Sport NFL Week 8 survivor picks: It doesn't get much easier than this

20:20  27 october  2020
20:20  27 october  2020 Source:   thescore.com

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Another week, another winner. The Bills didn't exactly make life easy on us in Week 7, falling behind 10-0 before ultimately winning comfortably, but we lived to tell about it and that's all that matters.

And now we're blessed with a freebie in Week 8.

Week 8 confidence ranking

Confidence rankings (CR) are out of 10 based on the author's picks:

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

Author's pick: Kansas City Chiefs

If you haven't picked the Chiefs yet, like us, then you can go ahead and start planning for Week 9. I don't say that lightly, either.

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I consider myself a very superstitious person when it comes to betting. I am one of those individuals who believes that what I do on my couch on Sundays has a direct impact on what happens on NFL fields. If I'm not eating a bowl of pasta (if you eat pasta on a plate, I can't help you) and inputting my pending bets into Excel by 12:30, with Curt Menefee and Terry Bradshaw guiding me into the early games, I'm almost certainly going to have a horrible week. When things aren't going well, it's time to change my positioning on the couch. When things are going well, anyone in my household who interferes with the setup is getting an earful.

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And one thing I never, ever do is look ahead to the next week in survivor. The second that hubris sets in, it's curtains. I've done it twice in my life. In Week 13 of the 2014 season, when options can become scarce, I had the Giants to beat the Jaguars as three-point favorites. A pair of Rashad Jennings touchdowns helped New York to a 21-0 first-half lead. I went to look at the Week 14 schedule to plot my next pick. Two defensive touchdowns and a last-second Josh Scobee field goal later, and the Jaguars walked away 25-24 winners.

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Naturally, I blamed myself. But I hadn't learned the lesson just yet. Fast-forward to 2017, Week 6. The Falcons are -11 at home to the Dolphins. Cake, right? Up 17-0 late in the first half, my mind moves on to Week 7. Matt Bryant misses a field goal with no time left in the second quarter. That should have been my first sign. As I talk myself into taking the Patriots the following week, Jay Cutler has other plans. The Dolphins score on all four of their second-half drives as the Falcons capitulate in the ways only they can. Miami wins 20-17.

So when I say you can begin planning for Week 9 if you still have Kansas City in your arsenal this week, it's not a casual statement. The Chiefs are currently 19.5-point favorites over the Jets and I firmly believe they can win this game with Chad Henne as QB1. There's nothing Kansas City doesn't do well on offense, while its opportunistic defense will have Sam Darnold seeing ghosts at Arrowhead. This is the single biggest mismatch the 2020 NFL season can produce, and if my superstitious self can proclaim Chiefs moneyline as a lock, so can you.

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  Cowboys shopping DE Everson Griffen? For a team that entered the year with Super Bowl aspirations, it’s a pretty dramatic admission of defeat. Obviously the impact of Dak Prescott’s injury can’t be overstated, but the defense has been a complete mess, and the coaching staff led by Mike McCarthy appears on the verge of losing the locker room.Griffen, 33 in December, signed with the Cowboys in August looking to compete for a title. He’s been playing a little more than half of the defensive snaps this season, racking up 20 tackles and 2.5 sacks through seven games.

The last time a favorite of 17 points or more lost outright was in Week 14 of the 1995 season, when the Cowboys fell 24-17 as 17.5-point favorites to Washington. Since then, they're 27-0 straight up and on a 7-2 run ATS. While blown leads have become commonplace in the NFL, massive upsets are a thing of the past. Congratulations on making it to Week 9, friend.

Avoid: Green Bay Packers

Yannick Ngakoue will suit up for the Ravens on Sunday and Danielle Hunter has been shut down for the season. Add Michael Pierce, who opted out of the season, and Anthony Barr (injured reserve) to the absentees and the Vikings are depleted in the front seven with virtually no pass rush to speak of. Facing off against Aaron Rodgers, that's problematic, though Mike Zimmer has been known to get creative and find success with his blitz packages.

However, Minnesota has a route to victory in Week 8 through its still-talented offense. Dalvin Cook is slated to return Sunday, and the ground game will be pivotal for the Vikings. They need to establish the run and stick to it, which will in turn open up opportunities down the field for Kirk Cousins to connect on some big plays with Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and Irv Smith.

Patriots All-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore could be traded?

  Patriots All-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore could be traded? If Belichick decides to trade Gilmore, practically every NFL contender will be calling. In a pass-heavy league, opportunities to land a shutdown cornerback rarely come around. The Patriots could land a first-round pick in a loaded 2021 NFL Draft class and that’s a price plenty of teams would be willing to pay for Gilmore’s services.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.

Minnesota got away from the running game in its first meeting with Green Bay after falling behind early, but still averaged 6.1 yards per rush against a struggling Packers run defense. In terms of yards per rush, Green Bay has faced just three rushing offenses this year ranked inside the top 20: Minnesota (fifth), New Orleans (17th), and Tampa Bay (18th).

The Saints gashed the Packers for 9.9 yards per carry on the ground, with Alvin Kamara going off for 139 yards on just 13 carries (averaging 10.7 yards). Ronald Jones and Ke'Shawn Vaughn combined for 155 yards on 28 carries (5.5 average) for the Buccaneers against this defense.

For all of the Vikings' defensive troubles this season, rookie corners Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler continue to improve under Zimmer. This secondary isn't nearly as green as it was when these teams met in Week 1, and with the full bye week to prepare for this divisional tilt, exercise caution when it comes to selecting the Packers this week.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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