I don’t know how I keep getting lucky with these backdoor covers, but I can’t complain. Thanks to a late pick six by the Patriots on Monday night, I went 4-1 against the spread for week eight. That’s three weeks in a row above .500 now to put my season record at 20-20. Before I give my picks for week nine, here are some random NFL thoughts:
- Is it too early to call the Jon Gruden experiment an absolute failure? The fact that the Raiders’ organization is trusting this guy to rebuild the franchise actually makes me feel sorry for Oakland fans.
- I can’t get a good feel for the Steelers / Ravens game this week. Pittsburgh seems to be building some momentum and they’re getting three points, so if I had to, I’d probably bet on them.
Atlanta +1.5 at Washington
This isn’t much of an upset pick, but I love the Falcons in this spot. If Atlanta wants any chance to make the playoffs, they absolutely have to win this game. A win would put them at 4-4 and very much in the mix for an NFC wild card spot. Meanwhile, Washington has won three in a row, so I think they’re due for a letdown game. Take the Falcons to go on the road and win this game, 27-23.
NY Jets +3 at Miami
If the Jets can’t win this game with Brock Osweiler starting for the Dolphins, they might as well leave Todd Bowles in Miami. I like their chances, though, especially with Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, and Elijah McGuire possibly returning on offense. I also think Sam Darnold is due for a good game, as he gets to face a defense he lost to earlier in the season. Jets win 24-21.
Minnesota -5.5 vs. Detroit
It feels like the Lions are giving up on this season after trading away Golden Tate. Between that move and Matt Patricia getting in arguments with reporters, I can see Detroit lacking motivation for this game. Minnesota, on the other hand, will be very motivated after coming off a home loss to the Saints. I’ll take the Vikings to win this game easily, 34-20.
Denver -1.5 vs. Houston
I can’t believe this Texans team has won five games in a row. I love Deshaun Watson and Deandre Hopkins as much as anyone, but I certainly do not love that offensive line and Bill O’Brien. Going into Denver is a tough environment for any team, so this seems like the perfect week for Houston’s winning streak to end. Give me Denver to win here, 24-16.
Tennessee +5.5 at Dallas
This is one of those lines that just makes no sense to me. I’m not sure that the Cowboys should be laying this many points against anyone, but especially not against a team like the Titans who are coming off a bye. Although Tennessee has struggled to start the season, their roster is still loaded with talent. I think Dallas probably wins this game, but I don’t see them covering the 5.5 point spread. Cowboys win a close game, 20-17.
Week Eight Record: 4-1
Season Record: 20-20