CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 23: Wide reciever Greg Little #15 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after a first down run during the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Seahawks 6-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
A tricky San Diego-Kansas City line and a Steelers home game against the Pats lead week 8's toughest picks
I went 7-6 last week. Not exactly inspiring confidence in my picks, but at the end of the day, I'm 22-19 overall since I took over making predictions, and it definitely could be worse. This week has a very underwhelming set of early games, followed by a couple of "marquee" matchups later, including New England-Pittsburgh and Dallas-Philadelphia. These are oftentimes the hardest weeks to pick, but I'll give it my best shot. Here goes nothing. Odds as always are from Bodog (via OddsShark).
Arizona Cardinals (+13) @ Baltimore Ravens: I have to imagine the Ravens are a bit mad after Monday night's stinkfest. But something is clearly not right with Joe Flacco. And even though the Cardinals are coming East and aren't a very good football team, the Ravens won't be able to score enough points to cover 13.
Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) @ Carolina Panthers: All Day Adrian Peterson. That's all. Will be cool to see Ponder vs. Newton in a battle of rookie QBs, though, and this honestly could be the most entertaining early game.
New Orleans Saints (-14) @ St. Louis Rams: Never take the Rams or Colts with any spread again this year. Got it. Drew Brees is good at football, by the way, in case you haven't noticed. And Marques Colston is healthy.
Tennessee Titans (-9) vs. Indianapolis Colts: Well, the Colts sure look like they have quit, huh? #SuckForLuck in full effect. The Titans haven't looked all that much better, and the running game is in bad shape. But a day against the Colts porous defense should remedy that just fine.
Buffalo Bills (-6) vs. Washington Redskins: The Redskins aren't any good. The Bills are. Pretty simple. And Washington is getting hit hard by the injury bug now after devastating injuries to Santana Moss and Tim Hightower. I can't wait to see what new wrinkles Buffalo has in store for the Skins after their bye, especially with regards to getting C.J. Spiller involved in the passing game.
Detroit Lions (-3) @ Denver Broncos: Even without Jahvid Best, I think Detroit gets it right enough to take care of the Broncos. As long as the defensive line stays in their lanes and keeps Tebow from getting out and running, the defense should have a field day, especially with McGahee out for Denver.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) vs. New England Patriots: I just have a feeling this is the game the Steelers come out firing. Good teams bring out the best in Pittsburgh (the Ravens game this year notwithstanding), and I'm sure we would hear a heavy dose of "will we have a rematch of last year's Super Bowl?" questions if the Steelers pull it out. It just seems like something that will happen.
Cleveland Browns (+9) @ San Francisco 49ers: I don't think the Browns will win. I just think they will cover. They'll have Hillis back, and they've shown that time of possession means more to them than touchdowns. San Fran's receivers don't scare anyone, but Vernon Davis could have a big game against the Browns safeties. And we will see a whole lot of Frank Gore. I just see this as a 17-13 kind of game.
Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5) @ Seattle Seahawks: Was there a worse offensive performance in recent memory than Seattle's last Sunday? Having Marshawn Lynch back should help, and the Benson suspension could hurt the Bengals, but I think Cincy uses an effective combo of Jermaine Gresham, Bernard Scott on the outside and A.J. Green early and often to win this game.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys: Have the Eagles figured it out? We'll see on Sunday night. DeMarco Murray's breakout performance last week was fun to watch, but even the Eagles poor rushing D is strides better than St. Louis. Michael Vick tends to shine in games like this, and Dallas doesn't really have an answer for LeSean McCoy.
Monday Night Football
Kansas City Chiefs (+4) vs. San Diego Chargers: This is a serious trap line. Surprisingly, Kansas City is 4-2 ATS this year. I don't like this one at all. Logic says the Chargers cover. My gut says they won't.