There are moments during an NFL season that any handicapper will remember and one of them occurred in Week 8. The play was a scoop-and-score fumble that was blown dead in the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee received the benefit of an early (and incorrect) whistle, Tampa Bay never scored again, and the Titans narrowly covered as a result.
Later, the New England Patriots covered a 13-point spread despite being out-gained on a per-play basis (5.3 yards to 4.8 yards) by the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland head coach Freddie Kitchens sent the final nail in the coffin by kicking a field goal to cut the lead from 17 to 14 in the final seconds and, well, we were on the wrong side of both instances.
Things happen every week and we were (clearly) wrong on the Jets and the Cardinals, but alas, we press on with attempts to find value for Week 9.
Let’s check in on the season-long progress, all while recognizing that it’s unacceptable.
- Week 8: 3-4
- 2019 Season: 19-24
Come get these winners on a spray-the-board week.
Arizona Cardinals (+10) over San Francisco 49ers
The entire universe is on the Niners. More than 80 percent of the tickets (per Action Network) are on San Francisco’s side and the number moved from an opener around 7 to where it currently stands. Was there any actual doubt that we’d take Arizona? I know it’s hideous. I know San Francisco is really good. I can’t possibly pass up this value on a home team on a Thursday, especially when the Cardinals can actually score.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) over Houston Texans
Let’s get weird in London. This opened at 3 and the smart money came flooding in on the Jags… all while the public is squarely on the Texans. You know where we’ll be.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) over Indianapolis Colts
The universe is on the Colts after three straight wins but Indy didn’t play very well in sneaking past a bad Broncos team last week. In contrast, everyone got to watch Pittsburgh struggle with Miami for most of Monday night and this line is just weird. Give me the home team, even with Mason Rudolph at the helm.
Oakland Raiders (-2) over Detroit Lions
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think the Raiders are better than the Lions. If I think that on a neutral field, I’ve gotta lay the two points in Oakland.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6) over Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s defense is more than a little bit shaky and that is where this pick originates. It is not fun to bet on Jameis Winston, and that is doubly true in a hostile environment. From a talent standpoint, though, this is closer than you’d think and only 29 percent of the money (per Action Network) is on the Seahawks despite more than half of the tickets. The sharp side is Tampa Bay.
Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) over Green Bay Packers
This is hideous. I’ll grant you that. The Chargers have virtually no home-field advantage and Los Angeles just isn’t very good right now. That leads more than 85 (!) percent of the public to land on Green Bay and it is easy to see why. It’s Halloween, so give me the candy as I hold my nose.
Baltimore Ravens (+3.5) over New England Patriots
The Patriots are overvalued in the market right now, even when factoring in their organizational voodoo. New England also hasn’t played anyone yet this season and Baltimore is set up to give them a test in prime time. John Harbaugh’s record in this kind of situation is pretty strong and we have Lamar Jackson on our side. If it was a pick’em, I’d stay away, but the Ravens could pretty easily win this game on the field and we’ll snatch the value.
New York Giants (+7.5) over Dallas Cowboys
Rivalry game. Home underdog. More than a touchdown.
Go get ’em, Danny Dimes.