Our staff, led by handicapper Vegas Vic, picks this week's NFL games.
Quick hit: Four of San Fran's last five games have been over, as have five of the Eagles last six. Supposed to be rainy and windy down at the Linc on Sunday, however.
49ers vs. spread: 4-3
Eagles vs. spread: 5-2
Vegas Vic's take: After a gorgeous 34-24 W against Washington, where do we turn this week? Man, thirteen points. That's a big fat bundle. The last time the Birds were a double-digit favorite was back in 2014 when the Chipster was still trying to figure out the NFL. It was at home against the Titans, the Green Machine was -11, and they won and covered with a final score of 43-24. Before that, ya gotta go all the way back to Andy, and the results were ugly. When Reid moved on to Kansas City, he was riding an 0-6 negative perfecto as a double-digit fave. But that was then.
Also just got a text from one of my main dudes, and it was all about the weather. Talking 100 percent chance of rain Sunday. So naturally, we threw down some cash on the under, which was 47 here in Vegas when we hit the wagering account on the iPhone. I'll take a 31-7 final for the good guys.
Quick hit: The average margin of victory for the first three London games has been 30 points. Jacksonville beat Baltimore, 44-7; New Orleans blanked Miami, 20-0; and the L.A. Rams smacked Arizona, 33-0. Mercifully, this is the final one of the season.
Vikings vs. spread: 4-3
Browns vs. spread: 2-5
Vegas Vic's take:Don't know the man personally, but Hue Jackson does not have a clue. Cleveland has one win in the last 23 games, has covered only four of the last 17 overall and just six of the last 23 as a dog. And now, Hue the Clueless is giving the keys to the car back to rookie DeShone Kizer after the kid was out "allegedly" partying two nights before last week's loss to Tennessee. This game goes in London, so remember to get your business in early.
Quick hit: The Bears have won two in a row even though quarterback Mitch Turbisky has completed a TOTAL of 12 passes in the two games … Drew Brees has completed 47 passes in the Saints last two, also victories.
Bears vs. spread: 5-2
Saints vs. spread: 4-2
Vegas Vic's take: Before we get to the why, got a two-part trivia question. Mitchell Trubisky threw seven times and completed just four passes. In the entire game! Yeah, for real. And Chicago still won. Without Google, can you name the last QB to complete less than five passes, and still win? And, the coach of that team? Answer later. Now the why. New Orleans' offense with Drew Brees is always explosive, and currently ranks No. 4 at 28.5 points per game, and an average of 391 yards per game. Looked for Chicago, and way down toward the bottom of the list, we found the Bears at No. 30, with 17.4 ppg and 284.9 ypg. If you're worried about the Saints giving up 38 points to the Lions in their last home game, don't. The score was 45-10 and the late Detroit scores were all garbage time.
OK, last guy to win with less than five passes was Tim Tebow (2/8) at Denver back in 2011. His coach? Yup, John Fox. And whether you came up with those answers or not, you get the grand prize: this pick as our Best Bet.
Quick hit: Matt Ryan has seven TD passes and six interceptions through the first six games … Even more remarkably, the Falcons (3-3) and the Jets (3-4) both have the same amount of wins.
Falcons vs. spread: 2-4
Jets vs. spread: 4-2-1
Vegas Vic's take: Atlanta has dropped three in a row to the AFC East. The Falcs ain't gonna go 0-for-the-other-division in New York.
Quick hit: Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who missed last week's dismal loss to the Bears, practiced Wednesday and Thursday and should be back in this week. Kuechly sustained a concussion against the Eagles in Week 6.
Panthers vs. spread: 3-3-1
Buccaneers vs. spread: 1-4-1
Vegas Vic's take: Carolina has just one win in its last seven games against the NFC South. Make it one of eight.
Quick hit: Over the last two seasons, 10 of Buffalo's last 11 home games have been over.
Raiders vs. spread: 3-4
Bills vs. spread: 3-1-2
Vegas Vic's take: Oakland loves to play outside of its division, covering 10 of the last 15.
Quick hit: Bengals running back Joe Mixon was upset with Cincinnati's play-calling last week and Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was critical of Indy's offensive line. Cincy is 2-5. The Colts are 2-4.
Colts vs. spread: 3-4
Bengals vs. spread: 3-3
Vegas Vic's take: Cincinnati cost me a few bucks last week when they failed to cover as a 4.5-point underdog in a 29-14 L at Pittsburgh. But something magical happens after the Bengals play the Steelers. What kind of magic? Call it a pair of eights. Cincy has covered seven of the last eight after Pitt, and my calculator tells me that's 88%. Also, if you wanna be a little adventurous, try the Bengals -6 points for the first half, and expect 21-3 on the scoreboard when the 2nd quarter ends.
Quick hit: New England's James White has 38 catches, second only to Carolina rookie Christian McCaffrey (44) among running backs.
Chargers vs. spread: 3-3-1
Patriots vs. spread: 3-4
Vegas Vic's take: Keep looking at this 7.5-point line and keep wondering why it ain't double digits. Vic has New England rated eight points better than San Diego, oops, Los Angeles, on my super secret/never-seen power ratings. Add the traditional three points for home field advantage, and we're looking at 11. Thoughts? Thinking that the Pats might be a little complacent after the big Super Bowl rematch last week, and the loss of LB, Dont'a Hightower, could be a huge problem.
Quick hit: Seattle is 2-0 at home this season, but the opposing quarterbacks were San Fran's Brian Hoyer and Indy's Jacoby Brissett. Seattle was two-touchdown favorites in those games. The line is significantly lower this week as Houston's Deshaun Watson presents a stiffer challenge even though he's just a rookie.
Texans vs. spread: 4-2
Seahawks vs. spread: 3-3
Vegas Vic's take: Speaking of the bye week, Houston has come on strong after a week off, covering five of the last six. And Seattle's two losses have come against QBs (Aaron Rodgers, Marcus Mariota) that were pretty mobile. Houston Strong!
Quick hit: Dallas has won four in a row at Washington. The loser of this game would be 3.5 games back in the division race if the Eagles beat San Francisco.
Cowboys vs. spread: 3-3
Redskins vs. spread: 2-4
Vegas Vic's take: As long as Double E, Ezekiel Elliott, is carrying the mail, we're riding with the Cowboys.
Quick hit: Last week's 29-14 win was the first of the Steelers seven games to go over. The line was 40 … Four of the Lions six games have been over. Detroit was on a bye last week.
Steelers vs. spread: 4-3
Lions vs. spread: 3-3
Vegas Vic's take: If you thought Andy Reid was money in the bank after the bye week, check out Detroit the last four years. How about a 4-0 spread perfecto after a week off. Not gonna roar to the ticket counter, but will drop a light bundle of cash.
Quick hit: Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian has been sacked 13 times over the last three games and 22 total for the season. Only Matthew Stafford (23) has been sacked more often among quarterbacks who've played in six games. Jacoby Brissett (25) has been sacked the most.
Broncos vs. spread: 2-3-1
Chiefs vs. spread: 5-2
Vegas Vic's take: Denver has averaged five points the last two games. That ain't gonna cut it in KC.
The Ravens rocked Miami, 40-0.
Entering Week 8