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Weekend Football Picks and Fantasy Football 2020 (February 8-17)

The English Winter Break is in play for the first time this season and I think it has not gone as well as the Premier League and the top clu...

Thursday, 26 October 2017

NFL Week 8 Picks 2017 (October 26-30)

Now I know they say parity if everything the NFL stands for, but sometimes there can be no rhyme or reason as to how teams are playing from week to week.

Week 7 felt like that in what was a really difficult week to make picks as teams struggled to reach the levels they clearly can. Others are so erratic from week to week and this has been a difficult couple of weeks for the picks.

However each week does offer the chance to bounce back and I am more irritated with myself for overcomplicating things which meant I removed a couple of picks that ended up winners. I had both Oakland and Philadelphia on the shortlist but was put off by a couple of key injuries and that turned out to be a big mistake when I think of the teams I did take.

It happens... It is all about recovering and getting back on the saddle this week.

After last week and some of the results that have come through it is difficult picking a top five in the NFL at this moment. It is only Week 8 so others will likely get back into things but at the moment this would be the five teams I would have as the top ones in the NFL.

1) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2): Back to back wins and an Offense that is coming out of what has been an extended hibernation may make the Steelers to beat at the moment.

2) Philadelphia Eagles (6-1): I could have moved Philadelphia up a spot after sweeping the Washington Redskins. The Eagles do look the team to beat in the NFC, but a tough NFC East schedule is still in front of them.

3) Minnesota Vikings (5-2): There are still some questions Offensively, but Minnesota look so good Defensively which can make up for the other side of the ball.

4) New England Patriots (5-2): Beating the Atlanta Falcons was a solid result for the New England Patriots, but there are still some Defensive issues to resolve which has been made worse after news Dont'a Hightower's season has ended.

5) New Orleans Saints (4-2): Improved Defensive performances and the NFC South hurting itself might have opened the door for the New Orleans Saints who have won four in a row.

Now onto the Week 8 NFL Picks beginning with Thursday Night Football.

Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens Pick: I didn't have much hope for this season for the Miami Dolphins after Ryan Tannehill went down with an injury and remembering how many close games they won in 2016. You wouldn't think that is sustainable, but a couple of close wins in a row means the Dolphins are up at 4-2.

Beating the Baltimore Ravens will be a huge boost for the Dolphins who are in the suddenly competitive AFC East. The Wild Card Race is all about winning these tie-breaker looking games and wins over Tennessee and Baltimore could be huge for the Dolphins in January.

The Ravens have dominated the Miami Dolphins in recent years with six wins from the last seven games between teams who have played each other often. That run includes blowing out the Dolphins here last December and that does put me off when looking to back the underdog with the points.

An injury to Jay Cutler means the Miami Offense has been turned over to Matt Moore, but Moore has always been a solid back up for the Dolphins. Moore is unlikely to suddenly help this Offensive unit catch fire, but he does tend to stick away from the critical mistakes which have blighted Cutler.

In reality Miami will be looking to find a way to establish the run against a Baltimore team who have been surprisingly poor against the run. The return of Brandon Williams is huge though and the Ravens should have success in at least stalling the Miami Dolphins and forcing punts and Field Goals.

However I said I like the Dolphins here and that is because the Baltimore Offense has looked like it has been stuck in the mud for much of this season. Joe Flacco has not played anything near the level that helped him guide the Ravens to a Super Bowl win and he is playing behind an Offensive Line which has not offered him much protection.

It won't be easier for Flacco when facing a Miami pass rush which should dominate up front and at least offer some protection for the Secondary by forcing Flacco to throw much quicker than he would like. The Dolphins should be able to hit Flacco and that could lead to mistakes, while Sacking the Quarter Back is a surefire way to stall drives.

Baltimore will try and relieve some of the pressure by running the ball, but that is another tough task considering the strength of the Miami Defensive Line. It will mean Flacco is trying to find a way to get the passing back on track, but the Dolphins look capable of becoming the latest team to slow down the Ravens Offensive output.

The underdog is 7-3 against the spread in the last ten in this series, while Baltimore are just 5-15-1 against the spread in their last twenty-one games following a defeat. There won't be a lot of points in this one, but backing the Dolphins with a Field Goal starts looks worth a small investment as the first of the Week 8 picks.

The Week 8 NFL Pick can be seen below.

MY PICKS: Miami Dolphins + 3 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (1 Unit)
New Orleans Saints - 8.5 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Philadelphia Eagles - 13 Points @ 2.05 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Seattle Seahawks - 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Washington Redskins + 2.5 Points @ 1.95 Bet365 (2 Units)
Detroit Lions + 3 Points @ 2.05 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

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