By Steven Marcuz (@sidskeat) and Shaun Meyer (@deadduck77)
You guys won’t believe this but we had our best week yet in week seven here in Bettor’s Corner! Unfortunately, no one will ever know! You’ll have to take our word for it. Sometimes technology isn’t our friends so we apologize for leaving you hanging last week! [Editor’s Note: It’s all my fault. But let’s face it, you needed a break from them anyway!] We are back in the green with a 7-3 week seven! Time to keep it going. Let’s see where we stand:
And now, we’re on to week eight!
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington OVER 49.5
Totals, totals, and more totals is the name of my game today. I believe what we saw last week is not what we should expect to see going forward. There were seven teams that didn’t score an offensive touchdown in week seven and I believe the scoring in the NFL is due for a market correction. That’s why we find our first pick of the week taking the OVER on the second highest total of the week for the Cowboys in Washington. The Cowboys came off their bye week and took it to the 49ers while Washington was playing catch up to the Eagles on Monday night. The moral of these stories: both of these teams can put up points and both of their defenses are far from scary. I don’t think that Dallas can stop Kirk Cousins. I know the Washington defense won’t be able to stop Dak Prescott. How’s that for analysis? I’ll take Washington to pull off the upset in a shootout 38-35.
Carolina Panthers (+2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With how terrible the Panthers looked last week. I can’t tell you how hard it was to put them here in the article this week. But Chicago has proven all season that they’re no easy out as they’ve already disposed of the Steelers earlier in the year. Now they’re on the road again, this time facing one of the worst defenses in the league instead of one of the best. We’ve seen the Cam Newton bounce back game before and I’m expecting to see it again this week. These division games always seem to be tougher than normal but Carolina has the Bucs’ number as of late. The Panthers are 6-2 Against the Spread (ATS) in their last eight games against Tampa Bay and are also 5-1 ATS in their last six on the road (that one came from the Bears last week). On the flipside, the Buccaneers are only 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games and only 1-5 ATS when facing the Panthers at home. I’ll take the Panthers to win this one straight up 31-28.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) @ Detroit Lions
Just as the Steelers are starting to find their groove, some drama creeps up in the locker room. Well that was squashed quickly as Martavis Bryant was deemed inactive for week eight. Back to business and this week the business is gonna be in Detroit. The Steelers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 on the road going to visit Lions team who sport a 1-4 ATS record in their last five at home. In the Lions last 11 overall, they’re a cowardly 3-8 ATS. A lot has been made about the volume that Bell is seeing and for good reason. The Steelers sport an 11-0 record when they give Bell 25 or more carries. I think that should be their game plan going forward and we see that type of volume, I have no doubt that Pittsburgh will be running to victory. Steelers win 30-24.
Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills OVER 45.5
Alright in all honesty here I wish this number was a little lower but that’s not gonna stop me from taking the over here. There are narratives going all against me in this one as most notably we have a west coast team traveling east for an early kick off. I get it. But what I also get is that two key pieces of Buffalo’s secondary have been ruled out for this game. That means good things for an Oakland team who seemingly found their offense again in their Thursday night victory over the Chiefs in week seven. We also saw the Bills put up a hefty total last week when Tampa Bay came to town and although Oakland’s defense isn’t quite as bad as the Bucs, it’s still bad. I think Oakland pulls this one out but I think all fantasy options should be utilized here. Take the OVER as Oakland wins 27-24.
Chicago Bears (+9) @ New Orleans Saints
The Bears laid a beat down on Cam Newton and the Panthers last week completely due to the defense as the only offensive score they had all day got called back on penalty. New Orleans went to the not yet frozen tundra of Lambeau field and escaped with a win over the new look Hundley led Packers. The Bears have not looked great since deciding to start the rookie QB but they haven't been awful either. They should be able to move the ball easier vs the Saints than they were vs the Panthers. Howard and the ground game should bounce back this week vs a leaky Saints D. Hoping the Bears D can keep a little momentum to keep Brees and company in check (within reason). I think the Saints win but the Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last six. Saints 28-20.
LA Chargers @ New England Patriots (-7.5)
LA Chargers pitched a shutout vs the Denver Broncos in what had to be one of the most shocking outcomes of week seven. Melvin Gordon finally had a nice game and eased his fantasy owner’s minds at least for the moment. New England made the Super Bowl rematch anticlimactic as they rolled the Falcons with a little help from Mother Nature in the “fog bowl.” Brady did Brady things, spreading the ball around like crazy and the four headed rushing attack proved fruitful in the victory. New England is 11-3 ATS at home vs conference opponents in their last fourteen as well as 12-3 ATS after back to back wins. I like the Pats to roll in this one, proving the Chargers defensive shutout last week was a fluke. Patriots win 34-24.
Oakland Raiders (+3) @ Buffalo Bills
The Bills took down the Buccaneers in come from behind fashion on Sunday in Lesean McCoy’s “get right” game. He found the end zone twice after being held scoreless so far this season. Leading the team in receiving was Deonte Thompson. He is a dude who watched the first six weeks of the season from a couch just like we did. Oakland finally looked like the team we thought they would be in a shootout with the once juggernaut, now struggling Kansas City Chiefs. Cooper finally had his first big game since week one, rewarding his fantasy owners that didn't sell low or worse bench him for the Thursday night game. The Bills are boringly decent this year winning games while providing little fantasy goodness outside of McCoy and the injured Charles Clay. Oakland though, is 5-0 ATS the last five times they've played the Bills, and I like that trend continue this weekend. I like the Raiders in an upset. Oakland wins 24-21.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) @ Detroit Lions
Disgruntled WR Martavis Bryant aside, the Steelers are starting to look like the contender some thought they'd be this year. Last week they disposed of division rival Cincinnati on the back of Le'Veon Bell and his 35 carries. 35!!! Detroit was needing the bye as injuries were mounting and they entered the off week on a two game skid. Golden Tate will be sidelined [Editor’s Note: There are now reports coming out that Tate will play] even out of the bye and rookie WR Golladay is questionable. Teams coming off the bye used to be a positive thing. It just doesn't seem like it this year. We've seen multiple teams come out of the bye and lay a stinker especially in prime time games. The Steelers have beaten the Lions eight of the last nine times they have played and I expect Bell, Brown and company to be too much for the Lions to handle Sunday night. Steelers win 27-22.
Steve - Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers OVER 46
That's right, three totals for me this week. Deal with it! I’ve already talked about this game a bit so I don’t need to go over too much of that again. I’ll just say that the Panthers are going to be pissed and their offense is going to put up some points. We saw last week in Buffalo that Tampa Bay can score on just about any defense so I expect points here. The OVER has covered in four of the last five games for both of these teams and I expect them both to make that five of six. Take the OVER as Carolina wins 33-30.
Shaun- Houston Texans @ Seattle Seahawks OVER 46
Boy, I would hate to have to decide rookie of the year this year. First few weeks it looked like Hunt was a no brainer. Dalvin Cook put up some sweet numbers before his injury. Then it looked like Leonard Fournette may be the guy. In the end it may be the rookie QB from Houston, Deshaun Watson, who hoists the trophy. Seattle finally showed flashes of what we have come to expect from them in the back half of the season, beating the Giants last week in a very ugly exhibition. Houston was on bye. A couple years ago I would be excited to watch Seattle's D eat the rookie for lunch. This year I am not so sure. I could see this game being a back and forth contest with multiple field goals and lead changes. Or I could see one team building a lead before giving up points in garbage time. Either way I see some points getting scored. Seattle wins 31-27.