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NFL Picks Week 8: Spread Picks and Predictions

Brandon GalvinFeatured Columnist IIIOctober 29, 2016

NFL Picks Week 8: Spread Picks and Predictions

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Each week, oddsmakers put out point spreads for each college and professional football game.

    These point spreads are mostly for gamblers, but many analysts use the spreads to determine who should win which game and judge if the point spread is too high, too low or just right.

    Most of ESPN’s flagship programs, such as Mike and Mike in the Morning, First Take, Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption, discuss point spreads.

    Week 7 was pretty good, going 9-5.

    Last week’s picks can be found here.

    Oddly enough, all of the home teams are favorites in Week 8.

    Note: These spreads are as of October 29 using Yahoo! spreads.

Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals (-2)

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Miami lost a close home game to the Steelers and actually had an opportunity to win it.

    Cincinnati let me down against the Falcons coming out of the bye. They’ve let a lot of people down with their disappointing play in the first six games.

    This game has me going back and forth, as I could see this game going either way.

    Miami has been resilient for most of the season and has made me a believer.

    I won’t go as far as to say they will outright win, but in this game I need to go with the points.

     

    Pick: Miami (+2)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    One of the most ideal matchups for Jon Kitna’s first start.

    Jacksonville has played poorly this season.

    The Cowboys will play with their backs to the wall in this one.

    I expect a blowout against the poor Jaguars defense. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will be too much for them to handle.

     

    Pick: Dallas (-6.5)

Washington Redskins @ Detroit Lions (-2.5)

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Washington has surprised me to open the season.

    The Lions have played competitive football all season.

    The Redskins defense comes in red-hot after their performance against Chicago.

    Matthew Stafford is expected to start, and Jahvid Best has now had two weeks to let his lingering toe injuries heal more.

    It will be interesting to see how Stafford does in his first start since Week 1. For that uncertainty, it’s safer to take the points.

     

    Pick: Washington (+2.5)

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Bills have been surprisingly competitive over the past few weeks. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been red-hot and almost led his team to a major upset of the Baltimore Ravens.

    The Chiefs have an amazing coaching staff guiding the young talent.

    Dexter McCluster will not play in this game, and I’ll expect a heavy dose of Thomas Jones.

    After the Bills laid it all on the line against Baltimore, I think they’re in for a letdown this week.

    Kansas City is tough to play at home and has been rolling lately. I’ll give the points.

     

    Pick: Kansas City (-7.5)

Carolina Panthers @ St. Louis Rams (-3)

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The Panthers come in with momentum after winning their first game of the season, while the Rams look to rebound from a heartbreaking loss to Tampa Bay.

    The Rams have been very good throughout the year with solid defense, a great run game and the amazing accuracy of Sam Bradford.

    The Panthers are wounded. Steve Smith is still a bit bothered by his knee injury. DeAngelo Williams is a game time decision, so expect a lot of Jonathan Stewart.

    Steven Jackson is bothered by a finger injury, but he’s played through worse.

    I would like to take the points here since the Rams generally play close games, but I’ll take the home crowd and bend but don’t break defense.

     

    Pick: St. Louis (-3)

Green Bay Packers @ New York Jets (-6)

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    Jim Prisching/Getty Images

    My game of the week.

    The Packers offense has not been as explosive since the loss of Jermichael Finley, but they are still elite as long as they have Aaron Rodgers behind center.

    The Jets coming out of the bye should feel refreshed but may not turn it on until the second half.

    I fully expect the Jets to win, but in a game like this, it’s best to take the points.

     

    Pick: Green Bay (+6)

Denver Broncos @ San Francisco 49ers (-1)

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Note: This game is being played in London.

    Troy Smith starts for the 49ers in place of Alex Smith, who is out with a shoulder injury.

    The Broncos were the victim of a home massacre against the Oakland Raiders.

    Expect Frank Gore to go wild in this one and lead his team to victory after the tough loss to Carolina.

     

    Pick: San Francisco (-1)

Tennessee Titans @ San Diego Chargers (-3.5)

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Once again I don’t understand the spread makers when it comes to the San Diego spread.

    The Chargers’ backs may be against the wall, but they have yet to show any reason to believe in them.

    Whether Vince Young or Kerry Collins starts, I’m taking Chris Johnson and the Titans defense over the lackluster Chargers.

     

    Pick: Tennessee (+3.5)

Seattle Seahawks @ Oakland Raiders (-2.5)

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Even though they beat Chicago two weeks ago, Seattle is a different team on the road.

    I liked Oakland a lot coming into the season, but they have let me down. Despite their rout of the Broncos, I’ll take the more well-rounded Seahawks getting points.

    Marshawn Lynch and Mike Williams should be able to control the tempo of this game.

     

    Pick: Seattle (+2.5)

Minnesota Vikings @ New England Patriots (-6)

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    Jim Prisching/Getty Images

    I expect Favre to gut it out and start this game. Whether or not he performs well is a different story.

    I don’t believe the Patriots have enough on defense to stop Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. More importantly, Randy Moss is back in Foxboro to take on his former team, so he will be on top of his game.

    The Vikings defense should be able to keep the Patriots in control for most of the game with the lack of a major game-changing player.

     

    Pick: Minnesota (+6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals (-3)

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The Cardinals offense has been terrible in their past few games. The defense is sound and has shown it can win a game for the team.

    I expect Josh Freeman to manage this game. The defense should provide quality field position.

    The Bucs have a lot of momentum and are eying a division title. I don’t expect a letdown here.

     

    Pick: Tampa Bay (+3)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New Orleans Saints (-1)

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    The Steelers have been playing great football all season.

    The Saints have been riddled by injuries and as the defending champions take every team’s best shot.

    Ben Roethlisberger looks great and has improved the play of his receivers immensely.

    Drew Brees could very well struggle against the tough Steelers defense just like he did against the Cleveland Browns last week.

     

    Pick: Pittsburgh (+1)

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts (-5.5)

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Texans owned the Colts on the ground in Week 1.

    That won’t happen again, as the Colts come in highly motivated to stop Arian Foster.

    Still, the Texans play the Colts tough almost every meeting.

    The Colts are now without Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark and Austin Collie.

    In a huge division game, I’ll take the points.

     

    Pick: Houston (+5.5)

Picks

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Miami Dolphins (+2) @ Cincinnati Bengals

    Jacksonville Jaguars @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)

    Washington Redskins (+2.5) @ Detroit Lions

    Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)

    Carolina Panthers @ St. Louis Rams (-3)

    Green Bay Packers (+6) @ New York Jets

    Denver Broncos @ San Francisco 49ers (-1)

    Tennessee Titans (+3.5) @ San Diego Chargers

    Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) @ Oakland Raiders

    Minnesota Vikings (+6) @ New England Patriots

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) @ Arizona Cardinals

    Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) @ New Orleans Saints

    Houston Texans (+5.5) @ Indianapolis Colts

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