NFL Week 8 Picks: Elite Teams That Will Cover Lopsided Spreads
As difficult as it is for even the NFL's best teams in any given season to remain a cut above the rest on a weekly basis, the upcoming slate of games offers up some easy matchups for a few of the league's elite.
It seems these contests are such slam dunks in terms of picking properly that the oddsmakers are tabbing all of them with spreads greater than seven points.
Coming off a bye week after a heartbreaking, last-minute loss on the road to the New England Patriots, the New Orleans Saints have the young Buffalo Bills coming to town.
An undefeated Kansas City Chiefs club welcomes the reeling Cleveland Browns to Arrowhead Stadium. Meanwhile, even though the Seattle Seahawks are away from their home turf on Monday Night Football, they should roll over the St. Louis Rams.
Here is a more detailed look at the locks of the week.
New Orleans Saints (-12) over Buffalo Bills
After a two-game road trip, an idle week couldn't have come at a better time for the Saints, who should be refreshed and ready to take on an inferior Bills team.
Buffalo's defensive line would give most opponents nightmares, but with the way New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees gets rid of the ball, that unit's impact will be nullified to an extent.
Plus, Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has plenty of complex looks to throw at inexperienced Bills signal-caller Thad Lewis, who has looked good in two starts but is in no way cut out to claim a victory at the Superdome.
This is a week in which the Saints will reassert themselves as an upper-echelon NFL team and legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Even if tight end Jimmy Graham can't play, Brees has enough pieces around him to light it up. Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune reported that Brees called Graham's potential absence an opportunity for others to thrive:
Brees said if Jimmy Graham can't play Sunday it's just an opportunity for others to make plays.— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) October 23, 2013
Brees and Co. will jump out to a big start and Lewis will be pressed into passing early on.
It also doesn't help that Lewis is getting little assistance from electrifying running back C.J. Spiller, who ran for just 11 yards on six carries in Week 7 and isn't the same player he was last season, when he averaged six yards per carry.
All signs point to this game being a blowout for New Orleans, putting to rest any ambitions the upstart Bills had of contending in a tough AFC East division.
Prediction: Saints 34, Bills 13
Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) over Cleveland Browns
In the context of Cleveland's current quarterback situation, maybe the Browns' new regime wishes it had held on to Lewis after last season instead of letting him walk for nothing.
According to the team's Twitter account, Jason Campbell becomes the new starting quarterback for the Browns and the 20th since the team's reintroduction to the NFL in 1999:
QB Jason Campbell will start at quarterback against the Kansas City Chiefs.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 23, 2013
It's a definite Factory of Sadness in Cleveland, and the tears will keep flowing for the faithful Dawg Pound until a surefire franchise quarterback is installed under center. Facing an elite Chiefs defense that leads the league with 35 sacks and is the No. 1 scoring defense doesn't help either.
Meanwhile, according to Keith Britton of Cleveland's 92.3 The Fan, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is growing tired of the trade rumors surrounding him:
Josh Gordon: "I'm tired, I honestly wish if it was gonna happen it would happen already. If not, let it be known this is where I'm gonna be"— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) October 23, 2013
Hard to blame Gordon for venting some frustration, especially with this being the fourth quarterback he's played with in less than a full season of NFL starting experience.
Alex Smith probably won't do much against a playoff-caliber Cleveland defense, but he won't have to.
Campbell's slow delivery and tendency to check it down too soon—see his career 6.72 yards per attempt, which would rank 25th this season amongst starters—are a bad recipe against an opponent that gets after the quarterback so well.
Prediction: Chiefs 27, Browns 6
Seattle Seahawks (-11.5) over St. Louis Rams
Which team should be considered the No. 1 Super Bowl favorite?
Sam Bradford has been one of the more enigmatic No. 1 overall draft picks in recent memory, what with his three offensive systems in four years and a strange lack of receiving talent flanking him.
The Rams defense has also imploded this season, although that could be attributed to being on the field for long stretches of time due to offensive stagnation.
A torn ACL for Bradford means Kellen Clemens gets thrust into action against, as B/R's Josh Zerkle noted earlier, the most talented defense in football.
Seattle's secondary is frightening, with hard-hitting strong safety Kam Chancellor, the ball-hawking, instinctive Earl Thomas and a pair of amazing, sizable corners in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman.
Even then, though, ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin may be making his debut:
As I reported on shows today, Percy Harvin appeared ridiculously fast in workouts with Seahawks and has not been ruled out for MNF— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 23, 2013
Good luck with that, Rams.
If Harvin does play, it will not only give St. Louis zero chance of winning, it will also serve as a stark contrast to how it is using Tavon Austin—a comparable player to Harvin in terms of explosiveness and versatility.
|Away Team||Home Team||Winner (Spread)|
|Carolina Panthers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Panthers (-6.5)|
|Dallas Cowboys||Detroit Lions||Lions (-3)|
|Cleveland Browns||Kansas City Chiefs||Chiefs (-7.5)|
|Miami Dolphins||New England Patriots||Patriots (-7)|
|Buffalo Bills||New Orleans Saints||Saints (-12)|
|New York Giants||Philadelphia Eagles||Giants (+6)|
|San Francisco 49ers||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jaguars (+16)|
|New York Jets||Cincinnati Bengals||Jets (+6.5)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Oakland Raiders||Raiders (+3)|
|Washington Redskins||Denver Broncos||Redskins (+13.5)|
|Atlanta Falcons||Arizona Cardinals||Falcons (+2.5)|
|Green Bay Packers||Minnesota Vikings||Vikings (+10)|
|Seattle Seahawks||St. Louis Rams||Seahawks (-11.5)|
Odds are courtesy of TopBet.eu
Prediction: Seahawks 31, Rams 10
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