We didn’t have the disaster zone in Week 7 that we’ve seen in previous weeks.  Some people were knocked out with the Chiefs and Panthers losing as small road favorites but the chalk picks of the Cowboys and Titans came through as well as my pick on the Jaguars last week.

There are plenty of options for Week 8, let’s take a look at this week’s grid:

Lots of green in this week’s column means lots of discussion.  As always, I’ll list the model’s win probability, Pinnacle’s win probability, Yahoo pick percentages, and how many options they are projected to have left.  Here we go.

Philadelphia Eagles – Model 83.1%  Pinnacle 85.4%  Yahoo 27.2%  Games Remaining: 2

Philly is the most likely team to get a win this week as they are currently 13-point favorites over the winless 49ers.  I’m surprised the Eagles aren’t chalkier (is that a word) than they are.  I expected them to be the consensus pick this week but it is possible people still alive have already used them earlier this season.

Cincinnati Bengals – Model 77.3%  Pinnacle 81.3%  Yahoo 15.7%  Games Remaining: 2

The other double digit favorite this week is Cincinnati (-10.5) at home against the Colts.  Many advanced stats suggest the Colts are the worst team in the league and just because I faded them last week doesn’t mean I’m against it two weeks in a row.

Minnesota Vikings – Model 77.0%  Pinnacle 78.1%  Yahoo 40.7%  Games Remaining: 1

And here is the chalk ladies and gentlemen.  Those pickers that survived to this point still love picking the team that is playing the Browns and it’s hard to fault them considering the success that they have had in the past two seasons.  But if you have been paying attention to this article each week, you know the rule: never take the most popular choice.

New England Patriots – Model 76.2%  Pinnacle 74.6%  Yahoo 3.2%  Games Remaining: 4

A lot of survivors have already used New England making them a good contrarian pick this week and in future weeks to come.  With four more games projected to be decent-sized favorites, I would save them for another week, but if your options above are off the table, the Patriots are a good choice.

New Orleans Saints – Model 74.8%  Pinnacle 77.7%  Yahoo 8.5%  Games Remaining: 2

Another solid choice this week is taking the Saints (-9) against the Bears.  Sure the Bears have two upset wins over the Panthers and Steelers, but both came at home and both involved some smoke and mirrors.  As we all know, voodoo cancels out smoke and mirrors so the Saints are a good pick this week.

Seattle Seahawks – Model 72.9%  Pinnacle 69.5%  Yahoo 0.2%  Games Remaining: 7

It would be the ultimate contrarian play but with so many options remaining, I think holding on to the Seahawks is the best strategy.

Kansas City Chiefs – Model 68.2%  Pinnacle 74.1%  Yahoo 1.9%  Games Remaining: 4

The market currently likes the Chiefs’ chances better than the model.  In other weeks, the Chiefs laying 7.5 at home would be a good option but in Week 8, it’s a pass for me.

Baltimore Ravens – Model 66.9%  Pinnacle 60.3%  Yahoo 0.3%  Games Remaining: 2

The model gives the Ravens a better chance than the current betting market.  The model isn’t high on Baltimore as much as it is down on the Dolphins and doesn’t buy into their 4-2 record they currently have.  That being said, there are just too many better options this week to roll the dice on Flacco being elite this week.


The Pick: Cincinnati Bengals

As I said at the beginning, I think there are a lot of good options this week.  I think more important than the pick is who to not pick this week.  Minnesota would be a terrible choice this week when you look at expected value.  Avoid Minnesota and you are almost guaranteed to make a good choice according to the percentages.  Here is how I would rank this week’s options.

  1. Bengals
  2. Eagles
  3. Saints
  4. Patriots
  5. Chiefs
  6. Seahawks
  7. Ravens
  8. Vikings

I’d take the Saints over the Patriots because the Patriots have more options later on.  That’s the same logic I used for putting the Chiefs over the Seahawks as well.  I doubt many of you have used Cincinnati (maybe against Buffalo?) but if you have, the Eagles are an excellent fallback option.  Good luck this week and hope to see you back for Week 9.

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