Detroit Lions (ML +170) over Kansas City Chiefs for $100
Apparently Landry Jones was a fluke. Why does the Pittsburg Steelers third string quarterback matter? Because I picked the Steelers to win last week based on Jones’ carrying the Steelers for a win after stepping in for an injured Michael Vick against the Arizona Cardinals. But the Kansas City Chiefs managed to contain the Steelers with Jones under center. And they also managed to score 23 points without Jamaal Charles. Alex Smith had a respectable 251 yards with 1 TD, and Charcandrick West stepped in place of Charles for 110 yards rushing with 1 TD. So again, why does the game against the Pittsburg Steelers matter? Because it led the sports books and bettors to think the Kansas City Chiefs can win. They beat a Big Ben-less Steelers, which apparently isn’t a big accomplishment, despite my prediction that the Steelers would win last week. Sure, the Lions aren’t the 2014 Lions that went 11-5, but they still have some of the same pieces. They lost their big Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh this season, and head coach Jim Schwartz. But they still have the capability to score, and they will pile it on against the Chiefs this week.
Atlanta Falcons (-7) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers for $110
Lock of the Week
The Bucs just can’t get it together with Jameis Winston. Winston has tremendous potential, and has sparks of greatness every once in a while this season. Like last week against the Washington Redskins, where he threw for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no picks. On top of that, Doug Martin went off for 136 yards rushing, and Mike Evans caught his first touchdown of the season as part of his 164 receiving yards. But they lost to Washington, which means they are an occasional one-dimensional team. Letting Washington put up 31 points is a bad sign for the defense. Meanwhile, the Falcons at home are almost unstoppable. They are a complete team this season, and are back to their ways of previous seasons of piling up points.
New Orleans Saints (-3) over New York Giants for $110
The Saints offense is a spring wound up so tight that it’s about to explode. And what better time than against the New York Giants who are unpredictable, and incompetent as any team in the NFL. 3 points? There’s a 95% chance the Saints blow out the Giants, and a 5% chance the Giants put it together and blow out the Saints. There is 0 chance this is a close game.
Cincinnati Bengals (ML +105) over Pittsburg Steelers for $100
The Bengals are a legit 16-0 threat this season. They have a schedule where the Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals are their only true competition. No Big Ben this week, and the Steelers under Landry Jones lost to the Kansas City Chiefs last week! Come on!!
Dallas Cowboys (ML +220) over Seattle Seahawks for $100
The Seahawks are not the defensive powerhouse they were in 2014. The Cowboys are a good team that can put points on the board no matter who is quarterback. For this money, I like the Cowboys.
Joel’s Bankroll: $3,005
Please don’t look at my picks from last week. It was an unmitigated disaster as I could not have been more wrong on my upset picks and most of my favorites came up short on the spread. A big time set back for me this season, but we can’t dwell on the past, so let’s focus on Week 8 and try to get back some of those losses.
New England Patriots (-8) over Miami Dolphins for $220
I need to go back to the well and pick the Patriots. I skipped them the last two weeks, which was lucky for me as they won their games, but didn’t cover the spread. I like them on short rest over the Dolphins and Brady and Co seem overdue for a blowout. Plus, I’m pretty sure Miami used up most of their points in the first half against the Texans last week. I’m not overthinking things here. New England is the better team, playing at home, so they are the pick.
Arizona Cardinals (-4.5) over Cleveland Browns for $110
The Browns did not show up last week against NFC West up-and-comer St. Louis, getting held to only 6 points, while letting Todd Gurley run amuck. This week, they face the leader of the NFC West in the Cardinals. They squeaked by Baltimore on Monday Night, but should find similar success that the Rams had last week with their stifling defense and decent offense. Arizona can’t let this one slip away with a trip to Seattle next week and a home game against Cincinnati the week after. If Arizona wants to stay atop the NFC West, they need to win games like this.
Seattle Seahawks (-6) over Dallas Cowboys for $110
Seattle looked goooood last week. Granted, it was against the football-challenged 49ers, but that defense looked like the defense we are used to. They were swarming, keeping San Francisco in check with seemingly countless 3-and-outs. Look for them to build on that success with the extra few days of rest and devise a plan to torment Brandon Weeden. Maybe Dez Bryant plays, maybe he doesn’t. The one thing I’m pretty sure about is that his presence won’t result in a Dallas win. 6 points seems reasonable to me.
Green Bay Packers (-3) over Denver Broncos for $110
This is the most interesting game of the week. The Broncos have relied on their defense all season due to the inability for Peyton Manning to get going or establish any sort of run game on offense. They have done enough to get by each week and stay undefeated, but that’s not the hardest thing to do against teams like the Chiefs, Lions, Ravens and Browns. Things are about to get tricky for the Broncos with games against the Packers, Colts, Patriots, Chargers (twice), Steelers and Bengals still to come. Peyton will have to start producing at something that resembles a successful NFL quarterback. 7 TD passes in 6 games is not the path to Super Bowl glory. This week, he will have to put up some points because no matter how good the Bronco defense plays, Aaron Rodgers is going to put the ball in the end zone at least a few times. They can’t sit back and hope to win a 16-10 game like they are playing the Raiders. Rodgers will put pressure on the tough Denver defense and will find enough success to outscore Manning and walk away with the victory and remain unbeaten.
No funny money here, but you gotta love the over on the San Diego/Baltimore game at 49. Baltimore has struggled to stop the pass, making me think Phillip Rivers will throw the ball about 60 times. I feel like a game in the 30s is likely.