So-so Week 7 on my Bovada special betting picks as Houston's DeAndre Hopkins didn't do it for me, but Cowboys' Matt Cassel did on passing yards. Here are my NFL picks for Week 8 specials at Bovada.
Total Passing Yards For Andrew Luck In First Quarter Monday
The 'over/under' is 54.5, with both at -120 on NFL odds. What on earth has happened to Luck? He was supposed to officially take his place among the NFL's elite this season, if he hadn't already, but Luck has regressed in a big way and that's probably why Pagano won't be back in 2016. In last week's moderate upset home loss to the Saints, Luck didn't complete his first pass until early in the second quarter, which is also when the Colts got their initial first down. Indy had 16 total yards in the first quarter, all on the ground. In the first quarter combined this season, Luck is completing 51.3 percent of his passes (easily worst of his four quarters) for 246 yards, one touchdown, and three picks. His rating is just 47.6, which is terrible. Luck faces a Carolina defense on Monday night that is No. 6 in the NFL against the pass. Carolina is also pretty good against the run so the Colts likely will be throwing often.
NFL Free Pick: 'Over.'
How Many Offensive Yards Will Lions Record Vs. Chiefs?
The 'over/under' is 325, with both at -120 on NFL picks. Detroit and Kansas City face off in the final London game of the 2015 season and it's another 9:30 a.m. ET start. Those London games are often rather ugly because of the travel demands, time difference, and perhaps that players are looking ahead to the following bye week. The reason Bovada came up with this one is the Lions fired a few offensive coaches on Monday, including offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. He has been replaced by the guy with one of the best names in coaching history: Jim Bob Cooter, previously Detroit's QBs coach. Odd the Lions picked him, considering QB Matthew Stafford is having one of his worst seasons. The Lions have topped 325 yards of total offense only twice this season, in their 42-17 loss to the Cardinals in Week 5 (435) and in a 37-34 overtime win over the Bears in Week 6 (546). The Chiefs have allowed more than 325 yards of total offense five times.
NFL Free Pick: 'Over.' The Lions do average 346.6 ypg on the season. Chiefs allow 368.0.
Will Greg Hardy Be Re-Signed By Cowboys?
Yes is -300 and no +200. Hardy clearly has some anger issues -- just read about what he did to his former girlfriend and was convicted off, but then got off because of some weird law in North Carolina. Last week, Hardy slapped the clipboard of special teams coach Rich Bisaccia after Bisaccia's unit had given up a 100-yard return for a TD to the Giants. Then star Dez Bryant, who wasn't even active, tried to calm Hardy down, only for Hardy to get in Bryant's face. Amazingly, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones then called Hardy a leader afterward and said he hopes to sign him to a long-term deal. The team also didn't discipline him at all. If Hardy wasn't a very good player, he would have been released immediately.
NFL Free Pick: Yes. Not many other teams would take a chance on this guy on the open market, and Hardy surely knows that. He'll stay put.
Will Colin Kaepernick Be Pulled From A Game This Season For Non-Injury Reasons?
Yes is -250 on NFL prop bets and no +170. It has to be for one full offensive series. Kaepernick has fallen even further than Luck has, although Kaepernick's 82.8 rating (24th) is better than Luck's (76.2, 30th). Kaepernick has thrown only six touchdowns against five picks. He has had three really good games this season (losses to Pittsburgh and the NY Giants and a win over Baltimore) and four terrible ones where he hasn't topped 165 yards (win over Minnesota, losses to Arizona, Green Bay and Seattle). In those four, he has no touchdowns and five picks. Kaepernick was described as being on "an island" in the Niners locker room in a report over the weekend, but the team just gave the guy a big extension. And Kaepernick's backups is one of the biggest first-round draft busts of this decade, Blaine Gabbert.
NFL Free Pick: No. The Niners will wreck Kapernick's confidence if they do it.