- Kenneth Cotterill
Top 5 Games To Watch - Week 8
Season Record (25-10)
Another perfect week for the kid puts me above 70 percent for the season. The Rams blew out Chicago to cover on Monday night and the Cardinals salvaged the win in overtime against the Seahawks in one of the most entertaining games of the season so far. But forget about what has happened let's now look forward to week eight, as this might be the best week yet. Tons of divisional games, including some high-powered offenses going head to head should make for an exciting Sunday.
5. Chicago Bears (5-2) vs. New Orleans Saints (4-2)
The Chicago Bears offense looked horrendous on Monday night against the Rams and they need to bounce back quickly. They only had 279 yards of total offense with their only touchdown coming from the defense on a fumble recovery in the 4th quarter. The Bears have only surpassed 25 points twice in seven games, which simply does not cut it in the NFL. They can't continue to rely on the defense to keep them in games if they want to continue winning. However, they might be in some trouble again this week against the New Orleans Saints who are coming off a bye week.
Keep an eye on the health of Michael Thomas, who can take the Saints offense to the next level if he plays. If not, then the Bears have to shift focus to containing Alvin Kamara. If they can keep him under 100 yards overall they could stay in this game - but that's a tall task, even for the Bears stout defense. While I think Nick Foles will throw for a couple of touchdowns in this game, I do not see them scoring the 30+ points they will need to knock off the Saints at home. This is a game to avoid betting wise because while the Saints should cover the points, I think the point line will be incredibly close. Pick another game to win your dough.
New Orleans 27 - Chicago 21
4. Las Vegas Raiders (3-3) vs. Cleveland Browns (5-2)
Odell Beckham Jr. may be out for the season with a torn ACL, but the Browns actually looked better without him last week. Yes, I know it was the Bengals but Baker Mayfield looked like a new man without Odell which could bode well for the Browns if that trend continues. On the other side, you have Las Vegas, whose defense gave up 45 points to Tampa Bay last week. The Raiders offense is at its best when Josh Jacobs runs the ball effectively which he did not do last week, gaining just 17 yards on 10 carries.
The Browns give up the 5th least rushing yards per game in the league, so the offensive load will likely fall on Derek Carr once again. Carr is having a nice year so far, throwing 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions, so it's possible he can keep them alive in this game. Cleveland is currently favored by -2.5 and I like them to just barely cover. It could come down to who has the ball last and I think that will be Cleveland. They will kick the game-winning field goal and will just hit them over on the point total line of 54.0. This is another line I would avoid but take Cleveland to win straight up if you can.
Cleveland 30 - Las Vegas 27
3. New England Patriots (2-4) vs. Buffalo Bills (5-2)
Boy the New England Patriots have completely changed since Cam Newton had COVID. They have scored just 18 points in the last two games and none of those points were from touchdowns. Buffalo also had no touchdowns last week against the lowly Jets, but they still won that game due to Adam Gase continuing to be inept. So you might be asking why should I tune into this game with two teams that cannot score touchdowns?
Well, the reason is I think the flood gates are bound to open here - at least for one of these teams. Buffalo still had over 400 yards of offense last week, so moving the ball will not be a problem for them here. It is a divisional game and a rivalry that New England has typically dominated, but things could trend in the opposite direction on Sunday. Josh Allen will have a nice day, as will Cam Newton in the loss. Take Buffalo to cover the -3.5 point spread in this one and hammer the 43.5 points over as well.
Buffalo 35 - New England 24
2. Seattle Seahawks (5-1) vs. San Francisco 49ers (4-3)
A couple of weeks ago I might have taken the Seahawks to win by two or three touchdowns on the road but boy, have things ever changed in San Francisco. After being embarrassed by the Dolphins, the 49ers have outscored their opponents 57-22 in the last two games. They are getting back to their strength of running the ball despite constant injuries. Seattle just dropped an overtime game to Arizona on Sunday night where Russell Wilson threw three interceptions, including one in that very overtime session.
Seattle's defense was exposed by Arizona and I think they will be exposed once again. The Seahawks have a mid-tier rush defense which the 49ers should exploit in a big way. Expect San Francisco to dominate the possession here as they try to keep the ball out of Russell Wilson's hands. Seattle is favored by three but I like San Francisco to win this game outright. Avoid the point total once again, as 54.5 is risky in a game like this. However, if you are adamant about betting the point line, take the overdue to all the weapons on both offenses.
San Francisco 31 - Seattle 28
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0) vs. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
If you are not watching the Steelers and Ravens on Sunday then you can pretty much just turn in your football fan card. Two absolute powerhouses in the AFC North go to battle in Baltimore and I am all for it. Baltimore's lone defeat this season was at the hands of the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. But besides that game, they have been rolling. Pittsburgh has also been great on both sides of the ball so far this season, especially on offense where they are scoring over 30 points per game.
I think the final undefeated NFL team falls this week, but not without a fight. Baltimore will just barely squeak out a victory here. This is definitely not a game I view as a blowout and should come down to the final possession. I do expect one of these defenses to commit multiple turnovers, perhaps even score a touchdown, so be on the lookout for that. Ravens will cover the -3.5 spread and hit the over at 46.5 points.
Baltimore 28 - Pittsburgh 24
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