Highlighting the Best Free NFL Picks Still on The Week 8 Odds Board

Darin Zank

Sunday, November 1, 2015 1:25 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 1:25 PM UTC

After careful consultation of our cheat sheets and a reading of the suds on the bottom of a pint glass this handicapper offers up a small slew of free NFL picks for Week 8, to be followed or faded, at one's own discretion.

Vikings Resurgence to Continue?
Minnesota, at 4-2, would be a wild-card team in the NFC if the playoffs started today. The Vikes are also 4-1 SU, 5-0 ATS since losing their season opener. Chicago, meanwhile, is 2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS over its last three games. but had to come from behind for both those victories.

Bottom-line here, Minnesota is running the ball again with Adrian Peterson back, to the tune of 128 yards per game, while Chicago ranks in the bottom quartile against the run, allowing 125 YPG. And so far this NFL betting season teams that have won the ground battles are 70-34 SU, 67-33 ATS.

Most of the NFL odds market opened the Vikings at -2 or -2.5 for this game, but as of Saturday evening that spread had been bet down to -1. And that's just fine with us; we have no problem betting against the flow. So while the home team has taken the last six meetings in this rivalry we like the Vikes in this spot.

Free NFL Pick: Minnesota -1 (-108) at Pinnacle

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Jets in Bounce-Back Mode?
New York's AFC entrant is 4-2 SU, 5-1 ATS, coming off a 30-23 loss at New England last week. The Jets led 20-16 early in the fourth quarter, fell down 30-20, then, needing two scores, kicked a 55-yard field goal on a first down with 20 seconds left, much to the delight of all of us who backed them getting eight points. On the night New York outrushed and outgained the Patriots, but just couldn't find an answer for Tom Brady. Of course, few can, even Roger Goodell.

Oakland, meanwhile, is 3-3, coming off a 37-29 victory at San Diego last week. The Raiders led 30-6 at the half and 37-6 through three quarters, before allowing the Chargers to score three times, making that final tally much closer than the game really was. Oakland is improving under new head coach Jack Del Rio, and suddenly Derek Carr-to-Amari Cooper is a hot tandem.

New York ranks third in the league in rushing, first against the run and fifth in time of possession. And so far this season teams that have won the TOP battle are 64-40 SU, 65-35 ATS.

These two teams just met in September of last season, a 19-14 Jets victory. New York outrushed Oakland that day 212-25, won TOP by a 35-25 margin but missed on the cover as a six-point favorite when it gave up a 30-yard Carr touchdown pass with just over a minute to go.

Finally, Oakland is coming off a big divisional road upset of a rival, but in our mind that just sets the Raiders up for a fade next time out.

Most of the market opened New York as a one- or two-point favorite, then bumped the Jets to -3; apparently, we're going with the flow on this one.

Free NFL Pick: Jets -3 (+106) at Pinnacle

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Bonus Picks
Atlanta is one of the most improved teams in the league this season in large part because of better health; the Falcons are also running the ball, stopping the run and controlling the clock. They should have covered last week at -6 at Tennessee but botched a deep red-zone situation and instead just settled for a 10-7 victory. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has allowed 99 points over its last three games.
NFL Pick: Take Atlanta at -7 (-110) at Heritage.

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Arizona has outgained and outrushed five of seven opponents this season, while Cleveland has been outgained by five of seven opponents, outrushed by six of seven. Also, the Cardinals are 21-8 SU, 20-8-1 ATS in games Carson Palmer has started at quarterback for them.
NFL Pick: Give the six points (-105) at 5Dimes with Arizona.

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Seattle just snapped a two-game losing streak last week with a 20-3 win over San Francisco, but let's face it, the Niners are terrible. Dallas, meanwhile, lost to the Giants last week 27-20, as new Romo replacement Matt Cassel threw three interceptions. But the Seahawks are not the monsters at the moment they once were, while perhaps Cassel can improve with another week of practice.
NFL Pick: Take the five points (-110) with the Cowboys at Bovada.

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Finally, Carolina leads the league in rushing, while Indianapolis ranks in the bottom quartile in rushing and time-of-possession. And while the Panthers are finding ways to win games, the Colts are finding ways to lose them.
NFL Pick: Give the 6.5 points (-105) with Carolina at Pinnacle for Monday night.

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