- Gary Porpora
NFL WEEK EIGHT PICKS ATS
NFL WEEK EIGHT
2020 NFL TALLY SHEET – THRU WEEK SEVEN
WEEK SIX ATS 7 – 7 2020 Overall ATS 55 – 50
Weekly Totals 2 – 5 Cumulative Totals: 21 – 21 – 1
Weekly Specials 2 – 2 Cumulative Specials: 17 - 13
GAME OF THE WEEK 6 – 1 LOCK OF THE WEEK 4 – 3
UPSET SPECIAL 2 – 5 O/U OF THE WEEK 5 – 4
PREMIUM PICKS 4 – 7 CUMULATIVE 38 – 34 – 1
Well folks, you can read and weep as well as I can—your favorite prognosticator seems to be mired in the “mediocrity of near misses” that is the Handicapper’ yearly nightmare.
Every year, I gain more respect for how good the “gangsters with Masters” are. If the term puzzles you, remember the hard-nosed Mafia guys of the ‘40s and ‘50s—at least the geniuses among them—realized they could never out-gun or out run the government—and assassinating each other was getting old.
They had to find a way to go ‘legit’, ala the fictional Corleone family.
More than a few of them migrated from back east to a desert train stop that evolved into the Las Vegas we know today.
We can imagine during a meeting where expensive gifts were traded, “Family” squabbles settled, and/or respects begrudgingly paid, a Wise guy stood up ad said:
“Hey, fellas, what if we sent our kids to Yell and da Mitt and let them learn numbers and shit—this way, we can just own casinos and whores and only kill people who win too much. What better way to become respectable citizens, huh?....
In case you need the fractured mobster English translated, the Good Fella was proposing to educate the Family’s next generation by sending them to Yale or MIT so they could learn the laws of probability and make every casino a potential Fort Knox.
Their kids went to school, learned the intricacies of odds and statistics and perfected the system where everybody loses but the casino. In fact people go to Vegas and gamble on sports knowing they can’t win.
The illusion of winning is what the Goombahs sell us—and we are eager buyers…
WEEK EIGHT PICKS
The Week Eight slate of games perfectly illustrates how uncanny Vegas is at setting the Spread and the Number. In a normal week, only 3-5 games diverge by more than eight points from the opening lines released on Monday. They miss badly on 2-3 games—which means 8-10 games, every week, are eerily close to the opening lines, or as close to the predicted outcomes the numbers portend. Amazing, if you think about it.
Let’s get into the Week Eight muck, shall we…
GAME OF THE WEEK
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-0) @ BATIMORE RAVENS (5 - 1) -3.5 50.5 GW [U]
This game more than any other divisional matchup—no matter each teams record, injury report, personnel changes; the weather, trash talk, or stadium—is one of the most intense rivalries in sports
The teams are mirror images.
Ownership defers to the GM and coach, the players exude toughness in name and uniform, and usually play disciplined, consistent, hard-nosed football.
The 2020 version of both groups proves the points. Pick a team. Any fan, gambler or pundit can make a solid argument/analysis as to which AFC North squad will prevail.
My first choice was Baltimore.
Harbaugh’s Black Birds have the NFL's best SU record after a bye, but against the Spread and in the last few year’s he’s barely an even bet to Cover the Spread with a week off.
Further research revealed the Magpies have covered the spread only 5 times in their last 22 as Home favorites. The Steelers are 8-2 in their last ten as Road Dogs, best in the league. Since Mike Tomlin was hired, his Steelers win at a 60.5 clip, 4th best) as Road Dogs.
Really, we can delve into stats, trends, and personnel all day…The Steelers have a top ten offense and defense, the Ravens aren’t that far behind and are led by the reigning MVP. Baltimore’s trade for sack man Yannick Ngakoue will spark the Crows pass rush, and Devin Bush’s injury might be the Steelers Achilles heel, or they might play tighter defense.
This is a field goal game anyway you slice the cake.
Pick a team and hope for the best because in this rivalry, anything can happen, and often does. We’re playing the Under.
Steelers 26 Ravens 23
LOCK OF THE WEEK
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS +2.5 53.5 [O]
I don’t understand why Mike Zimmer hasn’t done more with the talent he and Rick Spielman have acquired in the last five years.
Then it hit me—Kirk Cousins. Man this guy is a mediocre talent getting an elite paycheck; he’s thrown 10 picks against 11 TD’s and that won’t win a lot of games.
Yes, the Norsemen are coming off a bye, but Aaron Rodgers is on a roll, absolutely lives for these big division games and might see his favorite LT, David Bakhtiari return from a bruised chest. Yeah, just what Rodgers needs, more time to throw he ball.
Dalvin Cook might spark the Vikings attack, but give me Aaron Rodgers against a 1-5 team that has been the NFC’s biggest disappointment and I’ll give you the six points.
You can thank me later--after you pay me.
A lot of people like yours truly took the 54.5 Total when it was posted. Waves of Under money have pushed it down four points.
Our Under bet is based on the opening Number.
Packers 31 Vikings 23
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4- 3) @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-1) -3 54 [U]
With the defense Seattle fields, they shouldn’t be favored against any one of their division foes—even if Russell Wilson is a genuine MVP candidate.
The Hawks enter this game with the worst NFL defense, a hobbled Chris Carter and run game. More importantly, LT Duane Brown is unavailable--all of the above puts more pressure on Russell Wilson to pull bigger rabbits out of an incredibly shrinking and flimsier hat.
The illusion that is the Seahawks Super Bowl aspirations were exposed in the desert last week when Wilson threw three picks—only an amazing sprint by DK Metcalf prevented one of them from becoming a 95-yard pick six.
This Sunday the Miners bring a top 10 defense to face Wilson, even though San Fran is decimated with injuries—17 players on IR—they are still a formidable defense and will run the ball down Seattle’s gullet, with a back up, of course. RB, Tevan Coleman is a solid replacement for Deebo Samuels, who was backing up two injured starters.
Jimmy Garopollo and George Kittle will exploit a horrible Seattle defense; take the points, the Prospectors, and the Under
49ers 27 Seahawks 23
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (3-3) @ CLEVELAND BROWNS (5-2) -2.5. 54
Some weather reports predict steady game time winds of 25-30 mph with 50mph gusts.
Baker Mayfield has been extremely inconsistent. He’ll face a Derek Carr who seems to be finding himself as a QB, his 112 QB rating is third best in football, and he completes 72% of his passes.
Cleveland has the stud D-line led by Myles Garret, to make Carr uncomfortable; it’s not difficult to get him off his game. The Brownies also have a top three rushing game to keep Derek Carr on the sideline.
We got extremely lucky to post this Totals Number before it plunged to 48, but with the windy, cold conditions we would have stuck with the Under anyway.
Browns 26 Raiders 21
My picks are below in bold italic…
Thursday Oct. 29
Atlanta @ Carolina 8:20 p.m. -1.5 51.5 [U]
Sunday Nov. 1
Pittsburgh @ Baltimore 1 p.m. -4 48.5 GW [O]
New England @ Buffalo 1 p.m. -3.5 44
Tennessee @ Cincinnati 1 p.m. +5.5 54.5
Las Vegas @ Cleveland 1 p.m. -2.5 54 O/U
Indianapolis @ Detroit 1 p.m. +2.5 46
Minnesota @ Green Bay 1 p.m. -6 54.5 LW [U]
New York Jets @ Kansas City 1 p.m. -20 48
Los Angeles Rams @ Miami 1 p.m. +4 46.5
Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver 4:05 p.m. +3 45
New Orleans @ Chicago 4:25 p.m +4.5 47
San Francisco @ Seattle 4:25 p.m. -3 54 US [U]
Dallas @ Philadelphia 8:20 p.m. (SNF) -7.5 43.5 [O]
Monday Nov. 2
Tampa Bay @ New York Giants 8:15 p.m. +10.5 47 [U]
Bye: Arizona Houston Jacksonville Washington