Inquirer handicapper Vegas Vic looks at this weekend’s slate starting with the Eagles in Buffalo, but heading across the Atlantic in search of his best bet.
The slumping Eagles are 1-3 on the road straight-up and against the spread. Here are staff picks for the rest of Week 8.
BILLS (-1.5) Eagles (43.5), 1 p.m. (Fox)
Ugly! That’s the only way to describe the Birds’ last two outings, and my effort last week. Will the Eagles get back on track? Tough to see it happening up in Buffalo against the third-best defense in the NFL.
The Green have not lost three in a row since 2016, but after looking at the numbers against the Cowboys and Vikings, yeeessshhhh.
» MORE COVERAGE: Jeff McLane looks at the film of Carson Wentz
They have allowed 75 points and scored only 30. They have scored just three TDs while turning the ball over seven times. And they have allowed 849 yards. Whew. Those numbers are making me dizzy.
The Bills come in at 5-1, but no one is taking them seriously. Why? 'Cause they have not beaten a team with a winning record. A 5-1 team is only a 1.5 point favorite against a 3-4 team that is playing awful? Hmmmmm. However, the Birds are horrible in the early games, covering only one of the last 12, so we’ll call the Buffs by a late field goal, 21-18. Also gonna try both sides of a ‘Winning Margin’ prop. Wager on either the Birds or Bills to win by 1 to 6 points with a take back of +$360!
» READ MORE: Our beat writers examine Eagles-Bills
LIONS (-7) Giants (49.5), 1 p.m.
Check on Saquon Barkley’s ankle. If he’s OK, then we buy at plus seven. If not, we close the wallet.
TITANS (2.5) Buccaneers (45.5), 1 p.m.
Every now and then, Jameis Winston will throw down a solid performance on the road. This week could be solid.
BEARS (4.5) Chargers (40.5), 1 p.m.
After a stinker last week, Mitchell Trubisky should be ready to shine, as long as Chicago’s D gets its mojo back.
Seahawks (3.5) FALCONS (53.5), 1 p.m.
There are 32 teams in the NFL. Guess whose defense is #32? Yup, Atlanta. Guess who’s drooling? Yup, Russell Wilson.
» READ MORE: Sizing up the Eagles ahead of the trade deadline
JAGUARS (6) Jets (41), 1 p.m.
We’re not gonna talk about ghosts. Oops. We will talk about “The Mustache” getting another W for Jacksonville.
Rams (13) Bengals (48.5), 1 p.m.
Fish & chips baby! Bangers & mash baby. A pint of Guinness. Yeah, it’s all happening in London. And if people tell you that the food stinks in England, don’t pay attention. I lived in London for a year in between my sophomore and junior year in college, and actually gained a few pounds. Also nicked a few pieces of stationary from the Houses of Parliament, but please, keep that on the down low. Oh yeah, football.
Everyone was all over Jared Goff after L.A. lost three in a row, but he bounced back with a stellar effort against the Falcons last week, hitting 22 of 37 for 268 yards with two TDs and no INTs. And just in case you’re wondering about the Rams in London, the last time they rolled over to see the Queen in 2017, they bageled the Cardinals, 33-0. They’ve won 19 of last 23 on the road, while Cincy comes in riding a negative 0-9 perfecto away from home. And if you’re worried about double-digits, DON’T! Los Angeles has covered six of the last seven as a DD fave, so, yup, this is my best bet, baby!
SAINTS (10.5) Cardinals (48.5), 1 p.m. (CBS)
No, I have not lost my mind. Picking against a New Orleans team that is on a 5-0 run, 6-1 overall, might seem bizarre, but lemme explain.
Yeah, 5-0 is 5-0, and 6-1 is 6-1, but the wins have come by 2, 6, 2, 7, 7 and 11. So, not really crushing anyone. And Arizona comes in with a sweet little 3-0 run of its own, straight up and against the spread. As long as Kyler Murray is running and gunning, 'Zona should be able to keep this final inside of double digits.
TEXANS (6.5) Raiders (51.5), 1 p.m.
Things are not going well down in Houston. The Texans lost to the Colts last week, and the Astros are down 2-0 to the Nationals. But, there is hope since Deshaun Watson and his crew ride in with a gorgeous 5-0 PERFECTO after a loss.
49ERS (5.5) Panthers (41.5), 4:05 p.m.
Stop Christian McCaffrey and Carolina will fold. Easier said than done, but since San Fran’s defense has become a scary unit (No. 2 in the league), we’re gonna roll with the 6-0 Niners as long as the weather is dry.
COLTS (6) Broncos (44), 4:25 p.m.
Denver has a statue that does NOT move at QB by the name of Joe Flacco. So, drop some love on the Horseshoes.
PATRIOTS (13) Browns (46.5), 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Does New England ever get bored with winning? Nah. By double digits. Nah.
Packers (4) CHIEFS (47.5), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
With Patrick Mahomes, Kaycee was gonna open at -3.5 over Green Bay. Without Mahomes, the Packers opened at -3.5. Is Pat worth 7 points? Maybe, maybe not, but the line is also a function of Matt Moore (who was coaching high school games last year), starting at QB. Sure, Moore was 10 of 19 for 117 yards, but now he’s gonna face Mr. Discount Double Check. And Rodgers was PERFECT last week, 25 of 31 for 429 yards, five TDs, zero INTs, and a rating of 158.3. We buy PERFECTION!
STEELERS (14.5) Dolphins (43), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Last week, we were wary of playing the Bills as a double-digit favorite because of FitzMagic. And what happened? Ryan Fitzpatrick and Miami covered a 17-point spread in a 31-21 loss to Buffalo. Fitz will be starting again, and cannot figure out why Pittsburgh is a two-TD favorite. The Steel lost defensive end Stephon Tuitt, RB James Conner is questionable, RB Jaylen Samuels is out, and this AIN’T your Daddy’s Steel Curtain. Swimming with the Fish.