It was another ho-hum betting week in the NFL. I’m not particularly fond of going .500 so many times but at least the big losses aren’t draining my funds. At least I get to look forward to Week 8 and leave behind that tricky Week 7 schedule. This week has a list of games that could be easier to grasp. Maybe that also translates to a winning week in the office. Maybe.
Now we move on to Week 8.
Thursday Night Showdown
I knew that San Diego was in a bad spot earlier this week against Kansas City and yet I still stuck with the Chargers to win and barely cover that game. Shame on me. Now Philip Rivers and company can look forward to the game against the Denver Broncos they circled on their calendars a long time ago. The line for this game opened with the Broncos as -7 favorites. That line may be a little low, but remember, the Chargers beat the Broncos last year in Denver. Plus, it’s a high-stakes division game that could have long-term implications on who wins the AFC West. I think money will slightly be on the Broncos, which could drive the number up to -7.5 or -8 but I don’t see it veering away from its original number.
London’s Calling Part 2
The NFL’s coming back for second dibs to London with the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions. The Lions currently sit as -4 favorites against a Falcons team that has looked listless for the past month. I don’t see the Falcons covering this game, let alone winning it against a team that came back from the dead to beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. The fact that this game’s going to be played in a weird time—9:30 am EST!—will probably dishevel both teams. If Calvin Johnson plays in this game, the Lions could romp their way to a double-digit win against the Falcons.
Money on the Bucs?
The Tampa Bay Bucs currently occupy the cellar of the NFC South with a 2-5 record and yet the line for this game immediately rose to -2.5 for the Bucs after opening as a pick ‘em. That suggests one of two things: the public has no faith in the Minnesota Vikings or the books just reeled them in with one of their patented early line rope-a-dopes. Both these teams aren’t very good and with the Bucs coming off a bye, you’d think they’d be healthy enough to keep its distance against the Vikings. I don’t think it’s going to happen. The Bucs can’t seem to get out of their own way, even if the Vikes aren’t much better than them. In a game like this, I like taking the points so if that number goes up to -3 or -3.5, I’m riding with the Vikings invading Tampa and clubbing the Bucs back to the sea.
Chicago Road Warriors
That should be the nickname of the Chicago Bears this season. It’s got a nice ring to it and it’s partly backed up by facts. See, the Bears are 0-3 at Soldier Field after losing to Miami on Sunday. They’re 3-1 on the road this season ahead of a showdown in New England against a Patriots team that still doesn’t look like the juggernaut we expected them to be. The line opened at -6.5 for the home team and I do expect the public to hop on that number, possibly driving it up to as high as -8 come kickoff. I’d wait for the number to rise before putting money on the Bears. I picture a bounce-back week for Jay Cutler and company after being disheveled by the Miami Dolphins at home.
Desperate Times for Panthers and Seahawks
If you told me that the Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks would both be 3-3 (the Panthers are 3-3-1)heading into their Week 8 showdown, I would think you were drunk. That’s the situation both teams are in after losing their games in Week 7. The loser of this will fall below .500 for the first time this year, which makes the game more crucial. Right now, the line sits with the Seahawks as -3.5 favorites after opening at -4. Home dogs are always a nice bet in the NFL but I’m holding off on making a pick on this one until I get a decent number. I see this line moving down to -3, but not much further.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill has been lights out in the past few weeks. He’s connecting on his passes and he’s even shown the ability to scramble for big chunks of yards when called upon. Expect more of the same to continue when Miami travels to Jacksonville to face a Jaguars squad fresh off beating the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. The Dolphins opened as -4.5 favorites and I still see that number going up as the week progresses. It’s hard not to take a home dog getting this number, but when it’s the Jaguars, the decision’s a little easier.
Bengals get their claws back
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Cincinnati Bengals. After being labeled as the best team in the NFL, the Bengals proceeded to get blown out by the New England Patriots, found itself in a tie against the Carolina Panthers and then got blanked out by the Indianapolis Colts. If there’s one certainty in the NFL these days, it’s Cincinnati at home. The team doesn’t lose there that often, let alone once in the past two seasons. It’s going to be a tough go against a Baltimore Ravens that has looked dominant in the past weeks but I think the -3 line on Cincy goes down on account of heavy public action on the Ravens. If the line falls to -2, I’m riding with the Bengals to get back on track.
Luck travels to the Steel City
Speaking of the Colts, Andrew Luck and his high-flying offense travel to Pittsburgh to face Steelers team after it overwhelmed the Houston Texans in Week 7. Indianapolis has been listed as -2.5 favorites. With heavy backing on the team, expect the public to continue riding the Colts until they lose a game or fail to cover a spread. I just think that number goes up, making a Steelers pick that much more intriguing.