The Week 8 bets to avoid

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Illustration for article titled Sunday Scaries: The Week 8 bets to avoid


It’s been a few weeks since an NFL game has been canceled. But there seems to be at least one game a week that could be postponed at any moment.

On Thursday, the Giants and Chargers each had an offensive lineman test positive for the virus. Both teams sent players home. New York only practiced with four offensive lineman and L.A. head coach Anthony Lynn just sent every player home.

Both teams are still scheduled to play today and tomorrow. Neither are featured on the Sunday Scaries. Still there are plenty of games to avoid heading into the halfway mark of the NFL season.

Your own Sunday scaries may be particularly bad today because of that thing happening in a few days. But maybe NFL games with military flyovers and faux marketing about “social justice” and national anthem performances and team COVID-19 outbreaks and the coordinated effort to keep a qualified quarterback out of the league and “it takes all of us” helmet stickers will keep your mind off of what’s at stake.

No? Shocking.

With so many things to avoid, here are 4 football games you shouldn’t bet on.

Jets at Chiefs (-19.5)


Illustration: Getty

19 and a half points.


This is the largest spread of the NFL season and for good reason. The 0-7 Jets and head coach (for now) Adam Gase are on the fast track to the No. 1 pick in 2021 and the defending champions Chiefs, with head coach Andy Reid, are one of the best teams in the league. N.Y. has led Deadspin’s powerless rankings for weeks. And they’ll likely stay on top for the two months to come.

The Jets have been in this super spread (not like that) scenario in years past. In 2007 New York was a 20.5 dog to New England. Twelve years later, the Jets were again 20.5 underdogs to the Pats. In both games, Gang Green covered.

The Chiefs’ sole loss this year came when they were favored by 13 against Vegas. For that game, I told you to take the points and the Raiders. And last week, I predicted the Bills (-10) to cover against these Jets. The Bills won by eight.

It’s always tempting to fade a horrible team. But I don’t want to touch a 19.5nineteen and a half point spread. Do you?

Colts at Lions (+3)


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Are the Lions… better than we think? Hear me out.

Detroit, with Matthew Stafford now in his 12th season under center, as is 3-3. But their three wins have come from teams with a 73.7 combined winning percentage. And remember Detroit’s week one loss to the Bears? The Lions gave that game (and my bet) away in the fourth quarter.

The 4-2 Colts and Philip Rivers come into the dome with a 1-1 road record against the spread. Vegas is predicting a close game which is likely to happen, considering both teams have each played in plenty of one score games. But who do you trust? A Colts team that just eked out a win against Cincinnati? Or Detroit, who may sound better than their 3-3 record, but also barely beat the Falcons last week.

Saints at Bears (+4.5)


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I genuinely don’t know what to make of Nick Foles and the Bears. That’s why I want to stay away.

At 5-2, Chicago has one of the better records in the league. But my colleague Julie DiCaro doesn’t buy it. The Bears defense has kept this team in games for the past few years. And Monday night’s loss against the Rams was Chicago’s largest margin of defeat in 2020.

As for the Drew Brees and the Saints, they’ve played in several one- score games and they’re 2-4 against the spread. But 4.5 is a ticky number here. If you can get a spread at or below 3 I would lock in New Orleans. But something about this line has me scared.

Cowboys at Eagles (-9)


Illustration: Getty

Here’s your obligatory NFC East shitshow of the week. But this time, it’ll be in primetime.

Both teams suck. This is not breaking news. Tonight’s matchup between the 2-4-1 Eagles and 2-5 Cowboys will dictate first place in the NFC East. One of these teams will come out leading the division with three wins. Unless… the Eagles get another tie and move to 2-4-2. Isn’t that what we deserve at this point? A two- win, two- tie division leader halfway through the 2020 season?

If you want the Eagles to tie, take the points, but that probably won’t happen. Ben DiNucci will get the start today, which should scare anyone trying to bet this game. If you saw him play last week, you probably understand why this spread is nine points.

But the Carson Wentz Eagles have found ways to lose (and tie!) to bad teams. Philadelphia should be favored here. But would you really be shocked if they crumbled once more? Neither team is good against the spread. You’re not going to want to watch or bet this game.

If you can’t resist…

Last week I technically went 2-1 betting four games with a push (I picked the Browns (-3) to beat the Bengals but Cleveland only won by three).

A 2-1 week brings me to 14-12 for the season. That’s a 53.8 percent winning percentage for those of you trying to do quick mental math. As long as I can stay above 50 percent, these Sunday’s will not scare me.

Hopefully, I didn’t speak too soon. Here’s who I like this week.

  • This line is disgusting. But… I think the Chiefs will cover. They beat Denver by 27 last week. Who’s to say they can’t do the same thing to the Jets?
  • The Cowboys are the only team in the league that’s winless ATS. I think it stays that way. I don’t like DiNucci’s chances, I also don’t like the Eagles but I’ll take em. Eagles to cover and win.
  • Detroit is better than we think. Going to take the points here and roll with the Lions. I wouldn’t be surprised if they beat the Colts outright.
  • The Saints’ last four games have been decided by one score. This game will be close too. Take the Bears and the points today.

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