Welcome to the Week 8 edition of Beating the Spread. I’ll be filling in for Jeff Berckes for a few weeks, though he will still be contributing his picks. We’ve got an interesting slate this week, with only two road favorites (Seattle in Atlanta, and Green Bay in Kansas City), a backup quarterback favored by 16 points (poor Dolphins fans), and a London game (will the Bengals even bother coming back to the states after this one?). Jeff and I continue to battle it out for first place, though Tom remains in striking distance.
The following lines were captured on Thursday. 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:
|Date||Away Team||Home Team||Line||O/U|
|Sunday, September 27||NY Giants||Detroit||Det -7.5||48.5|
|Tampa Bay||Tennessee||Ten -2.5||47|
|LA Chargers||Chicago||Chi -5.5||40.5|
|NY Jets||Jacksonville||Jax -4||41|
|Cincinnati||LA Rams||LAR -9||47.5|
|Arizona||New Orleans||NO -7.5||47.5|
|Carolina||San Francisco||SF -6.5||41.5|
|Cleveland||New England||NE -11||46.5|
|Green Bay||Kansas City||GB -4||48|
|Monday, September 28||Miami||Pittsburgh||Pit -16||42.5|
|Analyst||Jeff Berckes||Erik Smith||Tom Schweitzer|
|Pick #1||Sea -3.5||Sea/Atl under 54||Ten -2.5|
|Pick #2||NE -11||Car +6.5||NYJ/Jax Over 41|
|Pick #3||LAR -9||NYG +7.5||Den/Ind Over 43.5|
|Pick #4||Buf -1.5||Ari +7.5||
|Pick #5||Ari-NO over 47.5||LAR -9||
Jeff Berckes: Atlanta simply seems broken and I like Seattle to bounce back from a tough loss. Russell Wilson is a top 3 MVP candidate right now and Atlanta can’t stop anyone (SEA -3.5). I’m so impressed by the Patriots right now and while 11 points against Cleveland would’ve seemed crazy in August, I have no problem laying it on them here at home. I think we’re going to see Baker Mayfield struggle mightily here (NE -11). Another home favorite I love is the Rams taking on the winless Bengals. Has Cincinnati shown you anything to make you believe they can hang with a competitive Rams team? Me either (LAR -9). I’ve been losing money on Philly all year. I thought they were the team to beat in the NFC but that’s clearly wrong. Maybe Buffalo isn’t the right team to take advantage of the Eagles secondary, but I still like them to take this one by at least a field goal (BUF -1.5). Finally, I’ve been impressed with the Cardinals offense enough to believe they can put up enough points in New Orleans to keep it interesting while Teddy Two Gloves is going to have a great day against this sad Cards D. That’s a recipe for an over bet (ARI-NO over 47.5)
Erik Smith: 54 points seems like an awfully high over/under when the home team will be trotting out an injured starter or an over the hill back up. I know that Seattle should have their way with this bad Atlanta defense, but this feels like a game where the outcome is decided early and the Seahawks kill the clock in the second half. I’ll take the under (54) in the Seahawks versus Falcons matchup. While I’m certainly impressed with the season that the 49ers are putting together, the Panthers have been impressive in their own regard. This spread feels too high, and I like the Panthers’ chances of keeping this game close. This feels more like a 23-20 game than it does a San Francisco blowout, so give me the points (Car +6.5). Another spread that I feel is just too high, I don’t trust the Lions to beat any team by more than a touchdown right now, even the struggling Giants. A few big Saquon Barkley runs and some Danny Dimes garbage time, and I think the Giants can keep this within a touchdown. Detroit may have an adjustment period with Kerryon Johnson injured, so I like the value in NYG +7.5. I’ve underestimated the Saints too many times, so I shouldn’t be picking against them again, but here I am. The Cardinals actually looked better running the ball with Chase Edmonds filling in for David Johnson, and Kyler Murray continues to put together a solid rookie year. The Saints will win this one, but not in a blowout. Ari +7.5 again feels like an inflated line. Finally, my Bengals are offering very little reason for optimism, and I don’t see an overseas trip to London helping to spark them. The Rams are at their best when they have an excellent running game to base their offense around, and Cincinnati can make any rushing attack look explosive. I expect a vintage Todd Gurley game, and maybe even some big plays from Darrell Henderson in a rout (LAR -9).
Tom Schweitzer: If you only saw the strange ending at the goal line in the Titans/Chargers game last Sunday, you probably walked away thinking the Titans got lucky. In reality, the Titans should have been awarded a first down on a 4th down QB sneak on their previous possession, which would have effectively ended the game. Ryan Tannehill did what Marcus Mariota could not: he got wide receivers Corey Davis and A.J Brown going. I think they’ll continue to have success throwing the ball and I don’t trust Jameis Winston against the Titans defense, so I’m taking Titans -2.5. The Jets offense is much better than they showed on Monday night and the Jaguars have a cluster of injuries on their defense. I’m not sure the Jets are good enough to cover a 4 point spread in Jacksonville, but I think they can get the total Over 41. Another team that should rebound after a terrible offensive performance is the Broncos. I think their offense will be able to move the ball in an indoor environment and their defense will struggle to stop the Colts super-efficient offense, bringing the total Over 43.5. I love betting against bad teams when they travel to London. It’s an added challenge for a team unlikely to show up anyway. I expect the Rams (-9) to dominate the Bengals, who are likely to be missing a few starters on their already poor defense. Finally, I’ll take the Packers (-4) to stay hot and beat Kansas City. I don’t think the Chiefs defense is good enough to stop Aaron Rodgers and Matt Moore can’t keep up with him in a shootout.
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)