Week Eight already is here. And I’m finally starting to make my move.
Last week, I mustered an 11-3 record straight up, with 7-6-1 against the spread. MDS went 9-5 and 4-9-1.
For the year, I’ve opened up a small lead in the straight-up contest, 68-37 vs. 66-39. Against the spread, I’m at 51-51-3. MDS is at 45-58-1.
This week, we disagree on two games. For all picks and predicted scores, scroll away.
Falcons (+2.5) at Panthers
MDS’s take: The Falcons have looked a little better since Raheem Morris took over as interim head coach, but I see the Panthers beating them handily on Thursday night.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 28, Falcons 17.
Florio’s take: Carolina is giving every other franchise that will be rebuilding in the future a lesson in how to properly do it.
Florio’s pick: Panthers 30, Falcons 27.
Patriots (+3.5) at Bills
MDS’s take: It’s time for a changing of the guard in the AFC East. The Bills will cruise against a Patriots team that just doesn’t have it.
MDS’s pick: Bills 27, Patriots 20.
Florio’s take: The Bills can’t run or stop the run. The Patriots can do both, and they can frustrate Josh Allen and the Buffalo passing game.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 23, Bills 20.
Titans (-6) at Bengals
MDS’s take: Joe Burrow is playing well, but the gap in talent between these two teams is enormous. The Titans will bounce back from last week’s loss.
MDS’s pick: Titans 24, Bengals 20.
Florio’s take: Tennessee gets back on the right track by slowly suffocating a team that has a franchise quarterback but still too much dysfunction around him.
Florio’s pick: Titans 27, Bengals 20.
Raiders (+2.5) at Browns
MDS’s take: The Browns will eke out a close win as they continue their improbable run toward a return to the playoffs.
MDS’s pick: Browns 21, Raiders 20.
Florio’s take: The Browns have five more games they should win, three more games they should lose. This one falls into the “maybe” category. It’s a toss-up, but I’ll ride with the team that finds a way to beat the non-elite teams.
Florio’s pick: Browns 24, Raiders 20.
Colts (-3) at Lions
MDS’s take: The Lions have won two in a row, but they haven’t played a defense as good as the Colts. Indianapolis will win a low-scoring game.
MDS’s pick: Colts 17, Lions 13.
Florio’s take: The Colts had two weeks to get ready for a Lions team that lucked its way into a game it shouldn’t have won. If Indy doesn’t win this one, Indy isn’t a real contender.
Florio’s pick: Colts 24, Lions 17.
Vikings (+6.5) at Packers
MDS’s take: The Vikings are just not going to contend this season. If that weren’t already obvious, the Packers will make it clear on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Packers 31, Vikings 20.
Florio’s take: Aaron Rodgers thinks the Vikings should keep Mike Zimmer. Based on Week One, of course Rodgers does.
Florio’s pick: Packers 34, Vikings 17.
Jets (+19.5) at Chiefs
MDS’s take: It’s tough to know how to bet when the point spread is near three touchdowns, but I see the Chiefs winning comfortably but taking it easy enough on the Jets to keep the score relatively close.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 34, Jets 23.
Florio’s take: The Chiefs learned their lesson when losing to the Raiders, and Le’Veon Bell will have plenty of reasons to run through and around his former team’s defense.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 38, Jets 17.
Rams (-4) at Dolphins
MDS’s take: It’s Tua Tagovialoa time, but he’s drawing a tough opponent in his first start. Aaron Donald is going to make this a long day for a Dolphins team that is choosing to prioritize the future rather than compete for the playoffs this year.
MDS’s pick: Rams 27, Dolphins 14.
Florio’s take: Congratulations could quickly become condolences for Tua.
Florio’s pick: Rams 28, Dolphins 20.
Steelers (+3.5) at Ravens
MDS’s take: The Steelers will get their first loss of the season as the Ravens’ offense comes alive in a great AFC North battle.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 35, Steelers 30.
Florio’s take: The Steelers are closing in on team of destiny territory. Beating the Ravens in Baltimore could clinch it.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 27, Ravens 24.
Chargers (-3) at Broncos
MDS’s take: Vic Fangio will have a good game plan for Justin Herbert, but the Broncos have been hit hard by injuries and just don’t have the personnel.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Broncos 20.
Florio’s take: The Chargers are far better than their record suggests. The Broncos arguably are worse than theirs would indicate.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 30, Broncos 23.
Saints (-4) at Bears
MDS’s take: The Bears’ offense has been even worse with Nick Foles than it was with Mitch Trubisky. The Saints haven’t been quite as great a team as I thought they would be, but they should easily outscore Chicago.
MDS’s pick: Saints 28, Bears 17.
Florio’s take: Matt Nagy may soon be developing a gut feeling to go back to Mitch Trubisky.
Florio’s pick: Saints 24, Bears 13.
49ers (+3) at Seahawks
MDS’s take: The 49ers have played much better football than anyone reasonably could have expected after their rash of early-season injuries, but they’re going to have a hard time keeping Russell Wilson in check.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 31, 49ers 27.
Florio’s take: The 49ers don’t have the pass rush to corral Russell Wilson.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 34, 49ers 30.
Cowboys (+7.5) at Eagles
MDS’s take: The NFC East is weak, but the Eagles are clearly the best team in it. They’ll make that clear against the Cowboys.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 14.
Florio’s take: The Cowboys are the NFC equivalent of the Jets — both bad and non-competitive.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 27, Cowboys 10.
Buccaneers (-10.5) at Giants
MDS’s take: Tom Brady will get a prime time opportunity to make his case that he’s an MVP candidate in a game the Bucs won’t have much trouble winning.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Giants 20.
Florio’s take: With the Giants facing a COVID-19 crunch, a blowout becomes even more likely.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 38, Giants 16.