NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 8, 2014

Matthew Stafford

Well this season my NFL Picks Against the Spread has totally gone off the rails. Heading towards the midpoint of the NFL season, its time to change some opinions I had coming into this year.

The Indianapolis Colts are a really good team. Their offensive line is playing well enough and they have had good production from their rush attack. The biggest improvement for the Colts has been their defense and primarily in the secondary. The Saints haven’t been good this season and are continually plagued by the injury bug. The Falcons are awful once again, even at home, where they have traditionally excelled. The Ravens are back to what I thought they may be a season ago. The defense has been strong, they can run the ball and Flacco hasn’t made the costly mistakes.

Week 8 in my Picks Against the Spread are going to use my new thoughts to get this seasons picks going in the right direction.

>Season Totals 12-23
>Upset Alert 1-6

Detroit Lions -3 ½ v Atlanta Falcons (London)

The Atlanta Falcons are an absolute mess along the offensive line. Between injuries and poor play the offensive line is hurting the Falcons offense as a whole. Matt Ryan has been underwhelming since his massive performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home in Week 3. The Lions on the other hand have won games, even if they were not the prettiest of wins. They have seemingly found a wide receiver to play opposite Calvin Johnson, even though they are currently without Johnson’s services. I expect the Lions defense to play well and the offense to do enough not only win but cover the 3 ½ point spread.

Indianapolis Colts -3 at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers defense was impressive last Monday night against the Houston Texans. They were able to create two turnovers before half time to flip the game completely, giving their offense two chances inside the 10 yard line to score. The Colts defense will slow the Steelers passing attack and do enough to slow Le’Veon Bell. I expect Andrew Luck and company to win this game pretty easily.

Green Bay Packers +1 ½ at New Orleans Saints

Typically I would ride with the Saints in a prime time home game, however the Saints are not playing good football right now. They are banged up on both sides of the ball, including their stud tight end, Jimmy Graham. I expect the Packers and Aaron Rodgers to dice up the Saints poor secondary and not only cover but win this game outright.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 vs Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings offense has pieces you like, especially offensively, but they have had issues playing a solid 4 quarters. The Buccaneers come into this game off of a bye and I expect them to play well. Slowing running back Jerick McKinnon is a must for the defense. Offensively they should be able to move the ball and find a way to cover the 3 point spread.

**Upset Alert**

Baltimore Ravens +1 at Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are the biggest head-scratcher for me. They started the season on fire and looked like they would be tough to beat. While the loss of A.J. Green hurts they should have enough weapons to produce more than 50 yards against the colts in 3 quarters. The Ravens have a very strong defense, much like the Colts and I expect a similar game. The Ravens will score enough and then some to win outright and their defense will hold the Bengals to a quiet day offensively.

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