Sean Pendergast

NFL Week 8 — This Weekend's Best Bets

We are now .500 on the season, which is just plain not good enough!
We are now .500 on the season, which is just plain not good enough! Photo by Jack Gorman
Well, after seven weeks of the NFL season, some crazy ups (two 5-1 ATS weeks in the first month) and some sobering downs (two 2-4 ATS weeks in the last few weeks), here we are back at gambling ground zero, at 21-21, at .500 even. So let's get back in the winning column this week, as October winds down.

Jets +6.5 over JAGUARS
Yeah baby! Here's how you come out firing with confidence and bravado off of a 2-4 ATS week! By backing Sam Darnold, he of the four interception performance on Monday Night Football four days ago against the Patriots, on the road! Hey, I know it's not for the faint of heart, but the rules say to back teams that lose by 28 points or more the week before, and I do feel like (a) the Jest will bounce back, and (b) Gardner Minshew and the Jags are getting a little too much respect here. I think the Jets will find the right mix of Le'Veon Bell and Sam Darnold to make this close one, and maybe even bounce back with the outright win.

COLTS -5.5 over Broncos
As a Texans fan, I hate to say this — the Colts are for real. Jacoby Brissett, the AFC Offensive Player of the Week last week, thanks in part to the Texans' secondary, is a legit NFL starter. Is he a top ten quarterback? No, but with the Colts' offensive line and talent on defense, he is certainly good enough to win games, and more than enough to cover less than a touchdown spread against Joe Flacco and the woeful Broncos.

Rams -13 over Bengals (in London)
A week before the Texans and Jaguars head to London, the warm-up act will be the horrific, winless Bengals against the Rams, who snapped a three game losing streak last week by dismantling the Falcons in Atlanta. This one is pretty simple — like the Falcons last week, the Bengals are a team going nowhere with a veteran quarterback. In other words, they can't even write off these losses as "growth experiences" for a young nucleus. Andy Dalton is done, and Rams head coach Sean McVay is going to want to teach a lesson to his protege, Bengals first year head coach Zac Taylor. It will be a painful lesson.

Eagles +2 over BILLS
This one is pretty simple — at 3-4, the Eagles have to have this game to keep their season alive, and at 5-1, I think the Bills have generally overachieved. This is a simple regression to the mean, where I feel like the world is more aligned with the Eagles at 4-4 and Bills at 5-2, than it is with the Eagles at 3-5 and Bills at 6-1.

Seahawks -3.5 over FALCONS
MATT SCHAUB ALERT! It is not known, as I type this, whether Matt Ryan (ankle injury) will play Sunday, and to be clear, even if Ryan WERE playing, I'd be taking the Seahawks, for the same reason I took the Rams in Atlanta last weekend. However, there is a chance that MATT SCHAUB might be starting against a Pete Carroll defense. MATT SCHAUB, PEOPLE! FREE MONEY!

SEASON NFL ATS RECORD: 21-21 (50.0 percent)

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast