Sometimes you don't need a team to win to help you out. In many cases, just keeping the game close will be enough to cover a spread and give you a victory.
With so many lopsided matchups in Week 8 of the NFL season, the spreads might be the only mystery involved.
Sunday's slate features a number of huge lines that will be tough to cover, although some will still get there easily. However, plenty of underdogs will do enough to at least keep the score within reason, which makes them solid picks against the spread.
These underdogs are guaranteed to cover the spread in the upcoming week.
Note: All lines courtesy of Vegas Insider as of Oct. 25.
New York Giants (+5.5) over Philadelphia Eagles
This is not an overreaction for the Giants after one win, but they should come in with more confidence than they have seen all season.
The victory over the Minnesota Vikings featured nothing special except for a solid defensive performance against an elite running back to shut down the offense. Most importantly, New York won the turnover battle for the first time this season.
It will have to do the same thing in order to beat the Eagles this week.
If Eli Manning can have another interception-free game, he can help the Giants post a lot of points on an Eagles defense that has struggled. He has the weapons in the passing attack to move the ball throughout the game.
Even if Michael Vick returns and plays well, the Eagles are unlikely to pull away in this one.
Oakland Raiders (+2.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
With him in the lineup, the Raiders' only losses have come on the road to arguably the best three teams in the AFC (Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts). They also have won both home games and have seemingly improved throughout the season.
As for the quarterback, he has done well as a passer when he has been able to stand up. This was a problem in the last game, as the Chiefs sacked him nine times. However, he goes from facing the team ranked first in the NFL in sacks to the Steelers, who are ranked 31st.
Pittsburgh has not been its usual aggressive self on defense, which has led to few sacks and even fewer turnovers. With an offensive line that continues to struggle, the Steelers will not be able to move the ball, and they will lose on the road against the better-than-you-think Raiders.
Washington Redskins (+12) over Denver Broncos
Last week featured a milestone moment for both teams. The Redskins showed they are still a quality team when Robert Griffin III plays well, and the Broncos proved that they are not perfect after losing to the Colts.
Peyton Manning had by far his lowest quarterback rating of the season in the loss and provided a blueprint of how to slow him down: Put him under a lot of pressure. The Colts hit him 10 times in the game, which led to plenty of missed throws.
The Redskins do not have a good secondary, so they will have to blitz often to keep Manning at least somewhat in control.
However, the key will be on the other side of the ball after Griffin came through with his best game of the season. The second-year quarterback is starting to run the ball again and has 161 rushing yards in the last two games.
This dual-threat ability makes the offense tough to stop, especially for a Broncos defense that has struggled against the pass this year. Although it will be tough for the Redskins to earn a win on the road, they should at least keep the game close enough to cover the spread.
|Full Week 8 Picks Against the Spread|
|San Francisco 49ers||Jacksonville Jaguars||SF -16.5||49ers|
|Dallas Cowboys||Detroit Lions||DET -3||Lions|
|New York Giants||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI -5.5||Giants|
|Cleveland Browns||Kansas City Chiefs||KC -7.5||Chiefs|
|Buffalo Bills||New Orleans Saints||NO -11||Bills|
|Miami Dolphins||New England Patriots||NE -6.5||Patriots|
|New York Jets||Cincinnati Bengals||CIN -6.5||Bengals|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Oakland Raiders||PIT -2.5||Raiders|
|Washington Redskins||Denver Broncos||DEN -12||Redskins|
|Atlanta Falcons||Arizona Cardinals||ARI -2.5||Cardinals|
|Green Bay Packers||Minnesota Vikings||GB -9||Packers|
|Seattle Seahawks||St. Louis Rams||SEA -11||Seahawks|
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