NFL Picks Week #8 (2018 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #8)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
There are three official picks this week:
Written Thurday October 25th, 2018 (spreads/odds may have changed)
PICK #1: New Orleans Saints +1 at Minnesota Vikings (rated 2 stars)
What a great matchup! I can’t wait for this game. Guess who else has been waiting for this game for a long time? The New Orleans Saints. They are clearly looking for payback following an improbable playoff loss last year, which ended on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs on the last play of the game to win it 29-24. Sure, the Vikings will also be motivated against a strong opponent, but they don’t have the “revenge” factor and they are coming off an easy win over the Jets, which is not a great preparation (compared to the Saints who had to fight hard to beat the Ravens last week).
PICK #2: Pittsburgh Steelers -8 vs Cleveland Browns (rated 1 star)
The Steelers will be back in action following their bye week. You don’t want to face an elite team like Pittsburgh when they’ve had plenty of time to game plan against you. These teams met on week #1 in a game that ended in a 21-21 tie, which probably felt like a loss for the Steelers. I expect them to come out firing looking for a blowout. Cleveland’s defense seems to be fading; they started the season very strong, but have allowed 449 yards to the Chargers a couple of weeks ago before allowing 456 to the Bucs last week.
PICK #3: Cincinnati Bengals -4 vs Tampa Bay Bucs (rated 1 star)
When two teams are evenly matched, the home team is usually favored by 3 points (give or take half a point). To me, the Bengals are a much stronger team than the Bucs, no matter what their records or point differential say. I do believe the point spread should be more than 4 points. Also, the Bengals will be fired up after an embarrassing performance in Kansas City on primetime television last week. This is a non-conference road game for the Bucs, which are the least motivating games for NFL teams. They could also be looking to a more exciting matchup with divisional rivals (the Carolina Panthers) next week.
System on Totals
The lone pick from last week turned out to be a loser. The overall record in 2018 now stands at 8-3 (72.7% win percentage).
There are two plays according to this system for week #8: over 53.5 Broncos-Chiefs and over 42.5 49ers-Cardinals.
- Raiders +3 vs Colts. Oakland benefits from an extra week of preparation, while the Colts are coming off an easy win over the Bills. The turmoil in Oakland is worrying me, though. There are rumors that coach Jon Gruden is losing the locker room following the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades. I've also read that some teammates have lost belief in quarterback Derek Carr. The team could either completely collapse, or rebound by playing like mad men. We'll see.
- Green Bay Packers +9.5 at Los Angeles Rams. I've been pretty disappointed by the lack of consistency by the Packers thus far this season, while the Rams' offense has been firing on all cylinders. But for some reason I do believe Green Bay will be playing desperate and will show up in a big way, while the Rams have basically already locked up their division. Green Bay was off last week, so they had time to get ready for this tough matchup. Meanwhile, the Rams have just played three straight road games and are coming off an easy win over the Niners.