colts (5-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4), 1 p.m. ET
The Colts struggled at home to beat Denver and now have to head to Heinz Field to take on a suddenly dangerous Steelers squad. That's a good reason why they’re such a slim favorite despite being so much better overall this season. This is a tough game no doubt but Frank Reich will get his team back on track and deliver a big win away from home. The Pick: Colts -1
Cleveland Browns (2-5) at Denver Broncos (2-6), 4:25 p.m. ET
The Browns were a trendy playoff pick thanks to the talent on their roster and while those dreams are put on hold somewhat right now, the talent advantage is still very much in their favor for this matchup. Cleveland's backs are against the wall and they'll be motivated to make a statement given all the negative press, which could mean a buzzkill hitting a Broncos team starting Brandon Allen at QB this week. The Pick: Browns -3
Green Bay Packers (7-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-5), 4:25 p.m. ET
The Chargers won last week in Chicago yet still fired their offensive coordinator, which is a good indication of what a mess this talented but flawed team is. Philip Rivers is as dangerous as they come but he can be turnover-prone, which plays right into the hands of a Green Bay defense looking to return to their early-season form. This will amount to Lambeau in Los Angeles with all the Packers fans in attendance which should only help Aaron Rodgers and company deliver a convincing victory for win No. 8. The Pick: Packers -3.5
Last Week: 2-2
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.