NFL WEEKLY PICK 'EM: WEEK 8

October 29, 2015

We break the lines for each game for Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season below and offer our predictions.

 

MIAMI (+8) at NEW ENGLAND

Although Miami has had somewhat of a Cinderella past couple weeks under interim Head Coach Dan Campbell, I think Bill Belichick pops Dolphins' fans feel-good balloon in Week 8 with a big win. The Patriots are facing injuries to their offensive line (Sebastian Vollmer has shifted to LT with Solder going to IR; Cameron Fleming in at RT) but it doesn't matter because Tom Brady is playing too well right now. The Pats do an excellent job of taking away the opposing offenses best weapon (Jarvis Landry in this case), so it will really be up to Lamar Miller to carry this team in Week 8. The Patriots defense is currently ranked 19th in rushing yards allowed per game at 110.3.

 

PATRIOTS 31 DOLPHINS 17.

 

DETROIT (EVEN) at KANSAS CITY 

This is a game that might have big-time implications in terms of draft position come next April. Despite drafting RB Ameer Abdullah and OG Laken Tomlinson to bolster the run game, the Lions rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yard per game (68.0), and it's not even close (next is New England at 83.7). We will see how new Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter can light a fire under this offensive unit, but expect there to be some growing pains. Sure the Chiefs lost Jamal Charles, but Jeremy Maclin will be back in the line up so I would expect lots of Maclin/Kelce this week.

 

CHIEFS 17 LIONS 10

 

TAMPA BAY (+7.5) at ATLANTA

As good as Atlanta has been this season with a 6-1 record, I think this is a week where they get tested versus an up-and-coming Bucs team. The Falcons have been playing it close until the 4th quarter in most of their games this year, and the fact they barely squeaked by the Titans last week has taken some wind out of their sails. Tampa Bay is currently the 5th best defense in the NFL against the pass, so I wouldn't be so quick to assume that Matt Ryan and Juiio Jones have a bonanza this week. The Falcons defense is starting to get their feet under them as well under Dan Quinn, and moving Robert Alford into the nickel slot will really test the Bucs receiver depth, which is non-existent with Vincent Jackson out this week. Although I think Atlanta still wins, I think the Bucs will cover.

 

FALCONS 21 BUCCANEERS 17

 

ARIZONA (EVEN) at CLEVELAND

Is this for real? Short week or not, Arizona stomps Cleveland. 10th best rushing attack led by Chris Johnson (never thought I would be typing that in the year of our savior, 2015) vesus the league's worst rush defense. Take the free money here and run, like CJ567.

 

CARDINALS 28 BROWNS 10

 

SAN FRANCISCO (+9) at ST. LOUIS

San Francisco is spiraling out of control under Kaepernick and it looks like Tomsula is starting to lose his grip on this team. And it's not even just on the offense - did you know the 49ers defense ranks 31st against the pass and 20th against the run? There is little doubt that the Todd Gurley-led Rams beat the 49ers this week, but the question is by how much? If the game was in Santa Clara, I would bet the 49ers to cover but since it is not, let's go with the Rams led by another 100+ yard rushing performance by TGIII.

 

RAMS 17 49ers 6

 

NY GIANTS (+3) at NEW ORLEANS

Everyone had New Orleans pegged for a Top 3 draft pick after the first couple of weeks this year, but Drew Brees and the Saints are gaining some momentum as of late. That spells bad news for the Giants, who dropped a winnable game last week and are on the cusp of a downward slide in my opinion. The Giants pass defense is currently 30th in the NFL, so keep an eye out for Drew Brees to do some damage through the air and get a win, Jason Scissorhands-Paul or not. All in all, the Saints seem to match up well against the Giants right now.

 

SAINTS 24 GIANTS 17

 

MINNESOTA (-1.5) at CHICAGO

Unless some conniving crustaceans find their way into Adrian Peterson's whey protein this week, there is no way the Vikings drop this game, despite the Bears having two weeks to prepare coming off their bye and being at home. Teddy is playing some solid football right now and Stefon Diggs should challenge a weak Bears secondary on paper (although they are actually #6 against the pass so far in 2015 - aka the Vic Fangio effect). Don't overthink this one.

 

VIKINGS 17 BEARS 13

 

SAN DIEGO (EVEN) at BALTIMORE

This game is kind of gross. The Ravens have to start winning at some point - their roster is too good to have only one win on the season. That's literally my only logic for going with them this week. That and NT Brandon Williams is absolutely going to body whoever is playing at C for San Diego on Sunday.

 

RAVENS 20 CHARGERS 14

 

CINCINNATI (EVEN) at PITTSBURGH

This is the feature game of the week for me, and it all hinges on Ben Roethlisberger being able to play. But even if he's healthy, I still think the Bengals take it. Leon Hall and Adam Jones are playing inspiring football at the moment and can neutralize Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant (at least somewhat). And it certainly doesn't hurt that the Bengals have had two weeks to heal and prepare for this AFC North show down, regardless of who lines up behind center for Pittsburgh.

 

BENGALS 35 STEELERS 31

 

TENNESSEE (EVEN) at HOUSTON

Can this just end in a 0-0 tie please? Another yuck game. The whole AFC South is yuck, actually. But if I had to pick one of these two teams, I'm going with the Titans, especially if Mariota plays. The loss of Arian Foster was a big blow to this Texans team, and Bill O'Brien seems distracted.

 

TITANS 20 TEXANS 7

 

NY JETS (-2) at OAKLAND

The Jets are taking this game, make no mistake about it. The Raiders have been a pleasant surprise so far this year under Jack Del Rio, but the Jets match up too well against them. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker will attack their lack of talent at CB and add to the 303.8 passing yards per game they are currently allowing on defense (dead last in the NFL). Chris Ivory fantasy owners beware, however, as the Raiders are currently the 3rd best defense in the NFL against the run, so expect a Ryan Fitzpatrick show. The Jets defensive line is also going to expose the Raiders weak right side of their offensive line behind J'Marcus Webb and Austin Howard. Oh, and Amari Cooper has to go up against Darrelle Revis this week. The prosecution rests, your honor.

 

JETS 18 RAIDERS 10

 

SEATTLE (-6) at DALLAS

Seattle smells blood in the water after getting off to a slow start. They know their playoffs basically start now, and I fully expect them to feast on the Romo-less Cowboys this week. Even if Dez Bryant plays, he will not be at 100% and probably not factor much into this game going up against Richard Sherman. The only semblance of entertainment will come from Greg Hardy going up against Gary Gilliam - Hardy might have 4+ sacks this week to be honest.

 

SEAHAWKS 24 COWBOYS 13

 

GREEN BAY (-3.5) at DENVER

This is a good one, but it's about time that Peyton's luck runs out. Manning is currently in the bottom three in the NFL in QB rating among starting QBs and if it wasn't for his defense bailing him out every game this year, the Broncos' record would be extremely different. Unfortunately for them, they have to go against Aaron Rodgers and the high-powered Packers offense. I expect the Broncos to be the first of the undefeated teams to fall this week.

 

PACKERS 21 BRONCOS 7

 

INDIANAPOLIS (+7) at CAROLINA

The Colts have a tough 3 game stretch coming up, and it starts with the Panthers on Monday Night Football. Luck has been a turnover machine and I expect that to continue versus a very talented Panthers defense. Kawann Short is going to have a field day against a very weak Colts interior line and Cam Newton will put up another dazzling performance against this Colts defense. BUT NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! Despite the fact that the Colts probably will lose, I do think that they find a way to come back late in the game somehow, knock some rust off and cover the spread.

 

PANTHERS 20 COLTS 14

 

 

All betting lines are from Bovada from ESPN.com.

 

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