The NFL Lines – Week 8

Filed in NFL, NFL Tips by on October 27, 2011

Green Bay keep winning. Indianapolis, St Louis and Miami keep losing. The Carson Palmer era begun catastrophically in Oakland. Two sides (Baltimore and Seattle) lost matches despite conceding zero touchdowns. San Francisco stepped closer to the NFC West title without playing a match, while Kansas City have risen from the canvas to re-enter the AFC West debate. Week 7 was certainly a bizarre one in the NFL. Will week 8 restore some order, or will chaos once again ensue? Nick Tedeschi and Cliff Bingham assess the lines for this week.

CB – Given the results last week I was almost relieved to get out of the week with a smallish loss; things could almost certainly have been much worse. Nonetheless, we’re a bunch of forward thinkers at Making The Nut and with a (seemingly at least) more palatable set of lines presented for week 8, some opportunities to bounce back do present themselves.


Summary of Week 7 results

NT – 5 selections, 6.5 units bet, return of 4.92 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -24%

CB – 2 selections, 3.5 units bet, return of 2.88 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -18%

Total – 7 selections, 10 units bet, return of 7.80 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -22%

Summary of Overall results

NT – 38 selections, 55 units bet, return of 39.59 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -28%

CB – 22 selections, 28 units bet, return of 30.70 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = 10%

Total – 60 selections, 83 units bet, return of 70.29 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -15%

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(Please note – all times are American ‘Eastern Time’ – add 15 hours to get to AEDST)


Arizona at Baltimore, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Baltimore -13

NT – Wowee, did the Ravens stink it up against the Jags or what? It was a shocking performance on Monday night with Joe Flacco having one of his very off nights. The Cards have failed to make the number in four straight and the Ravens have covered all three at home this year but I can’t advise laying the 13 again.

CB – The case for taking Baltimore at the minus: A western (albeit not west coast) side travelling east for an early game and the Ravens defence possibly causing a fantasy football stampede against Kevin Kolb. The case for taking Arizona at the plus: Do you really want to lay double digits given Joe Flacco’s recent form, or run the risk of a late meaningless TD screwing up your cover? The (winning) case for no bet in this match: All of the above points.


Minnesota at Carolina, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carolina -3 to -3.5

NT – This one is tough to call. I figure the public has caught up with the Panthers and I do lean towards the Vikings here, particularly after the quarterback switch to Christian Ponder, but in his first test on the road I won’t be playing. The Panthers were fairly convincing in their home cover against the Skins last week.

CB – Lost in the noise of Christian Ponder’s fast start against Green Bay last Sunday night – he started 2/2 for 74 yards and a TD, but after that went 11/30 for 145 yards, 1 TD and 2 intercepts. Call me crazy, but the idea of laying only three to him on the road against a Carolina outfit who have been solid against good sides this season and may be parlaying some winning momentum from last week sounds attractive to me. Bet 1 unit on the -3.  


Jacksonville at Houston, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Houston -9.5

NT – We have started seeing the Jaguars I expected in the preseason the last two weeks. They very nearly rolled the Steelers after falling behind early and they were convincing against the Ravens. The Jaguars’ defence has been rock solid lately and if they can avoid a shootout then the 9.5 points should be good. Play 1 unit.

CB – Give the Jaguars their due – they’ve played extremely tough over the past 2 matches and even in the 3 games prior to that (at Carolina and then home to New Orleans and Cincinnati) were beaten but not disgraced. Throw in the fact that the AFC South is unquestionably Houston’s to lose right now and I think they’ll play this match slightly conservative, which is enough to sway me out of taking the minus. I will instead sit this one out.


Miami at NY Giants, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  NY Giants -9.5 to -10

NT – I am still getting over the Dolphins’ blowing a 15-0 lead with three minutes to play against Denver. The line is too big here but with the Fins not covering this year I won’t even be considering a bet.

CB – Miami suck and I want no part of backing them, yet I can’t bring myself to trust Eli Manning to cover a double digit line for me. That was easy – pass.


New Orleans at St Louis, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  St Louis +13

NT – The Saints really blew the Colts to pieces and the winless Rams are unlikely to have Sam Bradford but I am going to pass on a double figure road favourite.

CB – If I told you to back the Rams, you’d think I was an idiot. Ditto if I told you to back a double digit road favourite. Moving on…


Indianapolis at Tennessee, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Tennessee -9 to -9.5

NT – It is apparent that the Colts have no desire to win a game this year. They were disgraceful against New Orleans. They have only covered double-figure starts but the Titans have covered only one of four and scoring is a real issue. No bet.

CB – Yeesh – too sides each coming off an epic thumping last week. The Titans at least have a slmi hope of playing themselves back into the AFC South picture with a few wins; the Colts should be in full-scale ‘Suck for Luck’ mode now. I have a small lean to the minus on this basis alone, but not sufficient to recommend a bet.


Washington at Buffalo* (playing in Toronto), 4.05 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Buffalo -5.5 to -6

NT – Buffalo have covered all five meetings between the two dating back to 1993 and Washington have only broken 20 once since the opening week. The Bills can score points and this looks like one where they will have a little too much punch. The line of six though looks spot on.

CB – John Beck and the Redskins on the road without the injured pair of Tim Hightower and Santana Moss? It’s not obvious to me where they expect to get their points from. And you need to rack up decent scores to beat a rejuvenated Bills side in 2011, even playing at their home away from home in Toronto. Given the possibility of the Bills one day relocating north of the border, this can legitimately be considered a ‘surrogate home game’ for Buffalo, and thus I’m happy to lay the 5.5 start for 1 unit.


Detroit at Denver, 4.05 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Denver +3 to +3.5

NT – Matt Stafford is in doubt for the Lions and that will be the determining factor on whether the three is any good. No play at this stage.

CB – With Matt Stafford rolling his ankle on the final play last week and thus potentially being shy of 100 per cent fitness this week, the Lions are showing a few minor cracks in the armour at the moment. I think we’ll learn a lot about them this week – if they can’t beat a lowly team on the road, they may not be playoff bound. I’m not keen to lay more than a field goal though, so will sit this one out.


New England at Pittsburgh, 4.15 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Pittsburgh +2.5 to +3

NT – I’m a bit surprised that the Steelers are getting as much as a field goal here, having marked the game Pitt -2.5. The Steelers have only downed New England once in their last five and they do seem to have regressed this year but the Patriots have hardly been convincing this year with their road form only fair. If Ben can start hitting some deep passes then the Pats will go down. Bet 1 unit on the Steelers at the +3.

CB – A huge game in terms of framing the AFC landscape. The Patriots have faced the tougher schedule of the two thus far and their 5-1 record is more impressive than the 5-2 posted by the Steelers to date. Moreover, they won in Pittsburgh 39-26 in week 10 of last season and aside from the Steelers defeating them when Brady was injured and Matt Cassel was under centre in 2008, have had the wood on Pittsburgh in recent years. Take New England -2.5 for 1.5 units.


Cleveland at San Francisco, 4.15 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  San Francisco -8 to -9

NT – The 49ers have covered or pushed every game this year while the Browns have made the number only once. The Niners are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL while the Browns are one of the most overrated. On form, you have to play San Fran giving up the 8 points for 1 unit.

CB – This line feels a little big until you play the ‘how many points will the Browns score’ game. Then it seems more realistic. The Browns have posted three wins against sides with a combined record of 2-17, whilst losing by 10 (at home), 18 (at home) and 7 (away) points to teams with a combined record of 11-8. Now they’re on the road against a team who has already taken down the Bengals, Eagles, Bucs and Lions (combined record of 15-11) and could’ve easily taken down the Cowboys and been 6-0 right now. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but 1 unit on the Niners (and by extension, Alex Smith) laying 8 points is a good bet.


Cincinnati at Seattle, 4.15 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Seattle +2.5 to +3

NT – No, thank you. Of the late games this is by far the worst. This will be abhorrent. No.

CB – Cincinnati have the better side, but Seattle have one of the best defined home-field advantages in the NFL. Since the start of the 2008 season, Seattle are 11-8 (58 per cent) at home and a woeful 4-17 (19 per cent) away. That probably makes the usual 3-point home field advantage worth something more like 5 points for the Seahawks – just enough to talk me out of the Bengals at the minus. No play.


Dallas at Philadelphia, 8.20 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Philadelphia -3 to -3.5

NT – This is an interesting game and the Cowboys are a very good play here. The Cows have covered five straight against the Eagles and 13 of their last 14 have been decided by four points or fewer. The Eagles have been tough to get a grip on and their secondary has been really bad. The Cowboys can take advantage of that. Play 2 units on Dallas.

CB – Andy Reid’s record as head coach of the Eagles coming off a bye week is outstanding and had me leaning to the minus at first, as did the fact that a home loss would see them drop to 2-5 and all but end their season. Then I remembered that the Eagles have sucked this year and were it not for a ‘vintage’ Rex Grossman performance a fortnight ago, they’d be 1-5 and out of commission in 2011 already. I’m leaning to the plus here, but not quite enough for a bet.



San Diego at Kansas City, 8.30 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Kansas City +3 to +3.5

NT – I should be playing San Diego here but they have been shaky of late, Rivers is off song and there is trouble in the Chargers camp. No play.

CB – Pulling apart the Chiefs season to date, you get 2 massive losses against Buffalo and Detroit (combined record of 9-4), followed by a 20-17 loss in San Diego and 3 straight wins against teams with a combined record of 5-16. Going through the same process with the Chargers, you get 2 losses to the Patriots and Jets (combined record of 9-4), that win over Kansas at home and 3 more wins against teams with a combined record of 3-16. Okay, so Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer gifted a big win to the Chiefs last week. The question remains though – are the Chargers really that much better? Only their well-documented history of starting slowly and then finally putting it together mid-season scares me out of taking the plus here.


Open date:Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, NY Jets, Oakland, Tampa Bay


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Recommended bet summary

NT – 1 unit on Jacksonville +9.5 at $1.91 (Luxbet), 1 unit on Pittsburgh +3 at $1.80 (Luxbet), 1 unit on San Francisco -8 at $1.92 (Sportsbet), and 2 units on Dallas +3.5 at $1.87 (Sportingbet).

CB – 1 unit on Carolina -3 at $1.84 (Sportsbet), 1 unit on Buffalo -5.5 at $1.87 (Centrebet), 1.5 units on New England -2.5 at $1.83 (Centrebet), 1 unit on San Francisco -8 at $1.92 (Sportsbet).


Thanks to Joe Robbins/ Getty Images North America for use of the photo



Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    lol 'Suck for Luck'. Colts certainly have some good competition for him though