CANTON, Ohio- Welcome to my week 8 predictions of the NFL. This week I’m comparing my predictions with the picks from some NFL expert oddsmakers. The AFC East is still close, as is the AFC South. Will Kansas City bounce back? The Eagles look to continue their dominate play and will this be the week where the NFC South separates a little?
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL-
Dolphins at Ravens- Knowing New England, the Dolphins will need to keep winning. They’ve won 3 straight. The Ravens are in desperate need of a win. I’m taking Baltimore, but only because they’re at home and if they lose, it will get ugly in Baltimore.
Falcons at Jets- I think this game will be closer than most expect, however, I expect Atlanta to get a win on the road over the Jets.
Panthers at Buccaneers- Tampa Bay has disappointed me big time this year, but Carolina isn’t playing at the level I expected. I’ll take Tampa Bay. What does sportsbettingdime.com have to say? Tampa has a bad defense, really bad (31st in D-DVOA), and the offense hasn’t been consistent under Jameis Winston, who continues to battle through an AC joint issue. Even if Luke Kuechly, the heart and soul of Carolina’s defense, is sidelined for another week, we’re taking the Panthers as 2.5-point road underdogs.
49ers at Eagles- I’ll pick the Eagles to keep flying high over the winless 49ers.
Bears at Saints- New Orleans has shocked me this year. But, so has the Chicago defense. I’m going to take the upset here and pick Chicago for a big win on the road.
Chargers at Patriots- The Chargers have won 3 straight. That streak ends Sunday when the Patriots take care of business at home.
Raiders at Bills- Oakland got a big win over Kansas City and Buffalo did the same. I’m going with Oakland to get a huge win on the road.
Colts at Bengals- Both teams are struggling this year as I expected. I’ll give Cincinnati the edge because they’re at home and, honestly, they have a better team.
Texans at Seahawks- This will be a huge test for Houston. Both teams are still in contention in their respective divisions. Seattle plays great at home and that’s why I’m picking Seattle for the win. Will sportsbettingdime.com agree with me? Houston and rookie DeShaun Watson face Seattle’s 12th-ranked defense (5th against the pass) in arguably the toughest environment in the league. Don’t expect more big numbers from the rookie, and don’t expect the Texans’ JJ Watt-less defense to keep the Seahawks’ attack in check for 60 minutes.
Cowboys at Redskins- A huge game in the NFC East. Dallas and Washington are both playing to stay somewhat close to Philadelphia. I have the Cowboys getting a close win on the road. Here is what sportsbettingdime.com has to say- Dallas travels to Washington with both teams hoping to stay within striking distance of the 6-1 Eagles. Dallas is laying 2.5 points on the road. Washington is suffering from key injuries on both sides of the ball, and their defense is better against the pass than the run. That’s not the dynamic you want against Zeke Elliott and a Dallas offense that just piled up 265 rushing yards in Week 7. Add in an improved Dallas pass rush going against a depleted Washington O-line, and laying less than a field goal feels like a steal, even with the Cowboys on the road.
Steelers at Lions- Detroit actually has a better road record, than home. Pittsburgh seems to have a lot of momentum. I think everyone expects Pittsburgh to win this game pretty easily, but I’m going to pick the Lions to get a close win at home.
Broncos at Chiefs- The Chiefs have lost 2 straight as has Denver. But I think the Chiefs will right the ship this week and defend Arrowhead. Kansas City gets a close win over the Broncos.
Vikings at Browns- (Game is in London)- There is no doubt in my mind that the Minnesota Vikings will win over the winless Cleveland Browns. I would be shocked if this game is even close. The Vikings are a better team, even if Cleveland is fully healthy, which they’re not. The Browns will be missing Thomas at left tackle who is done for the year (Triceps injury) and Myles Garrett, who is in concussion protocol. I expect this game to be over, points wise, by halftime.
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