Culture of Hoops

Steve’s Weekly NFL Bettor’s Guide: Week 8

Image courtesy of Matt McGee/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Matt McGee/Flickr.

Optimism slowly begins to fade away when your favorite team in the whole world gets embarrassed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sadness or anger were not present, but simply an emptiness that only increased when the final score read 24-6 in favor of the Jaguars. But in other news, the basketball season starts soon.

Last week was certainly an interesting week in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks lost to well-known superstar quarterback Austin Davis of the St. Louis Rams, while the Pittsburgh Steelers played three solid minutes of football that propelled them to a win over the Houston Texans.

This week features another game in London, this time between the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons. The game will be played at 9:30 a.m. in the East. If I were a fan of either team, I would not be too happy about this scheduling. The Falcons aren’t doing so hot, but the Lions are currently 5-2, so every game is crucial. Watching a game that will end before any others even start has got to be frustrating for fans in Detroit and Atlanta.

There are several intriguing matchups this week, with the spread of course, that created some hesitation when choosing a victor. The first comes from the first game of the week, between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers.

The Broncos are coming off a 42-17 dismantling of the San Francisco 49ers that included a record-breaking performance by Peyton Manning, who is now well on his way to 600 touchdowns.

The Chargers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, and fell to 5-2. But it becomes clear when looking at their schedule that they have had it rather easy so far this season. Their last three wins came over the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, and Jacksonville Jaguars, who collectively combine for two wins on the season. The Chargers did however defeat the Seahawks, which was something the Broncos could not do in their Super Bowl rematch. Comparing results against one team is sometimes not always a fair measure, but I will be taking the Chargers with eight points in this game.

Another matchup that is tough is the one between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints. The Saints are currently 2-4 with an outstanding 0-4 record on the road, but the spread is even against the Packers. This is certainly surprising considering their only two wins came against the Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game that went to overtime. Last week’s collapse in Detroit by the Saints makes the Packers the easy choice in this matchup.

As with every week, I will pray to be above the .500 mark. At least I am 19-11 in my past two weeks. I’d go with my picks.

San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos (-8): Chargers +8

Detroit Lions (-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons (in London!): Lions -4

St. Louis Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-7): Rams +7

Houston Texans (-2.5) vs. Tennessee Titans: Texans -2.5

Minnesota Vikings vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3): Buccaneers -3

Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) vs. Carolina Panthers: Seahawks -5.5

Baltimore Ravens (-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Bengals +1

Miami Dolphins (-6) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dolphins -6

Chicago Bears vs. New England Patriots (-6): Patriots -6

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets (-3): Bills +3

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals (-2.5): Eagles +2.5

Oakland Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns (-7): Browns -7

Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Colts -3.5

Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (Even): Packers

Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys (-10): Redskins +10

Last Week: 7-8

Yearly Record: 54-51-1

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