Week 7 was not a good week. 5-6-1. Ugh. We were all ready to get to .500 on Monday night, until Matt Stafford threw a TD with 30 seconds left to pull the Lions within 6 points. That gave us a push. We are still above .500 for the season, so that is good.
I’m back on the favorites again this week, I picked 10 favorites to cover in Week 8. Who knows, underdogs were 12-2 a few weeks ago, maybe the favorites will do the same this week. But 6 of the games have lines under a field goal, so favorite/underdog in those matchups is pretty much a toss-up. On the opposite side, Green Bay is a 15 1/2 point favorite at home this week over Jacksonville. It’s rare to see an NFL spread go over 14 points, but as I explain below there are a lot of reasons why the line is as high as it is (hint: I like Green Bay).
The Giants at Cowboys game is probably the best game to watch, but I’m really looking forward to Monday Night and see if the Cardinals can turn their season around and move into a first place tie in the NFC West. And Sunday night, Peyton Manning and the Broncos at home against the Saints? That’s gonna be fun to watch. Expect lots of points coming in that one.
Stay in the loop. I usually tweet out some picks on Sunday morning, so follow me on Twitter (@Fantasource) to get the latest.
Let’s try to get back in the groove with a winning week...
Last Week: 5-6-1
Season Record: 42-37-2
Sunday, Oct. 28
New England Patriots at St. Louis Rams (in London) (+7, O/U 47)
St. Louis has a pretty good defense. But are they good enough to stop Tom Brady? Yeah, I think so. Well, maybe not stop him but keep him in check. And I’m getting seven points? I’m all over it.
The Patriots have the best offense in the league, I’m not going to argue that. But the Pats have proven over the past few weeks that they can be scored on, and scored on a lot. New England has given up 20 points or more in their last 6 games. And they faced three tough defenses this year (Seattle, Arizona and Baltimore) and they lost all three games.
Factor in the travel and jet lag, the unfamiliar surroundings and the ‘not ready for NFL players’ turf, I think the Rams should be able to keep this one close and cover the spread.
Pick: Rams +7
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3 1/2, O/U 46 1/2)
This is a battle of two baaaaad defenses. The Tennessee defense gives up the most points per game in the league (34.2 ppg), while the Colts are allowing 141 yards rushing per game. And with Titans RB Chris Johnson coming off a 195 yard rushing day at Buffalo, that stat could be the deciding factor.
When two bad teams match up I tend to lean to the home team. Plus, the Colts have not performed at all on the road this season, losing 2 road games by an average of 22 points.
And after seeing the Titans put up 35 points against a bad Bills team in Week 7, while the Colts only managed 17 against a bad Browns defense, I’m going with Tennessee.
I’ll say the Colts continue to stay cold on the road and Chris Johnson lights up the Indy defense (140 yard rushing, 2 TD’s?) and leads the Titans to their 3rd win in a row.
Pick: Titans -3 1/2
Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers (-15 1/2, O/U 45 1/2)
You can’t make this line high enough!! <looks at newspaper, sees 15 1/2 point spread> Ok, you CAN make this line high enough.
Wow. 15 1/2 points, that’s the highest line so far this season. Let’s look at why this line is so high:
Packers: They are rolling, playing the best offensive football in the league over the past two weeks. Aaron Rodgers is back to MVP form. And the game is at Lambeau Field.
Jaguars: They had one good player, Maurice Jones-Drew, and now he is out. And they lost their old mediocre QB to injury (Blaine Gabbert) and replaced him with an even more mediocre QB (Chad Henne). The Jaguars have lost their three road games by 38, 17 and 20 points.
So, that is why the line is 15 1/2. And I like the Packers.
I can’t think of one reason why the Jaguars will give them a game. The Jags offense is non-existent, only 17 points per game, and now their biggest weapon (MJD) is out. And they are going on the road for a second straight week.
No need to break it down any further. I just think this game has 34-10 written all over it. I am going with Green Bay.
Pick: Packers -15 1/2
San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns (+2 1/2, O/U 44)
I don’t know, call me crazy but I’m not giving up on the Chargers. Yes, I know that they have lost 3 of 4 games, and I watched that Monday Night meltdown against the Broncos. But San Diego is coming off the bye week, and this game is against the Browns.
I’ll take the Chargers and lay the 2 1/2. San Diego is leading the league in rush defense (71 yards per game) and that is what will be the difference. The Chargers should be able to control Browns RB Trent Richardson (if he even plays) and make QB Brandon Weeden beat them. And he won’t.
I like the Chargers to bounce back with a win on the road.
Pick: Chargers -2 1/2
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (-2, O/U 46)
This one gets the ‘Fishy Line of the Week’ award. The Eagles are a mess, they have lost three of four games, their three wins are by a total of four points, and they just fired their defensive coordinator. And now I’m supposed to lay 2 points against the only undefeated team in the league?
Despite all of that, I still like the Eagles to knock off the Falcons this week. Atlanta is 6-0 but their last three wins have been by a total of 12 points. It’s just a matter of time until they drop a game. I think this is the week.
One stat that you may have seen this week is that Andy Reid is 13-0 after a regular season bye week (and 10-3 against the spread). I like that trend to continue. LeSean McCoy should have a big day and the Eagles will win at home and cover the 2-point spread.
Pick: Eagles -2
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions (-2, O/U 43 1/2)
What do we make of Seattle? We know they have a very good defense, but can they win on the road? Well, Seattle is 1-3 on the road this year but they are holding opponents to an average of 12 points per game in those road games.
The Lions are playing on short rest after a Monday Night loss at Chicago, while the Seahawks will have been resting for 11 days since their Week 7 Thursday night loss at the 49ers.
This game is a tossup for me. If the Lions offense can move the ball against the Seattle defense then they can win this game. But I don’t think that they can. The Seahawks should be able to keep this a low scoring game and in a game that will probably be decided by field goals I will take the points.
Pick: Seahawks +2
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-2 1/2, O/U 41)
The Jets are primed for a letdown after last week’s excruciating loss to the Patriots. They were 10 point dogs, they had the game won late in the 4th quarter and then they gave up a game tying field goal at the last second, and ultimately lost in overtime. You just don’t bounce right back from that type of game.
The Dolphins had a bye week last week to get healthy. Reggie Bush seems 100%, and he should be able to put up numbers against a Jets defense that gives up 147 rushing yards per game. Don’t forget that the Dolphins have some revenge on their minds, they lost to the Jets in overtime at home in week 3.
Oh, and the Jets are on the bye next week. And so far this season teams are 1-13 ATS in the game prior to their bye week.
The Dolphins defense plus Reggie Bush’s legs should be enough to lead Miami to a road win at the Jets. I’ll take the points, but I might not even need them.
Pick: Dolphins +2 1/2
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears (-8, O/U 43)
This one is easy, Da Bears. I’m laying the points. This Bears defense is the best in the league, holding opponents to 13 points per game this season. The Panthers offense is only averaging 17 points per game and that’s not going to be enough to cover this one.
I don’t see how the Panthers can stop Matt Forte, Carolina is giving up 120 yards rushing per game so expect the Bears to keep feeding Forte. The Panthers have played some close games, losing by an average of 4 points their last 3 games. But I don’t see them having any luck moving the ball on a Bears defense that looks completely locked in right now. I’m laying the points with the Bears.
Pick: Bears -8
Washington Redskins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4 1/2, O/U 47 1/2)
Everyone, including me, is riding the RGIII bandwagon. Griffin has the 3rd highest QB Rating this season, he is completing 70% of his passes and it seems like he is a threat to score on every play. And last week at the Giants he came close to pulling the upset. Pretty impressive. And the public has noticed, bettors are all over the Redskins this week. Washington is getting 77% of the action in this game.
But I like the Steelers. I think Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will have something waiting for the rookie QB and the Steelers should be able to get out of this with a win and a cover.
I expect Roethlisberger to have a big day against a Redskins defense that is last in the league in pass yards allowed (328 ypg). The Pitt defense, while they are getting older and not as good as they used to be, should be able to control the Redskins offense and get a win at home.
Pick: Steelers -4 1/2
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-2, O/U 41 1/2)
Worst team in the league? Well, you have 1-6 Cleveland. Or maybe 1-5 (and banged up) Jacksonville. But my money is on 1-5 Kansas City. They are just a mess all around, starting at QB. Brady Quinn or Matt Cassel? Can I pick neither? I kinda feel bad because I like the Chiefs fans, and they seem to be losing the faith under some bad leadership, specifically GM Scott Pioli. Hopefully things turn around down in KC, but until then... I’m taking the Raiders.
I think Carson Palmer will be able to move the ball this week and get the Raiders a win. The Chiefs are coming off of a bye week so they will be rested, but they’ll still have Brady Quinn at QB and that’s nothing to be excited about.
Pick: Raiders +2
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (+2, O/U 47 1/2)
Cowboys vs. Giants. It’s a classic NFC East battle. The Giants have a bit of revenge in this one since the Cowboys went up to MetLife stadium and opened the season with a win over New York.
Normally I would say picking the Cowboys at home is the right side. But this week is a little different. Dallas lost LB Sean Lee this week to a toe injury. He is out for the season. Sean Lee is the heart and soul of the Dallas defense. This will have a big impact on them, especially this week as they try to find someone else to run that defense. An ESPN/Dallas blogger had this to say about Lee, “Sean Lee has been playing at a transcendent, superstar-type level -- one of the absolute best defensive playmakers at any position on any team in the league this year.”
Eli with revenge and Dallas without their defensive leader, I am leaning to the Giants in this one. I’ll lay the points and say the Giants get a win and move to 6-2.
Pick: Giants -2
New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos (-6, O/U 55 1/2)
So, how many touchdowns will Peyton Manning throw on Sunday night? How does seven sound? Yeah, it probably won’t be that many but you get my point. You just know that Manning is licking his chops, waiting to play against the worst pass defense in the league.
Last week New Orleans rallied from down 14-0, and then almost blew the lead on the last play before finally escaping with a 35-28 win at Tampa Bay. Now they go on the road again to Mile High. The Broncos are coming off of a bye week so they will be ready to play.
This game pretty much comes down to how many points the Broncos will score. I’ll say that they put 34, and win it 34-24.
Pick: Broncos -6
Monday, Oct. 29
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+6 1/2, O/U 37 1/2)
Hey, remember when the Cardinals were 4-0? Yeah, that sure seems like a long time ago. Three straight losses and now they are sitting at 4-3, but still one game behind the division leading 49ers.
Both defenses in this game are pretty good, so let’s look at the offenses.
Cardinals are only averaging 293 yards per game on offense, and now they match up against a very tough 49ers defense? I don’t see how they will score.
If the line stays under seven points I like the 49ers. I know the Cardinals will have a tough time scoring any points. Yeah, home dogs on Monday Night are 2-0 ATS this season, but I’m still taking the 49ers. I think they can put up 20 and hold the Cardinals to 13 or less. I’ll lay the points.
Pick: 49ers -6 1/2
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