NFL Week 8 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 8 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 7 results: Rick: 7-7; Coin: 7-7
Cumulative: Rick: 47-57-1; Coin: 53-51-1

Thursday, October 29

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-2 1/2, 49) 8:20 pm (Fox/NFLN) - Carolina played almost well enough to win, but eventually fell to division rival New Orleans, 27-24. It was Carolina's second straight loss, though they remain in the hunt in the NFC South at 3-4. While that was a road game this one is at home, where the Panthers hope to even their record (currently 1-2).

Atlanta lost on the final play of the game, to Detroit, 23-22. The 1-6 Falcons have lost three times by four points or fewer. They are 1-2 on the road. Julio Jones is listed as questionable.

This is a rematch of their week 5 encounter, won by the Panthers in Atlanta, 23-16. The Falcon defense is improving, having allowed 23 points in each of their last three games, though only one was a win. Atlanta should be in this until the end and should manage their second victory of the season.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Prediction: Falcons 27 Panthers 20

Sunday, November 1

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-3 1/2, 43) 1:00 pm (CBS) - This is the game all of upstate New York has been waiting for: a homer against AFC East rival New England without Tom Brady.

Considering the importance of this meeting for both teams, if the Bills allow any fans at all into the stadium, they will be raucous and loud and if the Bills had their usual packed house, they'd be a total lock here. The Patriots have lost three straight, the last a 33-7 home defeat at the hands of the 49ers. They were totally outclassed and outplayed. Buffalo rebounded from two straight losses to Tennessee and Kansas City - incidentally, the two teams that played in last year's conference championship - with an 18-10 win inNY over the Jets. They were probably looking ahead a little bit, but are in command in the division with a 4-2 record.

New England, at 2-4, is really up against it here. Buffalo has waited a long time to knock off their division rival. This is their best opportunity to get it done and they should win handily.

Coin Flip: Buffalo

Prediction: Bills 31 Patriots 17

Tennessee Titans (-6, 54 1/2) at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm (CBS) - Joe Burrow has proven he belongs in the NFL. Though the Bengals are just 1-5-1, four of their losses have been by five points or fewer, including last week's 37-34 home loss to Cleveland, in which Burrow throw for 406 yards but was bettered by the Browns' Baker Mayfield.

Given that the Titans play close games all the time (three of their five wins have been by one, two, and three points, another was won in OT) and they're coming off a 27-24 loss to Pittsburgh, one has to consider Cincinnati's chances excellent, especially getting points at home. This could be the upset of the week.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Titans 34 Bengals 31

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-3, 54) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Tough call here, though the Raiders were taken to the woodshed by Tampa Bay last week at home, 45-20, while the Browns won a shootout at Cincinnati, 37-34.

Cleveland has won five of their last six, the only loss a 38-7 beating at Pittsburgh in week 6. Vegas is 3-3 and may lose their grip on second place in the AFC West with a loss here, so the game is of vital importance to them. At 5-2, the Browns are eyeing a wild card spot, as they're probably not going to get past AFC North rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore, both of which handled them easily.

Should be a close call, but Cleveland should prevail at home where they are 3-0.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Prediction: Browns 28 Raiders 24

Indianapolis Colts (-3, 50) at Detroit Lions 1:00 pm (CBS) - The 3-3 Lions are the toughest team to figure in the league. Are they a good team? Bad team? Why are they 0-2 at home and 3-1 on the road?

Of their three defeats, in only one, a week 2, 42-21 loss at Green Bay, were they embarrassed. They dropped a 27-23 contest to Chicago week 1 on a dropped pass that would have won the game, and fell to New Orleans, 35-29. They should give the Colts all they can handle.

The 4-2 Colts are coming off a bye after defeating Cincinnati, 31-27 in week 6. The Colts are 1-2 on the road, the win at Chicago, 19-11, against a team with a questionable offense. Detroit's offense is good for 26 points per game, Indy's 26.2, but the Colts have a big edge on defense. Lions need a home win.

Coin Flip: Detroit

Prediction: Lions 30 Colts 23

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-7, 54) 1:00 pm (Fox) - The Packers owned the Vikings the first time they met, week 1, when Green Bay took a 43-34 decision out of Minnesota. At home, coming off a 35-20 victory at Houston, and the Vikings coming off two straight losses prior to last week's bye, the Packers can open more space between themselves and Chicago.

At 1-5, the Vikings may not even be relevant in the NFC North, especially without RB Dalvin Cook, who was injured in the Vikings' 27-26 loss at Seattle, October 11.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Packers 37 Vikings 23

New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs (-19 1/2, 48 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - OK, the winless Jets were 13-point underdogs at home last week against the Bills and covered the one in an 18-10 defeat. The Bills may have been looking ahead to this week's game against the Patriots, but, New York was tough in the red zone, limiting Buffalo to 6 Tyler Bass field goals in eight attempts. That won't matter against the Chiefs, who excel at scoring from anywhere on the field.

Sam Darnold retuned to action for the Jets. He was sacked six times and threw two interceptions. Can the Chiefs top NY by three TDs? Probably. Four of the Jets' losses have been by 20 or more points. Watch the weather forecast as it could be a factor, but probably will work in favor of Kansas City.

Coin Flip: NY Jets

Prediction: Chiefs 41 Jets 14

Los Angeles Rams (-4 1/2, 46) at Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm (Fox) - Statistically, these two are about even on offense, and they are the #2 and #3 scoring defenses in the league (Rams, 17.7 ppg; Dolphins, 18.8), so it's a wonder that Miami is getting points at home. Maybe it's just a matter of perception, as the Rams are 3-3, while Miami is 3-3.

The Rams haven't really beaten any really good teams. Their losses were at Buffalo and at San Francisco and the wins have come over Dallas, Philadelphia, the Giants, Washington, and Chicago, last week, 24-10.

Miami has a legitimate shot at winning this game and maybe should be favored.

Coin Flip: LA Rams

Prediction: Dolphins 24 Rams 20

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3 1/2, 46 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - This is one of the best rivalries in the league, and many of the games come down to the wire. Scoring is often at a premium, as both defenses step up, having seen plenty of tape and knowing each other's offenses well.

The 5-1 Ravens get all the good press, but the Steelers have the better record (6-0). If the line remains at 3 or more, the unbeaten Steelers are a decent choice.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Steelers 26 Ravens 23

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