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Against the Spread: NFL Week 8

First off, I’d like to thank NextImpulseSports.com for the opportunity to write for the site; I couldn’t be any happier to be part of the team. With the niceties out of the way, let us analyze Week 8 of the NFL season. As we near the halfway point of the Regular Season we pretty much know what to expect from every NFL team. That being said, the NFL is so volatile and teams are so heavily dependent on individual performers that anything can happen on any given Sunday (shout out Willie Beamen!).

In this column I am going to give my opinion on some of my favorite lines of the weekend and some other prop bets that could be fun. I am not a professional gambler and don’t claim to be one. I’m just a sports fanatic and an avid fan of Las Vegas. We’ll keep it at that. You guys ready? Let’s get it on!

All lines according to 5dimes.eu

The Teaser:

Giants +11.5

Giants/Eagles Over 44

Do we even know what we’re getting with the Giants? Has there ever been a team that is a scarier 1-6? You just never know with a New York Giants team coached by Tom Coughlin. Last week they got back on track and earned their first win of the season, albeit against a Vikings team that started Josh Freeman. What are the odds Freeman had a concussion for 74.73% of that game? Anyways, I believe the Giants gained some much needed confidence during that game and it is time for Eli Manning to go all Good-Eli Manning all over the NFL. That starts this week in Philadelphia against the putrid Eagles secondary (and defense in general). Chip Kelly’s squad (Love you Chip!) is 3-4 and looking to get back in the division race. The problem for the Eagles is that Nick Foles is concussed and Michael Vick has a plethora of injuries and is most likely coming back a week early. Look for the Giants to keep this one close and, in my opinion, come away with the victory.

In terms of the overall points in this one, bet the over and bet it big. The line on points is relatively low, mostly because I believe that Vegas is concerned about the volatility of both offenses. The Eagles only scored three points last weekend and Eli Manning has thrown 15 interceptions so far this season. However, both the Giants and Eagles defenses are horrendous. The Giants have the 23rd ranked defense according to DVOA, while the Eagles rank 28th. Meanwhile, the Eagles sport the 8th ranked offense according to DVOA. The Giants are ranked 29th offensively in those rankings but I am going to take some creative leeway and say that the Giants will fly up those rankings by the end of this season.

While we’re at it…..

Giants/Eagles Over 51

Just do it. I’m telling you, just freaking do it!

Prediction: Giants 31 – Eagles 28.


Browns +5 first half @ Chiefs

Browns +9 @ Chiefs

Did Andy Reid sell his soul to the devil? Or the BBQ Gods? Or any type of diety? In consecutive weeks Reid’s Chiefs have faced the following Quarterbacks: Fitzpatrick, Pryor, Keenum, and now Campbell. Oh, and the Chiefs face Thad Lewis of the Bills next week.

While the Chiefs have been flying high and possess an unblemished 7-0 record, it’s not as if they have been incredibly impressive. Hell, they almost got beat last week by Case Keenum and the team posing as the Houston Texans. I personally don’t have any faith in Jason Campbell’s ability to compete against the KC defense, which is ranked 2nd in DVOA, but I do have faith in the Browns defense to contain Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith.

A first half bet on the Browns in every game this season would have resulted in a 6-1 record. Although their first loss in this scenario occurred last week against the Packers, I believe this is a strong play and should result in a victory. I feel a bit less confident about the +9 for the game bet, but still think this is a touchdown game at worst.

Prediction: Chiefs 24 – Browns 17

Patriots -6.5 v. Dolphins

The Dolphins are in shambles. Last week they lost at home to the Thad Lewis led Bills. The offensive line has basically been on life support for the past couple of weeks and it doesn’t really get that much better with the addition of Bryant McKinnie this week. I believe the Fins are in a bit of a tailspin and this is not the week they correct their problems.

The Pats have been a disappointment this season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Tom Brady doesn’t look like Tom Brady, his young receivers have a case of the drops (sounds like an STD, scratch that from the record), and Danny Amendola is in a morgue somewhere in or around Boston. The lone bright spot for the Patriots is that Mr. Gronk came back last week and looked like GRONK. I think the offense is going to get back on track this week and the defense will continue it’s strong play.

Prediction: Patriots 31 – Dolphins 20

Steelers -1 @ Raiders

The Steelers are back. Well, they’ve won two straight and now have the pleasure of taking on the Raiders. Despite the game being in Oakland, I believe the Steelers should be favored by closer to 4.5-5 points. I guess Mike Tomlin’s decision to take all the fun out of football has worked well. Look for Big Ben and LeVeon Bell to have solid games and for the Pittsburgh D to step up in a big way.

Prediction: Steelers 24 – Oakland 13

Falcons +1 @ Cardinals

Sorry, I have to take Matt Ryan on the road over Carson Palmer at home. I may be sucked into still thinking this Atlanta team is good but for some reason I don’t think they’re out of it quite yet. Look for the Falcons to have a breakout game in Arizona and take another victory home. The reason being that Palmer can’t close out games and the Cardinals defense isn’t what we thought it would be.

Prediction: Falcons 28 – Cardinals 24


Steelers Over 21 @ Raiders

Raiders Under 19 v. Steelers

As I mentioned previously, I believe the final score will be Steelers 24 Oakland 13. Before I ever look at the NFL spreads or total points on gaming sites I spend a couple of minutes thinking about how the game will play out and then write down my score prediction. Then, I compare that prediction to the actual lines. If there’s a large gap (usually more than 3.5 points) then I would consider it to be a “green” bet. This certainly fits the criteria on both sides for me.

Four Team Teaser

49ers ML v. Jaguars

Saints ML v. Bills

Packers ML @ Vikings

Seahawks ML @ Rams

Come on folks, do I really need to explain this one to you? Sure, four team parlays are always a horrendous idea. Do I care? Absolutely not. Be Bold!


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