The odds makers earned their keep in Week 7 as the results were evenly split right down the line. The favorites and underdogs were evenly split at 6-6-1 and the home and away teams followed suit. Last week’s ‘best bets’ were split right down the middle as well with a record of 1-1-1. We cashed in on Pittsburgh, lost on Washington, and ended-up with a ‘push’ on Seattle vs. Cleveland.
In order to get back to our winning ways, we crunched the numbers even harder this week in an effort to once again ‘Bang the Book’. The following are the three top plays for Week 8 in the NFL.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans (-9.5)
Just when Jacksonville’s season appeared to be on the brink of a total collapse, it pulls off the upset of the week with a 12-7 victory over Baltimore as a 10-point home underdog this past Monday night. This is the up-and-down nature of this team that has resulted in a 2-5 record straight-up (3-4 against the spread).
Houston regained control of the AFC South with a 41-7 rout of Tennessee as a three-point road underdog. It is now 4-3 on the year both SU and ATS. Arian Foster turned in his best game of the season with 115 yards rushing and 119 yards catching the ball, which is a great sign given Adrian Johnson’s lingering hamstring issues.
The Jaguars are 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games as underdogs, while the Texans are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as home favorites. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and Jacksonville is 1-4 ATS in its last five trips to Houston.
The Pick: Houston 28 Jacksonville 13
New England Patriots (-2.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
New England is coming off a bye which is already a huge advantage; given that Bill Belichick has had two weeks to get his team ready for this crucial AFC showdown. It also helps to have one of the best quarterback’s (Tom Brady) and wide receiver’s (Wes Welker) in the league playing at an even higher level than expected.
Pittsburgh has relied primarily on its defense to forge a 5-2 SU start (3-4 ATS) and for good reason. It is ranked third in the NFL in both total yards and points allowed. The one chink in the armor has been a run defense that is giving up 117.9 yards a game.
The Patriots are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games as favorites and the Steelers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games as underdogs. New England is 6-1 ATS in its last seven trips to Pittsburgh and 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings overall.
The Pick: New England 28 Pittsburgh 23
San Diego Chargers (-3.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego’s 4-2 SU record does not indicate a slow start, but some of the numbers do. It is just 2-4 ATS having struggled to get by both Minnesota and Miami and it only managed to beat the Chiefs by three points as a 14.5-point home favorite the first time the two met this season.
Kansas City was outscored by a combined 82 points in its first three games, but has managed to turn the season around with three straight victories in which it outscored its opponents by a combined score of 78-41. Its most impressive outing of the year was just last week with a 28-0 shutout of Oakland as a 3.5-point road underdog.
The Chargers are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games overall and the Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last four. San Diego is 3-4 ATS in the last seven meetings overall and 4-9-1 ATS in its last 14 trips to Kansas City.
The Pick: Kansas City 24 San Diego 23
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.