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Litwin’s Locks: NFL Week 8 picks

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Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat An Arizona player holds a football prior to the UA-ASU rivalry game on Nov. 25 at Sun Devil Stadium.

Welcome to the second week of Litwin’s Locks. In its debut week, Litwin’s Locks went 6-6-1 picking teams against the spread. Going .500 is always better than losing when it comes to betting games. No time for regrets or excuses as we have a new week's worth of games to lock. Remember, bet only what you can afford to lose.

“Total” is my sports betting term for this week. A “total” is the combined score of the two teams as projected by the oddsmakers. Bettors will either bet “over” or “under” the total. For example, let’s say the “total” for a game is 50.5 points. Team A scores 20 points and Team B scores 25 for a combined score of 45. Those who bet the “under” would win. Lines according to ESPN as of Oct. 29.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (Sunday)

Line: Bills -4.0, Total: 41 

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The days of the Patriots’ reign over the AFC East seem like a distant memory. Cam Newton was benched late in last week's game against the Niners after throwing three interceptions. The Patriots’ offense does not have a single player that could scare a defense. Sure, Julian Edelman is a good player, but he is not someone that defensive coordinators stay up at night thinking about. The Bills did not look good on Sunday in spite of their win against the New York Jets. A one-score win against the tanking Jets is not something to brag about. Expect this game to be low scoring and the Bills to cover late. Pick: Bills -4

Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday

Line: Titans -5.5, Total: 53.5

It’s miserable being a Bengals’ fan. Each week, they find a new and creative way to lose. Last week, they let the Browns score a touchdown with 11 seconds remaining in the game. How they lose to the Titans this week is anyone’s guess. The Titans are coming off a tough loss to the undefeated Steelers. Despite the loss, the Titans are well-coached and all signs indicate they blow the Bengals out, especially since the Bengals’ offensive line is in shambles after losing three starting lineman against the Browns. Titans’ running back Derrick Henry likely has a big game; however, since I am a hopeless Bengals’ fan, I will once again take the Bengals. Pick: Bengals +5.5

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (Sunday)

Line: Browns -2.5, Total: 50.5

The Browns won a thriller last week over my Bengals, but it came at a cost. Star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL and is out the rest of the season. OBJ is a great player, but Browns' quarterback Baker Mayfield played much better after he left the field. The Browns’ defense has some serious holes in the secondary and was torched by Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow last week. At the same time, the Raiders were blown out at home against the Buccaneers. Their offensive line is dealing with some positive tests and at this moment I am not sure who will be playing. Heading east, with the flight and time change, to play a good team after a loss will be tough for the Raiders. Pick: Browns -2.5

Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions (Sunday)

Line: Colts -3, Total: 50

The Lions can be added to the growing list of teams who beat the Falcons in the fourth quarter. The Lions just bolstered their pass rush by trading a conditional pick to the Cowboys for defensive end Everson Griffen. The Colts are coming off a bye week and are hoping that will jumpstart their up and down offense. The Lions feel like a team that can beat or be beaten by any team. Hopefully, I guessed right this week. Pick: Lions +3

LOCK OF THE WEEK

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (Sunday)

Line: Packers -7, Total: 50.5

I picked the Packers last week as my lock of the week and, as the old saying goes, “If it ain't broke, don’t fix it.” The Packers very well might be the best team in the NFL and that bad man Aaron Rodgers is playing some of the best ball of his career. The Vikings are on the opposite side of the spectrum with a disappointing season so far. The current Vikings’ defense is not the same defense that has been terrorizing opponents the last few years. Sit back, relax and watch Aaron Rodgers win you some cash. Pick: Packers -7

New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday)

Line: Chiefs -19.5, Total: 49

This is the NFL’s equivalent of a big-time college team scheduling a small school to blow out at the beginning of its season. My gut wants me to take the Jets and the points since 19.5 is the biggest line I have seen in the NFL. My brain knows the Chiefs are better at every single position. In full tank mode, the Jets are keeping head coach Adam Gase. An interim coach might get them a win, but Gase will insure that doesn’t happen. Pick: Chiefs -19.5

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Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins (Sunday)

Line: Rams -3.5, Total: 46

The Rams dismantled the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. But now, after a short week, the Rams have to fly across the country. That is tough for any team no matter how talented. A new sheriff is in town for the Dolphins; this week will see rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa start his first NFL game. This would not be the debut game I would choose to start a rookie quarterback with past durability issues. Rams’ future HOF defensive tackle Aaron Donald is going to be all over him. Tagovailoa has all the tools to be one of the greats, but this is a brutal week to jump into the ocean that is the NFL. Pick: Rams -3.5

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday)

Line: Ravens -4, Total: 46.5

A huge rivalry game for first place in the AFC North; this will be a classic slugfest between two teams that hate each other. For my readers not familiar with the AFC North, it’s the only division in football in which all four teams (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Baltimore and Pittsburgh) play outside in cold weather cities. Both Baltimore and Pittsburgh play great defense making this game a tough pick. In the end, I leaned toward the quarterback I would want to have the ball on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, and that is Ben Roethlisberger. Pick: Steelers +4

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (Sunday)

Line: Chargers -3, Total: 44.5

Chargers’ rookie quarterback Justin Herbert has been playing great football to start his career. The Chargers are the best 2-4 team I have seen. They keep it close right up until they find a way to lose. The Broncos are dealing with some injuries. After picking them to cover last week against the Chiefs, I won’t make that mistake again. Pick: Chargers -3

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (Sunday)

Line: Saints -4.5, Total: 43.5

The Chicago Bears have an elite defense and a horrific offense, which consists solely of throwing jump balls to wide receiver Allen Robinson. They have a Super Bowl ready defense being dragged down by an inept offense. I have no idea what the status is for Saints’ wide receiver Michael Thomas. Between battling injuries and teammates, he has not been on the field recently. This game may be low scoring, but the Saints have more talent and should win by more than four and a half. Pick: Saints -4.5

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday)

Line: Seahawks -3, Total: 54

The Seahawks lost a thriller last Sunday night against the Cardinals but still remain one of the best teams in football. The 49ers had an impressive win over a Patriots‘ team that might not be very good. These teams usually play pretty tight games that come down to the wire. The Seahawks’ defense needs to play at a higher level if they want to make a Super Bowl run. This week, they added defensive end Carlos Dunlap in a trade with the Bengals. Despite last week's hiccup, I don’t bet against Russell Wilson. Pick: Seahawks -3

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday Night)

Line: Eagles -9, Total: 43

Why is this the Sunday Night Football game? The Dallas Cowboys don’t deserve the honor of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. The Eagles barely beat the Giants last Thursday and the Cowboys were going nowhere before they lost quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys should be banned from prime time games for the next 20 years. I hope the NFL flexes the Steelers vs. Ravens game to this spot. The Eagles may be a miserable team, but the Cowboys are worse. Pick: Eagles -9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (Monday Night)

Line: Bucs -11.5, Total: 45

This game is a stinker. Prime time games are supposed to be entertaining. The Giants are helpless and quarterback Daniel Jones getting tackled by the “turf monster” is what 2020 would look like if it were a football play. Tom Brady has this Bucs’ offense humming and, with the addition of wide receiver and frostbite survivor Antonio Brown, the Bucs offense will score some points. Will I watch this game? Absolutely, but it will not be fun. Pick: Bucs -11.5 


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