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Week 8 NFL Gambling Preview: New England-Miami, Vikings-Packers, Washington-Philly AND MORE!




It’s that time of the week again! We are already at the end of October. Where has the time gone?? We have a stacked NFL slate on Sunday. We are going to storm the morning slate like the beaches of Normandy. I have one upset pick in the afternoon slate that is definitely going to surprise you.


After going a stale 2-2 last week, let’s get back on the winning track!



Now, to the picks.


Column Record 18-16 ATS


Philadelphia at Washington


Spread: Philadelphia (-7)


Total: 43.5


If we learned anything from Sunday Night Football, it was Jalen Hurts is not playing at 100 percent right now. A.J. Brown suggested as much after the Eagles win against Miami Sunday when he said he didn't want to share Hurts' business but that he was toughing it out anyway. The Eagles are doing an incredible job hiding the extent and essentially what Hurts is actually dealing with.


Then we have Washington coming off a loss at New York. Washington has a 4-2-1 ATS record against Philly over their last seven and they have three straight up wins as an underdog. Washington recently took Philadelphia to overtime in their last meeting earlier in the season. Can Washington play tough once again?


Well, on paper Philadelphia should destroy Washington. Sam Howell has been sacked 40 times this season- more than any QB in the league. Philadelphia owns the league's sixth best pressure rate and has gotten to the quarterback 24 times themselves. Washington also gives up 7.9 yards per pass attempt (29th in the NFL). Philadelphia loves to stretch the ball down the field.


So why am I going to blindly go against that logic to pick Washington here? One, Jalen Hurts health is a factor. Philly is not going to be as aggressive using Hurts in the run game. Washington has been getting pressure on Quarterbacks. Edge rushers Montez Sweat and Chase Young have five sacks each and Chase ranks 4th in the NFL in pass rush win rate. There's also the added story that both Young and Sweat could be on the trade block if Washington doesn't win this game.


Hurts limited mobility will make him more susceptible to said pressure. Howell has been pretty good moving the ball.


I think Washington keeps this game within a touchdown.


The Pick: Washington (+7)

 

Atlanta at Tennessee


Spread: Atlanta (-2.5)


Total: 35.5


Oh, the narratives here.


On one side, Atlanta coach Arthur Smith is going back to his old stomping grounds in Nashville where he served as a long time OC under Mike Vrabel. On the other, Ryan Tannehill is officially inactive and Kentucky QB Will Levis will get his first NFL start. Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel said back up QB Malik Willis is also expected to play as well.


With a backup quarterback in Tennessee and then the revenge factor of Smith coming back to Nashville, Atlanta has become a public darling this week.


While I’m not comfortable going completely against Tennessee, I’m going to fade both offenses here. The total is laughably low at 35.5 but it is not low enough. Atlanta and Tennessee run the ball at top 5 rate and their run defenses less than 4.0 yards per carry. Both coaches are stubborn about running the football, even if it doesn’t work they are still going to run it. Tennessee’s defense plays really well at home and Mike Vrabel is extremely familiar with Smith’s scheme.


It’s going to be a defensive struggle and the first team to 10 wins. Give me the under.


The pick: Under 35.5

 

Minnesota at Green Bay


Spread: Minnesota (-1)


Total: 41.5


Posting this on a Saturday, I’m getting the worst of the number. I don’t think it really matters - this is my best bet of the day. The Vikings have won three of their last four games, going from 0-3 to a playoff spot in a month's time, and they want to keep rolling.


Minnesota looked really good on Monday Night football winning one of the bigger games in Kevin O’Connell’s tenure. The Packers season has gone off the rails after a 2-1 start. They have injuries to the offensive line. Jordan Love ranks 24th in PFF QB rankings while Cousins ranks 8th. The Packers defense ranks 24th in defensive EPA. Minnesota's defense ranked the worst in the NFL over the first three picks and has greatly improved under defensive coordinator Brian Flores, going from 30th to 18th in defensive EPA. The biggest difference is they are able to stop the run and have done a tremendous job defending teams on early downs. If the Vikings are able to force Jordan Love in a handful of 3rd and long situations, that spells trouble for the Green Bay offense.


On the narrative front, this is the last week before the trade deadline. If the Vikings are able to get back to .500 that gets them off the seller’s market. Kirk Cousins doesn’t want to move around and I think he shows up big on Sunday.


Give me the Vikings on the road.


The pick: Minnesota (-1)

 

New York Jets at New York Giants


Spread: New York Jets (-3)


Total: 35.5


The battle of New York commences on Sunday in the Meadowlands. While the teams only play each other once every few years, this one of the more heated rivalries in football. These two fan bases HATE each other. The Jets typically represent the working class- blue collar New Yorker. The New York Giants fans are the types that work in offices.


Honestly, it may be more entertaining watching the fans in the stands than the actual action on the football field. Both teams have struggled on offense this year. Tyrod Taylor moves in at QB for injured Daniel Jones. The Giants broke their four-game losing streak with a 14-7 win against Washington last week.


The Jets meanwhile, are coming off a bye winning two out of their last three. And love them here.


The Giants were lucky to win against Washington. The Giants rank 29th in EPA on offense and 25th on defense. Taylor has done a good job not turning the football over. He does not offer much upside and it’s going to be hard to move the ball against the Jets defense without explosive play making. They are extremely physical at the point of attack. The Giants offensive line has had trouble blocking anybody.


On the offensive side, the Jets should run the ball down their throats. The Giants are allowing 5.0 yards per rush attempt and the Jets are averaging 5.2 yards per rush on the other side. It’s hard to trust Zach Wilson as a favorite, but I don’t think is going to have to do much.


The Jets win in a snoozer with a score around 17-6.


The pick: Jets (-3)

 

New England at Miami


Spread: Miami (-9.5)


Total: 47


We called New England’s upset against Buffalo last week and we are going right back to them. Miami’s price is overvalued in the market and New England is undervalued. Miami is being treated as an elite NFL team, while New England is being priced as a bottom five team.


The truth is somewhere in the middle.


In my eyes, Miami is an above average team (8-12) best in the NFL and New England is a below average team. New England closed as a two-point underdog to Miami in Week 2 at home and now this line has moved to 9.5 on the road in Miami? Miami ranks 1st in EPA on offense but they also rank 21st on defense. New England has a lot of familiarity with Miami’s scheme.


This is simply just too many points in a divisional matchup. New England has its confidence back and Bill Belicheck isn’t going to get embarrassed for a third time this season.


Give me New England to keep it close once again.


The pick: New England (+9.5)



Baltimore at Arizona


Spread: Baltimore (-9.5)


Total: 44


Baltimore looked like the best team in the NFL last week. The Ravens cruised to a dominant 38-6 home win over Detroit in Week 7. The Ravens played their best game of the season against one of the most formidable teams in the NFL – a true statement win.


Lamar Jackson has gotten some attention in the MVP conversation. Baltimore is feeling good about themselves. Now they have to play on the road at 1-6 Arizona. Arizona has fallen off a cliff. They rank 31st in defensive EPA and their offense has fallen from being ranked 12th in EPA to 19th. Arizona has lost four in a row all by double digits.


Should be an easy win for Baltimore right?


This is where the teeter-totter reality of the NFL sets in. As a big favorite, Lamar Jackson has not fared well. Jackson is 8-19 ATS in his last 27 as a favorite and he is 3-13 ATS in his career as a road favorite of three or more. Arizona played tough at Seattle last week. If it wasn’t for a couple of costly turnovers they would have been in the game. They are getting James Conner back in the run game. Every public square is going to be on the Raven. We are going to go contrarian here and take Arizona to keep it close. You are going to have to plug your nose, it's going to be ugly. Arizona does enough to get us the cover and they will be alive to pull off the outright upset. Arizona catches Baltimore sleepwalking this week.


The pick: Arizona +9.5


Follow Austin on Twitter - @AustinMontgomeryLive



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