Week 8 NFL Picks
By: Grant Poarch
Well, last week sucked. My picks were absolutely awful on both the money line and the spread. The good news, though, is that after a bad week I have bounced back stronger. So, expect to make some money this week off these picks. Last week, I went 5-8 on the money line and 3-10 on the spread. Someone has to come get me if I perform that bad again this week. That brings my overall record on the season to 62-44 on the money line and 49-57 on the spread. With that said, fade me at your own risk and tail me at your benefit. The odds listed are provided by DraftKings.
10/26 (TNF): Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Buffalo Bills (-9, O/U 42), 8:15PM EST, Prime Video
No doubt last week was a disappointment for both of these squads and both are more than motivated to get this win. Buffalo is clearly more talented in this game, but that didn’t seem to matter a week ago as the Patriots did whatever they wanted to for the majority of the game. If they play that way again this week, they are sure to lose again. Will Baker Mayfield be able to get the passing game going the way Mac Jones did? I don’t think so.
In games where Mayfield’s QB rating is below 90, the Bucs are 0-3. When it is above 90, the Bucs are 3-0. While QBR isn’t the end all statistic, this example stands out. Yes, Buffalo did have a bad week last week. However, they will bounce back defensively tonight and show why they are a contender.
In this one, look how Baker plays against the Buffalo defense and how much Diggs goes off for the Bills to figure out who wins this one. If Tampa cannot cover Stefon Diggs, which not many have been able to do, then the Bills have this one in the bag.
Prediction: Buffalo wins, Tampa Bay covers +9
10/29: New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts (-1, O/U 43.5), 1:00PM EST, FOX
Things have gone from bad to worse as the weeks go on for the Saints. When we saw them last, Derek Carr was yelling at receivers (mostly Olave for not running out his routes) all night as the boos rained down from the fans in frustration with the lack of offensive production. Unless something changes on that side of the ball, things will continue to go sour in New Orleans. To make things worse, WR Chris Olave was arrested this week for speeding 35 miles a hour over the posted limit. Of course, now he wants to go fast.
As for Indianapolis, they have been the talk of the league in the past week. A week ago, they were absolutely screwed by the refs to end the game. On the Pat McAfee show, they talked about how the NFL has even come out and admitted that the refs were wrong in how they handled things. That tells me the NFL owes the Colts one. Due to New Orleans’ struggles and Indianapolis’ unfortunate event a week ago, Indianapolis will find a way to win this one.
Prediction: Indianapolis wins, Indianapolis covers -1
10/29: Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys (-6, O/U 45), 1:00PM EST, FOX
After a much-needed bye week, I see Dallas going on a run. Outside of the Eagles matchup next week, the Cowboys have a very easy schedule upcoming. Their defense is going to carry them to a few wins in the next couple of weeks.
As for the game, the Rams don’t impress me. They do have two outstanding receivers in Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua but that didn’t seem to impact the Steelers. In a lot of ways, the Steelers are built like the Cowboys. Both defenses are stout and they often count on the offense to not screw up in order to win games.
In this one, I don’t have confidence in Matt Stafford to do well against the Cowboy defense. This year, Stafford has just seven touchdown passes to six interceptions. That does not bode well against the ball hawking Dallas defense.
Prediction: Dallas wins, Los Angeles covers +6
10/29: Minnesota Vikings (-2) @ Green Bay Packers, O/U 42.5, 1:00PM EST, FOX
With Minnesota improving rapidly and Green Bay sinking faster than the Titanic, I’m not sure how the Packers are favored to win this one. I understand that the Packers are at home in a divisional matchup, but their recent struggles cannot be understated. Jordan Love has been nowhere near the elite level of play he exhibited in the first couple of weeks.
On the other hand, Kirk Cousins is coming off his most pass yards in a game this year against the 49ers no less. Even with Justin Jefferson still out, Jordan Addison has done a great job in his place. If Addison can keep it up, he should have another field day. One thing that might help that even more is Jaire Alexander being banged up with a back injury. This injury has been bothering the Green Bay corner all season and his absence has surely been notable in the Packer secondary. If Alexander does come back, his hands will be full with the young stud (Addison).
Prediction: Minnesota wins, Minnesota covers -2
10/29: Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) @ Tennessee Titans, O/U 37, 1:00PM EST, CBS
This line might be the steal of the week. Earlier this week, the Titans announced that they would be playing both Malik Willis and Will Levis. If that isn’t a team in disarray, I don’t know what is.
A week ago, Atlanta shot themselves in the foot multiple times with three fumbles from Desmond Ridder. To make things worse, one of the fumbles was when Ridder was running in to score a touchdown.
If Ridder can tone down the mistakes, I see Atlanta winning this game no problem. Even if he doesn’t, Willis and Levis will outdo him in the turnover department.
Prediction: Atlanta wins, Atlanta covers -2.5
10/29: New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins (-9, O/U 47), 1:00PM EST, CBS
The Patriots shocked the world last week as they upset the Bills. However, that magic is going to run out this week. Miami had a down week offensively against the Eagles last game, but they are sure to bounce back. Whether that bounce back is coming back this week is in question.
This will be the second matchup of the season between these two. In the first game, both defenses showed out. However, it was the Patriots’ inability to stop Raheem Mostert on the ground that made the difference. If New England focuses on Mostert, it could open lanes for Tyreek Hill to go off in this game unlike he did in their first matchup.
In this one, I see a very similar game as we saw in the first game. Both defenses will play better than most think but Miami will pull ahead because they are much better than New England offensively.
Prediction: Miami wins, New England covers +9
10/29: New York Jets (-3) @ New York Giants, O/U 36.5, 1:00PM EST, CBS
It seems as if the bye week came at exactly the wrong time for the Jets. Before the bye week, the Jets were on a two-game winning streak and had just come off a win over the then undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. Even so, I see the Jets continuing to show that they are a good team even without Aaron Rodgers.
On the other hand, the Giants are coming off a solid 14-7 win over the Commanders to improve their record to 2-5 this season. That last sentence makes my brain hurt. The Giants improving to get to 2-5 is like being in traffic and going from standstill to 5 miles per hour. Sure, it makes a difference but it is still very slow.
Make no mistake, the Jets are going to hold the Giants offense down and win this one in an ugly slugfest. Beyond that, I feel good about the spread being just a field goal.
Prediction: New York Jets win, New York Jets cover -3
10/29: Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers, O/U 42, 1:00PM EST, CBS
Jacksonville has been as hot as almost anyone in the league since the first few weeks of the season. They stand atop their division and I don’t see them giving up the lead for the rest of the season. Even with a banged up knee, Trevor Lawrence looked great against a tough Saints’ defense.
Sure, I do think the Steelers are better than people think and I did have them upsetting the Rams last week. However, the Jaguars are much better than the Rams. Lawrence will not turn the ball over the way that Stafford did in clutch scenarios a week ago.
Pittsburgh could win this game if it turns into a slugfest, but I see this Jaguars offense taking yet another step forward behind Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and WRs Christian Kirk as well as Calvin Ridley.
Prediction: Jacksonville wins, Jacksonville covers -2.5
10/29: Philadelphia Eagles (-7) @ Washington Commanders, O/U 43.5, 1:00PM EST, FOX
If the second matchup between these two is anything like the first one, we are in for a treat. In the first matchup, the Commanders took the Eagles to overtime and were a forearm blocking a foot from getting in to essentially win the game (look it up).
For some reason, it feels like Washington plays Philadelphia tough every time. Maybe it is divisional familiarity. Maybe Washington just has Philly’s number. Either way, I will be keeping up with this one.
When you look at these teams on paper, the Eagles should beat this team badly. This time, I feel like they are finally going to flex their muscle on the Commanders and win big. Last week watching the Commanders only put up seven points on the Giants scares me. For that, they will get killed this week.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins, Philadelphia covers -7
10/29: Houston Texans (-3.5) @ Carolina Panthers, O/U 43.5, 1:00PM EST, FOX
The number one and two overall picks from the last draft matchup here. The thing is, though, number two is vastly outperforming number one. Carolina is winless while Houston is second in their division at 3-3. A lot of that is a result of the quarterback play. Carolina QB Bryce Young has been banged up and when he has played he has looked like a rookie as he has only thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game once. His counterpart, Houston QB C.J. Stroud, has only thrown one interception all season and he looks well beyond his years with his ability to maneuver in the pocket.
As for the teams, Carolina is in much worse shape all around. They are 0-6 and outside of their 20-17 loss against New Orleans in week two they have lost each game by multiple scores. They have no real weapons (Adam Thielen does not count) to help Bryce Young in his transition to the NFL. As for Houston, they have a bunch of young guys who seem to mesh together well. All they need is experience and a star or two and they can be a playoff team.
Prediction: Houston wins, Houston covers -3.5
10/29: Cleveland Browns @ Seattle Seahawks (-4, O/U 40), 4:05PM EST, FOX
This is one of the sneaky good games of the week. Both teams are 4-2 and perhaps not elite but teams that the crème of the crop aren’t too excited to play against. Whichever team wins this game should just about pencil themselves into the playoffs because 5-2 is an outstanding start.
With this game being in Seattle and the NFL screwing the Colts to help the Browns, I think the Seahawks are going to do the league a favor this week. While I do have concerns about Geno Smith going against a defense like the Browns, I trust him enough to not turn the ball over to lose his team the game. Furthermore, Cleveland is stuck with P.J. Walker again at quarterback as Deshaun Watson is out yet again this week,
Prediction: Seattle wins, Cleveland covers +4
10/29: Kansas City Chiefs (-7) @ Denver Broncos, O/U 46.5, 4:25PM EST, CBS
In his career, Patrick Mahomes is a perfect 12-0 against the Broncos. Expect him to get to 13-0 this week. While Denver did play Kansas City tough in their first matchup just a few weeks ago, Mahomes is going to light them up like he did to the Chargers last week.
The Broncos do seem to be improving, but it will not be enough to take down the mighty Chiefs. That being said, this spread is pretty big. Being favored by a touchdown or more in the NFL means you are more than likely to beat down on the other team. Besides, Kansas City is an impressive 5-2 against the spread this year while Denver is only 1-5-1 against the spread. Look for “Taylor Swift’s boyfriend’s team” to come out on top in this one.
Prediction: Kansas City wins, Kansas City covers -7
10/29: Baltimore Ravens (-9.5) @ Arizona Cardinals, O/U 43.5, 4:25PM EST, CBS
How about the Baltimore Ravens? They caught the attention of the entire league as they dismantled the Lions 38-6. I, among many others, was completely off in predicting this game. Lamar Jackson went off for 357 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. On the defensive side, you can’t say enough about how they shut things down. One way of putting it is Lions QB Jared Goff having 53 passing attempts. If you have to throw the ball that much, you are more than likely behind for most of the game.
As for this week, Arizona is in trouble. Josh Dobbs is still starting for them. While he won’t lose you the game with dumb mistakes, he won’t go and be the reason for your team’s success. That won’t be near enough to beat the Ravens. This could very well be the worst game of the week.
Prediction: Baltimore wins, Baltimore covers -9.5
10/29: Cincinnati Bengals @ San Francisco (-3.5, O/U 46), 4:25PM EST, CBS
This is certainly going to be an interesting game. At the beginning of the season, I said these two teams would be matching up in the Super Bowl. While that prediction doesn’t look so hot now, this game will be entertaining.
San Francisco will be without Brock Purdy and will be forced to turn to Sam Darnold. Cincinnati hasn’t looked as good as they should yet this season but they are improving every week. With Cincinnati improving and San Francisco falling, something has to give this week.
As for the game itself, I see the upset happening. Since Sam Darnold is likely to play for the 49ers, I think the 49ers are well on their way to their third consecutive loss. Even if Purdy was playing, I see Joe Burrow cutting up the San Francisco secondary on his way to outduel him.
Prediction: Cincinnati wins, Cincinnati covers +3.5
10/29 (SNF): Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Chargers (-8.5, O/U 46.5), 8:20PM EST, NBC
Whoever thought that this game was good for Sunday Night Football must’ve been under the influence when they made this decision. I don’t even have to mention possible alternatives because almost every game would be a better choice than this.
As for the game, this spread pops out at me. I figured the Chargers would be and should be favored, but 8.5 is a lot of points to cover no matter who you are. If this game is anything like Chicago’s performance a week ago, backup quarterback Tyson Bagent will be able to cover this number with ease.
That being said, was Bagent’s success a week ago beginner’s luck or is he going to be a threat going forward? That may be too early to tell, but I trust Justin Herbert a lot more in this situation. Sure, he has had his issues in primetime, but he has never played Tyson Bagent in primetime either.
Prediction: Los Angeles wins, Chicago covers +8.5
10/30 (MNF): Las Vegas Raiders @ Detroit Lions (-8, O/U 45), 8:15PM EST, ABC/ESPN
This is a ‘see what you’re made of’ kind of game for Detroit. They got humbled in the worst way against the Ravens a week ago. I’m choosing to believe that last week’s performance is not a true representation of what this team is going to be going forward. If I’m right, things will change in a big way this week.
Last week, the Raiders got beat by 18 by Tyson Bagent. Bagent was making his NFL debut and he went to school at Division II Shepherd University. If you have heard that school you deserve an award.
The way I see this game going is a major rebound for the Lions. Although Jimmy Garoppolo is projected to come back, his back injury is going to be tested as the Lions’ front seven is stout and will be all over Jimmy G all night. Look for the Lions to bite off some kneecaps in frustration from last week’s loss.
Prediction: Detroit wins, Detroit covers -8