As we speed towards the midway point of the 2019 NFL season, the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers are the remaining undefeated teams. Not surprisingly, each is a favorite at all the key sportsbooks this week. The Patriots are a heavy favorite over the Browns. As you will soon see, I only trust one of these two NFL powers in my Week 8 NFL Picks.
Speaking of sportsbooks, how regularly do you use them and do you have any favorites that you prefer to use? Certainly, there are a number of online sportsbooks available now-a-days, many of which generate a hefty number of complaints.
As for the best USA sportsbooks, there are plenty of quality options available if you are looking to place a couple bets. Certainly, this is an industry that is and will continue to grow in the future.
When it comes to picking spreads, TWHS tends to focus on spreads from a number of different sites. Yes, I have used mainstream media sites like CBS Sports, but often use online sportsbooks such as Bovada, which is a popular online sportsbook that is also included in the aforementioned link.
In KP’s Week 8 NFL Picks, the Patriots, Rams and Vikings are all heavy favorites. The Rams are the only heavy favorite that I have strong confidence in, playing at home and facing the abysmal and shorthanded Bengals. But let’s cut the chatter and get to the actual picks.
This week’s prognostication against the spread is based off the lines presented at Bovada:
KP’s “By the Book” Week 8 NFL Picks
Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings (-17)
It’s the Thursday night switch-a-roo! Case Keenum (2017 Minnesota QB) now starts for the Redskins while Kirk Cousins (2017 Washington QB) starts for the Vikings. This is a rarity, if you didn’t figure that out. With the Redskins floundering, doesn’t this game feel like a Cousins “You Like That!” moment waiting to happen? Maybe so, but it honestly depends on the Redskins defense, considering the Vikings will be without Adam Thielen. Minnesota will focus on establishing Dalvin Cook against Washington’s 27th ranked run defense. While I like the Vikings to win convincingly, I have a hard time taking Minnesota to cover. Despite Washington’s recent primetime history, take the REDSKINS and the points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
Ryan Tannehill played well last week, lighting up the Chargers for 312 passing yards and 2 TD’s in a 23-20 win. He could have more success facing a Tampa Bay defense that is dead last against the pass (304.5 ypg). Tennessee likes to establish the run with Derrick Henry and will likely go to that first, but it could be difficult against Tampa’s stout run D (1st in the NFL). Jameis Winston, meanwhile, remains the wild card, with plenty of talent to throw to and plenty of inconsistent performances. In the end, I instead look to the Bucs and their pass rush, which has just 13 sacks in six games, yet could feast on a Tennessee line that has given up a league high 31 sacks. BUCS win outright.
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5)
Sam Darnold was “seeing ghosts” on Monday night versus the Patriots. That story blew up more than it should have. Darnold isn’t as bad as he played in that game. He also isn’t as good as he played the previous week. Let’s expect somewhere in between. Instead, I’m banking on this to be a competitive game which will see a strong performance from Jets RB Le’Veon Bell, who faces a Jacksonville defense that ranks 21st against the run. Give me the JETS and the points on the road.
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (-6)
The Colts are getting healthier and that’s a red flag for a team like the Broncos that is a -3 in turnover margin. Joe Flacco (6 TD, 5 INT) has struggled at times and the Broncos have been very inconsistent as an offense (26th in passing offense and 16th in rushing). All signs point to Indy taking over this game in front of its home crowd. COLTS cover.
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (-7)
The Lions will focus on shutting down Saquon Barkley with its iffy run defense that is ranked 28th against the run. The obvious goal is to force Daniel Jones and the Giants pass game (that is still missing pieces) to beat them. New York’s offensive line (20 sacks allowed) will need to protect Jones better. Yes, I have picked against the Lions a lot this season, but I won’t make that mistake on this day. Matthew Stafford has played well and the loss of Kerryon Johnson will not slow Detroit’s offense down. Give me the LIONS to cover against a very shoddy Giants defense.
Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams (-13.5)
A.J. Green remains out for the Bengals and Joe Mixon continues to be ineffective running the ball. That’s not all on him, but also the offensive line. In the end, the Bengals just do not have the weapons to stick with the Rams on the road. That’s even considering the fact that L.A. home games don’t even feel like home games, considering the melting pot of fans that attend. With that being said, L.A. will feast on a Cincinnati defense that is dead last against the run against the. RAMS cover.
Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills (-2)
The Eagles are all over the place. Philadelphia has an impressive win at Lambeau, but also brutal losses against Minnesota and Dallas. The Philly pass defense (27th against the pass) has struggled. The Bills, however, don’t exactly shred opposing pass defenses. Josh Allen is talented but prone to mistakes. So, what’s the right pick here? Bet on a big day from the more experienced Carson Wentz. This Eagles team knows the urgency of not falling back further in the standings. EAGLES fight for an ugly road win.
Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago Bears (-4)
This game features arguably the two biggest disappointments of the 2019 season. There is only one way – and that’s up. The Chargers lost another heartbreaker last week, having two near game-winning touchdowns called back, as well as a fumble at the goal line. The Bears, meanwhile, suffered a brutal loss at the hands of the Saints. Both defenses have talent, but have failed to meet lofty expectations. The Chargers have been in close games all season, with the lone exception being a blowout win over the Dolphins. The Bears, meanwhile, have failed to establish a consistent offense. This smells like a sloppy, low-scoring, close game. With that thought in mind, give me the CHARGERS and the points.
Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-10)
What is the status of Alvin Kamara and David Johnson? That’s the first big question. Secondly, Drew Brees is back on the practice field, but he likely won’t be rushed back. Teddy Bridgewater has been steady and should remain the starter. Arizona, meanwhile, throws a lot at you and spreads the ball around quite a bit. For the season, the Saints have just one win by more than a touchdown, and that was last week’s win over the Bears. My gut says Sean Payton will shift Michael Thomas around the field, but if Patrick Peterson sticks by him most of the time, this game will remain close throughout. Saints win by a touchdown, but give me the CARDINALS and the points.
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (+3.5)
At this point in the week, Matt Ryan is a question mark for the game. That’s just more bad news for a Falcons team that has been abysmal this season, especially on defense. This is the kind of defense that Russell Wilson feasts on. Enough said. SEAHAWKS cover on the road.
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (-6)
The Niners remain undefeated following its ugly, rain-soaked win in Washington last weekend. Carolina, meanwhile, comes off a bye and continues to be under-appreciated, at least when it comes to lines like this one. Kyle Allen remains undefeated as the starter in Carolina, creating a number of rumors surrounding Cam Newton’s future in Charlotte. In the end, this game comes down to two of the stronger pass defenses in the league and two very capable run games. With that in mind, I expect fewer plays and more clock management, so give me the PANTHERS and the points.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (-7)
Last week, the Raiders were lit up by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers – and that was coming off a bye week. This week, Oakland gets another potent offense on the road. It’s hard to imagine Oakland being able to stick with Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and the Texans offense. I mean, really hard. Especially considering Watson is likely to be protected against the Raiders defense that only has 10 sacks in six games this season. TEXANS cover.
Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots (-13.5)
Prior to researching the game statistically, I had the Browns in mind here. Despite their inconsistency on offense, Cleveland is coming off a bye and reportedly getting two key players back in its secondary. Then, Jarvis Landry had to go on and do this…
“We’re gonna win. It’s just that simple. We’re gonna win.”
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 24, 2019
Sorry, I’m just not a fan of providing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady with bulletin board material. On top of that, the Patriots defense is a monster that can’t be tamed. PATRIOTS cover.
Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs (+4)
Here lies the Patrick Mahomes factor. Did we ever expect the Chiefs to be an underdog at home this season? Miraculously, Mahomes was on the field practicing this week, despite suffering a dislocated kneecap in last week’s game. Aaron Rodgers, meanwhile, posted his best performance of the season, tallying six total touchdowns against the Raiders. It really comes down to whether we feel that Matt Moore can stick with Aaron Rodgers over the course of an entire game. Based off Rodgers last week, that answer is no. Oakland (Green Bay’s last opponent) is 31st against the pass and the Chiefs are currently 9th). Despite that, give me the PACKERS to cover on the road – and yes, that’s assuming Mahomes doesn’t play. If he does play, he’s not human.
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14)
Wow. Nice scheduling, Monday Night Football. Maybe just pass on this one and watch reruns of your favorite sitcom. Either that, or watch paint dry. As for the game, the Steelers come off a bye while the Dolphins showed a little more fight with “Fitz-Magic” under center. In the end, Pittsburgh’s defense is underrated and this unit’s aggressiveness shuts down the Dolphins. STEELERS cover.
BYES: Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens
2019 NFL Season to Date (ATS)
Feel free to comment with either some of your picks or your favorite online sportsbooks. As always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!