Week 8 NFL Betting Picks: Against the Spread

Oct 30, 2020
Week 8 NFL Betting Picks: Against the Spread

Week 7 Recap: Following an 0-2-1 Sunday in Week 4, my ATS record fell to 4-8-1 on the NFL season. In my column the following week, I noted the most important thing to keep in mind during a losing stretch is to avoid chasing. “Chasing” occurs when a bettor is on tilt and throws caution to the wind, playing every game on the board in efforts to recoup their losses. The bettor has the mindset that, if they can only put together one great weekend, they’ll be back to even.

That’s a fallacy, of course. If you couldn’t go 50% on 10 plays, what makes you believe you’ll hit 100% on 20 plays? I only know about chasing because I’ve fallen victim to it before.

In that same column, I stressed to take things one week at a time. Concentrate on one winning weekend, followed by another, then another, and if you trust your process, eventually you’ll be back in the green. Losing streaks happen during an NFL season and it doesn’t matter if they strike at the beginning of the year, the middle or the end, the most important thing is to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Suffice to say, following a 2-0-1 Sunday in Week 7, we’re back in the green. In fact, we were a successful Browns extra point away from sweeping for the first time this season, as the Packers (-3 at Texans) and Chiefs (-9.5 at Broncos) both rolled last weekend. (We even got a bad line on Kansas City, as the Chiefs were -9.5 when I posted my picks, but kicked off as 7-point chalk).

Regular readers know my goal each season is to hit 60% of my NFL picks on the year. At 10-9-1 ATS on the season, we’re not close to that 60% goal but we’ve shaken a bad start to go 6-2-1 over the last three weeks. If you stuck with me, thank you. If you bailed, I don’t blame you but welcome back. Let’s keep rolling...

263 Los Angeles Rams at 264 Miami Dolphins

  • Spread: Rams -3.5
  • O/U: 46
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, November 1

I’m a fan of Tua Tagovailoa and believe he’ll have a successful NFL career. That said, it’s common for young quarterbacks to initially struggle with their transition from the college ranks to the NFL. The college game is slower overall in the secondary and the throwing windows are huge compared to what NFL signal-callers deal with every Sunday. At Alabama, Tagovailoa could sit in the pocket and wait until his receivers became open, then make the throw. In the NFL, quarterbacks must throw with timing and anticipation, oftentimes before the receiver even makes his break. If they hold the ball too long, it can lead to negative plays for the offense.

None of this is to suggest Tagovailoa can’t make an early impact. We’ve seen what Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert have been able to accomplish for the Bengals and Chargers respectively, all with virtually no offseason in which to prepare. But Tagovailoa has had virtually zero reps outside of the last two weeks. We’re talking about a limited offseason, no preseason and only two pass attempts in mop-up duty two weeks ago in Miami's blowout victory over the Jets.

How can this kid possibly be ready to face Aaron Donald on Sunday?

Meanwhile, the Rams are coming off an impressive win on Monday night against the Bears, and no, the short week coupled with the Dolphins coming off their bye does not scare me off L.A. Remember, the Seahawks were coming off a bye last Sunday night when they traveled to Arizona to face the Cardinals, who had just played six nights prior in Dallas. That means nothing. It’s about the matchup and as the Cardinals showed yet again in their upset win over the Seahawks, they have a knack for forcing Russell Wilson into turnovers.

I’m essentially backing the better team facing a rookie quarterback who has had next to no time to establish any sort of timing with his receivers. This number (-3.5, -3 if we buy the hook) is too short.

NFL Week 8 ATS Pick: Los Angeles Rams -3 (Buy the Hook)

253 Minnesota Vikings at 254 Green Bay Packers

  • Spread: Packers -6
  • O/U: 51
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, November 1
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