Welcome, bettors! This would be the old halfway point for a lot of teams, but luckily with this new extended schedule, we've got an extra week before we get over the hill. To celebrate, here are some picks for every Sunday matchup.
Basel's ATS 2021: 25-13-1 (4-1 Week 7)
Tondo's ATS 2021: 18-21 (4-2 Week 7)
Basel's Week 8 Picks
1 PM Games
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons surely aren't playoff team, but a recent string of wins against some pretty bad teams has me confident that they can surprise everyone against the struggling Panthers. The catalyst for this win will likely be Matt Ryan tossing the ball to Kyle Pitts. Their connection this season has developed into something special, and barring Matt Ryan's impending retirement within the next few years, should be a fun pair to watch in the near future. As long as the defense can back up Ryan by forcing some turnovers, then I think Atlanta fans won't just have the Braves to celebrate this weekend.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
A 27-3 win over Kansas City has really punctuated the Titans' hot streak, 3-1 over the past four weeks after starting off 0-3. The Buffalo Bills are also included in this recent winning stretch, so don't count it out as just the Titans hitting an easy pocket of their schedule. Despite this, the line has shifted about two points this week in favor of Indianapolis, meaning that taking three points on the Titans should be a no-brainer. Carson Wentz has been in great shape over the past few weeks, and winning today will come down to whether or not his arm can match, well, all of Derrick Henry, who could break the 1,000 yards rushing mark today with 131 yards. While I don't expect that to happen today, I do expect him to carry his team to the win.
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
Ah, the Detroit Lions, the bane of my existence this year. Every time I give the Lions some props for being able to cover, they get blown out. Every time I get mad and pick against them, they cover. I should avoid this team at all costs, but getting them this week was just the luck of the draw, I guess. In terms of their matchup with the Eagles, I think Detroit can take advantage of the overall disorganized Eagles offense. Despite not having running back Miles Sanders today, Philly will still likely rely on their ground game for yardage, as Jalen Hurts has really not favored his receiving corps in Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. I think they'll get more looks than usual this game, but not enough to make a serious impact against Detroit. In terms of the Lions ground game, I think D'Andre Swift will finally let his explosive rushing ability to lead to a win, as Philly's rush defense continues to slide down the rankings.
Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans
The Rams failed to cover a large spread last week against the Lions, but believe it or not, the disarray within the Texans is just as bad as Detroit's, if not worse. Because of this, I think LA will look to bounce back and blow out Houston. Matt Stafford is putting up MVP-caliber numbers this season, due to a combination of Sean McVay's play-calling and his newfound on-field bromance with receiver Cooper Kupp. The Texans offense has been just awful, scoring in the single digits in three of their last four outings. Against a defense that includes Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, I don't think anything can prepare Davis Mills for the walloping he'll be receiving today.
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears
Returning from injury, Jimmy Garoppolo was ok, but unimpressive against the Colts last week, with 1 TD and 2 INT. After starting 2-0, the Niners have dropped four consecutive games, three by just one score. If they want a bounce back game, then Chicago is as good of an opponent as any. When looking at their recent string of losses, the defense has definitely not been to blame, currently ranked 6th in the league for total yards allowed per game. If the defense can break through Chicago's weak o-line to get to Justin Fields, and Deebo Samuel and Elijah Mitchell get some solid touches on the ball, then I don't think the Niners winning by a field goal and then some is too crazy of a request.
4 PM Games
Washington Football Team at Denver Broncos
Sorry, Washington fans, despite what's been cycling through the rumor mill, Tua is not yet a member of the Football Team (A Teamster? A Teamy Boy?), so you'll just have to hope for Taylor Heinicke to try and pull off a win for you guys. Against Denver, I don't think Washington will be able to create much against this resurging Broncos defense, currently ranked 5th in the league in total yards allowed per game. The Broncos offense has been pretty rough, as Teddy Bridgewater hasn't had as solid of weapons around him as he'd probably like. Look for the Broncos to pull off a defensive win in a low-scoring game.
Sunday Night Football-Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
While the Cowboys have no doubt been hot recently, they've yet to face a serious opponent since Week 2 against the Chargers. The Vikings, while a bit inconsistent, are no doubt a solid team at home. As long as all the cylinders can get pumping on Minnesota, those cylinders being Cousins, Thielen, and Cook, then I think the Vikings should have no problem dropping 30 on any opponent. Despite pulling off the win, Dallas almost let up 30 against the Pats in Week 6. Expect Dak to play his heart out, but the Cowboys defense to slip up and let Minnesota take this primetime matchup.
Tondo's Week 8 Picks
1 PM Games
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
The Dolphins are in the midst of a total meltdown, even with a talented roster. Tua doesn’t feel wanted as rumors of a Deshaun Watson trade are heating up. This turmoil is not needed when you are about to go up against a wagon, and nobody circles a wagon like the Buffalo Bills. All in on Josh Allen and company to get the job done on this one and cover by two touchdowns.
My lock of the week, Bills -13.5.
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets
The poor Jets, man. Zach Wilson seems to be sidelined for a few weeks at minimum, and their impressive offseason is faltering quick. They traded for some QB support, snagging an “elite” champion in Joe Flacco, but it’s not enough. Now, here comes one of the new and hottest teams in the NFL, the Bengals. This is the first time since week 17 of 2017 that the Bengals were double digit favorites. What’s crazier is that this is the first time their double-digit favorites on the road since 1999… Sitting pretty at 5-2 on top of the AFC North, the Bengals just showed they are no fluke after a dominant win against the Ravens. The LSU bond of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase is undoubtedly incredible, and the offensive rookie of the year front-runner is poised for a field day.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
This is the first meeting between AFC North rivals since the Browns incredible wild card win last playoffs. There isn’t a lot of room in this division for losses, especially with both the Ravens and Bengals sitting at 5-2. The Browns are in injury limbo, sneaking a win last week with Case Keenum and D’Ernest Johnson covering for Baker, Chubb, and Hunt. The Steelers defense won’t be as forgiving. Something about this Browns team makes me believe that they will cover at home, so I’ll ride with Cleveland -3.5.
4 PM Games
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
The stats on this matchup are daunting. The Bucs are 1-4 ATS as away favorites in their last five games, and 0-5 ATS against the Saints in their last five matchups. However, this Bucs team is different. The offense is on an absolute groove, averaging over 33 points per game this season. Compared to the Saints 20 per game. Their defense is quite solid, but they haven’t had to play a team like the Bucs just yet. Recency bias is my kryptonite, and with Mike Evans scoring three touchdowns last week and TB12 on a roll, I got to stick with Bucs -5.5
Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks
I was rooting for Geno Smith to torch the league as a Wilson placeholder, but that has yet to occur. They have kept the games close, but the Seahawks are falling apart at the moment. The defense is underperforming and their playoff chances are quickly falling. Jacksonville is on the upturn, though I don’t find them a good team at the moment. If there is an upset, I feel this one is the game, however the Seahawks are in no way losing this matchup, even without Russell Wilson. The Jags are 4-1 ATS as underdogs in the last five. If the spread was 3.5 I’d cover it, but it would be unsettling for me to choose the Jaguars over the Seahawks.
New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers
The Patriots are slowly climbing the later. They kept it competitive with the Cowboys and blew out the Saints. The Chargers are a very competitive team, and Justin Herbert is what the Pats hope Mac Jones can be. However, the Chargers are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 and 0-5 ATS against the Pats in the last five meet ups. Different teams and different scenarios, thought this is one of those games I feel that they can upset, so I’ll take the Pats +6.
See you next week!