For The Win: Week 8

NFL picks against the Las Vegas lines.

Here we are again this year, back for more NFL picks. It is with great pleasure that I begin my second season writing this column. As someone who has won and lost their fair share of money on the NFL (and many other sports), this is bound to be a fun and unpredictable ride. Join me, won’t you?

As with the format in previous years, this article will help those of you who compete in confidence pools and in ranking selections, which may come in handy on those Las Vegas trips. Games are rated based on preference for both the point spread and other angles (such as totals or over/unders) with 1-3 “Stars”, which basically highlight the best bets for the week. Those games which have zero stars are not preferred one way or the other, but will still be covered, discussed and a winner will be predicted for those trying to get some advice for their weekly office pools.

Favorites went 6-8 against the spread in Week 7 as the pattern of underdogs showing pluck continued. There were several exploitable lines last week, in fact, which led to a personal record of 8-6. Week 8 has its share of fascinating numbers to dive in to, so let’s take a look.

Note that the over/unders are taken from VegasInsider.com

(Thursday Night) ATLANTA at CAROLINA (-3) (Over/Under 49)

The Falcons continue to find new and more crushing ways to lose games, with the last-second Lions victory carrying with it almost a sense of inevitability despite the odds. These teams played just three weeks ago, with the Panthers pulling out a road win, though that was Atlanta without Julio Jones. Carolina’s cornerbacks have been inconsistent this season, and with nothing to lose at 1-6 the Falcons should fancy that match-up.

Teddy Bridgewater may have something to say about that, however. The offense has been humming under the stewardship of the former Vikings and Saints quarterback, his connection with Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore bearing fruit every week. The Panthers, notably, are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games and have kept games close. On a short week, the home team usually gets the edge, but the -3 creates a bit of hesitation in what is a clash of very even teams from a talent perspective.

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