NFL Picks Week 8: Favorites That Will Cover Big Spreads on Sunday

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears encourages the crowd against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on October 22, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 13-7.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Gamblers will like Week 8 of the NFL season better than an average fan. This is because the day will be full of blowouts by superior teams.

The only game all week between two teams with winning records is the Monday Night Football matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals.

Other than that, the Sunday slate is full of postseason contenders against overmatched opponents.

Here are the safer bets to take this week, with lines courtesy of Vegas Insider.


Chicago Bears (-7.5) over Carolina Panthers

The Bears' defense looked downright dominant against the Detroit Lions last week. The unit forced turnovers, got to the quarterback consistently and made Calvin Johnson look like Todd Pinkston.

Overall, Chicago leads the NFL with only 13 points allowed per game.

As long as the offensive line gives Jay Cutler time to throw, this team can beat anyone in the NFL.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are not only struggling to score, but are going through an identity crisis behind second-year quarterback Cam Newton. The reigning Rookie of the Year has cost his team with inaccurate throws and turnovers.

He is not leading the team the way a quarterback should when a team is going through a rough patch. Former NFL coach Brian Billick even called Newton a "child" and "immature" in the clip below. 

Carolina simply does not have the right attitude to give the Bears a challenge on the road.


Green Bay Packers (-14) over Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville has had a couple of close calls, but the team has only been able to come away with one victory this season. Unfortunately, things get worse as the team will be without Maurice Jones-Drew for the foreseeable future. 

The Jaguars' official Twitter account has the update on the team's two most important players.

Jones-Drew says he has no timetable for return. Gabbert ready to get back to work and start on Sunday.

— jaguarsinsider (@jaguarsinsider) October 24, 2012

Blaine Gabbert will have to carry the offense while injured, and that is something he simply is not capable of doing. He has not topped 200 passing yards since Week 1 and has struggled with accuracy all year long.

In addition, the defense has given up the fifth-most yards per game this season. It will not be able to handle a great offensive team like the Packers, led by Aaron Rodgers. The MVP quarterback has thrown for 680 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games. 

While a 14-point line is ordinarily too big to take, this game will not be anywhere near that close.


New England Patriots (-7) over St. Louis Rams

St. Louis has a very good home-field advantage. Unfortunately, this game will be played at Wembley Stadium in London.

The Rams have lost six-straight games away from home and have only won one of the last 13 contests.

One way the team has hurt itself is by making mental errors. The team has 31 penalties over the last four games, an average of almost four per game. This is not the way to get ahead in the NFL, especially when you struggle in other areas.

Things just get tougher this week against the Patriots. New England has the No. 1 scoring offense in the league and only the Bears have forced more turnovers than the defense.

Quarterback Tom Brady even looks good during his bad games last week, which means the Rams could be in trouble if he plays to his ability.

After a two-game losing streak, it is unlikely St. Louis turns things around against one of the most talented teams in the NFL. The only good news is that the team gets a bye week to regroup after this international fiasco.


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