NFL Week #8 Picks
Approaching midway point of the regular season, I’m currently at 24-16, which is 60 percent winners. Read my comments about all of this week’s games below.
2017 NFL REGULAR SEASON RESULTS
STARTING BANKROLL: $10,000.
CURRENT BALANCE: $11,570.
OVERALL W-L RECORD: 24 wins / 15 loses / 1 push
Week #1 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$250
Week #2 — 1 win, 0 losses = net +$350
Week #3 — 7 wins, 2 losses = net +$1,070
Week #4 — 1 win, 1 loss = net -$20
Week #5 — 7 wins, 3 losses = net +$740
Week #6 — 2 wins, 2 losses = net -$40
Week #7 — 3 wins, 4 losses, 1 push = net -$280
For those who are still following the “bet on all winless teams after Week #5” angle (60 percent winners over the past 30 years), the two winless teams split against the spread last week — going 1-1. That brings the overall season record to 5 wins and 4 losses. Two teams remain winless at the moment — Cleveland and San Francisco. Both are getting a generous number of points — perhaps too generous. So, I will continue to ride this angle with my faith and money in Week #8.
Here are my wagers and thoughts on all the games this week. So, far, I’ve made 6 plays:
Minnesota / Cleveland (at London)
CLE has been horrid as a straight up wager but did manage to play a close game last week, losing in overtime to TEN but getting the easy cover. This week’s matchup looks even better for CLE, given the opponent may be just a bit overrated. CLE defense playing well enough to win just about every week. 3 of 4 home games this season have been 3-point losses. Now, CLE inexplicably gets a whopping 10 points (technically a home game, but they’re playing in London), which is way too much. MIN appears to be the perfect fat and happy non-conference foe coming in after two big home wins. This is only the third road game of the season for MIN, which got clobbered earlier at PIT and won a sloppy game by a FG at CHI. Even with CLE’s woeful offensive problems, CLE should not be getting this many points. Yes, CLE QB Kizer is horrible and has no business suiting up in the NFL Betting on Kizer is kinda’ like having sex with the ugly girl, where midway through you’re asking yourself, “my god, what am I doing?” But hey, since we’re here…. I’m counting on MIN to struggle on the highway here after two huge wins and look for the game to fall within double digits. Due to travel and time difference, these London games sometimes play way out of form (recall Jaguars destroying Baltimore by 30). Combine all these intangibles with the contrarian angle of betting on winless teams, we have enough incentive to play CLE +10.
Game: Cleveland +10 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Chicago at New Orleans
Anyone who drinks the kool-aid on either of these two”surprise” teams deserves to get poisoned. CHI has gotten every imaginable break the last two weeks (both upset wins). CHI offense still stinks. Rookie QB is dismal (he completed just 3 passes last week). CHI running game has shown occasional flashes but remains way too inconsistent to back against a high-powered offense. If CHI falls behind, how are they going to play catch up with such a weak passing attack? I think CHI is in trouble big time this week, drawing the worst possible opponent. NOR has won four straight but what’s been most impressive if they’re not relying entirely upon QB Brees. NOR combination of a running game and a defense playing much better gives them a decisive advantage in this contest. I give lots of credit to CHI defense in shutting down BAL (which was down to three WRs two weeks ago) and CAR (which outgained the Bears 2-1), but that charade stops here in a game where the home Saints should roll. I’m not laying -8.5, but do like NOR on the inside edge of the Wong Teaser, reduced to a very marginal -2.5. Playing the hot Saints here to stomp a bad QB who will find the Superdome a much tougher place to win.
Teaser: New Orleans -2.5 with NY Jets +10.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Teaser: New Orleans -2.5 with Kansas City -1 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Teaser: New Orleans -2.5 with Carolina +8 (risking $200 to win $200)
Atlanta at NY Jets
What’s become obvious is, OC Kyle Shannahan’s departure to accept the SFO job has left a huge void in ATL’s offensive consistency. This was previously one of the NFL’s best offenses, which has since been reduced to mediocrity. ATL has now lost three straight games (two average teams), scoring no more than 17 points in any game played the last month. This spells big trouble for a struggling team now headed back on the road and laying close to a touchdown as a road favorite. NYJ have certainly climbed back into the ranks of respectability — losing close games the previous two weeks. They’re headed in the right direction with a good enough defense to keep ATL in check. ATL defense is first-rate and the reason this line is higher than some might expect. But NYJ have been fighters in 6 of 7 games this season. This looks to be a close game that will go down the wire, so getting +6.5 is a gift.
Wager: NY Jets +6.5 (risking $220 to win $200)
Note: Also teasing NY Jets up to +10.5 with New Orleans
San Francisco at Philadelphia
SFO at 0-7 looked horrendous last week, while PHL at 6-1 currently looks like the NFL’s best team. That’s what makes this a -13 point spread. I’m betting the huge dog because of the angle on winless teams. However, there is even more to the puzzle for contrarians. PHL coming off a huge home win against division rival and with a short prep week gets to face the NFC’s worst team. However, SFO remains 5-2 against the spread and comes off their worst game of the season. So, we should expect a better effort this time. PHL lost it’s best OL for the season last week, which helps SFO defense. Everyone expects an easy PHL win here, but in a season that’s been filled with surprises and a nice record by the underdogs, this appears to be one of the more attractive wagers on the board. Looks to be a 7- or 10- point win for the home Eagles.
San Francisco +13 (Risking $220 to win $200)
THOUGHTS ON OTHER GAMES:
I want nothing to do the SDI at NWE game, which is lined perfectly and looks like a coin flip with the home cheats laying -7. SDI (or should I say the “Carson Chargers?”) are the NFL’s best sleeper team at the moment (playing good football and staying way under the radar). But unless they’re getting +7.5 in this spot I’m likely to pass on this matchup because anytime you bet against Patriots you are risking getting disemboweled either by Tom Brady or the referees — usually both. Thing is, NWE defense looking much better in recent weeks after first month of stank humiliation. NWE also at home the second straight week versus what could be another soft Charmin team. It’s all up to QB Rivers here as far as which team covers the number. If he plays a good game (50 percent chance), then SDI probably gets the money and could upset. If Rivers plays like shit (50 percent chance), which he does every so often in big games like this, then NWE could wipe out the Chargers by 30 and the refs won’t be needed. So, no play for me.
CAR at TB looks to be quite intriguing, assuming you get off watching woefully inconsistent QB play and have some fetish for overflowing toilets. Either starter (Newton on Winston) could toss 4 TDs or lose the game single-handedly with a stupid mistake. CAR was utter fucking shit last week losing at CHI despite DOMINATING that game out the ass. But to their credit, CAR defense did play well and the team remains at 4-3. On the other side, TB are now losers of three straight, yet they are favored this week? I don’t see much of an edge either way here (gun to head, I’m taking the Panthers), but the teaser on CAR getting +8 does appear too tempting to pass up. So, that’s the only play I’m making on this game.
CIN is laying -10.5 which is sorta’ like gifting points to Rick Perry in an IQ contest. CIN should roll against the NFL’s worst defense this week. Indianapolis is shake-your-head disgusting putrid, and I’m not just talking about the city, I mean the team. I really do think IND is worse than CLE, which is kinda’ like saying Donald Trump is a worse president than Ulysses S. Grant.
BUF is probably the right side so long at this game against OAK stays within -3. Line is now -2.5. OAK plagued by confidence cobwebs and seem to have forgotten how to win since QB Carr’s Week # 3 injury. Sure, he’s back in the starter role now, but something stinks in Oakland and it’s not just the shitty airport. Huge game for both teams. If forced to bet, I’d lay the -2.5 with BUF but if line was +3 then I’d probably take OAK instead. When you can’t make up your mind like that, the only conclusion that can be drawn is this is a game to skip.
HOU at SEA looks to be one of the best games of the week. Afraid to bet a rookie QB on the road at SEA. Otherwise this would be a solid play in HOU which is getting +7 in a few places (+6.5 is still the prevailing number). SEA gives up rushing yardage, which can only help HOU chances. HOU probably a more solid teaser pick at +13 if you want action on this game. Another factor that keeps me off the game is the possible distraction of idiot owner’s comments earlier this week, which could be disruptive to Texans.
I used to go to all the DAL-WAS games in the 1970s (in DAL) and in the 2000’s (in WAS), so this rivalry has always been a personal treat. But it’s also tricky. I don’t like DAL playing second straight on the road here, and WAS comes off a game they could have won, except PHL QB Wentz decided to turn into Superman for 3 hours. Really intriguing matchup that should have a playoff atmosphere. DAL doesn’t deserve to be favored on road, but lined at -1.5 the points are not significant enough for me to make a wager. OVER worth a strong look if you can still find a 47. But total now at 48 which makes me pass.
SNF: I’d rather vote Republican than lay points with the inconsistent Steelers on the road, which somehow managed to beat KC outright, but they stunk at CLE and CHI. DET has a solid pass defense and could shut down PIT. DET at 3-3 and playing for what could be a division title with GB now on the rocks, is probably the right side getting +3. If I have a horrible day and need a bailout special, the Lions will likely get my money as a late “say a prayer so I don’t have to pay the man” game.
MNF: I bet KC on a teaser from -7 down to -1 because DEN has been exposed as a total fraud with that garbage QB. 16-16-10-0 are Broncos’ offensive scores last four games. Now, they have to play at KC, one of the best defenses in the league. I won’t lay anything more than a TD because KC doesn’t usually win via blowouts. So, the teaser is the better option.
Oh and if you haven’t bet it yet, I like Baltimore in the Thursday night game against Miami. Bet your house on the Ravens at any number -39 or less.
Good luck to all.
NOTE: Check back for updates and possible added plays.