Welcome to Week Eight of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series. Last Sunday the Baltimore Ravens made us proud by taking care of business at home by easily beating the struggling Atlanta Falcons. However, much to my surprise (and personal delight) the Miami Dolphins pulled a shocker on the road beating the Chicago Bears, who for whatever reason, cannot win at home if their life depended on it. Finally while I was right that the Colts would beat the short handed Bengals, even I couldn’t predict the beating that took place in Indianapolis. Let’s move on to another week of games and see if we can keep your streak alive. Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom.
Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups
Talk about a great week of division games in week seven. The NY Jets were a blocked kick away from beating the Patriots in New England, the Kansas City Chiefs pulled off an upset on the road in San Diego, and most surprising of all, the St. Louis Rams used some trickery to defeat the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:
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- San Diego at Denver
- Houston at Tennessee
- Baltimore at Cincinnati
- Buffalo at NY Jets
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups
It wasn’t a huge surprise to see Denver perform well under the bright lights of prime time. It was Payton Manning of course. What was surprising was how well the Steelers played on a similar stage the following night. This sure didn’t look like the same team who got dismantled by the Browns the week prior, but some teams just know how to turn up the switch when the sun goes down and the lights shine bright. Unless you want to take a chance I would avoid the below prime time games:
- Green Bay at New Orleans
- Washington at Dallas
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage
There isn’t a lot I need to say about home field advantage from week seven; just take a look at what happened down in Jacksonville and you’ll get my point. Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:
- Miami at Jacksonville
- Detroit at Atlanta (London)
- Seattle at Carolina
- Indianapolis at Pittsburgh
Step 4 – Make your pick!
This week I am going with a team riding high after beating a division rival last week. The Kansas City Chiefs, while only 3-3 this season, have quality wins against Miami, New England, and San Diego. This week they host the St. Louis Rams who upset the Seahawks last week. I’m betting that the Rams showed most of their cards last weekend and will fall back down to reality against the efficient and effective Chiefs. My pick of the week is:
Kansas City over St. Louis
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Other options I like this week:
New England over Chicago
Tempers are running high in Chicago this week and the finger pointing has already started. Up next for the Bears are the Patriots who have yet to lose at home this season. I strongly believe that trend will not change this coming Sunday.
Cleveland over Oakland
The Browns looked bad last week. Really bad. That being said, they host the Oakland Raiders next, and my guess is Brian Hoyer likes his job too much to lose to two winless teams in a row. I’m betting on a Cleveland rebound in front of their home crowd this weekend.