NFL Picks Week 8: Favorites Guaranteed to Cover on Sunday
Week 8 of the NFL season should be a week that separates the contenders from the pretenders as opportunities abound for the best teams to prove that they have what it takes to make a deep run in the playoffs.
A quick look across the league standings shows us that parity is alive and well in the league. Many teams are still hovering right around the .500 mark and even the elite teams have a divisional rival that will make the late stretch interesting in December.
Looking at this week's slate of games, these are the teams that will not only win, but cover the spread and show that they have what it takes to make a serious run this season. All lines are courtesy of Bovada.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) over Atlanta Falcons
To hear the stories surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles this season, you'd think that they were 0-6.
Everything about the Eagles has been criticized this year. From Andy Reid's coaching to Michael Vick's inconsistent play, there are a ton of questions surrounding this team.
Despite all of the issues, the Eagles are still sitting at 3-3 after their Week 7 bye week with impressive wins over the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants.
Where will the Eagles finish the season?
The issue with the Eagles hasn't been talent. They've hurt themselves with turnovers. The Eagles turnover differential of -9 is the second-worst in the entire league. It's difficult to win any games when you turn over the ball that much.
The good news here is that the Eagles had a bye week.
With an extra week of preparation to clean things up, the Eagles could look like a new team at home against the Falcons.
Atlanta is undefeated this season, but lately they've been tested by some questionable competition in wins over the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders.
Reid has faced a lot of criticism, but he does have an undefeated record (13-0) when coming off of a bye week. Expect Reid to have the Eagles ready to play on Sunday.
New York Giants (-3) over Dallas Cowboys
Considering the hot streak the Giants are on right now, it's surprising that this line isn't higher.
Eli Manning is playing out of his mind right now and showed last week against the Redskins that he is as clutch as ever. His 77-yard touchdown pass to beat Washington was a thing of beauty and the story of the Giants the past few weeks.
The Cowboys got the better end of the deal in the first encounter. In Week 1, the Cowboys stunned the Giants 24-17 to open up the season, but a lot has changed since then.
Most notably, DeMarco Murray ran wild in that game with 131 yards on 20 carries. In the Week 8 version of the game, Murray will be unavailable due to injury.
With Felix Jones trying to do his best impersonation of Murray, the Giants should have a much easier time keying on Tony Romo and finding a way to exact revenge on their division rivals. The Giants should continue to build momentum in this one.
Chicago Bears (-9) over Carolina Panthers
The Chicago Bears have quietly ripped off one of the best starts of the 2012 season.
After seven weeks, the Bears are 5-1 and appear to be more than capable of challenging the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North crown come December.
The Bears have already survived the worst thing that could happen to their offense (losing Matt Forte) and have an elite defense that puts their offense in positions to succeed. The Bears don't earn a lot of respect for style points, but they have consistently found ways to win this season.
This week, the Bears get a nice matchup as they welcome the fledgling Carolina Panthers to Soldier Field. The Panthers are 1-5 this season as Cam Newton has struggled to find a rhythm and the defense has been mediocre at best.
After grinding out a win against the Lions last week, the Bears should look to open things up a bit more against the Panthers and win by double digits.
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