It's officially Week 8 in the NFL, which means we're just about halfway through the 2013-14 regular season. Teams are starting to really show their true colors, and it's becoming pretty apparent which teams have a legit chance at making a run to the playoffs and which teams are playing for draft picks.
Every week there are a few matchups that have huge spreads as big-time underdogs take on the NFL's elite. Here we'll showcase a few games with the largest spreads and what the actual outcome will be.
Before we get to those games, here is a full look at my Week 8 NFL picks (All spreads according to ESPN.com):
Full Week 8 Predictions
|Thursday, Oct. 24||Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||CAR 28, TB 14|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions||DAL 35, DET 21|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs||KC 42, CLE 14|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots||NE 24, MIA 17|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Buffalo Bills vs. New Orleans Saints||NO 42, BUF 18|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles||PHI 21, NYG 18|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars||SF 35, JAX 14|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||New York Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals||CIN 27, NYJ 14|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders||OAK 21, PIT 3|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Washington Redskins vs. Denver Broncos||DEN 35, WAS 28|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals||ATL 18, ARI 15|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings||GB 35, MIN 12|
|Monday, Oct. 28||Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams||SEA 42, STL 6|
Schedule via ESPN.com
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Line: San Francisco by 18
The San Francisco 49ers have climbed to 5-2 and are in second place in the NFC West. Their offense is back to its high-powered ways and has put up at least 30 points in all five of their victories this season, including their current four-game winning streak.
Those 49ers will do battle with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The same Jacksonville Jaguars who are 0-7 and haven't ended a game this season within 10 points of their opponents. The Jaguars have the worst rushing defense in the NFL, which allows over 150 yards per game, and an offense that has only scored double digits three times this season.
The Jaguars are really rough, and the 49ers have a top-10 passing defense and the third-best running game in the NFL. Nothing here will go well for the Jaguars.
PREDICTION: San Francisco 35, Jacksonville 14
Denver Broncos vs. Washington Redskins
Line: Denver by 14
The Denver Broncos suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. They'll go from taking on a former first overall pick to taking on the man picked right after him, Robert Griffin III.
Denver is favored by two scores, most likely because of its high-octane offense and the game taking place in Denver. The Broncos did lose in Week 7, but they still have the No. 1 passing attack in the NFL, averaging over 360 yards per game. The Broncos also have the best rushing defense in the NFL, allowing less than 80 yards per game on the ground.
However, Week 7 did teach us one thing about the Broncos; they have a hard time against the pass. Andrew Luck threw for over 228 yards and three touchdowns against the Denver defense, which makes sense considering the fact that the Broncos have the worst passing defense in the NFL, allowing over 319 yards per game through the air.
This is great timing for RGIII and his team. The Redskins have the seventh-best passing game in the NFL, and it's getting better every week. RGIII was back to his old tricks in Week 7 as he threw for almost 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Denver has allowed at least 35 points in each of the last three weeks, and Washington just hung 45 on the Chicago Bears defense last week. Sorry, RGIII. If you were going to take down the Broncs, this would be the week, but Peyton is too good to lose two games in a row, especially against the Redskins' 21st-ranked passing defense.
But hey, at least Washington will cover.
PREDICTION: Denver 35, Washington 28
New Orleans Saints vs. Buffalo Bills
Line: New Orleans by 13
New Orleans comes into this game as 13-point favorites for a very good reason; the Saints are really good. They currently sit at 5-1 and are in first place in the NFC South. They average over 310 passing yards per game, which is second best in the NFL, and they have one of the best passing defenses in the league.
The Bills are...different. The Bills are 3-4 and sit at the bottom of the AFC East. They rank 20th or worse in total passing yards, passing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed per game. The only place they really excel is in the running game, where they average over 140 yards per game, good for fifth-best in the NFL.
The Bills are coming off a close win over the Dolphins, but the Saints have had a bye week since their last-second loss to Tom Brady and the Pats in Week 6 to work out all the kinks in the defense.
This one is simple: The Saints are too good for the Bills.
PREDICTION: New Orleans 42, Buffalo 18