Scully’s Week 8 NFL Free Picks

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October 25th, 2018

After a rough and tumble outing last weekend, James Scully is looking to bounce back with his Week 8 NFL free picks. Now sitting at 16-16-3 ATS (50%), Scully unveils his five best games, including a pick on the Miami-Houston tilt on Thursday Night Football. Check out his selections below!

*ATS (Against the Spread) / SU (Straight Up) * PK indicates pick *home team in caps

Miami Dolphins (+7.5) vs HOUSTON TEXANS (Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET)

"Uh oh" week for the Fins against surging Houston (-7.5) defense. Texans started 0-3 but have been dominating defensively during four-game win streak, holding last three opponents to 12 points per game, and they’re especially effective against inept offenses. Miami ranks 22nd offensively and has failed to score more than 20 points in three road tests this season; they’ll have trouble scoring any points on Thursday night. Kudos to Dolphins for picking up win with back-up QB against poor-tackling Chicago two weeks ago, but Dolphins reverted to form last week as they were pushed around by Detroit at home, allowing seven scores and 248 rushing yards as they forced Lions to put only once. Injury-ravaged defense has gone particularly south of late, ranking 28th overall and 30th vs run, and only three teams allow more yards per play than Miami. This marks the first road game for back-up QB Osweiler, a career 59% passer with 37 TDs and 29 interceptions, and Miami’s top weapon, WR Wilson, left last week’s game with a hip injury. Houston ranks second with 206 rushing attempts this season and will move the ball up and down the field on worn-down team without much hope or offensive punch. Lay the points with confidence!

Week 8 NFL Free Picks – Bet Houston (-7.5) over Miami!

Cleveland Browns (+8) vs PITTSBURGH STEELERS (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

Grabbing the points with Cleveland (+8) after strong 2nd-half showing at Tampa in which they missed by three points in a tight finish – their only wins since 2016 have come following narrow three-point losses at New Orleans and Oakland this year. Browns will be hungry after a dreadful 1st-half, rallying from 23-9 deficit to tie game as QB Mayfield and RB Chubb continue to develop, and defense extremely opportunistic as Cleveland boasts a league-best +10 takeaway-giveaway advantage. This has proven to be a bad match-up for Pittsburgh, who is 0-4 ATS in last four meetings against the Browns and a putrid 1-7 ATS in last eight home games overall, and returning from a bye week is tricky (teams 2-4 ATS this year) as players must alter routine. Steelers had expected to get Le’Veon Bell back during bye but he remains a holdout. Browns in every game this season except one (Chargers shut them down defensively) and Pittsburgh not good enough on defensive front (23rd overall, 30th vs run) to hold them in check. Look for a close game that is settled by less than a touchdown!

Week 8 NFL Free Picks – Bet Cleveland +8 over Pittsburgh!

Seattle Seahawks (+3) vs DETROIT LIONS (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

Detroit (-3) a team on the rise, a far cry from the squad that was easily defeated in the first two games as players acclimated to new coach Patricia, and particularly impressed by development of rookie RB Johnson, who ran for 158 yards on 19 carries as Lions dominated Miami on the ground last week with 248 yards rushing. They’ll keep feeding him the ball more and QB Stafford playing at a high level, with an array of talented receivers. And the defense continues to improve, allowing only an average of 20 points per game in the last four against a solid slate of opponents (New England-Dallas-Green Bay-Miami). They’re 4-0 ATS in those games. Seattle dominated a disinterested Oakland in London before heading on bye week but similar to Dallas, they’ve been Jekyll and Hyde home-and-away, recording a 0-2-1 ATS mark on road and 2-0 ATS at home. Don’t expect Seahawks to slow down Detroit, who is 3-1 ATS in last four home games vs Seattle and 6-0 ATS in last six games vs NFC. Lions also solid as a favorite, going 5-2-1 ATS in last eight attempts when giving 2+ points, and they’re in the thick of wide-open divisional race. Detroit will carry their momentum forward with another cover on Sunday!

Week 8 NFL Free Picks – Bet Detroit -3 over Seattle!

Indianapolis Colts (-3) vs OAKLAND RAIDERS (Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET)

Indianapolis (-3) playing a retreating opponent who is all-in for the top pick in the 2019 draft. After dropping a tough opener at home, Colts had to play four of their next five games on road and held their own against Philadelphia, Houston and Jets before coming up a little short. They snapped a four-game losing streak last week, taking care of business 37-5 against a defense and run-oriented Buffalo. HC Frank Reich doing a good job with a roster depleted by injuries early in his first season. After being dependent on QB Luck over the first five games, Indy starting to develop an identity on the ground behind Mack, who gained 86 yards on 12 carries two weeks back and 126 yards on 19 carries last week. And defensive front seven starting to come on as well as they’ve been able to harass opposing QBs. Oakland got the necessary win three games back – no team wants to be 0-16 – and then went through the motions scoring only a total of 13 points in blowout losses to the Chargers and Seahawks. The organization has little interest in winning the rest of the season and Derek Carr knows it’s not a matter of "if", but when he’ll be moved as Gruden uses one of the team’s three first-round draft picks on a QB. Raiders 1-3-1 ATS in last five home games and Indy has feasted on the road upon teams with a losing record, posting a sizzling 11-2 ATS record. Look for the trend to continue against this hapless foe!

Week 8 NFL Free Picks – Bet Indianapolis -3 over Oakland!

New Orleans Saints (PK) vs MINNESOTA VIKINGS (Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET)

Both teams playing well after slow starts. But favor Minnesota (pick), who is 4-1 ATS in last five meetings at home vs Saints, who are in a classic letdown spot this weekend. After opening 1-2-1, Vikings have reeled off three straight wins (3-0 ATS) and they’re returning home for back-to-back games after playing three of last four on road. Cousins the third-ranked QB and Thielen the top-ranked WR in NFL, and Murray has brought some semblance to ground game with 224 yards rushing over last two games. Minnesota remains one of the best home teams for bettors, going 15-4-2 ATS at home over the past 2 ½ seasons, and New Orleans exit a thrilling come-from-behind win at Baltimore in which they scored 17 points in 4th quarter. Saints have their BIGGEST game of season next weekend, with the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams coming to the Superdome, and can’t help but look ahead. At 5-1 SU, Saints will remain in driver’s seat of NFC South with a setback and HC Payton knows a loss in this tough spot could actually be a blessing by helping refocus and motivate an outstanding New Orleans squad for next week’s match-up; look for a step back on Sunday. New Orleans pass defense leaky against the Ravens and Vikings have the weapons to score a lot of points. Saints stayed in game vs Baltimore with 134 yards rushing, but Minnesota features the ninth-ranked run defense and has been extremely stout in recent weeks. Cousins doing a good job protecting the football, throwing 14 TDs and only three interceptions, and Minnesota will prove too tough for New Orleans completing a tough back-to-back road stretch!

Week 8 NFL Free Picks – Bet Minnesota PK over New Orleans!

James Scully is a professional handicapper who hails from the great state of Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @JamesScully.