Sustained success in the NFL is hard to come by.
Every week you’re playing the best in the world, all while battling injuries or the weather or anything else on a long list of potential issues.
It’s even harder to find sustained success in picking NFL winners, which is something NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle know all too well. Week 7 was another rough week for “Team NESN” in the Las Vegas SuperContest. The duo went 1-4 in their against-the-spread picks and remain in the middle of the pack in the Team OddsShark standings.
Here are the picks they’ll roll with in Week 8 as they look to get back on track.
New Orleans Saints (-9) vs. Chicago Bears, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
The Bears won last week (at home, mind you) despite throwing the ball just seven times and gaining just five first downs. That’s hard to do, and it’s probably even harder to replicate this week, especially on the road against the Saints. New Orleans’ defense actually has been pretty strong lately, allowing just 4.6 yards per play over its last three games, and faces another favorable matchup at home against rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Carolina Panthers (+2) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
These two teams are tough to figure out, and the Panthers’ offense has been downright miserable at times. But Cam Newton’s splits on the road actually are better than at home, and even more importantly, the Bucs are banged up. Tampa Bay will be without two starting cornerbacks and a safety on a defense that’s been shredded at times this season by quarterbacks like Case Keenum and Eli Manning.
San Francisco 49ers (+12.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m.
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
There wasn’t a whole lot to like about the 49ers last week, but up until that 30-point home loss against Dallas, the Niners had done a nice job of keeping games close. It feels like there’s a little too much overreaction to both the 49ers’ loss and the Eagles’ recent run, which might have inflated the line just a tad here. The Eagles losing left tackle Jason Peters for the season is something to consider, too.
Los Angeles Chargers (+7) vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m.
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts
There continues to be plenty of injury question marks for the Patriots, who now will be without linebacker Dont’a Hightower for the rest of the season. Not ideal. The Chargers have some offensive weapons who can give the Patriots issues, whether it’s Keenan Allen or the tight end combo of Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates or running back Melvin Gordon. The 49-point total is one of the weekend’s highest, and we think the Chargers have enough firepower to keep it close and go blow for blow with the New England offense.
Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) vs. Houston Texans, 4:05 p.m.
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Deshaun Watson has been incredible this season … but he hasn’t faced a defense like Seattle’s yet. The Seahawks maybe aren’t as intimidating as they once were, but it’s still a tall task for a rookie quarterback to go to Seattle and have a good day against Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and the rest of the Seahawks’ defense. There’s also plenty of drama with the Texans after a near-walkout Friday, which can go one of two ways: Either Houston is galvanized and comes out fired up Sunday, or the distraction proves to be a detriment. We’re banking on the latter.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images