NFL Odds - Games Too Risky To Bet Either Way In Week 8

N.Y. Jets players in action

Ariana Sanchez

Thursday, October 27, 2016 10:23 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 10:23 PM GMT

I thought it was much too risky to bet on the Vikings and Bills as road favorites last week and they were upset by Philadelphia and Miami, respectively. Here are three NFL spreads I deem too risky to wager in Week 8.

 

Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons

Honestly not a great schedule around the NFL in Week 8 as this is one of only four matchups featuring teams with winning records. The Packers have a small advantage in that they played last Thursday and easily beat the terrible Chicago Bears in Aaron Rodgers' best game of the season. In lieu of much of a running game, the Packers essentially used short passes as a substitute. Rodgers attempted a career-high 56 passes and completed 39 for 326 yards and three scores. That's only 5.82 yards per attempt, but, hey, whatever works. Three different Packers had double-digit catches. 

So maybe Green Bay's offensive problems are fixed, but this is also the team's first road game in six weeks. The Packers last lost a road game in the month of October in 2014 (New Orleans). Atlanta should be 5-2 but blew a 17-point lead last week against visiting San Diego and then lost 33-30 in overtime after the Falcons went for it on 4th-and-1 at their own 43 early in OT and were stopped. Atlanta has the NFL's top offenses but will be missing a key part of that in running back Tevin Coleman. He is expected out with a hamstring injury. Coleman has rushed for five scores and caught 19 passes for 330 yards and a TD. This looks to be one of those shootouts where the team that has the ball last wins.

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Arizona Cardinals vs Carolina Panthers

This game looked to be one of the five most important on the entire 2016 regular-season slate when the schedule was released back in April. Of course, Carolina  destroyed Arizona in last year's NFC Championship Game by forcing seven turnovers, six of them by Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer in one of the worst playoff performances in NFL history. Who would have guessed neither team would be over .500 when they met in Week 8? The Cardinals should be 4-3 instead of 3-3-1 but their special teams were atrocious in last Sunday's 6-6 home tie with Seattle. Yet Arizona didn't make a change anywhere on the special teams -- at least that the team announced publicly. The Panthers are coming off their bye and trying to become just the second team since 1990 to start 1-5 and reach the playoffs; the other was last year's Chiefs, who closed the 2015 regular season on a 10-game winning streak. 

Carolina probably has to go no worse than 8-2 the rest of the way to get back; the good news is that the NFC South might be winnable with just nine wins. Everyone thinks Cam Newton is having a down season, but six games into his 2015 MVP season, Newton had nine TD passes, seven picks, and four rushing scores. Currently, he has eight touchdown passes and six interceptions to go with three rushing touchdowns. The main problem is the Carolina defense is allowing 11 more points per game than this time last year. I have no idea which Panthers team shows up here so there is no way of being certain for your week 8 NFL picks.

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N.Y. Jets vs Cleveland Browns

I have two things to say about this game right off: 1) History says the Browns are going to win at least one game because only one other club in league annals has gone 0-16 in a season -- and it's more likely that Cleveland's victory, even if it's only one, comes at home; 2) Should the Jets be more than a field goal favorite against anyone? Not with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback they shouldn't. But the NFL's lowest-rated and most-intercepted QB is back as the starter after Geno Smith tore his ACL last week against Baltimore. Smith was making his first start of the season for an ineffective Fitzpatrick. 

Who will start at quarterback for the Browns? Good question. Rookie Cody Kessler had been playing pretty well but suffered a concussion in last week's loss to Cincinnati and was replaced by fellow rookie Kevin Hogan. It's not looking good for Kessler to play here. But Josh McCown appears set to return from a shoulder injury suffered in Week 2. He has been practicing in full this week. I would rather have McCown than Fitzpatrick. Granted, the rest of the Jets roster is better than Cleveland's, and the Browns' defense is terrible. Cleveland has allowed 489 total yards and 168.7 rushing yards per game over the last three weeks. But perhaps Cleveland karma is on the Browns' side here after the city had one of the best sporting nights in its history on Tuesday when the NBA's Cavaliers raised their first-ever championship banner and the Indians won Game 1 of the World Series.

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