Top NFL ATS Picks of the Week (Oct. 24 – Oct. 30)

Posted by Peter Boysen on October 25, 2016 in

Week 8 in the NFL’s regular season brings more changes and decisions to the 32 coaching staffs around the NFL. What will the Dallas Cowboys do when Tony Romo gets healthy — leave him on the bench or start him ahead of rookie phenom Dak Prescott? Now that the Cleveland Browns have used six quarterbacks in the first seven weeks, will they ever win a game this season? Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have shown the rest of the league how to beat Sam Bradford, is the Minnesota dream over? Let’s take a look at some ATS NFL picks for Week 8. As always, home teams are in all caps.

Top NFL ATS Picks of the Week (Oct. 24 – Oct. 30)

 

Washington (+3) over Cincinnati (in London) (Sunday, 9:30am ET)

Here’s the deal — if this game were in Washington OR in Cincinnati, I probably take the Bengals. Cincinnati put up a ton of big plays last week in their 31-17 over Cleveland, including a 48-yard Hail Mary to A.J. Green just before halftime (which he snagged with one hand). Cincinnati also had a 44-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell, and tailback Jeremy Hill scored on a 74-yard run. The Bengals also bottled up the Browns’ running attack (except for quarterback Kevin Hogan’s 28-yard scoring rumble). Given that Washington went to Detroit and fell to a Lions team that refuses to play defense by a 20-17 score, I see the Bengals opening up the offense again next week and keeping Washington in check.

But the game is not in Washington or Cincinnati. It’s in London. That means jet lag, that means distractions, that means a potential carnival atmosphere. Few teams in the NFl have as little inner discipline as the Bengals do. I see those elements keeping the Bengals from entering the game fully focused — and I see Washington taking advantage.

Detroit (+2.5) over HOUSTON (Sunday, 1:00pm ET)

The Detroit Lions pulled off yet another gutsy win on Sunday, as quarterback Matthew Stafford found wideout Anquan Boldin for a score with just 16 seconds left on the clock, sealing a 20-17 win — the third straight win for the Lions. All of those wins have featured come-from-behind rallies, and now Stafford has led more of those rallies in the fourth quarter than any other active quarterback in the NFL. They meet a Houston team that saw the vast majority of their efforts to throw the ball, particularly down the field, thwarted by a fast, physical Denver defense. The Lions will not offer the same sort of resistance, but the Detroit offense brings more firepower than what Denver brought to Houston on Monday night, and I don’t see Houston responding well.

N.Y. Jets (+2.5) over CLEVELAND (Sunday, 1:00pm ET)

This might be the easiest pick of the day. The only healthy quarterback on the Browns’ roster is rookie Kevin Hogan, an undrafted free agent. The Jets will have Ryan Fitzpatrick and his interception habit at work for them, but he played well after Geno Smith went down to injury last week. And it’s not like the Browns play well on either side of the ball right now. So even if the Jets have to roll out Baylor product Bryce Petty at quarterback, I would still pick them to win and cover.