SACRAMENTO, October 25, 2017 — As the month winds down, we get ready for Hobgoblins, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. For several teams, the Week 8 NFL Preview and Bettor’s Guide shows there is plenty to be frightened about.
The 49ers and Browns are frightened of living up to the legacy of the 2008 Detroit Lions, the only team to ever go 0-16. The Cardinals are afraid that Carson Palmer may never throw again after suffering a broken arm. The entire league is afraid that the Patriots are back in Super Bowl mode.
The Jaguars have a defense that is putting a scare into opponents, and the Saints appear to have recaptured their pinball offense with Drew Brees playing as well as ever. The Falcons are afraid of having their Super Bowl aspirations slip by the wayside.
Every game is Halloween for the Raider Nation fans. The Chargers are afraid that even if they win, nobody will be at the stadium to watch the game.
With all the NFL chills and thrills, here is the Week 8 Preview and Bettor’s Guide. Point spreads provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Week 8 NFL Preview and Bettor’s Guide
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (-3) —
Miami might be the weakest 4-2 team in some time, but the Ravens just cannot get anything going on offense. Miami goes long stretches without scoring but finds ways to win ugly. Give Baltimore one more chance to right the ship. Ravens cover.
Sunday, October 29, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
Minnesota Vikings (-9.5) at Cleveland Browns in London –
The Browns are winless, witless, and worthless. However, the Vikings win with suffocating defense and modest offensive numbers. The spread is too high for a team that lacks offensive flash. Vikings win but fail to cover.
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-9) —
Don’t look now but the Saints may be back. The Bears have won two straight and are much improved, but they lack the firepower to keep pace with pinball wizard Drew Brees. Saints win but fail to cover.
Atlanta Falcons (-4.5) at New York Jets —
Both of these teams have faltered the past couple of weeks. The Jets may have overachieved, while the Falcons have definitely underachieved. On sheer talent alone, the Falcons have the weapons to put the Jets away. Falcons cover.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2) —
Carolina has looked flat on offense the last couple weeks, while the Buccaneers just make too many mistakes to trust in a close game. Cam Newton has not forgotten to play football, and Carolina has more weapons than Tampa Bay. Upset special, Panthers win outright.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-13) —
On paper, this looks like the mismatch of the year. The Eagles are 6-1 and playing solid football. The 49ers are a winless mess. Yet the 49ers have a real defense, and they are losing games in close, agonizing fashion. despite the records, the spread is too high given that the 49ers fight to the end. Eagles win but fail to cover.
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (-2.5) —
The Raiders won a last-moment thriller over Kansas City, but Buffalo has a defense. The Raiders have the edge on offense but could be in for a major emotional letdown after their big win. Bills cover.
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-10) —
The Bengals are bad but the Colts are much worse. As awful as they are, the spread is too high given that the Bengals have long stretches of ineptitude. Bengals win but fail to cover.
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots (-7) —
The Chargers have won three straight, but the Patriots are back to looking like the wrecking ball that has won five Super Bowls. This game could be over by halftime. Patriots cover.
Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) —
Both teams have a defense, but the Seahawks have the experience. The Texans are a young team and will experience growing pains. Playing Seattle in Seattle often leads to pain. Seahawks cover.
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Washington Redskins —
For the moment, Ezekiel Elliott is allowed to play. However, the Cowboys have been spotty all year. The Redskins are better at home than on the road. The Cowboys have the talent, but trust the home crowd on this one. Upset special, Redskins win outright.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Detroit Lions –
This is the Sunday night game. The Steelers have improved the last couple weeks while the Lions have regressed. However, under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football, the Lions will be prepared. Mike Tomlin and Jim Caldwell are both calm, steadying influences that will have their teams focused. Go with the home crowd. Upset special, Lions win outright.
Monday, October 30, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) –
This is the Monday night game. Both teams have lost two straight. The Chiefs lost a heartbreaker on the final play at Oakland while Denver’s offense is such a mess that they lost to the previously winless Giants. Given the sheer hatred between these teams, throw out the records and the high spread. In a close game, Alex Smith finds a way too make a play. Chiefs win but fail to cover.