Table of Contents
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Week 8 arrives with Halloween weekend football – don’t be scared away from locks.
WEEK 8 – SCARY GOOD AND BAD
We’re nearing the halfway point of the NFL season (damn that was fast) and it’s becoming clear who’s going to be around in January and who can comfortably book their vacations after week 18. What isn’t clear is where we stand with lots of QB situations around the league, which is muddying the waters of lots of NFL lines. The usual suspects Rodgers and Brady are not themselves, and it makes you wonder if they’re simultaneously cliff-diving their Hall of Fame careers in unison. On the younger side, we saw the returns of Dak, Mac, and Tua.
The card for week seven showed us that if we want to own our pools and throw down an avalanche of winners, we’re going to have to be careful with betting on crappy teams to cover. They bit me a couple of times last week. It also might be time to throw away some previous notions about teams that were once guaranteed to win or cover like the Bucs or the Packers – the landscape is changing in the league this season. With that, let’s dive into these week 8 plays like we’re here to wreck shop.
Thursday Night Kickoff
Ravens (-1.5) vs Bucs – It’s certainly been a bit since Tom Brady was an underdog at home, but that’s the case here. The reeling Bucs are 3-4 and Tommy Divorce is on full tilt. I spent 20 years of my life betting on Tom Brady in these “back against the wall” games and it often worked, but is this one that’s out of his control?
(Extra) Early Slate
Jaguars (-3.5) vs Broncos – That’s right bruv, it’s a neutral-site contest between a couple of 2-5 teams that are wondering who their next QB will be in London. Russell Wilson’s reign in Denver has gotten off to as bad a start as you can imagine, and Trevor Lawrence’s year two doesn’t look too different from year 1. One team will come back to the states with a win, the other will come back 2-6 and be on the verge of obscurity.
Vikings (-3.5) vs Cardinals – This one truly perplexes me because I’ve been bit with bad Cardinals bets earlier this season, and I’ve been bit betting against the Vikings as I’m a Kirk Cousins non-believer. The total is set high at 49, so if he’s going to prove me wrong he’s going to have to air it out – I know Kyler Murray won’t be shy on that front.
Patriots (-2) @ Jets – A fierce AFC East rivalry that’s framed very differently than in recent years. It’s the Jets with the better record through 7 games, getting it done in all sorts of different ways to rack up the wins. The Patriots come in with the Mac vs Zappe debate still lingering, and it’s been all treat vs trick on the road since their week 1 loss in Miami.
49ers (-2) @ Rams – This NFC West matchup pits Jimmy G against the defending champs, a rematch of the NFC Championship game. The Niners just got the better of the Rams a couple of weeks back, so can they pull another rabbit out on the road? My brain suggests no, water finds its level here and the Niners seemed lost on offense in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs.
Seahawks (-3) vs Giants – The darling of this early NFL season is the G Men, who shockingly find themselves at 6-1 and winning games in every sort of weird way, including from behind. I’ve been betting on their demise for weeks now but I’ve yet to be right – are they for real? A tricky road spot in Seattle will be illuminating.
Night Pick of the Week
Bills (-10.5) vs Packers – Aaron Rodgers and the 3-4 Pack are on the verge of panic mode right about now, and they have a back-against-the-wall test in Buffalo on Sunday Night Football. Can 12 pull out a miracle win when they need it the most? A few years ago I would have been more optimistic about that idea.
THE “WHO CARES?” GAME
For this week’s disaster game, we find the two bottom feeders of the NFC South butting heads with the Falcons (-6) hosting the 2-5 Panthers. The Panthers just pulled off a surprise home win vs the Bucs with a third-string QB and new coaching staff, so it naturally feels like a letdown spot on the road for them. You have to think the Falcons win this battle of the ugly merely by attrition and Carolina does not follow that virtuoso defensive performance again.
WEIRD VIBE PREDICTION OF THE WEEK
The Lions did hang tight in Dallas last week, but not tight enough to cover. So we’re flipping the script this week with our weird vibe and FADING it – you have to mix it up sometimes. Well, the Commanders just looked good beating Green Bay and they’re visiting a Colts team without Matt Ryan. The game sounds ugly on the surface, so let’s take the reverse thought and look at Over 40 points and some Sam Ehlinger magic.
WEEK 7 RECAP
The Bengals rolled to an easy W, and the Seahawks and Chargers hit the over for winner number 2. From there, adversity kicked us in the rear as my Texans didn’t cover (shocking I know), and Tom Brady went anemic on offense and didn’t hit the over 40.5. In the end, my Pats confused themselves in a QB controversy and it led to the demise of my week 7 card. Here we sit at exactly .500 seven weeks into the season
Week Seven: 2-3 ATS, Season Overall: 18-18-1 ATS
EARLY WEEK 8 NFL PLAYS FOR ALEX
Give me the Falcons -6 in what might be the ugliest game of the week and my ugliest play in a while.
One more ugly cover coming your way, in the form of Steelers +11 in Philly. Too many points and I’m wondering when the first Eagles loss happens…
Raiders and Saints, sure let’s bet that one. I must have a fetish for bad football this week, but this one might just be a game cast watch. I’m going Under 48 points.
Sam Ehlinger and Taylor Heinecke surprise the public with a shootout in Indy, it won’t take much to go Over 40.5 points – let’s play it.
While I think Aaron Rodgers can play a little bit of hero ball, I don’t trust him to keep it within single digits. I will hammer the Over 47 in Bills/Packers right now before it goes up!
Other leans: Patriots/Jets Under 41, Rams +2, Bears/Cowboys Over 42
EATS AND DEETS
The best crowd: The answer is always London, especially for the madhouse that is Wembley. They have come to embrace the Jaguars over the years there, it should get rowdy.
Goofiest line: Bucs +1.5 – Tom Brady is a home underdog, let’s all stop and marvel in awe for a second.
Simultaneous screen count: Just two, any more and you’ll miss the hiding of the candy from your kids.
Tailgate pick of the week: Fall gives off a big-time “Ribs on the Grill” vibe.