Beating the Spread: Week 8 Picks

Our Week 8 Beat the Spread column is ready to go for your consideration as you put in your weekly bets!

After another good week from most of us, we’ve all gotten back to or stayed above .500 through Week 7.  We were this close to another dual 5-0 week from Justin and Erik, but the Saints couldn’t cover the number.  Still, positive momentum heading into Week 8!

Justin is going to be taking a few weeks off as he deals with some stuff, but he’ll be back sooner than later.  Send him some positive vibes at @TalkMVP on Twitter!  Brennan had this to say about his performance last week. “So I had a pretty bad week last week, so one might assume I would lay off the double-digit favorites, but they don’t call me “Mr. Favorite” for nothing!”  Erik and I are butting heads in the Dallas/Minnesota game as well as the Tennessee/Indianapolis game but it’s a clean sweep for Tampa Bay as we all expect them to win and cover.

Gamblers know that 60% is the magic number to come out ahead, so that’s the goal again this season.  We didn’t make it last year, which just motivates us, even more, this season.  Every week the four of us will pick five games against the spread or on the over/under.  We’ll track the picks every week and see where we end up.  Feel free to play along in the comments or find us on Twitter!

Let’s get to the lines and picks for Week 8!

 

The following lines were captured on Tuesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.

Week 8 Betting Lines
Away Home Line O/U
Rams Texans Rams -14.5 47.5
49ers Bears 49ers -3.5 39.5
Dolphins Bills Bills -13.5 49.5
Bengals Jets Bengals -10 43.5
Titans Colts Titans -1.5 49.5
Steelers Browns Browns -3.5 42.5
Eagles Lions Eagles -3 48
Panthers Falcons Falcons -3 46
Patriots Chargers Chargers -5.5 49
Jaguars Seahawks Seahawks -3 43.5
Football Team Broncos Broncos -3 43
Buccaneers Saints Buccaneers -5 50
Cowboys Vikings Cowboys -3 55
Giants Chiefs Chiefs -10 52
Staff Picks

 

Analysis

 

Justin Dunbar: Get better soon, my friend!

 

Brennan Rampe: The Rams are among the upper tier of the NFC so far with a 6-1 record. The win over the Lions was closer than it should’ve been, but they overcame a shaky start to win. On the other hand, the Texans are one of the worst teams in the league right now with a 1-6 record. The offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in two games, and the defense has been abysmal. They just traded  Mark Ingram, and they might not be finished trading players.  Brandin Cooks could be on the move yet again, and there’s the possibility Deshaun Watson gets traded for a ton of draft picks. The Rams are trying to win a Super Bowl, while the Texans are already thinking about 2022. The Rams have had lots of double-digit spreads this year, but this is one that should be covered easily. Inside the Numbers: The Rams are 23-15 against the spread as the away team under Sean McVay. LAR -14.5

The Bengals just had a statement win against their divisional rival Ravens, blowing them out in Baltimore 41-17. They’re now in first place in the AFC North with a 5-2 record. It was the largest margin of victory against the Ravens in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Jets are having their typical season with a 1-5 record and just lost to the Patriots in a game where they gave up 50 points. In addition to losing the game, second overall pick QB Zach Wilson is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a PCL sprain. Quarterback Mike White played the rest of the game, and I had no idea who that even was. The Jets traded for Joe Flacco, but it seems like White will still start despite throwing two interceptions in relief of Wilson. The Bengals blew out the Ravens on the road, and now they’ll do the same to the Jets in MetLife. Inside the Numbers: The Bengals are 11-8 against the spread as the away team under Zac Taylor. CIN -10

The Titans are looking like one of the best teams in the AFC. After a thrilling win against the Bills, they destroyed the Chiefs, beating both of last year’s AFC Championship Game teams. The Colts are starting to play well, but still haven’t beaten an upper-echelon team yet. The Colts lost the first meeting in Tennessee Week 3, and I think they’ll lose again. The Titans’ offense is firing on all cylinders, and the defense just had their best game of the season. The Titans are on the road and division games tend to always be close, but I think the Titans win by a field goal and cover. Inside the Numbers: The Titans are 11-9 against the spread in division games under Mike Vrabel. TEN -1.5

The Falcons have been playing well recently, and they have a 3-3 record with a good chance to improve to 4-3. The Panthers started off 3-0 due to an easy couple of games, but have now lost four in a row, and just lost to the Giants in what was the low point of their season. The offense has had difficulty scoring points without Christian McCaffrey, and the defense is starting to give up points. The Panthers are 3-0 when McCaffrey plays and 0-4 when he doesn’t play. Every week, Sam Darnold is looking like he isn’t the long-term answer at quarterback, and is in danger of being a bust. The Falcons should beat their divisional rival by more than a field goal and cover. Inside the Numbers: Carolina is 6-7 against the spread after a loss under Matt Rhule. ATL -3

The Buccaneers are playing fantastic football, as they have a 6-1 record and look impressive on both sides of the ball. Their divisional rival Saints just narrowly beat the Seahawks on the road, mainly due to their defense. The offense didn’t accomplish much, and Jameis Winston has been good, but not great. The defense played exceptionally against Geno Smith, but now they’re about to play the greatest of all time, Tom Brady. The Buccaneers have far superior weapons offensively and the Saints don’t have enough weapons to take advantage of their opponent’s banged-up secondary. Winston will be motivated going up against his former team who picked him first overall in 2015, but the Buccaneers will win by a touchdown and cover. Inside the Numbers: The Buccaneers are 5-3 against the spread in division games with Tom Brady under center. TB -5 

 

Erik Smith: Geno Smith versus Trevor Lawrence, and we get three points too? I realize the Jaguars aren’t good, and Seattle is a tough place to play. But it’s not like Lawrence has never played a game in a hostile environment before. Jacksonville’s near upset in Cincinnati looks a little more impressive in retrospect, and they just beat the Dolphins on a neutral field with their season on the line. But mostly I’ve thought Smith looks like one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, and I have no faith in this Seahawks offense to get the ball to their playmakers. This should be a close game, but it’s Lawrence’s time to string together some momentum. JAX +3

I know it was windy last week in Seattle, but I thought Jameis Winston played a very poor game. I have no faith in this offense keeping up with the Bucs’ explosive passing attack, and New Orleans isn’t going to be able to lean on their running game either. The defenses are both good, but there is only one good offense in this matchup. This spread feels like a discount. TB -5

The Cowboys are 6-0 against the spread this year and I’ve picked them almost every week, why stop now? Minnesota is certainly better than they were last year, but so is Dallas. Dallas has a defense that can cause problems and an offense that can play any style of football. I expect this to turn into a shootout, at which point give me Dak Prescott. Obviously, we need Dak Prescott to be healthy, but otherwise, this looks like a clear Dallas win. DAL – 3

The Titans and Colts are divisional opponents that know each other well and seem relatively evenly matched. If I can get the home team as the underdog, I’ll take it every time. If Indianapolis hadn’t blown a big lead against the Ravens, we may be talking about them much differently right now. And this is a Tennessee team that recently lost to the Jets if you haven’t forgotten. I expect a tight battle, and those one and a half points may come in handy at the end. IND +1.5

Divisional game, two good defenses, both teams needing a win, I expect this to be a close game. The Browns will be playing with an injured quarterback in Baker Mayfield or a backup in Case Keenum, while the Steelers still boast a strong defense. And as bad as Ben Roethlisberger has looked at times, there are still plenty of playmakers on this offense. If Nick Chubb can’t get things going on the ground, Pittsburgh should be in this one to the end. PIT +3.5

 

Bryan Sweet: I picked against the Dolphins last week and got “hooked” with my only loss coming as Atlanta won by 2 and failed to cover the 2.5.  This week, I don’t think the “hook” will come into play as I expect the Bills to dominate this game at home just like they did a few weeks ago in Miami.  Buffalo held Miami scoreless in that game in a convincing 35-0 victory.  Buffalo will look to atone for their defeat to Tennessee in Week 6 as Josh Allen lost his footing late in the game resulting in a failed 4th down conversion and a loss.  Coming out of a BYE look for the Bills to win big in this one. BUF -13.5

I liked the Titans last week to cover the spread against the Chiefs and they dominated from the opening snap and held Patrick Mahomes to his worst game of the season by far.  The Titans were able to handle the Colts in Nashville in Week 3 and, while both teams are playing better, the Titans have knocked off two Super Bowl contenders their last two games while Indianapolis has had the good fortune to beat up on the Texans and 49ers.  The Titans are battle-tested and should sweep the season series this weekend. TEN -1.5

It will be interesting to see how first-year HC Brandon Staley handles coming off a BYE following a lopsided loss to the Ravens in Week 6.  The Chargers have the better offense in this one but their defense can’t stop anybody’s ground game.  Will Damien Harris and the rest of New England’s backfield continue the trend and keep this one close if not get an outright win?  I think this game is closer than the average fan might think but Herbert takes advantage of a Stephon Gilmore-less secondary and leads the Chargers to a touchdown victory and cover.   LAC -5.5

It’s got to be scary for the rest of the NFC to see how good the defending champs are playing.  Tampa Bay leads the NFL in passing offense and is third in points scored and second in total yards.  The Saints are 20th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game and just played a bad Seattle team to a meager three-point victory.  The Saints sorely miss Drew Brees and I expect an outcome similar to Brees’s last game – a Tampa victory.  Bucs continue to roll in this one.  TB -5

This pick is more of a bet against Dak Prescott than confidence in Minnesota.  There are still questions as to whether Prescott will play Sunday night and this simply isn’t a good team without him.  Minnesota has put together an explosive offense as they rank inside the top ten in both rushing yards per game and passing yards per game.  Even if Prescott does play, I think these teams are close to equal on a neutral field, so I’ll take the points with a home underdog in this one.  MIN +3


What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

2 responses to “Beating the Spread: Week 8 Picks”

  1. Barry J Shapiro says:

    So far Brennan Rampe sure has the knowledge that I need to help with my picks. Although being a die hard Giant fan I can’t pick against them. So, I am going for another Giant upset. Enjoy the staff picks. Keep up the good work.

    • Bryan Sweet says:

      Thanks Barry! We have a lot of fun putting these together and Brennan is KILLING it right now! Good luck this weekend!

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