Week 8 in the National Football League is a unique one in regards to the lines and odds – as each and every home team is favored heading into the weekend – and that includes the struggling 49ers, who are listed as the home team while playing the Broncos in London this Sunday.
Included with the Niners are the Lions and Cowboys – two other one-win teams that have sputtered, yet manage to also be favored at home.
Here, last week’s picks were not a struggle – matching the previous week with 9 victories.
It’s once again time to “Pick Your Knows” – the only time it’s not a disgusting habit – and here are the Week 8 games (spreads as they appear through CBSSports.com).
Pick Your Knows: NFL Week 8 Picks Against the Spread
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
The Chiefs usually play better at home – and have been solid on defense for most of the season. But while the Bills remain the NFL’s only winless team, the performance of Ryan Fitzpatrick has been spectacular – and therefore, expect him to do enough to keep this game close. Take the Bills and the points.
KP’s Pick: Buffalo
Carolina Panthers at St. Louis Rams (-3.5)
DeAngelo Williams is doubtful and it’s likely that Jonathan Stewart will be the lone man in the Carolina backfield on Sunday. On the other side, Steven Jackson is also banged up, but says he will play. That difference, plus the Rams at home means that St. Louis covers this week.
KP’s Pick: St. Louis
Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)
The Cowboys have played horribly yet remain favored by this much due to Jacksonville’s suspect passdefense. But the Jags get Garrard back and have MJD in the backfield. With an immobile Kitna taking over behind a struggling offensive line, Dallas makes enough errors that the Jags keep this one tight. Take Jacksonville and the points.
KP’s Pick: Jacksonville
Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions (-2.5)
Matthew Stafford appears ready for a return, but he could be rusty. Donovan McNabb has struggled in recent weeks and is due for a solid performance. With Detroit having to keep an eye on Torain and the running game, the Redskins and McNabb steal a win on the road.
KP’s Pick: Washington
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
The Dolphins have proven they can win on the road (3-0 away from home) and the Bengals are in a downward spiral, losing three straight. Miami is also likely fuming after last week’s botched fumble call against the Steelers – and therefore it’s tough to pick against them this week.
KP’s Pick: Miami
Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers (-1.5)
With a matchup like this one in London, it’s no wonder that Europe isn’t into the NFL. The Broncos come off an embarrassing loss to the Raiders and the 49ers will use a different Smith at QB. Denver’s offense has been potent at times, though. Broncos win this one outright – and follow the victory with a celebratory fish and chips plate.
KP’s Pick: Denver
Green Bay Packers at New York Jets (-6.5)
In his return from injury, Clay Matthews made a significant impact for the Packers defense – and he should give Mark Sanchez headaches all game. Even with all the injuries combined with the talent of the Jets defense, the Packers still have enough weapons to keep this a one possession game throughout.
KP’s Pick: Green Bay
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers (-3.5)
San Diego’s only two wins are at home and – sitting at 2-5 – need to have a “backs against the wall” mentality this week. The Titans have been great, but can be vulnerable against the pass (23rd in the NFL). Philip Rivers’ lowest passing total on the season is 241 yards in a blowout win against Arizona. Chargers feel the heat and cover at home against the Titans.
KP’s Pick: San Diego
Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders (-2.5)
The Raiders have the 3rd ranked rushing offense and the Seahawks have the 2nd ranked rush defense. Combine that with injuries to Louis Murphy and Zach Miller – and Oakland will likely have to rely on a pass attack that’s short on healthy targets. ‘Hawks win outright on the road.
KP’s Pick: Seattle
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals (-3.5)
Beanie Wells is getting healthier and running stronger. Top that with the fact that WR weapons Steve Breaston and Early Doucet both have practiced some this week – and could return. With the weapons adding up during the week of a home game, who cares who plays QB? Cards cover at home.
KP’s Pick: Arizona
Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots (-6.5)
There are a lot of factors coming into play for this game, from the Randy Moss return, to Favre’s health, to the New England defense. The Pats are tough to beat at home, but the defense has been beatable – and Moss could have a big day against the rookie McCourty. Favre is one tough S.O.B. – but whether he plays or not, AP, Harvin and Moss have enough to keep this game close.
KP’s Pick: Minnesota
Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints (-1.5)
The Saints have been difficult to figure out – torching Tampa Bay one week, yet falling to Cleveland and Arizona during two others. Reggie Bush won’t be back and the Saints run game will likely do nothing against the NFL’s top rush D. It’s unlikely that Drew Brees won’t be as bad as he was last week – even facing Pittsburgh’s vaunted defense. Saints bounce back and cover.
KP’s Pick: New Orleans
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-5.5)
The Colts have been decimated by injuries, including losing Dallas Clark for the season, plus Addai and Collie for significant time. The Texans showed they could beat Indy in Week 1, plus just had a week off to rest and heal. Therefore, expect Houston to keep this one tight, and take the Texans and the points – even while playing on the road against Peyton Manning.
KP’s Pick: Houston
Bye Week: Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, NY Giants, Philadelphia and Baltimore