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NFL Week 8 Betting Preview

Max Meyer |
October 24, 2013 | 4:52 p.m. PDT

Senior Sports Editor


Can Drew Brees lead the Saints to another home win? (Creative Commons)
Can Drew Brees lead the Saints to another home win? (Creative Commons)
This week isn't the best card in terms of individual game lines, but nonetheless here are my two best bets. The similarity between these NFL teams that I'd recommend betting on is that they are home teams coming off of a bye, and they are playing opponents that are in less than ideal situations this season. 

RAIDERS (+3) over Steelers

Home underdogs have been beating the spread often this season, and the Oakland Raiders are my favorite one this week. They are coming off a bye and are facing a subpar team coming off an emotional win over a rival. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won two straight games against the Jets and Ravens after their 0-4 start, thanks to offensive spark plugs Le'Veon Bell and Heath Miller returning from their injuries. Yet, I think the Raiders matchup very well with the Steelers. 

Terrelle Pryor got sacked 10 times against the Chiefs two weeks ago, but the good news for him in this game is that the Steelers have the second-fewest sacks in the NFL. The Steelers haven't defended the run well either, as their 19th-ranked run defense has allowed 109.3 yards per game. With Darren McFadden having a week of rest, expect him to have a big game. 

The Steelers have also struggled over the years on the road, especially on the West Coast. They have lost six of their seven games in games played next to the Pacific Ocean over the past 10 years. Additionally, under current coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers are 13-23 against the spread as a road favorite. 

The Raiders should be favored in this game, and a lot of people seem to forget that with Pryor as quarterback, they've competed throughout most of the year. The Steelers beat the Ravens last week, and last year after they beat the Ravens, they ended up losing to the Chargers the next week by double-digits. Take the home underdog here. 

SAINTS (-10.5) over Bills

Behind the mighty Thad Lewis, the Buffalo Bills have been a tough opponent for the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins the past two weeks. However, the New Orleans Saints defense will be another test for him, and the fact that this game is being played at the New Orleans Superdome does not bode well for the former backup quarterback.

The Saints have 20 sacks so far this season, which is good for seventh-best in the NFL. Besides having to focus on the pass rush, Lewis will also have to deal with the incredibly loud noise in the dome, and this will be the first crazy road environment that he'll deal with as an NFL quarterback.

I was surpassed to see this line so low, especially with the Saints coming off a bye week, but maybe it's because of the possibility that superstar tight end Jimmy Graham might not play. However, last game against the Patriots, Graham was a non-factor and that might've given the Saints the preparation they needed to play without him. They still have several weapons on offense, and the quick release of Drew Brees will give the Buffalo defense fits.

New Orleans has one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, as evidenced by their 29-13 record against the spread as a home favorite since 2007. It's tough to envision the Saints coming out flat after a loss and two weeks to prepare for the Bills. The Saints will take care of business and show why they should be in the discussion for best team in the NFL. 

Other Picks:

Panthers (-6.5) over BUCCANEERS

49ers (-17) over JAGUARS

LIONS (-3) over Cowboys

Giants (+6) over EAGLES

Browns (+8) over CHIEFS

Dolphins (+7) over PATRIOTS

Jets (+7) over BENGALS

BRONCOS (-11.5) over Redskins

CARDINALS (-2.5) over Falcons

Packers (-8.5) over VIKINGS

Seahawks (-11) over RAMS

LAST WEEK 6-9 || SEASON 49-41-1 || BEST BETS 7-7



Reach Senior Sports Editor Max Meyer by email.

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