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WEEK 8 Record: 4-0
YEAR-TO-DATE Record: 20-13
Remember when we discussed how games against the Jets are personal for Bill Belichick last week? Well, if you’ve followed football at all in the last 20 years, you’d know that Colts games usually are circled for Belichick as well. There’s a lot of history between these two teams in the last two decades for teams that aren’t in the same division. Our handicap here is less statistical and more situational. After all, it is the situational spots column. The Colts fired Offensive Coordinator Marcus Brady this week. This was on the heels of changing quarterbacks and starting Sam Ehlinger last week, a result that didn’t provide the jolt they were hoping for offensively against Washington. Now Indy is going to Foxboro, and we know Belichick’s defenses eat inexperienced quarterbacks alive, to face a Patriots team that bounced back nicely against the Jets last week. How do you think that’s going to go for the Colts? Frank Reich is trying to make all sorts of changes in an effort to explain in his exit interview with management why he should return in 2023. I’m not sure it’s going to work. We’re on the Patriots -5.5
Back from London
Jacksonville plays a football game this week after going to London in Week 8. Only nine previous times has that happened in the NFL as the league often likes to give teams that take the trip across the pond a bye week after the game. Every one of those nine previous times, the team returning from London was tied or trailed in the fourth quarter and opponent team totals went 7-2 to the over. The dust has settled for the Jaguars after a 2-1 start and reality has kicked in as the Jags have lost five straight. Our hunch is that they’ll be tired and perhaps a bit uninterested for a game against another two-win team in the Raiders. Las Vegas on the other hand, should be pretty pissed off after getting shut out in New Orleans in Week 8. A more normal week of prep + a pissed of Raiders team has us on Vegas -1 here.
Desperation in the Desert
There are a lot of pro Seattle and anti-Arizona trends in this game. I don’t really care. While I do believe, compared to the rest of the overachievers in the NFL, Seattle has the most staying power into the second half of the season. However, I’m going to take an Arizona team that simply needs the game much more. Since the 19-9 loss in Seattle in Week 6, the Cardinals have scored 68 points in their last two games and DeAndre Hopkins has returned. Now, they obviously got some help from Andy Dalton in Week 7 as the Saints quarterback threw a pair of pick sixes against the Cardinals, but it’s not earth-shattering to say that Arizona is a better team on offense with DeAndre Hopkins available. Kyler Murray outplays Geno Smith, Hopkins outplays the Seattle standouts at wide receiver and the Cardinals win to cover the short -2 number.
Oh When the Saints, Come Marching Back
Much has been made of the Ravens’ struggles in fourth quarters, but did you know that the Ravens are 0-8 on the fourth quarter spread in 2022. Sure, the Ravens are multiple steps up in class as an opponent for New Orleans in Week 9 compared to the Raiders in Week 8. However, does a win over the scuffling Bucs really make you want to lay three points with Baltimore on the road right now? To further amplify our position on the Saints, did you know that New Orleans is second in the NFL in second half points per game at 14.3? The bottom line is this, in a game with a short line, we’re going to trust that the oddsmakers are correct and this is a close game. In a close game, we’ll take the team that tends to put up points in the second half over the team that has already choked a trio of games away this year. We’re on the Saints +3
By Greg Frank
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