Mike Ivcic’s Week 8 NFL Preview and Free Picks

include(“../CBB/includes/base_url.php”); ?>

Mike Ivcic’s Week 8 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>

Bet at Bodog! : Sign up at Bodog to get an exlusive 10% SIGNUP BONUS!

By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer

Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Ravens by 13
This is a tremendously high line for any game involving the Ravens, because their offense can have a game like they did Monday night at any point in time. That has to be a huge area of concern for John Harbaugh and his coaching staff, because that’s an extremely big Achilles heel for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Even with all of that said, there’s no way the Ravens lose this game to a struggling Cardinals team, so when in doubt take the home team to cover and hope the Ravens defense can score as it did against the Steelers and Jets to help their sub-par offense.
Pick: Baltimore 23, Arizona 6

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Titans by 9
Indy, meet a ticked off Tennessee team. I don’t think the Titans are a playoff-caliber team, but they have a much better chance of rebounding from an embarrassing loss than the Colts do. Expect a much more spirited effort from Indianapolis, though – and if not, expect Jim Caldwell to be looking for a job in the very near future. Also, since it’s a hot topic, the Colts SHOULD draft Andrew Luck if they get the top pick – and then deal him for a plethora of help that the Colts sorely need on both sides of the ball when Peyton Manning returns next season.
Pick: Tennessee 24, Indianapolis 10

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Texans by 10
Don’t read too much into the Jaguars win over Baltimore. Like I said in last week’s column, the Jags always seem to play well on Monday night. Expect the Texans to watch lots of film on the Jacksonville defense and come out with a well-devised gameplan to attack that defense. Plus, Matt Schaub won’t be anywhere close to as bad as Joe Flacco was on Monday night. I’m still not buying Blaine Gabbert as a legitimate answer at quarterback, and four field goals won’t cut in against a Houston team that hung 41 on Tennessee last week. The Texans put the Jaguars out of their misery this week.
Pick: Houston 34, Jacksonville 13

Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Giants by 10
Two weeks ago, the Dolphins lost by 18 at MetLife Stadium to the Jets. I think 18 would be a good spread for their return trip to face the Giants, so let’s go with it.
Pick: New York 28, Miami 10

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Panthers by 3.5
The Vikings put together what I think was their best possible game on Sunday and still couldn’t beat the Packers. That’s the amazing part of what Green Bay is doing this season, but it also speaks volumes about how quickly the Vikings have fallen since Brett Favre’s crucial interception in the 2009 NFC Championship Game. The old saying, “Winning is contagious,” applies here, and unlike the Vikes, the Panthers were able to pick up a victory last week. The more Cam Newton wins games, the more comfortable and confident he’ll be, which will then translate to the team as a whole. Christian Ponder played well for Minnesota, but the attitude around their team doesn’t seem to be at the same level as the attitude around Carolina.
Pick: Carolina 31, Minnesota 21


New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Saints by 14
How this line is just 14 points is beyond me. Even with the three points given for being at home, the Saints should still win by more than 17. They just beat the Colts, another winless team, by 55 while the Rams were busy losing to the .500 Cowboys by 27. There’s absolutely no way to convince me that this won’t be at least a 20 point win for New Orleans. The fact that I’ve said all this probably means it will be a one-possession game, but there’s no way I’d put my money there.
Pick: New Orleans 38, St. Louis 7

Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos
Sun, 4:05pm, FOX
Line: Lions by 3
I spent the entire week listening to ESPN Radio, and there were more stories, conversations, interviews, and opinions about Tim Tebow and the Broncos than there were about the other 31 NFL teams combined. Listen, the guy is not a prototypical NFL quarterback but he finds ways, albeit ugly ones, to win games. Why isn’t that enough for people? For all his detractors, why does he have to be more than that to succeed in the NFL? For his supporters, why do you ignore the fact that he doesn’t have the skill set of any of the other ultra-successful quarterbacks in NFL history? To paraphrase Denny Green, he is who we thought he was. Now, let him off the hook and enjoy what should be a pretty good, competitive game.
Pick: Detroit 24, Denver 15

Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills (in Toronto, Ontario)
Sun, 4:05pm, FOX
Line: Bills by 6
It’s Roger Goodell’s annual foray into Canada – and Bills fans everywhere groan. If the team is staying and Buffalo – and, for the record, they should – then play ALL of the games in Buffalo. If the NFL and the people of Toronto are mutually interested in forging a relationship, then expand to the Great White North’s largest city and be done with it. As for the game… yeah. Take the Bills and wait for the check to arrive.
Pick: Buffalo 33, Washington 16


Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks
Sun, 4:15pm, CBS
Line: Bengals by 3
If the Seahawks have ANY thought of catching San Francisco in the NFC West, this is a must-win. A loss here, combined with a win by the 49’ers in the game below, will pretty much wrap up that division. Meanwhile Cincinnati, coming off a bye, will look to take advantage of a continued easy portion of their schedule ahead of their meetings with the Steelers and Ravens coming up. If you’ve read any of my columns, either “Picks” or “Double Take,” over the last two weeks, you’ll know that I’m not a huge fan of picking teams coming off a bye week. Combine the fact that the Bengals are relatively untested with the huge homefield advantage of Qwest Field, and the Seahawks are winning this game.
Pick: Seattle 30, Cincinnati 24

Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49’ers
Sun, 4:15pm, CBS
Line: 49’ers by 9
San Francisco has all but locked up this division, but believe it or not the Browns are still alive in the playoff race in the AFC. So in a sense, the Browns actually need this game more than the Niners do. I think Jim Harbaugh’s crew will ultimately win – maybe even by a touchdown. But don’t underestimate the must-win factor for Cleveland in the game, who keep the game close for all four quarters and cover a surprisingly high spread.
Pick: San Francisco 31, Cleveland 28

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun, 4:15pm, CBS
Line: Patriots by 3
For the first time in over a decade, the Steelers are underdogs at home – and it doesn’t matter. As much as I think Pittsburgh has “turned the corner” and recovered from their awful start in Baltimore, they’re just not at the same level as they’ve been the past three years. I think the Buffalo game was a fluke for New England, and I think this will be too big of a game for the Pats to put forth anything less than their top effort.
Pick: New England 28, Pittsburgh 17

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Eagles by 3.5
Yes, Andy Reid is 12-0 following a bye. But is he so good that he can overcome the trend for teams following a bye under the new CBA? I don’t think he is. The forced days off, combined with the Cowboys excellent running attack and the Eagles inability at linebacker to so much sniff an opposing running back, gives Dallas the edge and might effectively end Philly’s season.
Pick: Dallas 24, Philadelphia 20

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Mon, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: Chargers by 3.5
Somehow, the Chiefs are actually in position to claim a share of the AFC West lead with a win in this game – this after getting stomped by both Buffalo and Detroit in the first two weeks. Read that again, just for effect. The Lions and Bills, who have a combined one playoff appearance this DECADE, beat the Chiefs 198-2, approximately. Meanwhile the Chargers (who, by the way, lost last week after leading by 11 at halftime… in their first game after a bye) continue to cough up chances to put a stranglehold on this division. Blow too many of those opportunities, and suddenly they’ll no longer exist – much like Norv Turner’s job if that does happen.
Pick: Kansas City 20, San Diego 17

Straight Up: 71-32
Against Spread: 48-45-10

Send questions or comments to webmaster@ultimatecapper.com


include($base_url . “/includes/footer.htm”); ?> ]]>