After a pretty rough Week 5, we’ve rebounded to hit FOUR of our six picks in Weeks 6 and 7 in the NFL. Check out our Week 8 NFL picks against the spread below. GOOD LUCK!
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders +3
Pick: Pittsburgh -3
Pittsburgh was written off a few weeks by most but has since rattled off two straight wins after starting the season 0-4. The Steelers gutted out a 19-16 victory over the defending champion Baltimore Ravens last week, winning on a last second field goal by Shaun Suisham, 19-16. While Pittsburgh is far from where they wanted to be so far this season, it looks they may be righting the ship.
The Raiders are coming off their bye week after struggling heavily in a 24-7 loss at Kansas City on October 13th. Injury woes, along with a poor defense have contributed to Oakland’s struggles this season, but the offense must be blamed for their loss against the Chiefs. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was sacked a whopping 9 times in the loss and threw three interceptions.
While the Raiders offense gets a better matchup this week, it won’t be by much. Still dominant, the Steelers defense has seemed to have gotten over their early season woes and have been stout in recent weeks. Pryor isn’t a rookie but is still raw in talent, and has an offensive line that is in shambles.
Center Steven Wisieswski, tackles Tony Pashos and Andre Gurode have been in and out of the lineup with injuries, forcing the Raiders to work a makeshift o-line. Relying on backups the Raiders have allowed 27 sacks, the second-most in the NFL.
Pittsburgh’s defense should easily be able to get to Pryor and limit his ability to rush when he breaks out of the pocket. The Steelers are perennial run-stoppers and have also not allowed an opposing signal-caller to pass for over 300 yards in a game so far this year. Even if Pryor gets time to throw, All-Pro cornerback Ike Taylor should have no issues covering Denarius Moore. Taylor has already posted standout games against dominant wide outs, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green and Torrey Smith.
Like Oakland, Pittsburgh’s offense has been slow out of the gate this season but now looks to be getting some continuity. They are also getting their best matchup in weeks, an Oakland defense that has been getting shredded in recent weeks.
The Steelers are better on both sides of the ball, and if they can limit their turnovers, this one should be easy for them. Oakland will have a tough time putting up much on the scoreboard this week, and Roethlisberger and company should have no issues putting up monster numbers against this Raiders defense.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots -7
Pick: Dolphins +7
Miami comes into New England sporting a three game losing streak after starting the season 3-0. Still, I think most would be impressed with their play as a young up-and-coming franchise. Critical turnovers in key spots have hurt them in recent weeks, but the Fins have put together a solid season so far. They rank in the middle of the pack in most offensive categories.
Defensively, it has been a little bit of both. The other side of the ball was more consistent during the first three games of the season and has not looked great in recent weeks. Miami lost a rough one last week to the Buffalo Bills by a final score of 23-21. This is a game the Dolphins surely hoped to win, especially at home and facing Buffalo’s third QB, Thaddeus Lewis.
The Patriots have not looked like their dominant selves this year despite their 5-2 record. New England has lost two out of their last three games, including a tough 30-27 loss at the New York Jets last week. The Pats have failed to gain 300 yards of offense in two out of the last three games, as well.
New England finally got tight end Rob Gronkowski back last week from injury and should have wide receiver Danny Amendola back this week, but I’m not sure it is going to be enough. Even though they lost to Buffalo last week, the Dolphins, in my mind, are still playoff contenders, and 7 points are a lot to give up, especially in a divisional game.
Furthermore, the Patriots defense is decimated and may be again without cornerback Aquib Talib and other key members of the squad. The Jets rather pedestrian offense had no issues moving the ball against them, both on the ground and through the air. The Pats have not looked the same defensively since they lost nose tackle Vince Wilfork for the season.
Brady’s rapport with his receivers still does not seem to be there and to be brutally honest – he has been quite inaccurate this season The Dolphins pass defense is soft, but the Patriots still just looks brilliant on paper and has not translated in real on-field results. They have shown remarkably little to warrant being touchdown favorites, even at home.
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