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NFL Week 8 Predictions, Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on October 29th, 2009 | 13 Comments

Last week was epic. We made the sports books beg for mercy as Brandon’s Game of the Year #1 hit big and we followed Saturday with a 6-1 record for our top 7 NFL spreads. THE PASS RUSH already got the week off to another great start on Tuesday with the ECU pick and we’re looking to keep rolling into the weekend. Now we get to my impressions on every NFL Week 8 spread.

3-0 for the 3 1:00 games in the top 5!

DENVER BRONCOS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS -3

I’m going to pass on this game. I love what I’m seeing from the Broncos and it’s tempting me to say take the points, but I’m not comfortable with this game for two reasons. First, the Ravens are at home off a bye week. Second, the Broncos are playing an east coast game at 1:00. Due to those two factors alone, I would lean towards giving up the points to take the Ravens, but it’s not a very strong play in my opinion. The Ravens are also surprisingly scoring 28 PPG, but the Broncos allow just 11 PPG. It may be time for the Broncos to suffer their first loss. Kyle Orton can’t go 16-0, can he? The over/under is set a bit high in my opinion at 41.5. The Ravens can score and their defense isn’t as good as it used to be, but due to the Broncos stingy defense, the under may be the play in this one.

Prediction: Ravens 20 – Broncos 17

Free Pick: Pass on the Spread, Consider Under 41.5 (W)

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ CHICAGO BEARS -13

I was not expecting the Bears to get blown out by the Bengals last game.  The loss of Urlacher and Tommy Harris was too much to overcome and it was Cedric Benson who showed his old team that it was a mistake to cut him.  I love betting against the Browns and this may be another good opportunity to do so.  I’m anticipating a Bears rebound at home, but after two losses, my confidence in them at -13 is a bit shaky.  However, the last time the Bears were at home, they rolled over the Lions 48-24.  I’m expecting to see those Bears against the Browns this week.  Time for Devin Hester and Johnny Knox to do big things against a bad defense and special teams.

Prediction: Bears 34 – Browns 13

Free Pick: Bears -13 (Confidence: 3.5/5) (W)

HOUSTON TEXANS -3.5 @ BUFFALO BILLS

I don’t like betting on the Texans very much since they’re an unpredictable team and very hard to figure out.  They’re excellent at home, but sometimes struggle on the road.  However, they had no problems on the road against the Bengals though, so I’m confident they will be able to top the Bills this week.  The Bills surprised me with a big road win against Carolina last week, but the Panthers are nothing to write home about.  Due to their star CB Leodis McKelvin being on the IR, I expect Andre Johnson to go nuts again this week for fantasy owners.  Just to note, Johnson is probable with a chest injury.  The Bills also rank 32nd against the run, so look for Steve Slaton to also have a big day.  Whenever the Texans play teams with question marks at CB, they tend to do very well.  The Texans Achilles heel has been their run defense though, so their defense will have to step up to contain Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson.

Prediction: Texans 24 – Bills 17

Free Pick: Texans -3.5 (Confidence: 3.5/5) (W)

SAN FRANSISCO 49ERS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -13

How about the move by the 49ers to put in Alex Smith?  They almost came back from a 24-0 hole!  I’ve been riding the Colts all season long.  The Colts have the 2nd ranked offense AND defense.  After rolling over the Titans and the Rams on the road, the Colts return back home and have another easy opponent, albeit a stronger opponent than their last two games.  The 49ers are still ranked 21st against the pass, so I’m comfortable giving up the 13 points to take Peyton Manning.  I think the Colts are fired up to be playing at home again and they put up a solid performance.  The spread is a bit high though, so I’m not giving this spread a big rating.  I would love this pick at Colts -9, but -13 is just too much to make it a strong play.  The Colts will need to score a lot of points to cover and the 49ers are allowing just 20 PPG, so a few breaks on 3rd down for the 49ers and the 49ers end up in the money.  No doubt the Colts win, I just think this one will be very, very close with the spread, so I may have to pass on the Colts this week.  It’s apparent that a lot of people are tempted to take the points since the 49ers +13 is at a -125 compared to Colts -13 at +105.

Prediction: Colts 31 – 49ers 17

Free Pick: Colts -13 (Confidence: 2/5) (L)

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ NEW YORK JETS -3.5

The Dolphins played the Jets just 3 weeks ago and won by a score of 31-28.  The Jets just couldn’t stop the Dolphin’s wildcat.  The Dolphins also almost beat the Saints, but the Saints offense was just too much for the Dolphins to handle.  The Jets finally rebounded off of 3-straight losses and are looking for some redemption against the Dolphins at home.  Last time they played, I was anticipating a low-scoring defensive tussle.  I think that’s how this game plays out this time around when it’s played up north in the colder weather on a non-Monday night game.  Expect these teams to break down the game tape from their last contest and look for both teams to fix whatever mistakes were made.  I’m tempted on taking the under 40.5 this time around.  I would say take the 3.5 points since I think this game comes down to a field goal, but again, it’s anything but a strong play on the road.

Prediction: Jets 20 – Dolphins 17

Free Pick: Dolphins +3.5 (Confidence: 2/5) (W), Under 40.5 (Confidence: 2.5/5) (L)

Miami scored 21 points via 2 kickoff returns and an interception return.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ DALLAS COWBOYS -9.5

The Cowboys had no problems with a tough Falcons team last week.  Tony Romo finally had a solid game and Miles Austin is really coming along as a receiver.  Two straight weeks at home should only help the Cowboys in this game.  The Seahawks are coming off a bye week, but they were destroyed by the Arizona Cardinals at home in their last game.  I think the Cowboys are an easy call here.  LB Tatupu and OT Walter Jones are both out and DE Patrick Kerney is questionable, which are all huge blows to the Seahawks.

Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Seahawks 17

Free Pick: Cowboys -9.5 (Confidence: 3.5/5) (W)

NEW YORK GIANTS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

A pick ’em game here.  This is obviously not a great game to bet on.  I’m an Eagles fan and think they’re certainly capable of beating the Giants.  They beat them twice last year and on the road to boot, but the Giants are a phenomenal team.  I’m glad to see the Eagles get back on the right track last week and the return of Todd Herremans really helped their offensive line.  They’ll need another solid performance from that line in order to top the Giants and their unbelievable pass rush.  The Giants secondary is also banged up, which is what might have been the cause of last week’s loss, so DeSean Jackson may hurt them.  I’m obviously leaning towards the Eagles, but I’m an Eagles fan, so I’m trying my best to be impartial.  I would pass on this one.

OAKLAND RAIDERS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS -16.5

The Raiders returned to being the Raiders last week and were blanked by the Jets, 38-0.  I don’t see how the Raiders will score more than 6 points in this one.  Provided that the Chargers can score 24 points, which shouldn’t be an issue at all considering the high level that Philip Rivers is playing at, this should be an easy cover.  I hate high spreads, but against a team like the Raiders, this is one high spread worth taking.  You should definitely be able to add Chargers -9.5 into any teaser you have.  One thing to consider though is the Chargers defense isn’t as good as the Jets, so expect the Raiders to get a few more first downs in this game, so the Chargers will have less time with the ball than the Jets had last game, so it could be less than the 38-0 blow out to the Jets or the 44-7 blowout to the Giants.

Prediction: Chargers 31 – Raiders 3

Free Pick: Chargers -16.5 (Confidence: 4/5) (L)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ TENNESSEE TITANS -3

I’m stunned by how awful the Titans have been this year.  The Jaguars aren’t much better, so I’m going to pass on this game completely.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS -3

The Vikings almost had the Steelers last week.  I could have added another W to the record last week if it wasn’t for that pass off of Chester Taylors’ hands that ended up in the Steelers hands and returned for a TD.  I didn’t bet the game since I knew it would be close, but I went out on a limb and called Vikings +5 and that was the call to make last week, but was met with some misfortune.  I think the Viking are clearly the stronger team, which is apparent in the beat down that the Vikings gave the Packers just a few weeks ago.  It has to be tough for the Vikings to repeat that kind of performance on the road in Green Bay, but with a tough defensive unit that the Vikings have, you could at least expect a tight game and those 3 points could be the difference here.

Prediction: Vikings 24 – Packers 20

Free Pick: Vikings +3 (Confidence: 3/5) (W)

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS -10

The Cardinals are finally back.  After beating up on the Seahawks on the road, the Cardinals surprised everyone by upsetting the Giants on the road as 7-point dogs.  The Panthers couldn’t even beat the Bills at home.  The Panthers are in a funk and the Cardinals are red hot.  The Cardinals have now put up 24 points in 3-straight games and more impressive is the fact that they could score 24 points on the road against a tough Giants defense.  The Cardinals are also ranked 1st against the run, which is the only strength of the Panthers.  The Panthers surprisingly have the 1st-ranked pass defense though, allowing just 150 yards-per-game, but that could be just because teams find it easy to run on them.  I would love this game at -6.5, but the Panthers may manage a push at +10 and could possibly cover.  I would rather stick with the team that’s hot though, and that is the Cardinals.

Prediction: Cardinals 27 – Panthers 16

Free Pick: Cardinals -10 (Confidence: 2.5/5) (L)

ATLANTA FALCONS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS -10

We get to our final game and there’s still not 1 spread that I really love this week.  The Falcons struggled on the road last week and now have to face the NFL’s best offense.  The Saints have no problem scoring, but Matt Ryan is certainly capable of playing catchup.  I’m anticipating a Saints win by 14-17 points, so I think it’s safe to give up the points here.  The Saints defense has been playing awesome at home.  The Saints blew out the Giants at home, so why shouldn’t they be able to beat up on the Falcons?

Prediction: Saints 34 – Falcons 20

Free Pick: Saints -10 (Confidence: 3/5) (L)

TOP 5 NFL WEEK 8 SPREADS RANKED BY STRENGTH:

Consider last week a gift from the sports books.  They gave us way too many easy spreads last week and aren’t about to do it again.  There will be plenty of teams that will cover with the points this week, so it’s a difficult task trying to sort out who will cover this week.

I just wanted to put up a little disclaimer that this week is no picnic.  I can tell you right now, I strongly doubt I’ll be able to get 6 or 7 out of the 8 games I listed here, but I can’t recommend taking the points for any games other than the Vikings.  This may be a 5-3 week with the 8 picks here, but I think we can take down 6 of them.  Only one game received a 4/5 and that’s with a ridiculous 16.5 points being laid down, which is never comfortable to do.

1.) CHARGERS -16.5 over Raiders (L)

2.) BEARS -13 over Browns (W)

3.) Texans -3.5 over BILLS (W)

4.) COWBOYS -9.5 over Seahawks (W)

5.) Either Vikings +3 over GREEN BAY (W)

Other Picks to Consider: SAINTS -10 over Falcons (L), CARDINALS -10 over Panthers (L)

Good luck! Again, this is a very tough week. Side note, Brandon and I are getting thirsty.



13 Responses to NFL Week 8 Predictions, Picks Against the Spread:

  1. TGISunday

    Date: Oct 31, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Interesting picks…your top five are comparable with what I have for my top picks. I give the bears pick as the number one rating instead of the chargers…I don’t even include the chargers as the top five this week…chargers seem to not care enough sometimes…the talent is there but they seem to lack the will to win certain weeks…the will to win in football is vital…teams that lack it, find themselves in tribulation when faced with a fired up team wanting to prove something on any given sunday…the stats, match ups and trends I have studied for this game are giving me the sense that oakland may be fired up and wanting to prove something agaisnt chargers for this game…I rated this game as 7 out of the 13 for my top picks
    my top five are…bears, boys, cards, fins & saints

    My record (overall vs the spread) this year 57-46
    Top five (where the $ is invested) 29-6…one of my best years in 23 years

    Let’s keep in touch…if you want…I have approx 150 sources I correspond with, so I may not reply certain weeks…it all depends on the quality of into that I get from the sources

    Good luck this week…Peace

    “T”hank “G”od “I”t’s “Sunday”

  2. Vegas Martin

    Date: Oct 31, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I’m glad we’re on the same page for the most part.

    The reason I like SD so much is because I don’t expect the Raiders to score and if they do, it will only be a pair of field goals at most. You make a good point about the Raiders playing inspired, but the last time that happened, it was only the defense that played inspired — they’re still without an offense. The TD scored on the Eagles was a fluke. It was an 87-yard TD by Zach Miller due to blown coverage who beat an aging Jeremiah Trotter, who because of that game has lost the starting role. Take that TD away and the Raiders are still averaging just 6 PPG. Maybe they’re a better team with Gostkowski at QB, but he’s far from a dependable QB. The Chargers still have one of the best corners on the league, so Antonio Cromartie is due for an INT or two against an inexperienced QB.

    You make a good point with the Chargers, but this is a great spot for them to boost the morale with a big win at home over a weak team. I love the way Philip Rivers is playing and with the way he is clicking with Darren Sproles and Vincent Jackson in the passing game, the Chargers have the offense to score at ease against the Raiders.

    I think this is still an easy cover at 16.5 points, but you make a great argument.

    Good luck this Sunday.

  3. ckuy1

    Date: Nov 01, 2009 at 2:51 am

    hey man great picks im going to bet no- 4/min+9/mia+9/dals-3.5/ari-4/ind-7 in a 6 point teaser risking $400 to win $2200 tell me what you think about that my top pick would be now over atl -10

  4. Miz

    Date: Nov 01, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    What’s a good 3 team 9 point teaser?

  5. Vegas Martin

    Date: Nov 01, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I really like this 9-point, 3-team teaser: Saints -1, Cowboys -0.5, Cardinals -1. You have 3 strong home teams in pick ’em games.

    You could could also go Panthers +19, Falcons +19, 49ers +22 if you want to bank on those teams hanging in there against the Cardinals, Saints, and Colts. However, I don’t really like that since 1 out of 3 of those teams may get blown out since they are facing ridiculous offenses.

    With 9-point teasers, usually both teams will cover when you tease it, but sometimes there can be a surprise.

  6. Mike

    Date: Nov 01, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    WOW how did Jackson get that wideopen in the secondary. I think he had a 30foot buffer around him.

  7. Some Guy

    Date: Nov 01, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    jeez giants got rolllllllllled

  8. Mike

    Date: Nov 01, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I ended up taking the moneyline for Carolina. I couldn’t believe they were 4 to 1 dogs. I love the Stewart and Williams combo. I know its a gamble but I figure Arizona is either hit or miss and they have been good for 2 straight games so a loss is due.

  9. TGISunday

    Date: Nov 01, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Chargers only by 8…some may think that the Raiders had a little more then everyone calculated, however I calculated that SD just can not win by 16.5 because of their lack of will to win…I know they won the game…but, they don’t have what a great team like NE (for example) has to take care of business and win by 14+ points. SD scored 21 points in the 1st half today and did not score again until the 4th QTR…and only scored 3 point…the talent is there…Rivers, Sproles, Jackson, etc…very talented players…but no killer instinct to finish a team off…I have not seen it once this year…I pray every week that the line for SD is +14…as soon as I see that I start studying the stats, match ups. trends. etc on the game no matter who they are playing and I start considering it as one of my top picks…this week was a little different because of the Raiders lack of ability to score (as you pointed out)…but you have to love the dog when SD are favs with big spreads…they just can’t do it.

    I found week 8 difficult…5-7 overall…top 5 picks 3-1…saints should not have a problem with 10 points vs falcons Mon Night…this will will maintain my 80% winning for my top 5 picks.

    Enjoy MNF…go saints!!…I will be investing big on this one.
    Take care
    TGISunday

  10. Vegas Martin

    Date: Nov 01, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    TGIS. Thanks for the heads up on the game, I actually put some more money on the Cowboys after reading your comment to help make up some ground. I was debating whether to bring the SD game down a few spots, but stuck to the way I saw the game playing out and that was SD holding the Raiders to their typical 6 points, which would mean SD would get the cover if they scored 24 points, which they did. I had plenty of wins to make up for the SD loss this since the Cowboys, Bears, and Texans all covered for me. I’ll take a 3-1 week any time.

    Good luck tomorrow.

  11. Mike

    Date: Nov 02, 2009 at 5:04 am

    The line for New Orleans is now 12 on sportsbook. Would this influence your decision any for the game tonight?

  12. Vegas Martin

    Date: Nov 02, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I’m not crazy about this spread. The reason it’s so high is because the Falcons were flat against the Cowboys last week. The Falcons are still a 4-2 football team with a 13th ranked offense and 8th ranked defense in terms of points. I expect New Orleans to win big, but the Falcons are always capable of playing catchup. I liked this spread a lot more at Saints -10, since a 10-point win is likely to occur and will give you the push, but it’s getting to be steep at -12. Last year when these teams faced each other, the Saints won 29-25 at home and lost to the Falcons on the road 34-20.

    The over 55.5 is too many points, but the Saints are averaging almost 40 PPG, so think about that one. Both of the games last season scored 54, so it was a very strategic move by the books since everyone thinks this game will be something like a 41-31 shoot out.

    You could also tease the game, you could go Falcons +18.5 or Saints -5.5 and take the over 49.

    I’m not playing tonight’s game, I’m just going to look at what’s on the menu next week.

    Good luck!

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