Week 8 NFL Vegas Picks
By Danny Webster
Last week's record: 7-7
It looks like my locks of the week last week were rusty.
This tends to happen, going 1-4 in those locks and 6-3 in the remaining games last week. But if you played a parlay card with my locks of the week, I apologize ... Sort of.
That's the beauty of gambling. You feel confident placing bets because the spread looks good, but then they mess with you. Overall, a 7-7 week is a good money line week. But we'll limit locks to three, so maybe that helps.
So, how are we looking this week?
LOCKS OF THE WEEK
Washington at Denver (-12)
You're going to notice a trend this week: Take the underdogs as much as possible.
Especially with the Redskins heading to Denver this week, that 12-point spread may seem reasonable in hindsight, but there's a lot of questions heading into Sunday at Mile High. Peyton Manning will play, but how hurt is he? Are the Redskins back to normal? And is Robert Griffin III back to his old form?
If those are answered with even a little doubt, take the Redskins on the money line and put a little extra on it. Griffin ran for 84 yards on 11 attempts last week against Chicago in an upset win over the Bears. Denver's defense isn't looking any better, and when you add the dimension of RG3 throwing the ball, the Broncos' defense is worse.
I'm not saying the Redskins pull the upset and get themselves back in the NFC East race, but this will be close.
Take the Redskins with the 12 points, easily.
New York Giants at Philadelphia (-5.5)
This game hinders on who the Eagles play at quarterback this week. So far, with Michael Vick still dealing with hamstring issues and Nick Foles having a concussion, it's going to be Matt Barkley.
Now the decision to draft Barkley doesn't seem so bad, does it?
Unless Barkley pulls a Case Keenum and keeps this game close, not only will the Giants cover, but they should win by at least two touchdowns. They're finally in the win column and a game against Philadelphia is a way to start picking up momentum. If the Eagles' defense can do what they did against Dallas last week, this will be a close game.
But take the Giants with the points. Keep it safe.
Atlanta at Arizona (-2.5)
This was the line that shocked me upon first glance. I know Atlanta isn't as good as last year, but having the Falcons as 2.5-point favorites on the road against an Arizona team that isn't as good seems like a godsend.
Even with a bad record, the Falcons haven't been bad. Even when they lose, games have been close. They just haven't found ways to get the job done. But I don't trust Arizona in a situation to keep it close with a better team.
If you feel the Cardinals gained experience with their double-digit losses to Seattle and San Francisco last week, you may want to stay away. But the Falcons are much better than 2-4, and they'll prove it against a team they should beat.
Atlanta wins by 13 points and easily covers.
STAY AWAY FROM ...
Cleveland at Kansas City (-7.5)
Kansas City should win this game at home, that's not the issue. The issue pertains to last week, where Keenum and the Texans lost by one point to the Chiefs at home. Brandon Weeden has been a major disappointment, but if the Chiefs' offense can't put Cleveland away early, this could be close.
But Cleveland is bad enough to make that statement irrelevant. It just depends how much you want to believe in Kansas City's offense to put up enough points to make this a rout in the third quarter.
Be cautious with this one.
OTHER GAMES THIS WEEKEND
San Francisco (-16) at Jacksonville (in London)
Is this an omen for what's to come with the Jaguars moving to London? The fans may not take kindly to San Francisco putting a beatdown on the Jags. 49ers cover easily.
Dallas at Detroit (-3)
A battle of two teams you're not sure what you're getting, and this is a huge test for Dallas' defense, which has been playing extremely well the last two weeks. I like the momentum the Cowboys have, and should win this game.
Buffalo at New Orleans (-11)
I'm intrigued by this Buffalo team, even with Thad Lewis at quarterback. This might be another one you'd want to stay away from, but the Saints should win this game and cover by a few points.
Miami at New England (-6.5)
Should the Pats win? No question. Will they? Probably. Will they cover? Who knows? After last week's debacle in New York, the Dolphins may shock the New England faithful and keep this game close. Take the Dolphins with the points.
New York Jets at Cincinnati (-6.5)
Two teams who define the word "inconsistent." The Jets have been up and down all year, while the Bengals are winning, but not beating teams they should be by a large margin. The temptation is there to take the Jets with the points.
Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Oakland
The Steelers have found their winning ways, but Terrelle Pryor presents a challenge that the struggling Pittsburgh defense hasn't seen. In a hostile environment, in a classic AFC rivalry, I like the Raiders in the upset.
Green Bay (-9) at Minnesota
Since that terrible loss to the Bengals, the Packers are on track and have played well on both sides of the ball. Plus, Christian Ponder is playing. Need I say more?
Seattle (-11) at St. Louis
You get all excited for a quality Monday Night matchup, and then Sam Bradford goes down for the year. The Seahawks make quick work of the Rams and cover easily.