Looking for NFL against the spread picks for Week 8 of the NFL season? Look no further! Aaron Marcotte and I are here each and every week to give you our thoughts on our favorite lines of the week.
Thus far Aaron has been much better than I have but there is still plenty of time to get this ship headed in the right direction.
Week 7 Results:
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Last week got me (Aaron) right back into the positive column for the week. Oddly enough, I missed my top pick (the G-men) and nailed my 2nd & 3rd picks, the Saints & Rams respectively. Daniel Jones continues to come back to earth after his hot start in New York. Teddy Bridgewater continued his winning onslaught of the NFL over the bears and the Rams finally showed some signs of who that team was last year… albeit against the Falcons; one of the league’s worst teams.
This week marks the halfway point of the season for most teams, and we have some very intriguing games out there. Currently sitting at 60% on the year, let’s get to the money-makers for the week!
Seattle Seahawks -7 vs. Atlanta Falcons
Seattle, a top 10 team in the league, is coming off a tough loss to Baltimore after winning 3 straight. They are going to Atlanta (don’t love that), but are facing one of the worst defenses in the league. Seattle, and Russell Wilson, are going to be hungry for revenge. As for the Falcons, it’s clear that they are giving up on this season after the trade of Mohamed Sanu.
Seattle only has 11 sacks on the year, but they still have two 1st round picks rushing around the outside in JaDaveon Clowney and Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah has been hobbled by injuries this year but looks good to return this week after missing week 7. Clowney has played every game but only has 1 sack. If I was a bettin-man, and I clearly am as I’m writing this article, I’d say Clowney gets his 2nd sack (at least) this week. He’s has 9 sacks in the last two years and clearly due for some positive regression.
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Before the Matt Ryan news, I liked the Seahawks win by a touchdown in a 35-28 game to cover. Now without Matt Ryan I love it even more. Lay the touchdown with the road team and count your winnings after the game.
Pick: Seahawks -7
Los Angeles Chargers +4 @ Chicago Bears
The Chargers were a 4-loss team last year who lost to the Patriots in the playoffs. This year, they have started out extremely slow, going 2-5. The talent on this team is mostly the same, however. The Chargers run-defense hasn’t done much this year, but their passing defense remains top-5 in terms of yards allowed.
On the other side of the field are the Bears. Led by the super-disappointing Mitch Trubisky, alongside the non-existent running game of the Bears. When you can’t run the ball, you become one-dimensional and non-threatening to defenses. When you can’t run or pass, your offense sucks (thanks John Madden). The Bears are an extremely shaky 3-3 team, and I cannot see them blowing LA out by any stretch of the imagination.
I think the Chargers take this game as Melvin Gordon finds his groove. The Chargers will continue to utilize Austin Ekeler as he emerges as one of the best playmakers in the game. Hunter Henry continues his onslaught back from injury and Keenan Allen has the bounce-back game we’ve all waited on for the last 4 weeks.
Pick: Chargers +4
New York Jets +6.5 @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Remember how bad the Jets looked on Monday night last week? I sure do… as does the rest of the world. This is a clear example of recency bias in betting. Sam Darnold has only played 3 games this year: week 1 vs. Buffalo, Week 6 vs. Dallas, and Week 7 @ New England. In two of those games, he really held his own against top 10 defenses. In the other, he fell apart. That game was last week against one of the most dominant defenses the NFL has seen in the last 5-10 years.
The Jets defense is still fairly strong this year – they just haven’t played anyone to help bolster their stats like most other teams have. The Jaguars are sitting at 3-4, mainly because of Gardner Minshew, D.J. Chark, and Leonard Fournette. They haven’t had an easy schedule by any means, but their wins have come to some of the weaker teams in the league (Broncos & Bengals).
I think Darnold and the Jets come out firing with something to prove after the Monday night debacle. The Jets could pull out a win here in Jacksonville, but worst-case they keep it close and cover.
Pick: Jets +6.5
New York Jets +6.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sam Darnold and company are going to leave those ghosts back in Gotham City this week as they head on the road to take on the Jaguars. Jacksonville returns home after dismantling the Cincinnati Bengals on the road.
Two vastly different outcomes have helped this line balloon out to almost a touchdown. But Jacksonville played a winless team that is one of the three worst in the NFL. The Jets on the other hand were demolished in primetime by the leagues best team. The Patriots are boasting a historically great defense that had Darnold seeing ghosts.
Do I think the Jaguars are the better team and should be getting points at home? Sure, but nearly a touchdown is far too many. New York has been stellar against the rush all season and should slow down what Jacksonville wants to do. The Jets on the other hand should be able to run on a Jaguars team that is 27th in defensive rushing efficiency and will be without Marcell Dareus who will miss the next month plus following abdominal surgery.
While I’m waiting to hopefully grab a 7, I want to back the Jets in this spot. I think they go to Florida and find a way to keep this game close. A field goal either way likely decides this contest and I’ll gladly gobble up all those points.
Pick: Jets +6.5
Indianapolis Colts -5.5 vs Denver Broncos
I will gladly side with the home team this week. The Colts are riding high and continue to get healthier. Frank Reich has his boys rolling and Jacoby Brissett has been everything they thought he could be and so much more.
Defensively the Broncos have been good but they have so many question marks on offense. They must be able to run the ball here to have any shot. Indianapolis has not been great there all season but should improve as they continue to get healthy. If the Colts get up big I cant see Flacco and company getting back into the game.Especially after sending Emmanuel Sanders to San Francisco earlier in the week.
This game is about trust and all of my trust lies with the home team. They have been great against the spread all season going 4-1-1. I expect the Colts to win and cover at home this week.
Pick: Colts -5.5
Buffalo Bills -1.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Buffalo Bills have been good all season long due in large part to their defense. Their offense on the other hand is predicated on getting their running game going. This is a slight concern as the Eagles, while not great defensively has been stout against the run. This game will be put on the shoulders of Josh Allen. A task I expect him to be ready for especially with John Brown becoming a bonafide playmaker on the outside.
The Eagles have been a mess all season long. They continue to get down early and typically around 20ish points. If this happens again this week, it will be hard for the Eagles to come back. Buffalo has been excellent in the secondary. Carson Wentz would be running for his life as the Eagles will have issues blocking their pass rush.
Philadelphia is a team that is trending in the wrong direction and the questions will continue to get louder as to the issues with this team.
From a vegas perspective Buffalo has been great against the number currently at 4-2 and the Eagles slow starts have hurt their ATS record which currently sits at 2-5. I’ll gladly side with short home favorite to keep their impressive ATS record rolling.
Pick: Bills -1.5