It's all about the big lines this week in the NFL as we've got six games where a team is a double digit favorite or close. That makes it a very tricky week for bettors picking games, so we'll be extra careful to pick apart the trends for some answers as to what to do with these big lines.
It's really just a bad week of matchups, the second in a row to be honest, but the week is saved by a few marquee contents. New England at Pittsburgh should be a great one, Dallas at Philadelphia in primetime is always fun and San Diego at Kansas City is actually for first place in the NFC West. So here are your week 8 NFL picks against the spread.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-9) - After giving up 62 the Saints last week, it's no shock that the Colts are big underdogs against the AFC South rival this week. While I'm not sure that I trust Tennessee with a big number like this, the trends are unanimous in their support of the Titans. Teams like the Titans have covered 65% of the time in 40 similar games. Pick: Titans
New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams (+13) -The converse of the last pick.... The Saints put up 62 on the worst team in the leauge last week and now get to face the other team with the claim to that title. So it does make sense that this line is huge, it's hard to go against a team this big when they're at home. And actually the trends don't have a lot to say. There's only been 1 recent game where a road team was a 13 point favorite. However in 11 games with similar spreads, teams like the Rams have covered 72% of the time. Pick: Rams
Miami Dolphins at New York Giants (-10) -This is really a gimme game for the Giants, although it somewhat reminds me of when they hosted the Seahawks. They were big favorites there and nearly got blown out. The trends do show the Giants as slight favorites to the cover the spread, but it's close. This is a game to stay away from. Pick: Miami
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers (-3.5) - A matchup of two first round picks at QB, but at this point Cam Newton has had more games to develop and is playing better than Christian Ponder. Ponder did make some plays last week, but the final numbers were pretty dismal. Now he goes on the road for the first time... Pick: Panthers
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-13) - I actually really like the Cardinals here. The Ravens were very poor against Jacksonville last week and yet this line hasn't budged. I can see why people view this as a mistmatch, but the similar games model says that teams like the Cards have covered over 80% of the time. Anytime you see a line this big in the NFL, the underdog is a pretty good pick historically. Pick: Cardinals
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-9.5) - Both of these teams surprised last week, Jax with how they played defense and Houston with their offensive explosion. I'd like to believe in the Jacksonville D keeping this game close, but Blaine Gabbert and that offense have been so poor that I don't have a lot of confidence in them on the road. Pick: Texans
Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills (-6) - I think the Redskins are actually getting a lot of respect here only being 6 point dogs to the Bills. Given the way they've played recently, this could be a game where the Bills rack up points... and the trends all agree. Pick: Bills
Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos (+3) - The Lions have lost two straight after their 5-0 start and serious questions are starting to be asked about whether they're for real. But I see their defense against Tim Tebow as a huge mismatch. Pick: Lions
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) - This is probably the premier matchup of the week and I have to admit my personal biases made me want to pick the Steelers here... but the fact is that the objective info just doesn't support it. The accuscore simulator ran 10,000 times and the Pats won by an average of 24.3 to 20.5. The 25 and 75 most similar historical games models both favor the Pats. Pick: Patriots
Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) - This is a big line for the 49ers and the trends are very split on this one. This is probably the trickiest game of the week from a betting perspective. Since the trends were split, I ran the simulator and it predicted a 10 point 49er win. So again, it's razor thin. Pick: 49ers
Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks (+3) - The Bengals have played well recently, but the Seahawks are usually great team to bet on as home dogs. Actually, teams like the Seahawks have covered 60% of the time in these spots. Pick: Seattle
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) - The Eagles are not a particularly good home team (4-6 over their last 10) but they actually are a very good primetime team. The Eagles won all but one of their primetime games last week (with the loss being that odd Tuesday night postponed game) including three big wins over NFC East opponents under the lights. This is usually the point where I say "but it's hard to trust the Eagles this year" however, this is also usually the point where I say that same thing about the Cowboys.... Pick: Eagles
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) - Given the way these two teams have played recently, I'm somewhat surprised to see the Chargers as better than 3.5 point favorites on the road. Unfortunately the trends offer almost nothing whatsoever. This stat will amaze you... In 75 similar historical games teams like the Chargers are 36-36-3. So it's a dead push in 75 games! So I went with the simulator and it predicted a 6 point Charger win. Pick: Chargers