We had another “meh” week. #DajaniDimes went 6-7 ATS but did score another winning week with my top five locks at 3-2. I called the Indianapolis Colts upsetting the San Francisco 49ers on the road, but did not foresee the Cincinnati Bengals blowing out the Ravens in Baltimore. It wasn’t the most incredible weekend of football, but I think we have some very intriguing matchups here in Week 8.
Keep an eye on the double-digit spreads. Double-digit favorites went 2-1 last week and I missed on all three of them. I guess the lesson is to not to be afraid of laying the points with obvious favorites. Let’s jump in to my picks. Peep the season stats below.
Top five picks record: 21-14
Overall ATS record: 55-51-1
Straight up record: 70-37
2020 ATS record: 125-120-9 (2 official picks missed due to COVID rescheduling)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson will reportedly be out for 2-4 weeks with a PCL injury, so in comes Mike White. To be honest, I probably would lay the points with Cincy even if Wilson was starting, but I feel more inclined to do so with White. The Bengals are atop the AFC and are leading the NFL in passing yards per attempt (9.2). Joe Burrow has thrown multiple touchdown passes in all seven games this season, which is the longest active streak in the NFL, and his running mate in Ja’Marr Chase is going to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Cincy is coming off of a dominant performance and I don’t think New York can keep up to cover the spread. The Jets have scored just nine touchdowns this season!
The pick: Bengals -10.5
Projected score: Bengals 30-10
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
This pick is more about fading the Panthers than it is riding the Falcons. Sam Darnold is flailing under center for Carolina and it’s hard to watch. He even got benched in the fourth quarter last week during the Panthers’ 25-3 loss to the New York Giants. I don’t think he’s going to be able to rebound. I was optimistic about Darnold coming to Carolina, and thought he could pull a “Ryan Tannehill.” Seven weeks in, and I’m out. It’s not all his fault, as the offensive line is atrocious. The offensive struggles have also negatively affected the defense. In Weeks 1-3, the Panthers ranked first in opponent yards per game. In Weeks 4-7, they are tied for 24th.
As for the Falcons, they have won three of their past four games and Matt Ryan is playing well. He has five consecutive games of two or more passing touchdowns, which is tied for the third-longest active streak in the NFL. He has a rising star in Kyle Pitts as well, who became the first rookie tight end with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games since Raymond Chester of the 1970 Raiders. He’s going to get better and better.
Bottom line, this Falcons team has been somewhat improving while the Panthers are falling apart. I’ll lay the points at home this week.
The pick: Falcons -3
Projected score: Falcons 27-21
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Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Dolphins haven’t won a game since their season opener and Tua Tagovailoa has been at the center of trade rumors. He said on Wednesday that he doesn’t “not feel wanted.” Which is a weird way to put it. The Dolphins lost by 35 points to the Bills earlier this year and now have to take them on in Buffalo coming off of a bye. The Bills are motivated after being denied by the Titans on a goal-line stand, and I think they will come out with a vengeance. I like that this line is just under two touchdowns and the Dolphins are 2-5 ATS, so I’ll lay the points with the much better team. The Bills’ last two wins over the Dolphins have actually come by at least 30 points!
The pick: Bills -13.5
Projected score: Bills 35-21
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
I don’t love betting on a backup quarterback in Geno Smith, but he’s 2-0 ATS according to the lines I’ve been going off of. I feel like this is going to be a sexy upset pick for a lot of people. Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars have been slowly improving and are coming off of their first win plus a bye week. Seattle provides a different kind of environment, however, and the Jaguars have never won a game there. Now that Smith has started a couple games, he can settle in and find a way to best a bad defense. Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron absolutely has to find a way to get D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett more involved.
The pick: Seahawks -3
Projected score: Seahawks 26-21
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
I am a bit worried about Dak Prescott’s calf strain, but I’m going to guess the Cowboys take it easy on him in practice this week and that he will play. I expect this to be a close matchup, but I think the Cowboys are the better team. Dallas has the No. 2 rushing offense in the league while the Vikings have the seventh-worst run defense. Even if Prescott is not 100 percent, Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard can carry him. Additionally, the Cowboys are undefeated ATS and I have made them a best bet in each of their past four matchups. I’m going back to the well. Why should I stop now?
The pick: Cowboys -1.5
Projected score: Cowboys 27-23
Other Week 8 picks
Cardinals (-6.5) 28-21 over Packers
Eagles 28-27 over Lions (+3)
Browns (-3.5) 27-21 over Steelers
Titans (+1) 30-27 over Colts
Rams 30-20 over Texans (+14.5)
49ers (-4) 28-20 over Bears
Chargers (-5) 30-23 over Patriots
Washington (+3) 28-25 over Broncos
Buccaneers (-5.5) 31-24 over Saints
Chiefs 29-27 over Giants (+9.5)