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NFL 2017 Best Bets: Week 8 – The league is finally settling

Week 7 saw some predictability return to the NFL


Last week we tried to take advantage of a 60% underdog cover trend, and it didn’t really work as home favorites smashed their counterparts. We did hit the Bears though (Thanks Eddie Jackson!).

Week 7 saw some semblance of predictability in the NFL, with New England, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Dallas all taking care of business handily. Maybe the league has finally settled down?

The good teams are starting to hit their stride, the poor teams are starting to give in to the inevitability of defeat. There are still some feisty teams, like Chicago, that put up a fight at home but by and large we are starting to see the pieces fall into place now. So who are we backing this week?

Los Angeles Chargers (+7) over NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The Patriots sit at 5-2 and are starting to look far more like themselves after a convincing win against Atlanta last weekend. However, the Chargers have rallied from an 0-4 start and are looking deadly as well.

The overriding reason to take the Chargers this weekend is that they have something the Patriots do not, and that is a pass rush. You can’t blitz Tom Brady, but you can pressure him into mistakes with good rush from a front four, and arguably the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL this season is Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

They crushed the Broncos offense at the weekend and were the main reason the Chargers ran out winners in that one. They have combined for 64 tackles, 16 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 23 QB hits so far this season, which is incredible and yet doesn’t really do them justice.

Nate Solder is dealing with injuries, and without Julian Edelman, Brady lacks a sure-thing on quick throws and coverage beaters. I can see the Chargers winning this one, nevermind just covering a touchdown.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-12.5) over San Francisco 49ers

Taking a double-digit favorite is always risky, but the Eagles have been playing terrific complimentary football this season, with all phases of the game working in concert with one another. Carson Wentz has been impressive and they have the offensive line to handle the only good part of the 49ers team; their defensive line. This game has blowout written all over it, and while a backdoor cover is a worry, CJ Beathard didn’t show nearly enough to think he can go into a hostile environment against a good defense and keep it within 20.

Minnesota Vikings (-9.5) over CLEVELAND BROWNS

The final London game of 2017. The trend in London this year has been one of blowouts, and there is little reason to think it won’t happen again here. The Browns are without Joe Thomas against a very good set of pass rushers, Latavius Murray has picked up where Dalvin Cook left off, and the Vikings are more than capable of racking up points and pinning a weak offense down. We have seen two shutouts in London already this year, and this might be a third.

Rest of the picks

Miami Dolphins (+3) over BALTIMORE RAVENS

NEW YORK JETS (+4.5) over Atlanta Falcons

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-2) over Carolina Panthers

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-9) over Chicago Bears

Indianapolis Colts (+10.5) over CINCINNATI BENGALS

Oakland Raiders (+2.5) over BUFFALO BILLS

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-5.5) over Houston Texans

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (+2.5) over Dallas Cowboys

DETRIOT LIONS (+3) over Pittsburgh Steelers

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-7) over Denver Broncos

Last Week: 6-7-1 (0-3-0)

Overall: 51-46-3 (4-17-0)

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Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

NFL 2017 Best Bets: Week 8 – The league is finally settling

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