My last article didn’t turn out so well. One out of five picks correct was not great, especially with the Green Bay and New England blowouts. In fairness, I think the Niners would’ve covered if a monsoon hadn’t touched down in D.C. But it’s time to get back to my winning ways. Here are the best bets for Week 8.
Los Angeles Rams (-13) at Cincinnati Bengals (game in London): 1 p.m. Sunday
Like it? I love the Rams at minus-13. Los Angeles destroyed the Falcons last week, and it looks like Jalen Ramsey may have woken up a struggling Rams defense. Todd Gurley still cannot get on track rushing the ball, but against a league-worst run defense in the Bengals, he should be able to find holes.
The Bengals give up 189 yards on the ground per game thus far and with Tyler Eifert and A.J. Green’s statuses in doubt, the shorthanded Bengals still have to make the trek across the pond. Expect the Rams to roll.
Score Prediction: Los Angeles (N) 33, Cincinnati 13
New York Jets (+4) at Jacksonville Jaguars: 1 p.m. Sunday
The Jets are coming off a drubbing at home to the unbeaten Patriots, but I still think they cover in Jacksonville Sunday. Nick Foles returned to practice, but regardless of the quarterback, I think the Jaguars naturally just play their opponents close.
The Jags’ biggest margin, win or lose, was 14 points to Kansas City in Week 1. I like them, but I don’t think they have the ability to pull away from teams. And don’t let recency bias sway the line; the Jets aren’t as bad as they showed Monday. Belichick does that a lot to young quarterbacks, but I think New York covers despite losing.
Score Prediction: Jacksonville 24, New York (A) 21
Philadelphia Eagles (+1.5) at Buffalo Bills: 1 p.m. Sunday
Call me crazy, but I’m not willing to jump off the Eagles. Philadelphia got taken to the woodshed Sunday night in Dallas, but my preseason pick to be the top seed in the NFC still has the talent to get it done. They will be tested this week in Buffalo.
The Bills are one of two teams (New England) in the AFC with fewer than two losses, but they also benefit from easy the AFC East division. According to CBS Sports, the Bills have the ninth-easiest schedule heading into the year. I think talent wins in the league and against the spread, and the Eagles have the ability to make Josh Allen look bad.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia 27, Buffalo 26
Arizona at New Orleans (-7.5): 1 p.m. Sunday
Drew Brees reportedly is trying to return Sunday against Arizona, but Sean Payton would be smart to rest both him and Alvin Kamara. Regardless if they play or not, this should be a foregone conclusion that they will wipe out the Cardinals.
Arizona comes in riding a three-game winning streak, but those wins are against Cincinnati, Atlanta, and New York. Combined, those teams have a record of 3-13. New Orleans is a wagon and deserves to be the favorite in the NFC. This game is in the Super Dome no less, and I expect a blowout.
Score Prediction: New Orleans 37, Arizona 21
Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots (-11): 4:25 p.m. Sunday
I’ve learned my lesson: don’t bet against the Patriots, even if it’s against the spread. The Pats are big favorites against Baker Mayfield and co., and the people in Vegas are clearly onto something.
Besides this being one of the biggest coaching mismatches in recent memory (Freddie Kitchens vs. Bill Belichick), the Patriots defense is gnashing their teeth after listening to doubters. They have more interceptions and sacks and have given up fewer points through seven games than the 2000 Ravens and the 1985 Bears, the two greatest defenses of all time. New England has hit the meat of their slate, but don’t expect the result to be any different.
Score Prediction: New England 35, Cleveland 10
These bets won’t make a ton of money, but there aren’t large numbers of good spreads on the Week 8 slate. Lots of question marks including injuries to quarterbacks (Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan) have altered the spreads. Look for updates late in the week in terms of over/under marks and spreads as kickoff gets closer.