Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week Eight:
*Thursday, October 25*
Tampa Bay 2-4 at Minnesota 5-2 – 8:20 p.m. [Line: Vikings by 7]
The Vikings are 4-0 at home this season. The Buccaneers are winless on the road.
-RJ’s Pick: Minnesota by 13
*Sunday, October 28*
Seattle 4-3 at Detroit 2-4 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Lions by 2]
I know I’m a total homer, but the Lions should really be at least 4-2 right now. They haven’t lost a game by more than eight points this season. The only game where they were truly outplayed was a Week Two loss on the road to the 49ers. The Seahawks are just 1-3 on the road and have the second-worst offense in the league in terms of points per game.
-RJ’s Pick: Detroit by 7
RJ’s Mismatch Of The Week: Carolina 1-5 at Chicago 5-1 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Bears by 7]
The Bears have won four in a row and sit alone atop the NFC North, probably the toughest division in the NFL. The Panthers have lost four in a row and just fired their General Manager.
-RJ’s Pick: Chicago by 15
San Diego 3-3 at Cleveland 1-6 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Chargers by 2.5]
The Chargers have the league’s best run defense, meaning Browns rookie QB Brandon Weeden (10 interceptions, 72.3 passer rating) will likely be throwing it a lot.
-RJ’s Pick: San Diego by 10
New England 4-3 at St. Louis 3-4 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Patriots by 7]
The Patriots have the NFL’s best offense, and each of their three losses were in extremely close games. The Rams have not scored more than 20 points in a game since Week Two.
-RJ’s Pick: New England by 17
Miami 3-3 at New York Jets 3-4 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Jets by 2.5]
The Dolphins in their last four games have lost by three, lost by three, won by four, and won by three. The Jets hope to get back to .500 with a win going into their Bye Week next week. You’ll want to have Reggie Bush starting for your fantasy football team this week.
-RJ’s Pick: Miami by 3
RJ’s Upset Lock Of The Week: Atlanta 6-0 at Philadelphia 3-3 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Eagles by 2.5]
Let’s see if I understand this correctly. The NFL’s only remaining undefeated team, the Falcons, are the underdog to a .500 team that’s lost two straight, has a -22 point differential, has the league’s third-worst offense in terms of points per games, and whose three wins this season came by a combined margin of four points? Oh, and Eagles QB Michael Vick has already turned the ball over 13 times (eight interceptions, five lost fumbles) in six games. It’s not like the Eagles are unbeatable at home. This simply does not compute.
-RJ’s Pick: Atlanta by 8
Washington 3-4 at Pittsburgh 3-3 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Steelers by 4]
The Redskins have the NFL’s top rushing offense and worst pass defense. The Steelers are unbeaten at home so far this season.
-RJ’s Pick: Pittsburgh by 1
Jacksonville 1-5 at Green Bay 4-3 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Packers by 13]
The Jaguars have scored a total of eight touchdowns this season. That is the fewest in the league. The Packers have not scored fewer than 27 points in a game since Week Three.
[Interesting factoid: All four NFC North teams (Vikings, Lions, Bears, and Packers) are favored to win this week. It helps that all four are playing at home.]
-RJ’s Pick: Green Bay by 21
Indianapolis 3-3 at Tennessee 3-4 – 1:00 p.m. [Line: Titans by 3.5]
The Colts seem to play well every other game. They beat the Vikings in Week Two, the Packers in Week Five, and the Browns last week. But they lost in Week One, Week Three, and Week Six. (Their Bye Week was in Week Four.) If that trend continues, they could be in trouble this week. Also, they are winless on the road so far this season. The Titans have the league’s worst point differential despite nearly being at .500. They’ve won two straight and are 2-1 at home this season.
-RJ’s Pick: Tennessee by 1
Oakland 2-4 at Kansas City 1-5 – 4:05 p.m. [Line: Chiefs by 2]
The Raiders are winless away from home this season. Of course, the Chiefs are winless at home. They’ve also lost three in a row.
-RJ’s Pick: Oakland by 3
New York Giants 5-2 at Dallas 3-3 – 4:25 p.m. [Line: Giants by 2]
The Giants have won three straight and have people talking about a Super Bowl repeat. The Cowboys are looking to get back above .500 by beating their NFC East rival for the second time this season. This should be a good game.
-RJ’s Pick: Dallas by 4
New Orleans 2-4 at Denver 3-3 – 8:20 p.m. [Line: Broncos by 6]
The Saints have won their last two after starting the season 0-4. They have not allowed fewer than 24 points in a game this year. But then, they haven’t scored fewer than 24 points in a game either. The Broncos are at .500 through six games. Only one of their previous opponents this season (the Raiders) has a losing record. But their schedule gets considerably easier after this week.
-RJ’s Pick: Denver by 2
*Monday, October 29*
San Francisco 5-2 at Arizona 4-3 – 8:30 p.m. [Line: 49ers by 7]
The Cardinals have dropped three straight, but could move back into first place in the NFC West (and share the lead with the 49ers) with a win at home this week. The 49ers have held opponents to six points or less three times already this season. This could be the fourth time.
-RJ’s Pick: San Francisco by 14
[Bye Week Teams: Buffalo 3-4, Cincinnati 3-4, Baltimore 5-2, Houston 6-1]
If you’re interested, you can check out the full list of Danny Sheridan’s Odds here.