I believe Week 8 marked the worst week in this column’s history with a combined record of 4-11. I’m happy I was able to rebound for a 3-2 week, back to my early season normal, but the other two gentlemen had a rough go of it. We’re picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and going to try and get into the positive for the rest of the year.
Obviously, this year has been challenging for a number of reasons, but I was hoping we’d see a more active trade deadline with more teams pushing chips in the middle and more teams looking to the future. While we got a couple of trades that should help contenders, we didn’t get that major movement to swing lines.
It looks like we’ve got more potential COVID-19 issues this week, including the Bears already injured offensive line. If that game moves, I’d expect that line to be taken down or moved even more in Tennessee’s direction.
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.
|Analyst||Jeff Berckes||Erik Smith||Bryan Sweet|
|Pick #1||PIT -9.5||PIT -9.5||MIN -4|
|Pick #2||CHI-TEN U46.5||HOU-JAC O51.5||SEA/BUF U54|
|Pick #3||MIA +4.5||LV +1.5||NYG +3.5|
|Pick #4||IND +3||NO +5||TB -5|
|Pick #5||TB 5||NE-NYJ U41.5||HOU -6.5|
Jeff Berckes: The Cowboys haven’t covered a spread all season. Part of that is because they’re the Cowboys and they have a huge fanbase that believes in their team. The other part of that is Dak Prescott’s injury (not to mention the offensive line) and Mike McCarthy being… well, Mike McCarthy. I love what the Steelers are doing this year with Big Ben acting more as a point guard than at any point in his career. Maybe that won’t be enough to win another Super Bowl, but it’s more than enough to dispatch the Cowboys by more than 10 points. PIT -9.5
Erik Smith: I’m not entirely sure why the Steelers aren’t double-digit favorites over the Cowboys, but I’m not going to second guess myself here. The Dallas offense is a train wreck, and the defense is worse than that. Pittsburgh is full of weapons on offense, and the defense could put up some points too. PIT -9.5
The Jaguars have given up 30+ points to their opponent in each of their last six games, so we don’t need a ton out of their offense here. While Jake Luton could certainly sink the over, there were some positive scouting reports on him coming out of college, and it’s not like Gardner Minshew had been setting the world on fire. But I expect the Texans offense to carry us here, so hopefully, we can get a couple of big plays from the Jacksonville offense. HOU-JAC O51.5
I think that the Chargers should be the better team here, but they have a knack for losing games late, and the Raiders have better wins (Kansas City, New Orleans, Cleveland, Carolina) than the Jaguars do (Cincinnati, Jacksonville). Give me Gruden to lead the Raiders to an outright win, the points are just a bonus. LV +1.5
This line just feels off, as I think Tampa Bay and New Orleans are relatively even. These teams know each other well, and both have a solid defense that should keep this close. Even if Tom Brady and the Bucs ultimately prevail, Brees can keep this close. NO +5
The Patriots offense has struggled this year, and the Jets offense has done something worse than that. I would be surprised to see a 17-3 game here, which makes me feel comfortable in the under even at such a low number. An appearance from Joe Flacco would only help our chances. NE-NYJ U41.5
Bryan Sweet: I’m trying to take advantage of getting an early line with the recent reports of Matthew Stafford being placed on the COVID-IR this week. Now, there is a chance he can be removed from the list and make it to Minneapolis before kickoff, but he is going to be away from the team for the week leading up to the game. If Stafford misses, Minnesota should come away with an easy win. Stafford’s presence will make the game more competitive, but I think the week “off” will still make Detroit’s offense worse than it would normally be. Regardless of Stafford’s status, Detroit will be without their #1 WR in Kenny Golladay and I don’t think they can keep this game within a TD. MIN -4
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)