Hose me down, please! I’m on fire!
Another week of football in the books, another week of profit. Ya boy went 10-4 against the spread (62-44 overall) and this week’s schedule looks really tasty. Teams are starting to give up, while others are showing that their hot start was no fluke. I feel like a million bucks and I’m ready once more to make you guys some money.
So without any further ado, let’s try not to get embarrassed!
(Betting lines via Caesar’s Sportsbooks; last updated October #24th)
BYE WEEK TEAMS: Baltimore Ravens (5-2) & Dallas Cowboys (4-3)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-2) [-3.5] vs. ATLANTA FALCONS [1-6]
I’m not gonna lie to you guys, that’s not what I’m here for. If Matt Ryan was 100% healthy and likely to play, I probably would’ve went upset for the sole reason that Seattle always seems to give up one inexplicable L every season.
Nevertheless, a high ankle sprain means that Ryan will most likely miss his first regular-season game since 2009. Matt Schaub will most likely get a start, which is all you need to know about the 2019 Atlanta Falcons. Schaub had a noodle arm seven years ago, and despite going against a poor Seattle secondary, I don’t see them being able to push the ball down the field. Devonta Freeman might get the workload of a lifetime, and frankly, I don’t think it matters at all. This season is long gone for fans in the ATL.
THE PICK: Seahawks (-3.5)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-4) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (5-1) [-1.5]
Imagine if I told you at the beginning of September that beating the Bills in Week 8 would be the only way for the Eagles to save their season? A loss against Buffalo would certainly knock them out of playoff contention, and this isn’t a cupcake game. If the Bills had a competent quarterback, you could make an argument for them being a top-5 team in the league just based on their defense. Alas, Josh Allen is prone to a mistake or two per game, and I believe Doug Pederson will have his guys focused and call a more conservative game this week to limit mistakes. If they do that, I like Philly’s chances of staying alive in a thick NFC.
THE PICK: Eagles (+1.5)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-5) vs. CHICAGO BEARS (3-4) [-3.5]
Speaking of disappointments, these two squads combined for 24 wins last season (both going 12-4) and if you made me pick right now, neither is a playoff-caliber team. The Chargers already surpassed last year’s loss total thanks in large part to injuries, and the Bears offense is being held back by the lack of progression from Mitchell Trubisky. This game comes down to two things in my mind: 1) Can Chicago’s defense play up to its potential and 2) Is it possible for the Chargers to not need heroics from Philip Rivers to win the game? I’m going with the latter, as last week’s loss for LA stung like a hornet, and I think they get off to a blazing start that Chicago won’t be able to come back from.
THE PICK: Chargers (+3.5)
NEW YORK GIANTS (2-5) vs. DETROIT LIONS (2-3-1) [-6.5]
Well, the Daniel Jones buzz is dead. Two straight losses and two straight poor performances have the Giants at 2-5 now, and Pat Shurmur’s atrocious coaching decisions haven’t helped. The Giants’ defense is still a train wreck, and although Detroit has lost two in a row and will be without Kerryon Johnson this week, I sure as hell trust Matt Stafford and his receivers over Daniel Jones not getting the most out of his guys. Any Giants win from here on out would require either Saquon going berzerk or Cincy/Washington/Miami being on the schedule.
THE PICK: Lions (-6.5)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-4) vs. TENNESSEE TITANS (3-4) [-2.5]
This isn’t going to be a duel between the top two picks from the 2015 draft, but it should be an interesting matchup nonetheless. Ryan Tannehill played awesome last week, throwing for over 300 yards and 2 scores in the win over the Chargers. There is no reason for him not to continue that success against a Tampa Bay secondary that gets eviscerated every week. The only way I see the Bucs winning is what typically happens when they get a victory: Jameis and the offense are clicking. I don’t believe this Titans’ defense will allow that, so this is an easy pick for me.
THE PICK: Titans (-2.5)
DENVER BRONCOS (2-5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-2) [-5.5]
A battle between Peyton Manning’s former teams, these two squads are going in completely opposite directions. Despite Andrew Luck’s abrupt retirement before the season, Jacoby Brissett has been excellent and the Colts are in first place. Denver, on the other hand, completely melted down against the Chiefs last Thursday and Joe Flacco looked washed. I also think that there is a mile-long gap between coaches, as Vic Fangio is nowhere near Frank Reich’s level. The Broncos are going to need to rely on a bounce-back performance by their defense, but this Colts team is too well-coached and plays so mistake-free I find that very hard to see happening.
THE PICK: Colts (-5.5)
CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-7) vs. LOS ANGELES RAMS (4-3) [-13.5]
This game could be in London, Ohio, California, Alaska, Krypton, I frankly don’t care! The Bengals are an awful football team that has given up on the year already. I don’t think they’ll go 0-16, but going against a Rams team led by Sean McVay isn’t the spot for the first win. The London game factor gives me slight pause, but I’d feel like an imbecile picking the Bengals. Zac Taylor is going to get schooled by his former teacher.
THE PICK: Rams (-13.5)
ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-3-1) vs. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-1) [-10.0]
On Wednesday morning, Drew Brees announced that “then plan” was for him to return during this game. While it’ll be nice to have Brees (and hopefully Alvin Kamara) back, this line worries me the more I look at it. Kyler Murray didn’t have the best individual game against the Giants, but the running game was insane. The Saints are an elite defensive team, and Sean Payton should be a Coach of the Year frontrunner, but Arizona is riding high and should be able to keep this game somewhat close. Even if Brees does return, I don’t entrust he’s going to come out guns a-blazing. The way the line is constructed now, I like Arizona and the points.
THE PICK: Cardinals (+10.0)
NEW YORK JETS (1-5) vs. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-4) [-6.5]
This is another big line that is perplexing to me. Sure, Sam Darnold put forth the worst quarterback performance we’ve seen this season against the Patriots Monday night, but that defense is all-time great (ask my fantasy team). The man was seeing ghosts for crying out loud! Jacksonville’s secondary is now without Jalen Ramsey, and A.J. Bouye isn’t the shutdown corner he used to be. The Jets are getting healthy, and they’re going to be playing in a comfortable environment despite being on the road. I don’t think this offense is as bad as people say, and Gang Green should bounce back this week.
THE PICK: Jets (+6.5)
CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-2) vs. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-0) [-5.5]
Easily the best game of the week, Carolina should give San Fran its most likely opportunity for their first loss so far. The Panthers’ defense has been sensational this season, and Kyle Allen at the helm has made this team had a new identity. San Francisco only scored nine points against Washington last week, but that’s because if you put the game film in black and white it looked like a 1940’s matchup. It should be a good coaching duel between Riverboat Ron and Kyle Shanahan, and I like the 49ers to win the game straight up. However, five points is a little too high for my liking, and I wouldn’t be stunned if the Panthers got the upset.
THE PICK: Panthers (+5.5)
CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-4) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-0) [-13.0]
As mentioned before, the Patriots defense looks all-time good. It is truly a special unit already on the verge of twenty interceptions on the year. Baker Mayfield has certainly been a turnover machine this year, and the Browns’ offensive line hasn’t helped him one bit. The way this NFL season is going, I could absolutely see the Browns beating the Patriots. I have no analysis for that statement, but could you imagine the radio and TV shows the next day? “Are the Browns now Super Bowl contenders?” I don’t see that occurring, but I do like Cleveland and the points this week. New England might take it a little easy in this one, and Freddie Kitchens and company need a win in the worst way possible.
THE PICK: Browns (+13.0)
OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-3) vs. HOUSTON TEXANS (4-3) [-7.0]
Well, the Raiders stink again. Going against Aaron Rodgers is no easy task, but they certainly played terribly overall in that game. Things don’t get that much easier this week against a pissed off Texans team that gave up their division lead against the Colts last week. Expect Deshaun Watson to play like an MVP against this young secondary. These two teams also worked out a trade Monday, with Oakland trading Gareon Conley to Houston in time for this game. I’d like to see the odds of him picking off Derek Carr at least once.
THE PICK: Texans (-7.0)
GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-1) [-3.5] vs. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-2)
I’m going to keep it real with y’all. This article usually gets published on a Friday, so this could very well be a game-time decision, but it looks like there is a good chance Patrick Mahomes will return. This comes ten days after dislocating his knee against Denver. We can debate all we want if Kansas City is rushing him back (hint: they 100000000000000% are), but let’s focus on the game itself. With either a gimpy Mahomes or a perfectly normal Matt Moore, the Chiefs will now have to rely on their defense to bea- I can’t even finish that sentence without laughing. Aaron Rodgers should have another monster game against this secondary, especially since KC’s best corner Kendall Fuller is out indefinitely after thumb surgery. All in all, I like how Green Bay has been playing and their chemistry as a team makes them hard to pick against, regardless of opponent.
THE PICK: Packers (-3.5)
MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-6) vs. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-4) [-14.0]
It took until Monday night, but here is your Week 8 #StinkerOfTheWeek! Mason Rudolph should be returning for Pittsburgh, which is awesome to see after the brutal hit he took several weeks ago. He has a cupcake matchup against one of the worst teams in the league, and the Steelers should have an easy win. However, this line is too big. Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown the ability to actually, ya know, score points for this Dolphins team, and unless he completely sputters, I do think they can stay within 10-14 points. Miami is awful, but they could cover for the third straight week.
THE PICK: Dolphins (+14.0)