Perfect 3-0 last week on my top spread picks, hitting the Ravens +10 vs Cardinals, Jets +8 vs Patriots & Rams -6.5 vs. the Browns. 4th winning week in past 5. Here are the Week 8 top NFL spread odds.
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams (-8 On NFL Odds)
I'm not sure the 49ers will even score eight points. It depends on which Colin Kaepernick shows up. Will it be the one who has four games this season with 165 yards passing or less with a combined no touchdowns and five interceptions? Or the one with three games of at least 262 yards and two touchdowns in each with no picks? The Rams have a terrific defense and have allowed just one offensive touchdown at home the past two games. St. Louis has forced 13 turnovers and sacked the opposing quarterback 23 times overall, tied for second in the NFL. Kaepernick has gone down 25 times. So the question is: Will the Rams score enough to cover here? That all depends on Todd Gurley, the Bovada -150 favorite to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He has three straight games of at least 128 yards rushing. The Niners are No. 24 against the run.
NFL Free Pick: St. Louis. The Niners are 0-5-1 ATS in their past six vs. the NFC West. The Rams are 6-1 ATS in their past seven November games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons (-7 In NFL Betting)
If you believe in payback games, this would be one for Tampa. The Bucs have lost ugly plenty of times under second-year head coach Lovie Smith, who might not get a third season, but none worse than in Week 3 last year on a Thursday night at the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones had big games as the Falcons led 35-0 before the Bucs even had a first down and it was 56-0 entering the fourth. Tampa scored two garbage-time TDs to avoid the worst loss in team history. This Atlanta team is better than that one and the Bucs might be just as bad. But I'm not obviously predicting another 42-point win. I am fascinated to see how Tampa responds to last week's 31-30 loss at Washington in which the Bucs blew a 24-point second-quarter lead. You shouldn't be coughing up 24-point leads to anyone in the NFL, much less a club quarterbacked by Kirk Cousins. Atlanta has looked very shaky in its past three games, a comeback home overtime win over Washington, a 10-point loss in New Orleans and then a very ugly 10-7 win at Tennessee last week, and the Titans are probably the worst club in the NFL. Ryan has turned it over six times combined in the past three. The Bucs are very short-handed at receiver as they will be without starter Vincent Jackson and lost reserve Louis Murphy for the season.
NFL Free Pick: Atlanta. Bucs are 3-7 ATS in their past 10 vs. teams with a losing record. Home team has covered six of the past eight meetings.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers (-7 For NFL Picks)
The Monday night game. If you had the Panthers unbeaten and the Colts at 3-4 entering this game back when you made your NFL season bets back in August or early September, you should be writing these stories instead of me. And if you had former No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton as an MVP candidate and former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck off to the worst start of his career, good for you again. Actually, the numbers for the two QBs are somewhat similar, but Luck set the bar so high in his first three seasons. Just think, if Luck had come out of Stanford when first eligible following the 2010 NCAA season, the Panthers probably take him at the top of the 2011 draft over Newton even though Newton won a Heisman and Luck didn't. Indianapolis seems like a team in disarray. The owner and GM reportedly aren't fans of coach Chuck Pagano. And then the owner and GM apparently had words last week when the Colts fell down 27-0 to a mediocre Saints squad. Luck, impossibly, didn't have a complete pass until early in the second quarter. Bovada offers a special on his first-quarter yards this week -- check out my Bovada special story for my pick there. I don't think he's close to 100 percent healthy. The Panthers are going to run the ball all night with the NFL's top ground game. Indy gave up 183 rushing yards last week and ranks 32nd overall in total defense.
NFL Free Pick: Carolina -- although it may push. Some sites have it at 7.5. Colts are 2-6 ATS in their past eight overall. Panthers have covered 20 of their past 29 against teams with a losing record.