We've hit the mediocre portion of my betting performance hear nearing the midway point of the NFL season. I've now suffered back-to-back 3-4 weeks to bring my total season record to 29-21. While I'm still comfortably above .500 on the year, I'm looking to break back into the positive in Week 8 with some of my favorite picks I've made in recent weeks. The good news is you'd be up by quite a bit if you had tailed my weekly Locks, which are 6-2 after last week's win.
Week 7 was a bit strange, as I won all my bets against the spread but lost every pick I made on the point total. I contribute that to being more of an anomaly than anything, so I'm not going to abandon the overs or unders completely. But I did try to focus my efforts more on the spreads this week to build on my strong suit of last week. Regardless, let's try to go 7-0 this time around.
Las Vegas Raiders at New Orleans Saints Over 49.5
Just looking at the box scores from these two teams' last few appearances, it seems nearly impossible that their meeting could stay under the point total. Vegas has scored 29 or more in their last three contests and New Orleans has posted 25 or more in their last four. Both squads' quarterbacks have been having mediocre seasons, really, but they have very good run games featuring game-changing lead backs in Josh Jacobs and Alvin Kamara. More importantly, perhaps, are the struggles they've both faced on defense, both allowing at least 25 points per game and north of 350 yards per game. While both teams are also a bit banged up on the offensive side, the showings they've displayed in recent outings leads me to be quite confident in the over hitting with ease.
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Over 42.5
I picked Chicago's game against New England to go under and Dallas' game against Detroit to go over last week, neither of which actually happened. The Cowboys simply got off to too slow of a start in Dak Prescott's return from injury, while the Bears' offense exploded unexpectedly for the first time all year. I don't think Chicago will put up 30-plus again like they did on Monday night, but I do think Justin Fields and the rest of the offense received a much needed confidence boost heading into a road game against a stingy defense. What I'm putting my money on here is the Cowboys' offense putting the ball in Dak's hands early and often considering Ezekiel Elliott will most likely not be suiting up. Tony Pollard is one of the league's best backup running backs, but Dallas needs to get their passing game rolling if they want to make a serious run in the postseason. Mike McCarthy will get his quarterback plenty of chances to get back on track with his receivers in a game that they should win without too much difficulty. And the Bears will take advantage of the up-tempo pace to notch a few scores of their own.
Tennessee Titans 2H TT Under 10.5 at Houston Texans
I made this pick a few weeks ago expecting the trend to change soon, but it still hasn't. This stat is almost impossible to believe, but the Titans scored their first second-half points of the season last week with a field goal against the pathetic Colts. That's right, through six games, Tennessee has mustered just three points in the second half. And with Ryan Tannehill banged up and battling an illness, it's possible we'll see Malik Willis get his first NFL start (or at least a hefty appearance under center. Either way, it really doesn't matter. Any number in the double digits for Tennessee's second half scoring prop should be swiftly and heavily bet toward the under.
Seattle Seahawks -3.0 vs. New York Giants
These two teams have been very surprising so far this season, particularly the Giants, who sit in a tie for second in the NFC East at 6-1. It's possible that New York is for real this season; they've certainly made it appear that way in their first seven games. But skeptics such as myself are anticipating a regression to the mean to occur eventually, and I think it'll happen in Seattle this week. New York has been sneaking by their opponents all season, and the Law of Averages says their due for a flip to that script. The Seahawks just snagged back-to-back double digit dubs over the Cardinals and Chargers, as Geno Smith has mightily impressed and has certainly outplayed his former starter who was traded to Denver in the off-season thus far. Seattle will attempt to hone in on Saquon Barkley make Daniel Jones beat them through the air, which I don't think he'll be able to accomplish. The Seahawks still have several highly talented weapons now that rookie Kenneth Walker has stepped up as the lead running back. I like Seattle to win by a touchdown at home for their third in a row.
Indianapolis Colts -3.0 vs. Washington Commanders
Part of me hates this pick, but the Colts have been so bad on offense this season that benching Matt Ryan will probably provide a spark to that side of the ball. If nothing else, having a new, inexperienced guy at QB will force Frank Reich to do what he should have been doing all along: give the ball the Jonathan Taylor. Taylor will have at least 25 rushes and finally offer a respectable enough performance for his poor fantasy owners who drafted him first overall. Another big factor for this game will be the return of Shaq (formerly Darius) Leonard, who's been injured for the entirety of the season. As the leader of the defense, he has the ability to make everyone around him better, which I think he'll do as they take on backup Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders. I'm sure the Colts were looking forward to facing off against Carson Wentz in his return to Indy, but they'll be fired up to get back in the win column after a hugely disappointing showing in Nashville last Sunday.
Green Bay Packers +10.5 at Buffalo Bills
Aaron Rodgers is a double digit underdog for the first time in his career against the Bills on Sunday night. However, given his prowess in primetime, it's tough for me to believe Buffalo will win by quite that much. The Packers have won 13 straight primetime matchups and Rodgers owns the league's best passer rating in night games. However, Green Bay has never won in Buffalo. The Bills are without a doubt the best team in the league in my opinion, but I can't see the Packers allowing a blowout in this situation. Aaron Rodgers stated in an interview this week that the Sunday night matchup is likely the best thing for his team to encounter, and I don't think there's any doubt about Green Bay's confidence level in the locker room as long as Rodgers is under center. I'll say that Buffalo will probably win and hand the Packers their fourth straight loss, but I believe it'll come down to the final minutes to decide the outcome.
Lock of the Week: New York Jets +2.5 vs. New England Patriots
This line is stunning to me. The Jets have now won four in a row, including blowout victories against the Dolphins and Packers in back-to-back weeks. They also cashed in our Lock of the Week last Sunday against Denver, and so it only feels right to roll with them yet again as home underdogs to a team without a starting quarterback who just got dog-walked by the Bears. Mac Jones was benched early in the game against Chicago Monday night, but reports suggest he'll be back in as the starter to take his spot back from Bailey Zappe. However, his leash will be incredibly short. There is clearly a lack of confidence at the quarterback position in New England, and that trickles down into every aspect of the team. It is a bit of a concern that the Jets lost Breece Hall to an ACL tear in their win over the Broncos, but after trading for James Robinson this week, he along with Michael Carter should provide a decent one-two punch to fill Hall's vacancy. I expect the Jets to win their fifth straight and improve to a shocking 6-2 record to begin 2022.
Written by Nick Swatson