Home > Uncategorized > Week Eight Picks

Week Eight Picks

October 25th, 2018

I can live with last week’s results. I suppose.

I finished 10-4 straight up, 7-6-1 against the spread. And that’s on the right side of .500 — if only just.

On the season, I’m at 64-41-2 (.607) straight up, 48-53-6 (.477) against the spread.

I’m confident I’ve found several ways to get moving in the wrong direction again this week. Here’s what not to expect.

Miami (+7.5) at Houston
Not all 4-3 teams are alike. The Texans have followed an 0-3 start with a four-game winning streak. The Dolphins opened 3-0, and have gone 1-3 since. More important, Houston does pretty much everything better than Miami. Add to the mix the difficulties of traveling on short rest (after having the ball shoved down your throats at home, no less) and it’s hard to come away with an optimistic outlook for the Dolphins here. Texans by nine.

Philadelphia (-3) vs. Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium, London
Were it being played stateside, this game would be only slightly challenging to pick. Although both teams are pretty average, the Eagles at least have been consistently uneven, while the Jaguars appear to be in a full-on fade. The only complicating factor would have been home field, and I’m fairly certain Philly’s better by just enough to have overcome that. But I don’t think it’s wise to overlook the Jaguars’ familiarity with London games. Transatlantic travel is tough on a football team, and the more experience you have with it, the better suited you are to take on the challenges. I can’t quite bring myself to pick the Jaguars based on that one factor, but I also won’t be at all surprised if Jacksonville manages an upset here. Eagles by a point.

Cleveland (+8.5) at Pittsburgh
Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions when these teams met in Cleveland in week one and the Browns still only managed to a tie. Roethlisberger has thrown just three more picks in the Steelers’ subsequent five games. Meanwhile, the Browns are on the road for a second straight week while the Steelers are coming of their bye. I’m just not counting on things to break right for the Browns. Steelers by seven.

Denver (+10) at Kansas City
The Chiefs are focused on holding off the Chargers in the division and the Patriots in the contest for top seeding in the conference. The Broncos appear to be shifting their focus to preparing for 2019. One imagines the outcome of this game will illustrate the underlying wisdom of each team’s orientation. Kansas City by 12.

NY Jets (+7) at Chicago
Three games into their four-week tournament against the AFC East, the Bears finally encounter a team they can beat. Chicago by six.

Washington (-1) at NY Giants
The Giants have called it a season. Racists by a touchdown.

Seattle (+3) at Detroit
If I thought the Seahawks could protect Russell Wilson from the Lions’ pass rush, I might actually consider picking an upset here. But I don’t. So Detroit by a field goal sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Tampa Bay (+4.5) at Cincinnati
Bet. The. Over. Bengals by six.

Baltimore (-2) at Carolina
I very well might come away from this game with a completely different feeling about this, but right now it just looks to me like the Ravens are the better team. Baltimore by one.

Indianapolis (-3) at Oakland
The Raiders have been oriented toward next season (or probably more like 2020) since before this one began. So it’s hard to understand why anyone was shocked that they underscored the point this week. The Colts are still pretending they have something to play for right now. They don’t. But that’s OK. Indy by seven.

San Francisco (+1) at Arizona
You know what? I just really, really don’t care. Home team by three.

Green Bay (+9) at LA Rams
It’s just gonna be a long day for the Packers, isn’t it? Or a short one, I suppose, if they can’t stop the Rams’ ground attack, which I don’t think they can. Los Angeles by 13.

New Orleans (+1) at Minnesota
I’ve said this in this space before: When it looks like a shootout that’s likely to come down to which team has the ball last, you go with the hosts. Minnesota by three.

New England (-14) at Buffalo
There’s probably not a lot that needs to be said about this game. Fortunately for me, we’re deep enough into the season at this point that it makes sense to do this: Scoring differential, Patriots +9.2; passer rating differential, Patriots +29.2 (it doesn’t get much more brutal than that, folks); takeaway-giveaway differential, Patriots +5. So, yeah, go ahead and give the two TDs. New England by 20.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
Comments are closed.