Mike’s NFL Week 8 Picks

Mike Harvey

Redskins (1-6) at Vikings (5-2), Thursday 

Opening line: Vikings, -16.5 points 

Mike’s Pick: Vikings win, Don’t cover spread

This game seems like a sure win for the Vikings at home against the abysmal Redskins, but I’m not sure they will cover the spread. The extremely unpredictable Kirk Cousins has had back to back 4 touchdown games, and is coming off of 3 straight 300 passing yard performances after a rocky start to the season. He almost seems due for a bad game.

Although he is going to play against the eighth worst defense, and could easily carry his momentum into this week, a 16.5 point spread seems insurmountable. It is tied for the largest ever spread in a Thursday Night game, meaning the Vikings will need something special to cover.

Seahawks (5-2) at Falcons (1-6)

Opening line: Seahawks, -3.5

Mike’s Pick: Seahawks win, Cover spread

This spread is subject to change considering Matt Ryan is listed as questionable; however if he does play and it stays at 3.5, this could be the lock of the week. The Seahawks are an actual contender this year, and Russel Wilson is the midseason MVP favorite. Coming off a tough loss to a talented Ravens squad, I expect nothing less than a dominating performance against one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams so far. The Falcons are 1-6 against the spread this year and will most likely fall to 1-7 after a revenge week for the Seahawks.

Eagles (3-4) at Bills (5-1)

Opening line: Bills, -1.5 points

Mike’s Pick: Eagles win

The Eagles have had a disappointing start to the season, and suffered an embarrassing 37-10 loss to their rival Cowboys last week. The Bills record makes them seem better than they really are, so this will be a competitive game. Josh Allen does not impress me as an NFL ready passer and the Bill’s run game is not dominant enough to win them this game. This is a season deciding game for the Eagles, and I’d put my money on them rebounding with a big game from Carson Wentz, and a win in the land of the Bill’s Mafia.

Chargers (2-5) at Bears (3-3)

Opening line: Bears, -6 points

Mike’s Pick: Bears win, Cover spread

The Chargers haven’t won a game at Soldier Field since 1970, and with an offense still trying to find its identity, this does not seem like the year it will break the cold streak. The big question for the Chargers is who will emerge as their number 1 running back, Austin Eckler or Melvin Gordan. Although Mitch Trubiski is incapable of leading any team to victory, the Bears pass rush should hound Philip Rivers into throwing some interceptions and carry their team to a dub.

Giants (2-5) at Lions (2-3-1)

Opening line: Lions, -7 points

Mike’s Pick: Lions win, Cover spread

The Lions are much better than their record shows. Matt Stafford has played at an elite level this year, and finally has the weapons around him to succeed. Although Kerryon Johnson might be out, Marvin Jones Jr., Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola, and T.J. Hockenson are great targets for Stafford to pick apart the lackluster Giants defense. Matt Patricia’s defense is finally responding to his elaborate schemes, so look for a few interceptions off of a confused Danny Dimes (Daniel Jones) this week, as well as the Lions covering the spread.

Buccaneers (2-4) at Titans (3-4)

Opening line: Titans, -3 points

Mike’s Pick: Buccaneers

Marcus Mariota has not been playing like a former second overall pick, and even got benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill during Sunday’s shutout loss to the Broncos. Either way, whether Tannehill or Mariota gets the start, the Titans will look to keep up their run heavy offense led by Derrick Henry. The Bucs will counter this with the number 1 rush defense in the league, and unless Winston has another 6 turnover game, I expect a win out of the Bucs.

Broncos (2-5) at Colts (4-2)

Opening line: Colts, -6.5 points

Mike Pick: Colts win, Cover spread

The Colts are absolutely rolling. Ever since beating the Chiefs in the primetime Sunday night matchup, the Colts have been a legitimate contender for the second best team in the AFC. Jacoby Brissett has played like a franchise quarterback, and Marlon Mack is on pace to be a 1,000 yard rusher. The defense has shown signs of greatness, such as holding a red hot Chiefs team to 13 points, but has not been consistently great this year. Joe Flacco’s inability to move the ball down the field, and the disappearance of Philip Lindsay, will set up Jacoby Brissett and the Colts offense for many short scoring drives ending in a win.

Bengals (0-7) vs. Rams (5-2) in London

Opening line: Rams, -12.5

Mike’s Pick: Rams win, Cover spread

The Bengals are nothing short of an embarrassment this year. Plain and simple. And although the Rams have not looked like the Super Bowl runner ups they were last year, expect a blow out win across the pond on Sunday.

Cardinals (3-3-1) at Saints (6-1)

Opening line: Saints, -7.5 point

Mike’s Pick: Saints win, Don’t cover spread

The Saints have covered the spread in a ridiculous 16 straight October games. However, expect that streak to come to an end if David Johnson is active for Sunday’s matchup. Teddy Bridgewater is proving himself to be a solid NFL quarterback who is deserving of a starting role this year- this year has been his first chance to showcase his abilities after his devastating knee injury a few years back. He’s paired with elite weapons in Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, but the Cardinals are no joke as Kyler Murry continues to improve every week. Winners of three straight, expect the Cards to carry their momentum into their matchup against the Saints, keeping it close, but ultimately losing.

Jets (1-5) at Jaguars (3-4)

Opening line: Jaguars, -4.5 points

Mike’s Pick: Jaguars win, Cover spread

Expect Gardner Minshew and the Jags to beat up on this Jets squad that has no life left in it after being used and abused by the Pats on Monday Night. Sam Darnold may have some residual stress from seeing ghosts and will most likely do next to nothing against this Jags team- who aren’t that great themselves. Losing Jalen Ramsey definitely hurts the Jags’ defense, but the Jets only weapon is Le’veon Bell- who is running behind a college level o-line. I’ll take the Jaguars to win, and cover the spread.

Panthers (4-2) at 49ers (6-0)

Opening line: 49ers, -6 points

Mike’s Pick: Panthers win

Expect an upset this week, as the Panther’s are coming off a bye week and have had plenty of time to prepare for the 49ers- a vastly overrated team. It’s an unpopular opinion, but Jimmy Garropolo just isn’t that great. In fact, Panthers backup Kyle Allen has been playing significantly better than him this year. The 49ers defense has been elite, but they are bound to have an off week sometime, and Christian McCaffery tends to make great defenses look like a highschool squad. Expect at the very least a close game, but my money’s on a Panthers win.

Browns (2-4) at Patriots (6-0)

Opening line: Patriots, -10 points

Mikes Pick: Patriots win, Cover Spread

Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are a matchup nightmare for man to man coverage, which the Patriots play at the second highest rate in the NFL. This could present a problem, but Freddie Kitchens will continue to draw up slow developing plays, which make Baker Mayfield stand in the pocket and play hero ball. Belichick will continue to send the house, and force the second year man to make decisions on the fly, resulting in yet another high interception game and a Patriots blow out. I am shocked this game only has a 10 point spread!

Raiders (3-3) at Texans (4-3)

Opening line: Texans, -7 points

Texans Win, Cover spread

Regardless of Will Fuller’s status this week, the Texans high powered offense is set to dismantle the Raiders- who have a weak defense and are on their 5th straight away game. Derek Carr has played well and the Raiders are a solid team; However, they just do not matchup for an away game, that could go south, fast, for Oakland.

Packers (6-1) at Chiefs (5-2)

Opening line: Packers, -3 points

Mike’s Pick: Packers Win, Cover spread

This game is the definition of easy money. It’s almost as if the odds makers don’t know that the most talented quarterback in the league, Pat Mahomes, is injured and not playing. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look like an elite football team once again, and will mop the floors with Matt Moore and a depleted Chiefs unit. Packers by a million, put the mortgage on it.

Dolphins (0-6) at Steelers (2-4), Monday

Opening line: Steelers, -16.5 points

Mike’s pick: Steelers win, Don’t cover spread

A 16.5 point spread is a huge number, but the Dolphins are a historically bad team. If they were playing most other teams, I would advise to never bet on the Fins, but the Steelers do not have a quarterback. Mason Rudolph still doesn’t know his name after a brutal concussion, and Devlin Hodges is not an NFL-caliber quarterback. Expect at least a close game, and do not be surprised if we witness some more Fitzmagic on this extremely underwhelming Monday night matchup.