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Free Week 8 NFL Predictions

THE NFL DOUBLE TAKE

Our Sportsbook.com writers continue to churn out victories and they are both hot after a 3-1 Sunday last week. While the guys have agreed on a lot of games this season, they aren’t seeing eye-to-eye this week. Cras enters with a 17-9-2 record with Mike at 16-10-2 for the season.

Here’s how they view four of this weekend’s games.

San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints

Mike: This game is being played in London, England at night and the NFL marketing department has to be upset that both teams are under .500 right now. However, the fans will likely see an exciting and high scoring game as the Over/Under is 45 points, tied for the highest of the week.

Neither of these teams is great at running the ball and it gets worse for the Saints this week with Reggie Bush out. San Diego is also not running like they have in prior years and this game is going to be won on the arms of Drew Brees and Philip Rivers and while both are talented, I’m taking Brees and the points and thinking about an outright victory.

Pick: New Orleans +3

Cras: Just when you think the Chargers are turning their season around they lose to a team that a lot of people think they should beat. Last week it was Buffalo, two weeks before that it was Miami and they opened the season with losses to Denver and Carolina.

Granted, I had Buffalo beating them last week because of the long journey East and the early start time, but I think the Chargers can get back to .500 this weekend. Even though the Saints are first in the league with 310.9 passing yards per game, they turn the ball over and need to pass because they get behind in games.

Pick: San Diego -3

 

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins

Mike: Let me get this straight; 5-1 Buffalo is only giving 1.5 points to 2-4 Miami. Yes, I know the Dolphins shocked the Patriots in New England and then beat San Diego at home, but they have crashed down to Earth with two consecutive losses to Houston and Baltimore. They’re also not confusing anyone anymore with the direct snap to the running back.

Buffalo is a better road team than given credit for. They won at Jacksonville and St. Louis and might have beaten Arizona if Trent Edwards didn’t get knocked out with a concussion. Edwards is playing this week and the Bills are solid in every phase of the game.  This spread almost feels like a trap being so low, but I’m not turning it down.

Pick: Buffalo-1.5

Cras: The Buffalo Bills continue to roll when they have Edwards at quarterback but while they are 4-2 against the spread, they are just 2-2 ATS in their last four games. They have a good young team but at 5-1 they haven’t had an overly tough schedule and are bound for a drop at some point.

The Dolphins, 3-1 ATS in their last four, couldn’t get their run game going against Baltimore last weekend but they should have more success against the Bills. Look for the Dolphins to run the ball and pressure Edwards into a few mistakes and take this game at home.

Pick: Miami +1.5

 

Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers

Mike: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin is likely to play for Arizona despite his head/jaw injuries suffered against the Jets four week ago. The return of Boldin will be a big boost for a Cardinals team that is just 1-2 on the road this year, the win coming in Week 1 at San Francisco.

Carolina is a perfect 4-0 at home and the last three have been by a combined score of 88-16. The game last week was a 30-7 drubbing over New Orleans, a team with a better passing attack than even the Cardinals. Arizona should be in this game as long as they limit their turnovers, but they have to prove they can beat a very good home team before I back them.

Pick: Carolina -4

Cras: The Carolina Panthers have been money at home, with three covers and a push in their four home games. They’ve won their last three home games big but members need to remember that those victories were over Atlanta, Kansas City and a struggling New Orleans team.

Arizona features the best offense that the Panthers have faced this season and with Boldin back from injury, the Cardinals will air it out and attack a secondary that has always been known as the weak link in the Panthers D. Because of their ability to pass or run and put up points, you have to like the Cards in this one.

Pick: Arizona +4

 

New York Giants @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike: This game would have been a great Sunday night contest but there isn’t one because of the World Series. Each team has injury concerns. For Pittsburgh, running back Willie Parker should play but it is not a definite. On the Giants’ side, there’s a good chance wide receiver Plaxico Burress will sit out.

Everyone knows that Pittsburgh is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, especially for a big game. However, the Giants were considered world beaters before losing at Cleveland two weeks ago, and getting a field goal provides the most value.

Pick: New York Giants +3

Cras: Ben Roethlisberger better be ready to pick himself off the ground because he’ll be doing it a lot on Sunday. The Steelers have trouble protecting their quarterback and the Giants will get after Big Ben and pressure him all day.

However, Pittsburgh’s defense will do the same to Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning and with two of the Top 4 defenses in the league facing off, points will be at a premium in this game. Both teams love to run but neither defense allows other teams to rush the ball. Pittsburgh ranks second in rush defense and New York ranks fifth. That makes the three points the Giants are getting a great bet.

Pick: New York Giants +3

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