2013 Week 7 Review & Week 8 Picks

Week 7 Review  (Week 4-1-0, Season 16-17-2)

It seems as if we have finally turned the corner on our picks this year, going 4-1 ATS in week 7 and approaching 50% on the season. We were able to accomplish this largely by playing against public perceptions. We took advantage of an overrated Bronco's defense, an underrated Dallas defense, and the exaggerated impact of a loss at QB in Buffalo. As the season progresses, we anticipate opinions formed in the first 7 weeks of the season will die hard as lines fail to adapt to real changes in team ability. Our picks moving forward will be predicated on these types of lagging reactions.

Week 8 Picks

Carolina -5.5 @ Tampa Bay

Similarly to the Seattle game last week, we typically do not like big road favorites in divisional games, but again, the road team here is just that much better than the home team. Carolina has one of the best defenses in the NFL, while Tampa Bay has struggled to move the football even against bad defenses like Philadelphia's. Furthermore, Tampa Bay's offense has been extremely predictable, targeting one player (Vincent Jackson) on over 50% of passing plays. Mix that with the fact that Cam Newton has been the best QB in the NFL over the past 2 weeks, and we believe Carolina will dominate. 

Buffalo +12 @ New Orleans

It seems as if public perception is well behind the curve on Buffalo. The Buffalo offense is predicated on running the football, which mitigates the loss of EJ Manuel significantly. In addition, Buffalo's defense has been extremely tough in the front seven, led by a resurgent Mario Williams and potential DRoY Kiko Alonso. Overall, this is a team that has been with in a score in nearly every game that it has played, and we like them to keep it close on the road against an admittedly very good New Orleans team.

Philadelphia -5.5 vs New York

This is a classic case of overreaction. New York's win in primetime last Monday has fooled fans and analysts into thinking that the team is "back," but in reality, they simply took advantage of Josh Freeman and one of the worst QB performances in recent memory. Philadelphia on the other hand, still has one of the best offenses in the NFL and should be able to move the ball easily. Defensively, the team made great strides last week, holding a potent Dallas offense to just 16 points. We think sentiment on Philadelphia has finally evened out, while sentiment on New York has taken a swing in the wrong direction. We like Philadelphia to win handedly on the road.

Oakland +1.5 (EV) vs Pittsburgh

Over the last two weeks, Pittsburgh has improved dramatically, but they still have huge question marks on the offensive line. At the same time, Oakland has shown a penchant for rushing the passer and we believe that Oakland's defense will be able to harass Big Ben all game. On the offensive side of the ball, Oakland has been the beneficiary of great play from both Terrell Pryor and Marcel Reece who have exceeded expectations on a weekly basis. At the end of the day, Pittsburgh is coming off of a big divisional win and should have a slight let down, struggling to find a way to win on the road. We like Oakland to win outright.

Arizona -2.5 (-120) vs Atlanta

As the most injury riddled team in the NFL, Atlanta could not have needed their bye week anymore than they did last week. However, Atlanta's problems can not be masked by a single extra week of practice. As good as Matt Ryan is, he alone can't make up for the immense short comings of an offense that has been decimated by injuries on the OL and at skill positions. In addition, Arizona plays a tenacious brand of defense at home and should be able to hold Atlanta at bay. We like Arizona squeeze out a narrow victory at home.