We're back for another round of NFL picks against the spread! I'm off to a 1-0 start this week thanks to the New England Patriots having no trouble with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. The Dolphins were on a two-game winning streak under interim coach Dan Campbell, and that had people thinking maybe they were legit after a 1-3 start. They might still do some decent things this year, but they've got some work to do to challenge the Patriots on the road.
For the second straight season, I am back for the LVH SuperContest. SB Nation's partners over at Odds Shark are sponsoring my entry again. The contest requires selecting 5 games each week and picking them against the spread. This year's contest is expected to have nearly 1,400 participants, including myself, Matt Ufford and Eric Sollenberger from SB Nation. Everybody picks their own five games and there will be a running leaderboard HERE. You can follow my standings under the name "Fooch".
Last year, I finished 39-45-1. This year, I'm off to a decent start. I put together three straight 4-1 weeks, slipped to 3-2, bounced back to 3-1-1, and followed that with back-to-back 3-2 weeks. My two losses were not particularly close. The Saints charged back against the Saints, but the cover was never happening after they fell behind big early. And then the Raiders had their way with the Chargers. I was not shocked by that, but figured the Chargers would put up more of a fight. I am currently 24-10-1 through seven weeks. Again, the cushion remains for my inevitable fall! I went 7-7 overall ATS with my picks.
Here are my SuperContest picks for Week 8:
SAINTS (-3) over Giants
RAVENS (-3.5) over Chargers
RAIDERS (+2.5) over Jets
BRONCOS (+3) over Packers
PANTHERS (-6.5) over Colts
I hem'd and haw'd about taking the 49ers earlier this week at +8.5. Then, when Carlos Hyde went down, I was seriously considering taking the Rams. Without Hyde, and having a banged up Anquan Boldin, I'm skeptical the 49ers can do much against a Rams defense that could do serious damage to their offensive line. That being said, this is a divisional game, and these are still the Jeff Fisher Rams. There are just enough questions about both teams that I decided to stay away entirely.
I bounced between Raiders-Jets and Cowboys-Seahawks. I am taking the Cowboys in the overall picks against the spread, but I just wasn't comfortable enough to put my money where my mouth is. I think the Seahawks are a little overvalued after beating a bad 49ers team. The Cowboys only lost to the Giants because of some craziness. They might have Dez Bryant back this week, but the main reason I am not taking the Cowboys in the SuperContest is if they can't get more points against a bad Giants defense, what can they do against a Seahawks defense getting more parts back?
The Saints were a team I was prepared to fade, but Drew Brees is starting to look a little more like the Brees of old. He could yack it all up this weekend, but I am intrigued by his chances against a Giants pass defense that is improving, but still not particularly great.
The Broncos seem like the weakest of the unbeaten teams, but they still roll out the No. 1 defense in the league. The Packers could do plenty coming off a bye, but I'm going with a pick the pros seem to like. I'm not overly enthused because I question the Broncos, but this is all about backing that No. 1 ranked defense.
Here are all my picks for Week 8
PATRIOTS vs. Dolphins (+8): Patriots - Win
Chiefs vs. Lions (London) (+5): Lions
BEARS vs. Vikings (-1.5): Vikings
FALCONS vs. Buccaneers (+7): Falcons
SAINTS vs. Giants (+3): Saints
RAMS vs. 49ers (+8.5): Rams
BROWNS vs. Cardinals (-5): Cardinals
STEELERS vs. Bengals (PK): Steelers
RAVENS vs. Chargers (+3.5): Ravens
TEXANS vs. Titans (+3): Texans
RAIDERS vs. Jets (-2.5): Raiders
COWBOYS vs. Seahawks (-6): Cowboys
BRONCOS vs. Packers (-3): Broncos
PANTHERS vs. Colts (+6.5): Panthers