Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Underdogs That Will Cover Your Bet
The New Orleans Saints are six-point underdogs in Week 8, and you can confidently bet they'll cover that spread against the Denver Broncos.
The Saints aren't the only NFL team that are locks to cover your bet, either.
Certain teams get more credit than they are due over the course of the long season, and every week, thousands of smart bettors make minor fortunes by taking advantage of this fact.
Here are four locks you can take to the bank—my underdog picks of the week.
Note: All betting information courtesy of FootballLocks.com.
Buccaneers at Vikings -6.5
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For the life of me, I can't figure out why the Minnesota Vikings are favored to win this game by nearly a touchdown. Yes, the Vikings have only lost two games this year, but this matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is not as favorable as the oddsmakers are making it.
Christian Ponder has taken a few steps backwards the past three games, throwing five touchdowns and six interceptions.
Josh Freeman, on the other hand, has been playing lights-out football the past two weeks, tossing six touchdowns and only one interception. Granted, the Vikings' pass defense is much better than the one he faced in Week 7, but there's no doubt Freeman is starting to click with Vincent Jackson, and the Bucs offense is starting to kick into high gear.
Adrian Peterson has also been kicking things into high gear, but the Bucs defense is unlike any he's faced thus far in 2012. This stout front seven only allows 76 yards per game to opposing running backs (No. 3 in the NFL), and AP will have a tough time replicating his 153-yard, one-touchdown performance of a week ago.
The Vikings will likely pull out of this game with a win, but the Bucs are a lock to cover the 6.5-point spread.
Falcons at Eagles -2.5
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The Atlanta Falcons are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL—they don't get no respect.
This team is undefeated, at 6-0, and is coming off of a bye week just like the Philadelphia Eagles—a 3-3 team in such disarray that it fired its defensive coordinator last week. Yet somehow, the Eagles are favored to win this game by two points?
That doesn't jive well with me.
The Falcons have proven capable of winning any kind of contest possible this season, while the Eagles are truly lucky that their record isn't closer to 1-5 or 2-4. Michael Vick is still the team's starting quarterback, and he's going up against one of the top turnover-creating defenses in the NFL.
Did I mention that the Eagles are favored to win this game?
Vick has thrown eight interceptions through six games, and he's fumbled the ball an incredible nine times already this season.
The Falcons will easily cover the spread, and you shouldn't hesitate to pick them to win this game outright.
Redskins at Steelers -4.5
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are overrated.
Their victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7 was more a product of Andy Dalton's regression and the Bengals inability to stop the Steelers running game than anything else—two things the Steelers won't have the benefit of seeing in Week 8.
Robert Griffin III leads the NFL in completion percentage, yards per attempt, is No. 3 in passer rating, No. 1 in rushing yards per attempt and has a total of 13 touchdowns so far in 2012. His fellow rookie, Alfred Morris, has one yard less than the league's leading rusher, Arian Foster, and has rushed for five touchdowns.
The Washington Redskins defense is stout against the run, ranking No. 7 in the NFL with only 85 yards allowed per game. Even though their pass defense leaves much to be desired, RG3 and the offense keeps them in any game.
I'm picking the Redskins to win this game outright, meaning the 4.5-point spread against this team is poppycock.
Saints at Broncos -6
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The New Orleans Saints may not win this game in Denver, but I guarantee the outcome won't be clear until the bitter end. Six points is too much of a spread for this contest, as I'm betting on the game to be decided by a last-second field goal.
Drew Brees has been unstoppable the past four games, as he's thrown for 1,433 yards with 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions. That's an average of 358 yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game—gaudy numbers by any standard.
The Denver Broncos are coming off an emotional, come-from-behind victory in San Diego, but there is no doubt that this team has flaws. Philip Rivers had his way with their defense in the first half of that game, and if not for Norv Turner's non-clutch gene, the Chargers should have won the game.
There's going to be plenty of offense on both sides, and given the two legendary quarterbacks will be slinging the ball all over the field, you can bet on at least six touchdown passes.
I'm picking the Broncos to hold serve at home, but this game could easily be decided by three points or less.