Last week was profitable! 3-1-1! Let's keep it rolling!
For the season, here is how we are doing.
Super Five: 14-18-3
Against the Spread (all games): 53-50-3
Straight Up: 65-41
Not the greatest numbers but the Super Five is improving.
Without further ado, here are our Super Five Picks for Week 8.
Minnesota Vikings -9.5
Buffalo Bills -2.5
Cincinnati Bengals -10.5
LA Chargers +7
Philadelphia Eagles -12.5
Not all mammals this time. We still have a dangerous big cat but also a seafaring Scandinavian, a large bird of prey, a famous western frontiersman, and a type of cheer USC is known for. Definitely an interesting group here!
OK, time for our analysis!
For the second consecutive week, we go with a game in foggy London town. We have seen blowouts in all three London games so far with two of them being shutouts and one near shutout. If the Minnesota - Cleveland game is anything like the three previous London games, it's a safe bet that the Vikings will be the dominant team in this affair. The Browns season is pretty much a lost cause again. We suspect they will just party it up with the British folks this weekend and have no clue how to move the football against a strong defense like Minnesota's. Vikings WR Stefon Diggs did practice fully on Thursday and Friday so that will be a huge addition. The Vikings have a lot to play for with Green Bay losing its star QB and the Lions and Bears playing at best mediocre football. Covering 9.5 points is a lot but these Bad News Browns are really awful and the Vikings have had three victories so far in the double digits (could have been four if not for Baltimore's backdoor cover in the final seconds of last week's game). Prediction: Minnesota 24 - Cleveland 10.
Buffalo has been an interesting team. Offensively they are not very good. Defensively they are solid and for that, they are 4-2. Those two losses were in close games on the road at Carolina and at Cincinnati in grind-it-out type of games. That is precisely the kind of team Buffalo is right now and the Raiders are not well equipped for that type of football. Plus travelling cross country in an early game puts the Raiders at a disadvantage. The Raiders have proven they can win on the road but not against tough defensive teams like their recent losses to Denver and Baltimore (that one was in Oakland). No Lynch also hurts the Raiders and the Bills have a very strong run defense. The GE model has the Bills winning by at least 9 points so a spread of -2.5 is very good value for Buffalo. Prediction: Buffalo 27 - Oakland 17.
The Bengals are a tough nut to crack. They have talent but lose some close games. Andy Dalton is probably the reason why this team won't make the playoffs and perhaps Marvin Lewis will lose his job. However, the Bengals are at home and are playing the Colts. The Colts defense is non-existent which means AJ Green and Company should go off this Sunday. The Colts also don't have much of an offense and the Bengals D can be tough to penetrate. This is pretty much a must-win game for the Bengals and the Colts, much like the Browns, have another lost season. Covering double digits is tough in the NFL but the Colts have already lost 4 games this season by double digits and the Bengals tend to win half of their home games by 10 or more points in the Marvin Lewis era. All indicators point to the Bengals winning big here. Prediction: Cincinnati 31 - Indianapolis 10.
Betting against the Patriots is usually not a good idea. However, with their porous defense , we see this game being a shootout. The Chargers just have too much talent to lay down. If the spread were -3 or -4 for New England, maybe we take the Patriots but with a spread of -7, that is too much chalk against a pretty good team in the LA Chargers (still weird saying that). The GE model has the Patriots winning by 4.5 points so this game should be close. It might come down to whoever has the ball last and we think this game will be similar to the Chargers - Falcons game around this time last season when the Chargers came back to win in a high scoring contest. Prediction: New England 28 - LA Chargers 24.
Finally, we will go with some heavy chalk with the Eagles. 12.5 is a big spread but have you seen the 49ers play lately?! They pretty much have thrown in the towel by starting C.J. Beathard at QB who most definitely would not be a starter on any other NFL team and perhaps not even #2 on the depth chart at QB for half of the NFL squads. The Eagles look really, really good. They are legit Super Bowl contender and Carson Wentz is showing why he was taken 2nd overall is last year's NFL draft. He has a good chance of winning the regular season MVP award and is overall a good dude with his community service. That, ladies and gentlemen, is true leadership and NFL players can sense it and will rally around it. Unfortunately the 49ers don't have such leadership and are in big trouble in the City of Brotherly Love. Travelling cross country and playing an early game is never easy for an inexperienced West Coast team against a strong defense. Expect the Eagles to stymie the anemic 49ers offense and LeGarrette Blount to run the ball down the 49ers throat. Prediction: Philadelphia 33 - 49ers 16.
OK, that covers it for our Super Five Picks for Week 8, no pun intended! Here are our predictions for the rest of the games.
BAL 17 - MIA 16 (We did not think Miami would get blown out like that! This is happening often to several teams!)
NO 26 - CHI 17 (Same score the Saints had against the Packers last week.)
ATL 24 - NYJ 21 (Falcons finally win but barely. The Super Bowl hangover is real for the team that loses it.)
TB 24 - CAR 21 (This game should be close, like the Falcons - Jets game.)
SEA 23 - HOU 17 (We think this game ends in OT with a Russell Wilson TD pass.)
WAS 26 - DAL 25 (This should be a fun one and can end with a last second FG.)
PIT 20 - DET 18 (The Steel Curtain Defense is back in Pittsburgh!)
KC 28 - DEN 21 (A classic NFL rivalry. The Chiefs get back on track after having a few extra days to figure things out.)
Consider going big on the Vikings in the super early game. Then do a few two-team parlays with the four other teams we like. If all goes well, take a small flyer on the afternoon/evening games. It's a light week for the NFL with six teams on bye so most of the action will be in the morning (if you live on the West Coast). Good luck!