Week 8 Picks: Dog Day Afternoon, Including Bears-Saints

Swinging Johnson

Friday, October 27, 2017 3:15 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 3:15 PM UTC

We dust ourselves off from what has been the roughest stretch in memory to return with a vengeance. Let’s peruse the NFL odds and get back on track with a triple-header of Week 8 thunder headed straight for your bookmaker.

Swinger’s 2017 NFL Record: 7-13 ATS (-14.9 Units)

We are nothing if not absolutely transparent, which can be somewhat of an inconvenient truth when you write an NFL picks column documenting each and every one of your plays. So here I sit, after going 0-6 ATS over the last two weeks on plays ranging from 1-4 units, with trembling hands and a heavy heart. OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but needless to say it’s been rough. Last week wasn’t even close as the Titans, Bengals and Broncos all flamed spectacularly, much to the chagrin of those who have followed me throughout the years.

Historically, Swinger’s Picks has been a refuge for sane, thoughtful and measured handicapping for those who are mired in a shame spiral of their own, with each week being worse than the last. Alas, this has been the case for me over the last two weeks of football, but the season is a marathon, not a sprint -- yet right now I feel like I am at the beginning of Heartbreak Hill and my legs just gave out. This is uncharted territory but not the first time we’ve been in the red, so let’s take it one week at a time and keep the faith.


49ers (+13) at Eagles

The forecast is for wet weather in the City of Brotherly Love, and the public is just gaga over the Iggles, which means there’s value on the visitors. This should make for a relatively close contest as Philadelphia will contend with the rain as well as the absences of left tackle Jason Peters (knee) and inside linebacker Jordan Hicks (Achilles) for the season. Sure, the 49ers will have to deal with the inclement weather as well, but a slow track favors the less prolific Niners as this could be more of a grinding game than initially thought. Let’s grab all those delicious points and back San Francisco in this spot.

Free NFL Pick: 49ers +13 (2 Units)Best Line Offered: Intertops

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Bears (+10) at Saints

I’m taking the points here for a few reasons, one of which is that the Bears have a strong rushing game and the Saints have a tough time stopping the run. If the Bears can find traction on the ground, and I believe they can, then it means Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense spends less time on the field. In addition, when the Saints do get the ball Chicago has proven to be a relatively stout defensive unit. The NFL odds are simply too high on the road dogs, and once again we will grab the points and make the bookies pay.

Free NFL Pick: Bears +10 (2 Units)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Steelers at Lions (+3)

I admit my contention that Ben Roethlisberger would continue his steady descent towards retirement was premature as he proved to be in fine form last week against the Bengals. However, one game does not a season make and the Lions are poised to pounce on the visitors in this matchup. Detroit is coming off a bye, and the Steelers are a different team on the road than they are at home. Under head coach Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh is 11-24 against the spread when on the highway and their defense is not equipped to handle the high flying heroics of a rested Matthew Stafford, even without Golden Tate.

The public will be dreaming of Pittsburgh’s big win over the Chiefs and their thrashing of a divisional opponent, the Bengals, last week. But the Lions are a different breed of cat (pun most definitely intended) and can put up points in bunches. The Detroit secondary is talented enough to contain Antonio Brown and stout enough up front to hinder Le’Veon Bell from running wild. I love the 3-point head start we are getting because I believe Detroit will win this one outright. We’ll grab the points just in case.

Free NFL Pick: Lions +3 (4 Units)Best Line Offered: Bovada

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The Woodman’s Corner (5-2 ATS, +2.8 Units)

The Woodman has shielded me, at least partially, from the nabobs of negativity that have taken shots at yours truly -- deservedly so I might add -- over these past few weeks. My esteemed colleague cashed again last week with a rare favorite (Jacksonville) but is back to his bread and butter in Week 8 with an underdog. This week the Houston Texans get his backing as they travel to Seattle after walloping the Browns last week. Although the Seahawks don’t even remotely resemble Cleveland defensively, who am I to judge? The man is on fire so burn baby burn and back the Texans.

Free NFL Pick: Texans +5½Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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