Jimmy McGinty previews NFL Week 8 and he has bets on the Bears, Lions and Redskins.
Week 7 recap: I went 4 from 5 in the ‘nearly picks’ that got a mention last week; but only 1 from 3 in the selection treble. The joys of the game. The Bortles led Jags are now dead to me. The Chiefs covered with ease and I don’t mind the Bears pick, they could’ve won/covered. +4.2pts now
New York Jets at Chicago Bears (-7.5pts)
The Bears are 3-3 but could be easily be 5-1 or even 6-0. The loss in Green Bay was a crazy Rodgers comeback. The loss in Miami was a game the Bears had won only for some bad officiating and then the heat wore them down. In the recent loss to the Patriots they conceded two special teams TDs and Trubisky played poorly when it mattered. This is a good roster well capable of beating bad teams (Cardinals, Seahawks & Bucs to date) and making the playoffs. Trubisky often struggles but equally bad QBs Bortles and Keenum threw for plenty of yards versus the Jets; and Trubisky torched a bad secondary versus Tampa Bay so I bet he’ll be fine here.
The Jets meanwhile are also on 3-3, but this record overrates them. The first Lions win was a weird fluke when Detroit didn’t turn up. Then they beat a bad Denver side who are awful on the road. The Colts had plenty of injuries and turned over the ball a lot when losing in the Meadowlands two weeks back. The Jets have had the luxury of three home games in a row but now travel to Chicago. It’s also an out of conference game with a key clash versus Miami looming next week. Not a great spot for NYJ before we even look at the matchup.
When the inexperienced Sam Darnold has faced strong defenses the Jets have struggled badly. An average score of 15pts when facing the Jags, Browns and Vikings confirms as much. This is not a good matchup on the road against a top 5 defense. Khalil Mack has been hurt the last two games so hopefully he is back to his best on Sunday. The Jets try to run the ball a lot and it has accounted for many of their big plays and scores but again, the Bears D has been excellent versus the rush. The Jets team total is going to be a low score!
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions (-2.5pts)
Seattle are off their bye week but that positive is negated by the fact they need to travel east for an early kick-off. I think Seattle are overrated as the last time we saw them they dominated the atrocious Raiders. That was a dream matchup versus a non-existent pass rush which couldn’t exploit the weak Seahawks offensive line. Now Rus Wilson and friends must face the strong Lions pass-rush.
Seattle like to run the ball and do face a bad run defense here which gives them hope if they don’t fall too far behind. Hopefully the Lions addition of Damon Harrison during the week gives them an immediate boost stopping the run. The Seahawks remind me a little of the Jets – a 3-3 record but their three wins have come against really bad sides – Cowboys (early season), Cardinals and Raiders. When they ran the Rams close it was a game that the Rams lost nearly all their starting receivers to injury. And now just like the Jets, the Seahawks face a potential playoff calibre side from the NFC North.
The Lions are another 3-3 side but they have played some good teams. Most recently they had a comfortable win in Miami last week when they discovered a run game – creating a nice dual threat offense. This could be a big deal. Golden Tate will be a key contributor as the Seahawks have struggled against slot-receivers recently. Lions have beaten the Packers and the Patriots in their last two home games and even though they lost the previous road games to San Fran (with Jimmy G) and Dallas – they covered the spread in each game. They’ll do it again here (especially if you can get them giving up less than a field-goal).
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (pick ‘em)
A bit like Detroit I feel like I’m leaning towards Washington every week but again the spread looks wrong. The Redskins are 4-2 including defeats of Green Bay and Carolina whilst the Giants are looking as miserable as their 1-6 record. There’s a gap in quality between these sides – the spread should be -2.5pts at least. The Giants don’t have a strong home advantage and this obviously isn’t a bad travel spot for Washington.
After the Redskins beat the Packers I wrote if you can’t defend the middle of the field versus WAS you’re in trouble. The Giants are poor versus running backs and tight-ends – a great matchup for the limited yet highly effective Alex Smith. The trade of Damon Harrison to Detroit this week won’t help NYG versus the run either. Adrian Peterson has been running hard this season. Getting in front and controlling the clock has been a regular game-plan for the WAS – facing a poor team gives them a great chance of executing it. The Redskins may get some of Crowder, Richardson or Thompson back from injury this week – it’s amazing they created enough to win last week without all three.
NYG have had trouble when facing a strong pass-rush which is exactly what Washington own. Eli will be struggling again. The Skins D can also halt the breakout of rookie Saquon Barkley – they shutdown Zeke Elliott, McCaffery and Kamara in their last last three games. It may not be pretty by Washington but I see the Giants offense struggling to move the ball often enough and their defense will be on the field for long periods.
Eagles at Jags in London
The Jags are dead to me after the last two weeks but they’re probably the right side in London this weekend. The Eagles defense has just been plain bad this season and now have lost their top pass rusher (Barnett) to injury. Bortles has been awful of late but he has played really well in London the last few years so could turn it back on again. The Jags defense meanwhile has the talent to restrict Ertz and Jeffery. But no, I’m not backing this Jags side!
1pt treble Bears -7.5pts, Lions -2.5pts, Redskins win – (5.7/1 Betfred best I can see currently)