Lucky Lester here, hoping to hold true to my name this week. The last few weeks have been a little questionable, but my overall record remains strong, especially for picking every game, every week. Last week Lucky went 5-8-1 bring his record for the year to 51-45-5. This week is full of tough match-ups, big spreads, and make it or break it games. But I’m bound to improve my fate in a rather interesting week eight.It’s time to lay my best picks out on the line once again so they’re back…
Week 8 SUPER PICKS
Packers(-2) @ Redskins – I’ve got to take Brett Favre and his Packers for the second week in a row. Although Brett’s mind might be on his wife’s health, he seems to do best when his emotions are high. Brett is one of my favorite players ever. His poise, his ability to have fun on the field, to seemingly effortlessly lead a team to victory; all these admirable qualities make it impossible not to respect the guy. Brett is back on his game; he has led his team to two straight easy victories, and will continue against a Redskins team that barely beat a Bear’s team quarterbacked by Jonathan Quinn. Clinton Portis should have a good night, and keep his team in the game, but the Packers need to make up for early losses at home and take a few on the road. This game in Washington is a perfect time to get one back. Ahman Green looked like his old self against Dallas last week, and will test a pretty good Redskins defense. Take the Packers and the best signal caller for the past ten years. Game Date: 10/31/04 13:00 ET
Cardinals(+3) @ Bills – The Cardinals did one of two things last week. They either beat a pretty damn good Seahawks team that is struggling, or beat a much-overrated Seahawk team that had just been ranked too high from the get go. Lucky’s got to go for the first one. The Cardinals have been a feisty crew all year long, and surprisingly their defense has been stellar. Emmitt Smith has looked pretty good, especially for a washed up, should’ve retired years ago, left for dead by the Cowboys and Bill Parcels, running back that led his team to victory last week. I love seeing former Cowboys do good for other teams, and this guy who was the Star in the Dallas logo for so many years, has me jumping for joy, no matter how much he’s making me lose (see last weeks pick). Anquan Boldin looks like he’s returning this week, but that shouldn’t matter. Buffalo is a poor team, and didn’t even look good in their only win of the season. The kicker, well the Cardinals are getting three points. Here’s to Dennis Green and his fine return to coaching… Cheers!
Game Date: 10/31/04 13:00 ET
49ers(+1.5) @ Bears – The Bears aren’t good, not at all. They can’t be satisfied with Craig Krenzel leading their already struggling offensive unit. Sure, Thomas Jones has been a pleasant surprise, but I don’t think he can run for big yards against nine guys in the box. The 49ers will play single coverage all day against Chicago, challenging Krenzel to beat them through the air. Although Craig would love to oblige, he just doesn’t have that ability yet. The Niners should look to give the ball to Kevan Barlow early and often. His numbers haven’t been what they were projected to be, but, he’ll improve this week. Tim Rattay is a much better option at quarterback, so now everything points to the Niners. I think they are, for the first time this year, a damn good bet. Game Date: 10/31/04 20:35 ET
Jaguars(+1) @ Texans – I mean, I like the Texans as much as the next guy, probably more, since they take fans away from the Cowboys, but (-1) against a 5-2 Jaguars team that just beat the Colts in Indianapolis, are you kidding me? Byron Leftwhich will continue his 300 plus yard game streak in this one, and although David Carr will give the Texans a chance, Leftwhich will prevail. The Jags are just a more complete team. Their defense is tough as nails, their offense has really come together over the last few weeks, and they’re 5-2. I usually take the Texans, but not this week, not against a team as confident as the Jaguars. Look for running back Fred Taylor to finally break out of his slump this week. He just had 100 plus yards against the Colts, but I see a couple touchdowns in his immediate future. Game Date: 10/31/04 13:00 ET
Lions(+3) @ Cowboys – Can’t hate the Boys if they’re winning me money on a weekly basis right? Wrong! These Cowboys are making me love watching them play. Between my new least favorite player Keyshawn Johnson’s bickering and Bill Parcels ridiculous facial expressions, I can’t figure out what I like watching more, the actual game or the sidelines. And there’s always those Cowboy cheerleaders. The Cowboys have been just what I predicted, a team that was very overrated, and a team that obviously overachieved last year. You can say what you want about the Quincy Carter incident or the Antonio Bryant stuff, but all in all, the Cowboys aren’t that good, or even good at all. They struggle every week and now their defense is getting picked on… oh yes, it’s all coming together quite nicely. Well, all that said, the upstart 4-2 Lions come to town this week, and Roy Williams will be back in his old stomping grounds for the first time as a pro. Think he’ll be excited? I’m willing to bet on it. In fact, I might just take the Lions to win this one. All or nothing as I always say.
Game Date: 10/31/04 13:00 ET
Lucky Lester’s Picks For Week Eight
Giants @ Vikings(-6.5) – The way I see it, if the Vikings are favored by less than a touchdown you should always take them against a lesser team. And the Giants are a lesser team. Amazing Tiki Barber continued his offensive rampage last week in a big loss to the Detroit Lions, but it wasn’t enough. Last week Kurt Warner looked more like the guy who played behind Marc Bulger than the guy who started this year. I’m not saying Kurt’s washed up, but he’s not better than Daunte Culpepper, and really isn’t even close. The defenses are about equal, and although the Giants have an edge in the running game, Rookie Mewelde Moore has been a godsend for the Vikings. This will be a close one, high scoring and as offensive as your average Vikings game, but take the Vikings to win by at least 7.
Game Date: 10/31/04 13:00 ET
Bengals(+3) @ Titans – The Bengals showed that they are better than the 1-4 record they had before handing it to the Broncos last week. I’m not imagining for a second that they are going to consistently kick the backsides of teams like Denver every week, but the Titans are not a team like Denver, especially with a questionable Steve McNair. The entire Titan team seems to be on the questionable list every week, and even if the players do play, they’re not 100%. Rudi Johnson and Chad Johnson looked like they got the idea last week, and I only see them continuing the show against a banged up Tennessee squad. Carson Palmer might be getting a little too much credit for his performance against the Broncos, but his confidence to go at Champ Bailey says a lot to me about his game. Take the Bengals. Game Date: 10/31/04 13:00 ET
Colts(-1) @ Chiefs – Last week I said I was betting on the Chiefs as if they were a mirror replica of last years 13-3 team. Well, they turned out to be exactly that, if not better against a decent Falcon team. Mike Vick couldn’t do jack against the Chiefs D which even I couldn’t have imagined. But all this said, the Chiefs aren’t the same team they were last year. They aren’t as consistent and will show that this week against one of the most consistent players in the game, Peyton Manning, and Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison for that matter. Sure, the Colts defense could challenge the Chiefs defense to see who’s more questionable, but the Colts are just a better team. I don’t like Indianapolis being favored in this game, but one point is one point, and in situations like this you have to take the team you think will win the battle. Manning will find it easy to toss touchdowns to Mr. Harrison this weak, and win a big time game in Kansas City. Game Date: 10/31/04 13:00 ET
Falcons(+6.5) @ Denver – This games got me vexed. I don’t know which way to go; I don’t even know where to begin. So, I’ll start where football starts, defense. I know the Falcons have just recently been whipped, but they have a solid defense. Denver also just got pummeled by a 1-4 Bengals team, but they also have a good defense. I have to give Denver a slight advantage here, but not as big as people might think. Offensively both teams looked stagnant at best, with Vick and the Falcons being a little worse. They could only manage 10 points against the Chiefs. But, the Broncos couldn’t do anything against the leagues worst rushing defense. I’ll have to give the Broncos another, very slight, advantage. Now the intangibles, the little things, and the stuff I call Swagger. Vick always has swagger, and a little thing I like to call cushioning… also known as (+6.5). Denver also has a large amount of close victories. So, the intangibles have to go to the Falcons. Denver seems to squeak out their victories for the most part, and if they do win in Mile High, I don’t see it being by much. I always rank intangibles very high, realizing that the mental part of the game is larger. Translation: take the team with the points in this one. Game Date: 10/31/04 16:05 ET
Panthers @ Seahawks(-8) – Eight is a bunch for a team that just went down at the hands of an Arizona team that is feisty at best . But the Panthers really haven’t been anything greater then bottom feeders either. For two slumping teams, the Seahawks are definitely the better of the two. Matt Hasselbeck will actually come to play this week, pull his head out of his backside, and find his stellar offensive teammates for a bunch of scores against a defense that can only imagine what they use to be. Shaun Alexander should run for three times the yards he had last week, and if Hasselbeck throws half as many touchdowns as he did interceptions against Arizona, the Hawks should win easily at home. I’m still a strong believer in the Hawks and their playoff and Super Bowl aspirations, but they need to step up and blow out an injured Panther team. This, I believe, they will do on Sunday. Game Date: 10/31/04 16:05 ET
Ravens @ Eagles(+7.5) – It’s real hard for me to take a team favored by more than a touchdown against a defense led by Ray Lewis. But that same defense has to be off the field while the Baltimore offense has the ball. That offense is anything but productive especially with Jamal Lewis suspended for one more game. Chester Taylor looked okay last week, but Boller still didn’t even break 100 yards… and he played the whole game. The Eagles didn’t look so dominant either, but were still good enough to be one of the two undefeated teams going into week 8. McNabb has been wonderful since Terrell Owens made himself an Eagle. Brian Westbrook is most likely out this week as well, so it seems the odds are stacking against an Eagle victory. But, Philadelphia will find a way this week, and smother a lackluster Raven offense.
Game Date: 10/31/04 13:00 ET
Patriots @ Steelers(+3) – My more sensible half tells me to take the undefeated, 20 plus game win streaking, best team in the league, Patriots. But, who likes to listen to him, when a chance to call a huge upset is on the line. Don’t get me wrong, taking the Patriots looks like a good bet. They are only favored by 3 and against a Steeler team that hasn’t got the respect they’ve deserved yet this year. But, mark my words; the Steelers and rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are for real. One might think that Belichick would have his way with the rookie, but I think this makes the Coach’s job a little tougher. Big Ben hasn’t had to many games to show the Patriots his tendencies, and on that note, his rookie status will help Pittsburgh. The Patriots always seem to play to the level of their opponents and that’s bound to bite them in the butt sooner or later. I’m just betting that it happens in week 8. I hate to listen to my crazy and cocky side but… wait a second; I love listening to that side, what am I thinking? I’ve got to take The Steel Crew in this game, showing that New England is in fact mortal. Game Date: 10/31/04 16:15 ET
Raiders @ Chargers(-6) – Drew Brees has to get some respect from me. He has done so well and until this point all I’ve been doing is taking him to fail. I forgot he was a great field general in college, and he’s still growing as a football player. The Raiders are terrible, and even lost to the Saints at home. Their offense looked better last week, but whose offense doesn’t seem powerful against New Orleans? The Chargers are doing well listening to Marty Schottenheimer. This Monday LaDainian Tomlinson said he is as healthy as he’s felt in three weeks. So, things look good for a decent Chargers team against a poor Raiders team. Even with Sapp and Ted Washington, the Raiders can’t stop a running back. Keenan McCardell gives the Chargers a much-needed boost at receiver, and in his second week he’ll be looking to hook up with Brees for a TD or two. The underrated Chargers secondary should put a stop to the idea that the Raiders are an explosive offense. Game Date: 10/31/04 16:15 ET
Miami @ Jets(-6.5) – I’ll take this bet in the blink of an eye. The Dolphins win one game and now they aren’t even 7-point underdogs in New York against one of the best teams in football? Wow! The Jets showed me last week that they could play with any team in this league, especially the one-week wonder Miami squad. Jay Fiedler isn’t consistent; in fact he actually is consistent, consistently bad! He had one decent week and still it wasn’t all that good. Coach Herm Edwards won’t let his Jets overlook the Dolphins or get down about a loss to the Patriots last week. He’ll have them fired up and ready to improve their record. The Jets still could walk away from this one tied for the best record in the NFL. Give the ball to Curtis, the Phins can’t stop him. Game Date: 11/01/04 21:05 ET
WAGERING SMART MAKES WATCHING NFL GAMES MORE FUN
Good Luck with your NFL Football Wagering!