NFL Picks: Where the Sharps are Looking in Week 8

Jason Lake

Monday, October 20, 2014 5:51 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 5:51 PM UTC

After a wild Week 7, the sharps are looking for a few good teams for their Week 8 NFL picks. The Green Bay Packers have opened as a unanimous selection in their matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

Jason’s record after Week 6: 21-22 ATS, 5-10-1 Totals

Profit: minus-13.99 units

We’re at the unofficial halfway point of the 2014 NFL regular season. What have we learned? A small handful of teams have delivered strong results against the NFL odds: the Indianapolis Colts (5-2 SU, 6-1 ATS) keep cashing in, and it doesn’t look like the Dallas Cowboys (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) are ready to give back any of their gains thus far. At the other end of the spectrum, there’s chaos, as the New York Jets (1-6 SU, 1-5-1 ATS), Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS) and Washington (2-5 SU and ATS) all got paid in Week 7.

It’s a jungle out there. But the sharps know that betting on the NFL is all about the long run. They’re not letting short-term results sway their decisions too much; the early consensus reports on the Week 8 NFL odds board show a wide distribution of action, with some (but not all) of the successful teams getting faded, and some (but not all) of the upstarts earning strong support.

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy
We kick things off with the only unanimous selection in early betting: the Green Bay Packers (5-2 SU, 4-2-1 ATS). They were drawing 100 percent support as 1-point road dogs (+100) for their Sunday Night Football matchup against the New Orleans Saints (2-4 SU and ATS). Green Bay is coming off a satisfying 38-17 thumping of the Carolina Panthers (+6.5 away) to make it 4-0 SU and ATS over the past four games. New Orleans, meanwhile suffered a 24-23 loss to the Detroit Lions, but cashed in anyway as a 1.5-point road dog.

The Packers aren’t a team you’d normally associate with the sharps. They’re one of the most publicly adored commodities in the NFL, with quarterback/pitchman Aaron Rodgers (111.4 passer rating) enjoying yet another MVP-quality campaign. But the other team in this game is the No. 1 choice of square bettors this season. The Saints are not playing good football, especially on defense, and their quarterback/pitchman, Drew Brees (91.8 passer rating), is having one of those “decent enough” seasons that he seems to reserve for even-numbered years.

Colt Cabana
Do you believe in the Jaguars? Then you’re in the four percent. Despite their first win of the season, 24-6 over the Cleveland Browns (–4 away), the Jags are being treated like they belong in quarantine. Our consensus reports show 96 percent of early bettors adding the Miami Dolphins (3-3 SU and ATS) to their Week 8 NFL picks. Miami opened as a 4-point road chalk against Jacksonville before moving quickly to –5.

The sharps seem a bit more impressed with Washington. Maybe it was the decision to bench Kirk Cousins (88.3 passer rating) in favor of Colt McCoy, who led Washington to a 19-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans – even if it was the Titans who covered as 6-point road dogs. Nevertheless, Washington was pulling in 59 percent support at +10.5 (–125) for Sunday’s game against the aforementioned Cowboys in Arlington. McCoy has a career 74.9 passer rating, by the way.

And the Jets? They may have Percy Harvin to shore up their receiving and their special teams, but only 46 percent of early bettors wanted to pick the Jets as 3-point home faves (–105) against the Buffalo Bills (4-3 SU, 3-4 ATS). And that’s with the Bills losing their top two running backs, C.J. Spiller (shoulder) and Fred Jackson (groin) in Sunday’s 17-16 nailbiter over the Minnesota Vikings. At least Buffalo got the SU win when Kyle Orton (90.9 passer rating) led them 80 yards downfield for the decisive last-second touchdown. Too bad he shaved that glorious neckbeard, though.

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