NFL : Week 8 Handicapping Preview

Finished 2-1 last week in my Twitter picks as the Dolphins and Chargers won straight up as underdogs. Fell short on the Steelers.

This week is a tough week with six teams on bye and two more in London, which is a game I never like to pick. Last night was a bad Thursday game between the Jaguars and Titans so really limited on the games to select this week. Because of that I’m not really close to an official pick but could change my mind before Sunday. I have small leans on the Saints +2.5, Lions +2.5 and Chargers +4.5. The Saints would probably be a pick if they got to +3 but I missed out when it was at that number early in the week. It’s a bad spot for Seattle who just played five physical quarters against the Cardinals and now have to travel for an early game in New Orleans.

If anything convinces in the next 48 hours, I will tweet out what I like.

NFL: Week 7 Handicapping Preview

Didn’t write last week but went 3-1 with the picks I tweeted in Week 6. Here are my early thoughts on the Week 7 slate with Wednesday morning lines. I have three games I’m very close to officially picking and called those side strong leans. There are also a handful of other games I have interest in and shared how I approached those teams so far. As always I will tweet out official picks between now and Sunday.

Strong Leans:

Chargers +6.5 at Falcons

The Falcons are coming off a tough loss against the Seahawks and have the Packers on deck. Great time to fade the Falcons who struggled in this favorite role last season. Chargers with extra time to prepare.

Steelers +7 vs Patriots

Injured-player theory after the Ben Roethlisberger injury. We’re getting a full touchdown with a Steelers team at home who have a healthy Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Think Steelers bounce back after a clunker last week against the Dolphins.

Dolphins +3 vs Bills

One thing holding me back from loving Miami is they are coming off a big win against the Steelers but that could be a good thing for this team. Bills have won four straight but in an easy stretch of their schedule. Buffalo host New England next week so definitely a lookahead spot for the Bills.

Leans:

Packers -7.5 vs Bears

Best time to buy low on the Packers who are playing their fourth straight home game. Revenge for Green Bay after Chicago won at Lambeau on Thanksgiving night last season. Lookahead line was -10 so definitely some line value despite injuries at running back for Packers.

Redskins +1 at Lions

Don’t love the Redskins overall but think this is a bad matchup for the Lions who gave up 321 passing yard to Case Keenum last week. The injury status of Jordan Reed will likely decide if I officially pick this game.

Raiders +1 at Jaguars

Raiders have won three games on the road in the eastern or central time zone. They are tempting as an underdog here and seem to play better away from home.

Colts +3 at Colts

Not sure if the Titans should be giving a field goal against a team with a good quarterback. The Colts lost a heart-breaking game last week but they have to believe the division is still up for grabs.

Texans +7.5 at Broncos

The Brock Osweiler revenge spot isn’t part of my handicap for this game. I just don’t think Trevor Siemian should be over a touchdown favorite against an average team.

Vikings -2.5 at Eagles

No reason to back off the Vikings who are coming off a bye week and have an intimidating defense against a rookie quarterback.

Buccaneers -2 at 49ers

Buccaneers are also off a bye so this seems like a great spot for them. But have to hesitate to back them as favorites on the road.

NFL: Week 5 Picks

It’s only Thursday after but I have two picks I really like in the NFL.

Lions +3.5 over Eagles 

I was down on the Eagles before the season when they still had Sam Bradford. After they traded Bradford I was still down on them because I thought they would be in a rebuilding year with Carson Wentz under center. The Eagles have started 3-0 and I’ll admit that I was completely wrong about them. However, they are getting too much respect here and shouldn’t be a favorite by over a field goal on the road. They beat the Browns, Bears and caught the Steelers after they had a physical win against the Bengals. The bye week was the worst thing to happen Philly and Wentz got an extra week for people to tell him how good he has been playing. Detroit needs this game to save their season and maybe for Jim Caldwell to keep his job.

Bengals -1 over Cowboys 

I’ll keep this one short because I simply think the Bengals are a better team and don’t think the Cowboys have much of a home field advantage. I like that the Bengals played last Thursday and have an extra time to prepare. The Cowboys have had a very soft schedule and Dez Bryant looks unlikely to play. Dallas was down 14-0 at one point to San Francisco last week and the Bengals aren’t a team you want to play while trailing. I’m not a fan of Cincinnati’s offense but they basically just have to win here.

I’m fading both rookie quarterbacks who have combined for zero turnovers in seven games this season. Think they both slow down this week and make some mistakes. I am mulling over a few other games and will tweet out additional picks that I add before Sunday afternoon. I will say that I’m leaning towards the Ravens, Titans, Jets, Bills and Chargers against the spread but don’t fell confident enough yet to make any official.