Four Games to Watch In Week 8

Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills – 12 CT

Just when I thought the Raiders were having a bad year, they give an impressive performance and beat my Super Bowl favorite, the Kansas City Chiefs. Derek Carr looked fully healthy, and Amari Cooper stepped up and made big plays. The win over the Chiefs may have saved the Raiders season, but now they travel to the other side of the country to face off against the 4-2 Buffalo Bills. The Bills four wins have come against the Jets, Broncos, Falcons, and Buccaneers, but those wins seem less impressive with each coming week. The Buffalo defense is going to need to come out strong to hold the Raiders explosive offense to a minimum. This past game against the Buccaneers was the first time the Bills allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points, and if the Bills can keep the Raiders around that number they will be in a good position to win the game. Vegas has the Bills favored by 2.5, and I’d put my money on the Bills. It’s tough for a California team to travel all the way to Buffalo and play at noon. I expect the Bills to win by a touchdown.

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England Patriots – 12 CT

After starting the year 0-4, the Chargers have rebounded and won three straight. The Chargers should have been dead in the water at 0-4 in what many people thought was the toughest division in the NFL, but now they have a serious shot at making a run at the playoffs. Speaking of three straight victories, the Patriots have done the same. After a shaky start to the season, the Patriots are 5-2. Their defense looked atrocious in the beginning of the season, but on this three game win streak they’ve given up an average of less than 13 points per game. The Patriots are favored by 7, and that line seems pretty fair. I’ll take the Patriots to cover, but I would not be surprised to see the Chargers put up a good fight.

Houston Texans @ Seattle Seahawks – 3:05 CT

The Seahawks made news this week by signing Dwight Freeney, formerly one of the best pass rushers in the league. Freeney is unlikely to be a major contributor, but he might be able to give the Seahawks already tough defense a little boost. Last week, the Seahawks handled the Giants, and have a three game winning streak of their own. On the other sideline, Deshaun Watson is the Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite. Watson and the Texans are third in the NFL in points per game, but can they score on a menacing Seattle defense? The Seahawks are favored by 5.5. While I really like what Watson and the Houston offense has been doing, I think playing in Seattle is just too much to overcome. Seahawks cover.

Watson

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins – 3:25 CT

The Eagles have a solid lead in the NFC East, but don’t sleep on the Cowboys and Redskins as playoff contenders. After a confounding number of appeals, it appears once again as if Ezekiel Elliott will play out the season with the Cowboys. The Cowboys crushed the lousy 49ers last week, but they get a good test this week against the Redskins. While the Redskins don’t have a very impressive record (4-3), I believe they are better than their record indicates. The Redskins have only lost to the Eagles (twice) and Chiefs so far this season, two of the very best teams in the league. Dallas is favored in Washington by 2, but I’ll happily take Washington to win outright.

Four Games to Watch In Week 4

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings – 12 CT

The Lions suffered their first loss of the season last week against the Falcons after a controversial 10 second runoff after a booth review. The Lions came up just inches shy of being 3-0. This week, they’re taking on a Vikings team that looked shockingly awesome with Case Keenum at quarterback last week. With Sam Bradford ruled out for Sunday, Keenum will be getting the start again. Keenum and the Vikings benefited from playing an injured Buccaneers defense last week, but Detroit should be a bigger test. If the offensive line can give Keenum time to throw, I like their chances at home. The Vikings are favored by 2. I’m picking the Vikings to win. Don’t forget, Keenum beat the Lions in Detroit last year, throwing for 321 yards and three TDs.

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans – 12 CT

Deshaun Watson looked promising for the Texans last week, going into New England and almost pulling out a victory. The Texans may only be 1-2, but I still believe the Texans have the potential to win the AFC South. Most expect the Titans and Texans to finish at the top of the South, so this is a big game. On the other hand, the Titans look like one of the best teams in the league. Last week, the Titans beat the Seattle Seahawks, leaving many to question if the Seahawks are going to have a disappointing season. The Seahawks may end up having a disappointing year, but the Titans look like the real deal. DeMarco Murray is one of the best running backs in the league, and if gets going early the Texans will be in trouble. The Titans are favored by 2, but I’ll take the Texans at home.

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos – 3:25 CT

Both the Raiders and the Broncos laid duds last week. The Raiders looked awful on Sunday night against the Redskins, Derek Carr was under constant pressure and was sacked four times. The Broncos went to Buffalo and lost to a Bills team that might be better than we thought. Trevor Siemian had his worst game of the season, throwing two interceptions. Despite the awful performances last week, expect both the Raiders and Broncos to rebound. These are two teams that have definite playoff potential, I expect at least one of them to make it in. The Broncos are favored by 3 points. Denver is a tough place to play and their defense is good at forcing pressure on quarterbacks, so I can’t pick against them here.

Washington Redskins @ Kansas City Chiefs – Monday, 7:30 CT

The Chiefs looks like the best team in football, and the Redskins just put a thumping on the Raiders. We got a good one for Monday night. Just an aside, I think its a shame Mike Tirico left ESPN, he was great on Monday Night Football. Sean McDonough is fine, but no where near as good as Tirico was. Oh well. Back to the actual game. Kirk Cousins and his receivers haven’t really been on the same page this season, but to get the win in KC they’re going to have to get going. It isn’t like the Redskins have a bad group of receivers, Jamison Crowder is good, and Terrelle Pryor was a monster for the Browns last year. The Washington defense is going to have to slow down Kareem Hunt, who is leading the league in rushing yards (by over 100 yards). The Chiefs are favored by 7, and while I think that is a bit high, I’ll still take them.

Four Games to Watch In Week 3

Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions – 12 CT

This is the game of the week. Both the Falcons and Lions played in prime time games in Week 2, and both looked very impressive. For the Falcons, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman had their way with the Green Bay defense. The Falcons were also able to put pressure on Aaron Rodgers, making it a difficult game for him. The Lions pretty much dominated the Giants from start to finish. Matt Stafford and the rest of the offense look electric, and the defense looks pretty good. In Vegas, the Falcons are favored by 3 points. This should be a very good game, I’ll take the Lions and the points in this one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings – 12 CT

Case Keenum cannot lead the Vikings offense to victory, this is all riding on the idea that Sam Bradford will be able to return from his injury. What’s wrong with Bradford? We still really don’t know. After the first game against the Saints, Bradford’s knee started swelling and causing discomfort, but there has been no confirmation on what the injury actually is. Bradford has been a limited participant in practice twice this week, and he said he expects to play on Sunday. For the Buccs, they are coming off of an impressive win against the Bears. Mike Evans is a freak and will challenge Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes, but I expect the Vikings front seven will put pressure on Jameis Winston and cause a couple turnovers. The Vikings are favored by 2 points, and I’ll take them to cover.

Seattle Seahawks @ Tennessee Titans – 3:05 CT

The Seahawks and Titans both got their first wins of the season last week. While the Titans started slow, they dominated the second half and beat Jacksonville 37-16. The Seahawks on the other hand, barely squeaked out a 12-9 win at home against the lousy 49ers. Going into the season, many expected the Seahawks to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, but so far their offense has struggled mightily. When the line for this game first opened, the Titans were favored by just a single point, but now the line has shifted to 2.5. Seattle’s offensive showing so far does not give me faith that they can keep up with the Titans, I’ll take them to cover. Get ready for Seahawks panic after this one.

Oakland Raiders @ Washington Redskins – 7:30 CT

The Sunday Night game should be a good one. Many were quick to write the Redskins off after their poor performance against the Eagles in Week 1, but the Redskins bounced back in Week 2 and beat the Rams. The Raiders have beaten the Titans and Jets handily, and are one of three teams in the AFC West that are 2-0. If the Redskins can get a quality performance from Kirk Cousins and his wide receivers, they might give the Raiders some trouble. Vegas favors the Raiders by 3. Traditionally, West Coast teams struggle the further east they go, but the late night game may negate some of that. I’ll take the Raiders to cover.