The 2011 NFL season is approaching its halfway mark and those following my free picks added to our impressive win streak again last week. Here we went 2-1 for +1.00 units and the only wager we lost was a 3-team +172 teaser. Its currently early AM on Wednesday and I already made four wagers on 2011 NFL Week 8, I’ll give those as free picks in this article with a write-up for each in a moment, but quickly to cover the season results on my posted plays: those of you limited to US sportsbooks have gone 15-11-2 for +3.04 units profit and those of us with all sites available have gone 16-10-3 for +4.14 units. I’ll now give you my top 4 bets for 2011 NFL Week 8 as we look to add a few more wins to the already impressive season.
Washington Redskins +5.5 @ Buffalo Bills -5.5
One of the toughest factors in NFL football to handicap is the bye week. Not all teams react the same having the extra week to practice and prepare, however this is a position I feel the Buffalo Bills benefit greatly from. The Bills sit with a 4-2 record, and the only two games they lost this season were both by a FG. Coming off a road loss that was played relatively close to home (NY Giants) these guys are likely to have gotten straight to work. Meanwhile, I’m well familiar with teams Coach Shanahan has lost control of, and the Redskins previous inabilities to climb out of a slump. Injuries starting to become a major issue and the team breaking down, for the season these two teams appear headed in much different directions. With a spread of six points, this however is no cake walk, but with a select number of sites such as William Hill having the Bills at -5.5 -110 it becomes more interesting. The Bills are capable of playing an offensively focused game and with LB Merriman out for the season, I expect they’ll do just that. Aggressive game, score and get up early is my prediction for this one, making the Bills a solid play at this line.
Detroit Lions -3 +105 at Denver Broncos +3 -125
During the offseason, the Detroit Lions were a team anyone who pays close attention to the NFL figured had a great chance to make their first playoff run in years, but were still considered a young team with a lot of development still required. However, with back to back losses and reviewing that several of their victories involved the other team completely collapsing in the second half, many are feeling the Lions who have failed to play 4 solid quarters of football in a single game are lucky to have a 5-2 record. With fewer fans riding them as the potential 2011 season Cinderella team, I like this spot. For many years I’ve made money betting the Detroit Lions when they were down, and is a very well coached team with players that have a lot of heart and will always fight until the final whistle.
The Broncos on the other hand have the ball in the hands of a player the fans demanded, rather than the coaches deciding he deserved the job. A young Tim Tebow, while this is a chance to prove himself as he came nowhere close to winning a QB in his own right, he is only career 49% passer and his QB rating wouldn’t be the mediocre 85.9 it is today had he not been used in limited red-zone situation that increased his TDs and reduce his INTs. I don’t have much against Tebow, but he’s a young QB thrown into a roll he hasn’t been properly given the development attention for. In order for the Broncos to win this game, their offense is going to need to put up a lot of points, because their defense which ranks one of the worse in the league is taking on the 6th ranked offense in the NFL. This is a lot of pressure to put on a young QB so I’m going with the Lions -3 +105.
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers -3 (-120)
For the first time this season I’m making a wager on the Carolina Panthers. This has to be one of the most overrated team in the league with the attention Cam Newton has gotten, but similar is true with the Minnesota Vikings. There is no arguing, the Vikings have some amazing talent on their team and should have the ability to win games running the ball and relying on their defense, but this isn’t the way it’s gone. Their defense ranks 7th to last in the league and their offense which is mediocre at best now looks to a rookie Christian Ponder to lead them as the starting QB. I agree with decision, but this game comes down to experience as a team. The Panthers are playing well and improving each week where the Vikings have all sorts of the wrong type of attention in the media, from Donovan McNabb speaking out, to Cook’s felony and suspension – not mention they cut Bernard Berrian this week which probably is a good move. But this is a team now in development as the coaching staff desperately tries to regain control. The Vikings have amazing talent and will pull off blowout victories here and there, but over the long haul we’ll make our profit betting teams rather than individual talent. With this one, I need to go Carolina Panthers -3 -120
Line Shade Play of the Week
Once again taking advantage of the way www.5dimes.com shades their lines and their impressive odds on NFL football teasers, my final play is a teaser – based on math. I’ve covered this many times in the past so won’t rehash the math, but if you’ve been following my picks for a while you’ll know why this wager has significant value. This is done using a 6.5 point ties win teaser at 5Dimes, and therefore the ticket reads +21 and +17, but because ties win the effective odds are as listed.
This concludes my 2011 NFL Week 8 free picks and predictions. As always I remind you to wager only with reputable sportsbooks such as www.betonline.com and www.5dimes.com. I wish the best of luck for this week and all future weeks this NFL betting season.