We are halfway through the season already and things are still out of control in the NFL, but what’s new? The Falcons found a new way to lose by scoring a touchdown. The Cardinals beat MVP quarterback Russell Wilson in overtime and the Bears actually might have the worst quarterbacks in the league. Then again, the Cowboys are out of luck too. And Cam Newton needs to stop focusing so much on his wardrobe and open a playbook. Anyway, let’s see what’s on the slate for plays this week.
Continue to follow me as I dive into this season while taking part in the SBR Pick 6 Football contest. The best part is it’s free to play and you can sign up any week.
The SBR Pick 6 contest has your pick 6 football picks each week. It’ll have you getting out of your comfort or safe zone and rooting for teams you wouldn’t ever dare to. It’s great for beginners and experts. I’ll point out the best plays each week and sportsbooks to look into. You can bet with me or against me.
It’s never too late! Join me and my first SBR contest, Go PRO, where I will test my own knowledge in capping over the entire NFL season. With the most unusual offseason we have ever seen in NFL history and no preseason, we’ll see what teams actually took quarantine as a time to prepare to reach the Super Bowl. Below we’re going to open up the best sportsbooks to see what the early odds are saying.
I hope you’ll join the fun! Happy NFL betting, ya’ll and may the odds be in your favor.
And remember—play with your head and not your heart.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Thursday, October 29 – 8:20 PM ET Bank of America Stadium
The Falcons, now 1-6, take a trip to Charlotte this week to take on the Carolina Panthers with hopes of digging themselves out of the hole they’re already so deeply in.
While the NFL odds aren’t in favor of the Falcons on the road, Atlanta has won three of their last four away to the Panthers. Carolina opens as 2.5-point home favorites for the Week 8 Thursday Night Football matchup.
The Panthers played this team just two weeks ago and won 23-16, which ultimately led to the firing of Dan Quinn. Now they’ll face the Falcons under interim head coach Raheem Morris. Morris was able to come up Atlanta’s first win of the season on the road, but then the Falcons went back to "Falconing" in Week 7.
Somehow, someway, the Falcons found a new and unique way to lose. Trailing the Detroit Lions 16-14 with just over a minute on the clock and the ball on the Lions 10-yard line, the Falcons failed to run down the clock and Todd Gurley scored a touchdown too soon. With enough time left, Matthew Stafford connected for a game-winning TD and a 23-22 ending.
As for the Panthers, they came close again, falling 27-24 to the Saints. Teddy Bridgewater had a nice game against his former teammates, finishing 23 of 28 for 254 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Carolina could have their best running back, Christian McCaffrey, back for this matchup, though most suggest they’ll want him at 100% and Thursday could be too soon.
The Panthers young secondary is playing incredibly well this season and Atlanta’s is getting better week by week even if it doesn’t show up in a win. Over the last three outings, the Falcons have managed to give up just 23 points. Their defense has also gotten better at limiting the run and allowed only 3.6 yards per carry to opposing rushers in those three games.
The question this week is if Atlanta can stop the passing attack on Thursday. I believe so with Morris on a mission to head coach. The over-under is at 51 in Bovada’s Sportsbook, take it early before it goes down.
Tennessee Titans vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, November 1, 1:00 PM EDT at Paul Brown Stadium
After a close loss to the Steelers, the Titans hit the road for Cincy to play the Bengals who are also coming off a loss to their next-door neighbors, the Browns.
Despite their recent defeat and a COVID-19 setback, what we have seen from the Tennessee Titans this season has been incredible, especially from Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill has MVP candidate written all over him. So far this fall, Tannehill is on pace for 40 touchdowns and just five interceptions. They were close to coming back to beat the only other undefeated team in the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers. But they’re still right on track to playoffs with a 5-1 record heading into this matchup.
On the Bengals side of things, they are sticking to narrow losses letting Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield seal the game with a last-second touchdown pass. Four of the Bengals' losses this season have come by just one score. But, they have their own future MVP quarterback in rookie stud Joe Burrow who had 406 yards with three touchdowns and one interception on Sunday. He should be able to keep Cincy in the game this week even if they lose again but not close enough to cover the 5 ½ point spread.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, November 1, 1:00 PM EDT at Hard Rock Stadium
The Rams, coming off of a short rest after defeating the Bears, take a trip to warmer weather to take on the Miami Dolphins. As for the Dolphins, they’re coming off plenty of rest from their Week 7 Bye.
It’s Tua time in Miami. The Dolphins announced early that rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will make his first NFL against the Rams. Original starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick said he was shocked to learn that he was benched and that early. It’s an interesting move considering Fitzpatrick is one of the top-10 signal-callers in the league this fall, throwing for 1,535 yards, 10 touchdowns and 7 picks this fall. But, he knew it was bound to happen after the team drafted the Alabama product in the fifth round this past April.
This is an interesting time to throw Tua in to start considering they’re up against one of the best defenses in the league. The Rams are ranked at No. 5 in the league for giving up the fewest points in an opposing 87.9 passer rating. Tua will face three sack monsters in Aaron Donald, who has a team-high of 7.5 sacks, Troy Reeder with 3 sacks, and Michael Brockers, Leonard Floyd, and Morgan Fox all have 2 sacks. Their offense is also well balanced with Jared Goff throwing for 1,570 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions on 67.4% passing. They have some great options on their running back depth chart with Darrell Henderson leading the pack and a nice receiving tandem consisting of Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.
The Dolphins don’t have as many weapons on defense, but it’s still been solid keeping the score low allowing 31 points at most. They’ve lost to very good teams but have yet to beat anyone significant. I was going to take the Rams this game, but we don’t really know what we’re getting yet with Tua front and center. The under is another good play here so that’s what I’m rolling with.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns
Sunday, November 1, 1:00 PM EDT at FirstEnergy Stadium
This is the most surprising matchup of the week as the Raiders square off against the Browns with a potential wild card spot on the line.
The Raiders sit at 3-3 on the season with big wins over Super Bowl contenders in that of the Saints and Chiefs. But, you get a little thrown off because last Sunday the team was destroyed by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 7, losing by the score of 45-20. On defense, Las Vegas is a concern as they have yielded 30 or more points in four straight games, and 24 or more in each outing this season. This will be their third trip to the Eastern Time Zone and they’ve hit the Over in the past two trips.
Then you have Cleveland who is coming off a dramatic last-second win over Cincy and sits at 5-2 on the season. Unfortunately for them though star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a serious injury and is out for the remainder of the season. Without Odell, wideout Rashard Higgins stepped and had a career-high 110 yards on six receptions, and rookie receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones hauled in the game-winning score. These two have a lot of weight on their shoulders without OBJ now. Quarterback Baker Mayfield played with a cracked rib and had an ugly start but then found his mojo finishing with a career-high five touchdowns.
Raiders might have the Browns beat here with their healthier roster, but they’ve been inconsistent and Mayfield proved he can work with his other receiving options. I don’t like taking the spread here but this should be a high scoring game with two playoff contenders.
Free NFL Pick: Over 53 1/2 (-108) at Heritage
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, November 1, 4:25 PM EDT at CenturyLink Field
Coming off of a blowout win over Cam Newton and New England, the 49ers hit the road to Seattle to face MVP quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Though, Wilson didn’t show he was an MVP with the way he played Monday night in the team’s overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson threw three interceptions to let the game go to waste.
Now, these NFC West rivals will square off with the 49ers looking to remain alive in the race and the Seahawks taking out their frustration. The Niners have allowed just 11 points per game the last two weeks. While Seattle has played in five-straight one score
San Francisco are the underdogs here and that's understandable with the way Jimmy G. has been handling road games. They’re down wideout Deebo Samuel again this week and although it didn’t matter last week, it will this time since Seattle is an all-around much better team than the Patriots. The Hawks get Chris Carson back in the lineup and Wilson is just much easier to trust than Garoppolo. Seattle fixes their silly mistakes from last week and gets back in the winning column here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants
Monday, November 2 8:15 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium
Monday Night Football is supposed to be fun to watch, but this one could be a huge blowout. Tom Brady and the Bucs hit the road to face the New York Giants on some daunting turf at MetLife Stadium. The most injuries have happened there this season.
The Bucs just put a smackdown on the Raiders 45-20. If they can do that to a decent team, I’m scared of what they can do to a terrible team. Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones is king of turnovers and they have been awful in the red zone which has this team as one of the worst, next to the Jets, in the league.
While Tampa struggled earlier this season, Tom Brady has shown he’s not washed up yet, throwing 16 touchdowns and just one interception over the past five games. Another nice surprise, this Bucs defense is one of the reasons they’re now a real contender for the conference title with the unit ranking eighth in points allowed.
There's just absolutely no reason to think the Bucs won't dominate against a defense with limited playmakers and a weak quarterback.
Free NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -10 at (-110) with Bovada