SportsChump’s NFL Picks against the World – Week Eight

Old Man and the SeaBrutal.  Just brutal.

I can only compare picking games last week to that fishing trip with your buddies you’ve been so looking forward where you end up having to go out for dinner afterwards because nobody caught a damn thing.  The best laid plans of mice and men.

I went an astounding 5-9 against the spread but so did the Duck.  The leader of the pack, Mr. Paul, broke even at 7-7 making it just another weekend where everyone goes hungry.

You’d think as the season progressed, we fisherman would be able to use the information we have at hand to correctly assess the waters.

Yeah right!

Anyway, enough about fish.  Our guest this week is the Queen of Fox Sports, Lisa Horne.  Back when Kevin and I first met her, there was no such thing as Twitter.  Now she has 7,000 followers and goes on weekly picnics with Desmond Howard.  She used to have me and Kevin on speed dial but these days she’s gotten a little too big for our britches.  Either way, she has graciously agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to pick against us in Week 8.

Here’s hoping she can’t fish either.

 

SPORTSCHUMP’S WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD FISH GONE PICKS

 

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-8)

Speaking of fish, the Miami Dolphins are the only NFL team where if you Google their head coach, the first image to appear is one of him sporting a mullet.  That’s what happens when you appoint a former tight end from Clifton, Texas as the chief play caller without any notice.  It’s been two weeks since Dan Campbell’s had that job and Dolphin fans are about to vote him president.  He has the Dolphins playing over their heads but… he hasn’t played in Foxboro yet.  His beginner’s luck might be about to change.  Let’s just say odds are he won’t be outcoaching Bill Belichick on Thursday night.  The Pats, who are still undefeated, could really use this victory to essentially lock up the AFC East for the seventh straight season.  On the bright side for the rest of the AFC East, Tom Brady only plans to play ten more years so the Dolphins, Jets and Bills can look forward to 2025 when they’ll finally have a shot at the division.  We’ll see what office Dan Campbell is holding by then.  Patriots cover the eight.

 

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)

The Chiefs are 2-5.  The Lions are 1-6 and their starting quarterback is listed as questionable, not that that matters with the way he’s been playing.  This is the kind of mid-season game where a friend calls you with an extra ticket and you turn it down because your couch is far more comfortable and basically every other game on TV is far more watchable.  The Chiefs are bad but after the Royals 2-0 start in the World Series, KC will still be abuzz, waiting for their Royals to get back into town, if that’s even necessary.  Chiefs win this one because right now, Kansas City can’t lose.

 

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (+1)

I’m not big into conspiracy theories but I swear the moment I start picking the Vikings to win, they’ll start losing.  Wait, I just thought of a great money making idea: call a few of the Vikings fans (Faber) I know and have them pay me to pick against them for the rest of the season.  That should at least ensure them a playoff spot.  The Bears are coming off a bye and the Vikings are coming off yet another victory.  They’ve won four of their last five with their only bad outing of the season the inexplicable opening night loss to San Francisco.  This game is a toss-up hence the line but I’m going with the team that’s on a roll, the Vikings, that is until their fans pay me to do differently.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-7)

The Bucs lost a heart-breaker last week to the Redskins.  The Falcons are 6-1 and for some reason only favored here by a touchdown.  The Buccaneers strong suit this season has surprisingly been their offense, however, they have two receivers down: Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy.  I’d look for the Bucs to run the football but even twenty-five carries by the muscle hamster isn’t enough to get them out of the Georgia Dome with a cover.  The Bucs will be pissed about the way they lost last week but that won’t matter.  They may as well get used to it.

 

New York Giants at New Orleans Saints (-3)

Here’s another line I just don’t get.  The Giants are over .500 and in first place in their division.  The Saints are under .500 and in third place in their division.  Yet they’re favored.  What scares me is that Las Vegas is just begging you to take the Giants.  The Saints are the hotter team, winners of three of their last four, but I’m still unconvinced.  I’m going G-Men on the road and taking the points.

 

San Francisco 49ers at St Louis Rams (-8.5)

I read a headline lately that said 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was “on an island.”  Apparently Fox’s Jay Glazer was the first person to break that news.  Niners coach Jim Tomsula came to his quarterback’s support basically stating that Glazer didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.  I’m going with the person who’s actually in the locker room on this one.  Sure, the Niners suck and Kaepernick is struggling but if there was ever an opportunity to rally around your quarterback, this would be it.  I’ll take the points.  And if they don’t cover, I’d fully expect Kaepernick’s agent to be looking at islands other than Alcatraz where his client will be more welcome.

 

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (+4.5)

Arizona is coming off a short week and looking pretty good.  Cleveland is coming off a long week and looking pretty bad.  Arizona is starting to distance themselves in their division.  Cleveland is starting to see some distance between put them and the division-leading Bengals, who they haven’t even played yet.  The Cardinals are clearly the better team here but I can’t help but think the Brownies have a little fight left in ‘em.  They only lost by three points against the pass-happy Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning so I think they have enough in ‘em to at least keep this one close at home.

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (Pick)

I guess Las Vegas has a lot of faith in Landry Jones to make the Pittsburgh Steelers pick against the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.  Again, this line is just begging you to take Pittsburgh but I can’t do it here.  The Bengals are on an unbelievable roll but the Vick/Jones experiment may be over as Big Ben is expected to play.  That should lead to a raucous Heinz Field crowd in a game the Steelers can ill afford to lose.  Drop this one and they’ll be looking at a wild card spot if they want to make the post-season.  Heck, they might be looking that anyway.  Ya’ know what?  I’ll take the Steelers here as they somehow, someway, find a way to pull this off.

 

San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)

Both these teams suck.  They’ve won a combined three games.  It’s Week 8.  That’s not good for those of you keeping track at home.  The over/under is 50.5 which leads me to believe Vegas is expecting a shootout.  That also tells me whoever has the ball last might win.  The Chargers are bad but the Ravens secondary is inexcusable plus they’re coming off a Monday night game in Arizona.  I’ll take the Chargers and the points… and I’d definitely take the over.

 

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (no line)

Ever go to a yard sale right when the owners of the house are starting to pack everything up?  They’ll basically sell you anything in their driveway for fifty cents to not have to bring it back inside the house.  That’s what this absolute atrocity of a game reminds me of: something that absolutely nobody wants.  In fact, there’s not even a line.  That’s probably because the Titans don’t know yet whether Marcus Mariota will start but I’m more inclined to believe the odds makers are just shaking their heads at anyone who would gamble on this game.  Wanna hear something else that’s funny?  After cutting the sleep-deprived Ryan Mallett, the Houston Texans only had one quarterback on their roster.  No truth to the rumor that they bought him an extra alarm clock just in case.  Can you imagine if that guy missed the game?  They may have to consider starting JJ Watt at quarterback.  I’ll take the Texans here because starting Watt at quarterback is still better than anything the Titans have to offer.

 

New York Jets at Oakland Raiders (+2.5)

What we have here is a battle of two teams that just won’t go away.  The winner of this game might just make a wild card spot in the AFC.  The Jets hung tough with the Pats last week while the Raiders went into San Diego and dismantled the Chargers.  Amare Cooper is transitioning very nicely into the NFL, don’t you think?  We’ll see how he does when the Jets stick Revis Island on him.  Either way, I think these teams are evenly matched which is why I’ll take the home team and the points.

 

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (+6)

The Cowboys can’t get Tony Romo back quickly enough.  In fact, between the tag team duo of Brandon Wheeden and Matt Cassell, the Cowboys might want to consider starting Arts and Crafts Tony Romo.  He’d be just as effective, plus he can crochet.  Just when I’d like to say the Seahawks are clicking, they go ahead and lose a game.  Both these teams are underachieving for different reasons.  I fear a cover here by Dallas but I’m just not sure how exactly they’re going to pull that off so I’ll take Seattle and lay the points leading to another Greg Hardy blow up.  Next question!

 

Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos (+3)

I’m calling this one the battle of the insurance agents.  I see Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers pimping more insurance these days than the caveman and the GEICO lizard combined.  WHY… won’t… they… just… PLAY… the… games?  I’ll let you figure out that last sentence was supposed to be hummed to the Nationwide Insurance theme.  Odds are one on their commercials was on while you were reading this which is yet another reason to watch TV with the volume down.  But back to football.  Both these teams are 6-0 but the Packers are little more believing of 6-0 team which is why I’ll take them to cover.

 

Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers (-7)

This week was the first time since Andrew Luck’s been in the league that I’ve ever heard anyone question the guy’s potential.  We haven’t gone as far as to label him a draft bust yet but he’s definitely struggling.  Meanwhile, there’s another number one draft pick taken a year before him that is a viable MVP candidate.  That man’s name is Cam Newton.  Given the three point home field advantage, the additional four points isn’t all that much to lay considering a) how badly the Colts are struggling and b) how personal this might be for Cam Cam.  I’m taking the better of the two quarterbacks in this one to cover at home.

 

KP’S LET ME SHOW YOU HOW TO FISH PICKS

 

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-7.5)

For the Dolphins, everything has been hunky-dory since Dan Campbell took over.  Miami is playing better in all facets of the game, although it shouldn’t be ignored that the team’s two previous opponents were the Titans and Texans.  This is New England… on the road… during a short week, with Tom Brady putting up MVP-like numbers (again).  The Jets hung with the Patriots on the road, but that still finished in a seven-point victory for New England.  I do think the Dolphins are vastly improved and that a loss in New England shouldn’t be considered “smoke and mirrors”.  With that being said, the short week coupled with Brady on national TV in front of the home fans, give me the Pats by ten.

KP’s Pick: New England Patriots

 

 

Detroit Lions vs Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) – London

London gets its third game of the season, featuring the struggling Lions and the injury-depleted Chiefs.  Jim Bob Cooter – who gets my vote for “Coolest Name in the NFL” – takes over as OC of the Lions and it’ll be interesting to see if he can spark an inconsistent offense that is loaded with talent.  Kansas City’s pass defense is ranked 23rd in the NFL and has allowed 15 TD’s through the air.  Detroit’s defense is 9th in sacks (17) and could have some success against a K.C. O-line that has given up 26 sacks on the year (2nd most).  I expect a spark from Cooter and to answer your question, NO, I couldn’t keep a straight face while writing that.  The Lions will get to Smith, too.

KP’s Pick: Detroit Lions

 

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5)

The undefeated Bengals come off a bye week and will face bitter rival Pittsburgh on the road.  The biggest storyline is the expected return of QB Ben Roethlisberger, who is sure to make an impact on the game.  Sure, Big Ben may be a bit rusty and he’ll likely have a tough time facing a Cincinnati defense that is 9th in sacks (17) and has allowed just 8 TD’s through the air in six games.  Typically, I would focus on how steady Andy Dalton has been, as well as Cincy’s bye week to prepare for this game.  But the Big Ben storyline is a big one and his return should also boost the value of both Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.  My gut says the Steelers – ignited by Ben and the home crowd – hand Cincy its first loss.

KP’s Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-7.5)

The Buccaneers are 5th in pass defense (219.5 ypg), but that stat is a bit misleading.  More important to note is the fact that opposing QB’s have a 111.2 passer rating against the Bucs.  Tampa’s ‘D’ also has allowed 15 TD’s through the air, while managing just 3 INT’s.  Does anyone else see Matt Ryan having a field day at home?  Yeah, me too… Falcons cover.

KP’s Pick: Atlanta Falcons

 

 

New York Giants at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)

The Saints are back to playing better football, especially at home.  As a result, this should be an interesting one.  Drew Brees should have some success against a New York defense that is ranked 30th against the pass (288.3 ypg).  Then again, the Giants have 11 interceptions (more than its 10 passing TD’s allowed) and lead the NFL in turnover margin (+9).  But wait, there’s more (said, in cheesy infomercial voice)!  The Giants have just nine sacks on the season (31st in the NFL) and opposing teams have converted on 46% of third downs (30th) against New York.  Translation: Give Drew Brees time and opportunities on third down, and give me the Saints at home.

KP’s Pick: New Orleans Saints

 

 

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (+2.5)

Here’s another tricky divisional matchup, where the Vikings have clearly been the better team this season, as the Bears continue to fend off the injury bug.  The key with Minnesota is always through Adrian Peterson, who is listed as questionable due to hip, finger and ankle injuries.  Well, at least it isn’t another dip injury.  The Bears, meanwhile, do not list any of its offensive weapons on the injury report, which means they could be at full speed, coming off a bye week.  If AP is banged up and the Bears are at home with Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal all healthy, then give me “Da Bears”.

KP’s Pick: Chicago Bears

 

 

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (+5.5)

The Browns can be a scrappy bunch and we all know that, with one example being an overtime loss to the Broncos a few weeks back.  But Arizona is relentless with its talent on both sides of the ball, featuring a tenacious secondary and numerous explosive weapons on offense.  Chris Johnson is rejuvenated and should have success against Cleveland’s run defense that is ranked last in the NFL (151.0 ypg).  Arizona won’t make the late-game mistakes that it made on Monday night against the Ravens (which, the Cards still won by 8, anyway).  Cards cover.

KP’s Pick: Arizona Cardinals

 

 

San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)

Here’s a matchup featuring arguably the two most disappointing teams in the NFL this season.  Baltimore is 1-6 and the team’s defense has been torched all year, especially through the air (28th in the NFL).  The Ravens are bad, but this team isn’t 1-6 bad.  Every game has gone down to the wire, to the point where Pepto Bismol has likely seen a 4000% sales boost in Baltimore this season.  It won’t get any prettier when facing Philip Rivers and San Diego’s top-ranked passing offense (343.6 ypg).  Considering how each team has played, this one likely will come down to a late field goal.  More likely, a last minute missed field goal.  Play that sad trombone and give me the Chargers and the points.

KP’s Pick: San Diego Chargers

 

 

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (-8.5)

Todd Gurley has notched three-straight 100-yard games and plain and simple, he is the life force of the St. Louis offense.  The Niners are 20th against the run, leaving Gurley to likely have another solid game.  The bigger key will be how Colin Kaepernick can handle the Rams’ suffocating defense, which is second in the NFL in sacks (23).  Considering the Niners have given up 25 sacks (4th most), it could get ugly.  Toss in the home field advantage and I’ll take the Rams in a rout.

KP’s Pick: St. Louis Rams

 

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-0.5)

Ryan Mallett is gone, although no word if he was able to catch his plane out of Houston or not (tip your wait staff, please).  The Texans will be without Arian Foster, who is out for the year.  That likely leaves Alfred Blue to anchor the run game and Brian Hoyer at QB.  Marcus Mariota, meanwhile, is questionable for the Titans and its unknown if he’ll play or not.  That could leave Antonio Andrews running for Tennessee and Zach Mettenberger under center.  The more I research this game, the more thankful I am that I have NFL Sunday Ticket.  Give me the Titans and that’s mainly due to Tennessee’s pass defense, which is second in the NFL, allowing just 195.2 ypg.

KP’s Pick: Tennessee Titans

 

 

New York Jets at Oakland Raiders (+2.5)

The Raiders are an improved team, especially on offense, while the Jets have also been solid under Todd Bowles.  New York gave New England all it could handle last week and that much should be expected again in Oakland.  The Jets are 4th in pass defense (211.7 ypg), with as many INT’s as TD’s allowed (8).  The Raiders, meanwhile, are dead last against the pass (303.8 ypg), which could mean a big day for both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall.  While I truly believe that Oakland is much improved, the line still puzzles me a bit.  New York’s defense is too strong for the young Raiders.  Jets cover.

KP’s Pick: New York Jets

 

 

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (+6.5)

The Cowboys still can’t figure out its offense, since Dez Bryant and Tony Romo exited with injuries.  Bryant is questionable this week, but Matt Cassel will still be under center and he struggled in Week 7 (vs the Giants).  The Seahawks will cause more defensive headaches.  We shouldn’t ignore the other team-related distractions, mainly Greg Hardy’s attitude and Joseph Randle reportedly leaving the team (and losing his starting job).  The Seahawks have been horrible on the road and even worse at protecting Russell Wilson (31 sacks allowed, most in the NFL), but even so, the Cowboys can’t be counted on these days.  If Dez returns, Dallas has a chance, but he likely won’t be 100%.  ‘Hawks cover.

KP’s Pick: Seattle Seahawks

 

 

Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos (+3.5)

Can anyone say “Game of the Week”?  Well, sure you can, it’s not like it’s a tongue twister or anything.  All we get on Sunday night is two undefeated teams coming off a bye and two of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game (Aaron Rodgers vs. Peyton Manning).  While Manning continues to get bashed by critics, one can’t ignore Denver’s lack of running game (to add balance).  Peyton studies like crazy and he shouldn’t be counted out when given a week to prepare for any team.  Sure, Rodgers is the better QB these days, but Aaron will be facing Denver’s top-rated pass defense (192.2 ypg).  One team will emerge undefeated and my gut says it will come down to a late field goal.  Therefore, give me Denver and the points, albeit reluctantly.

KP’s Pick: Denver Broncos

 

 

Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers (-6.5)

The Colts continue to flounder while the Panthers continue to surprise.  Andrew Luck made some awful throws last week and it is becoming clear that he’s not 100%.  Carolina, meanwhile, is likely to give the Colts a steady dose of its top-ranked rushing attack (144.7 ypg).  Indianapolis is 23rd against the run and will have a tough time containing Cam Newton.  If Andrew Luck struggled last week against the Saints, imagine what could be on tap against Carolina’s pass defense, which is 8th in yards allowed (229.8 ypg), with more INT’s (9) than TD’s allowed (5).  That’s five TD’s allowed through the air in six games – and the Panthers get Indy at home!  Alright, Cam, you got me… I’m finally a believer.  Panthers cover.

KP’s Pick: Carolina Panthers

Bye Week: Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Jacksonville Jaguars

 

 

LISA’S PLAYING WITH THE PEONS PICKS

 

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-7.5)

I will take the Pats. Miamians don’t fare well in cold weather.

 

Detroit Lions vs Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) – London

Chiefs win but Lions cover. I think Detroit is an exceptional mediocre team.

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5)

Steelers. I’ve been burned by Ohio pro sports teams far too often. Cincy’s streak ends here.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-7.5)

The Falcons, like every team that plays the Bucs, should win. But this is a rivalry game so I’m going to take the Bucs to cover.

 

New York Giants at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)

Giants. As a Redskins fan, I hate picking the Giants. Maybe this will curse them?

 

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (+2.5)

Bears. Since the Cubs blew it, I’ll now cast some pity on the Bears.

 

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (+5.5)

Love that Cards’ defense. Plus, you know, that whole Ohio pro sports teams thing makes me pick against them.

 

San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)

The Chargers will bounce back after the Raiders drubbed them.

 

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (-8.5)

As bad as the 49ers look, eventually they will get better.  Especially against a mediocre Rams team.

 

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-0.5)

UGH. The Titans have lost five straight. I’m picking them to halt that streak.

 

New York Jets at Oakland Raiders (+2.5)

Newsflash: I’m also a diehard Raidez fan! Love the silver and black here.

 

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (+6.5)

Let’s see now… I like Pete Carroll and I hate the Cowboys because I’m a Redskins fan. Emotional choice here: Seattle covers.

 

Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos (+3.5)

Such a tough call here—both teams are great. I think Denver wins by a last second field goal which means the Cheeseheads cover.

 

Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers (-6.5)

The Panthers cover if they win by a touchdown? Love this spread. I’m taking Carolina.

 

10 thoughts on “SportsChump’s NFL Picks against the World – Week Eight

  1. On the bright side, you did win last week’s segment of my NASCAR fantasy league 🙂

  2. Chris

    Another season in the NFL where all of the Florida based franchises will actually stink up the joint ?

    So much for the idiotic assessments being made as to signs of improvement in the Dolphins’ defense.

    Tom Brady celebrated Christmas early last night and look what Santa brought him? That was an @ss kicking of the highest order as the Miami Dolphins bent over , puckered up to take their beating like a jail-cell prison bi%ch .

    Best game on the schedule this weekend will be the Packers vs the Broncos.

  3. Hey SC, you are 1-0 through Friday! I wanna see the Bengals game this weekend. Can they keep this charade up or are they for real?

  4. No, Bleed, but she did manage to sneak in a Pete Carroll reference.

    As would be expected.

    You know how every once in a while I need to balance out my East Coast bias.

  5. Pingback: NFL Week 8 Picks: The Great Lisa Horne Joins Our Band of Misfits this Week | The Wife Hates Sports

  6. Finishing 6-26 the past two seasons is the second-best thing the franchise has ever done. Michael Evans and Jameis Winston is all the Buccaneers need in order to be rocking for fourteen years.

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