As the first few weeks of professional football have passed us by, I feel I have a good grasp of how this year’s teams are looking. On a mission for bragging rights as a top notch sports predictor, I have assembled a list of top five betting picks for week eight of this NFL Season.
But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I have been watching football all of my life. I’m a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, and although the past couple years I have lost interest in football, I regained my interested this year. And I know I am being a bit optimistic here, but I am seriously hoping Mitch Trubisky turns out to be a franchise quarterback.
Here are my Week Eight picks!
- Chicago Bears (+9) at New Orleans Saints: I am expecting the Saints to win against the Bears, but I think Chicago will be able to cover the spread. First, the Bears’ defense is for real. Over the last three games, the Bears have forced six turnovers and have carried their team to victory in the last couple of games. While the Bears’ offense continues to be a work in progress with rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, they are doing a much better job of taking care of the football. As for New Orleans, Drew Brees and the offense continue to put up stellar numbers. The defense is playing better than it has in recent years, but they are still susceptible to the big play. I like the Saints to win this game at the Superdome, but the Bears will cover. Bears 16, Saints 23
- Dallas Cowboys (-2) at Washington Redskins: I think the Cowboys will win by at least two points in Washington DC. First of all, the Redskins are coming off a Monday Night Football Game, meaning they will have one fewer day to prepare for Dallas. Also, that Monday Night game was a tough, gritty divisional game. For the Redskins, it doesn’t help that their secondary is banged up. We do not know if cornerback Josh Norman will play and cornerback Bashaun Breeland is banged up. They had three offensive linemen that were also injured in the Monday game against the Eagles. The Cowboys are coming off a 40-10 clubbing of the San Francisco 49ers. I like the Cowboys’ ability to run the football and having the extra day to prepare for a key divisional matchup. Cowboys 27, Redskins 23
- Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Detroit Lions: This prediction is contradictory of how I usually pick games. The Lions are getting points at home and they had an extra week to prepare because of their bye. However, the Steelers have been red hot in recent weeks. They seem to have figured out that they must run the offense through star running back Le’veon Bell. After being intercepted five times against the Jaguars, Roethlisberger has been much more efficient and careful with the football. Also, the Steelers have a great defense, which includes a great front seven. This is bad news for the Lions because they can’t run the football. They have a bottom five rushing attack in the whole league. Stafford is going to be under a lot of pressure in this game. I think Pittsburgh will keep rolling in Detroit. Steelers 31, Lions 24
- Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks (-5.5): I’d LOVE the Seattle Seahawks to beat the Texans by more than six. The Texans like to run the football, but they haven’t faced a defense like Seattle’s this year. This is key because Houston can’t control the tempo on the road as much as they would like. After Deshaun Watson’s first career start, he has been off the charts. However, playing the Seattle Seahawks without an elite running game is very dangerous. The Seahawks strength is their secondary, led by cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas. Also the Hawks are starting to figure things out on offense. Houston’s run defense has been bad since defensive lineman JJ Watt and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus have been out due to injury. If Seattle can somewhat run the football, they can control the game at home. I like Seattle to win in dominating fashion at home. Texans 13, Seahawks 23
- Carolina Panthers (+2.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This is going to be a tough divisional game. Both of these teams are struggling at the moment, with the Panthers losing two in a row and the Buccaneers losing three in a row. With Carolina, however, I get a really good defense in probably a lower-scoring game. Both of these teams have been very inconsistent this season, making this game hard to pick. However, Carolina has fewer injuries to deal with than the Bucs do. Carolina at least controlled the game against the Bears, but it was two offensive miscues directly leading to Bears touchdowns. The Buccaneers are scoring but they are struggling on defense, allowing opponents to score an average of 29 ppg over the last three games. I think quarterback Cam Newton and Carolina have a mini-break out (for them) offensively and wins outright on the road in Tampa. Panthers 22, Buccaneers 20