Thursday, October 23, 2014

NFL Picks, Week 8 - Thursday Night Edition

This week's maps: 506sports

  • The "national" late afternoon game is Indianapolis at Pittsburgh (really?), on CBS.  
  • Atlanta is playing Detroit in London, but instead of playing the game late in Londo so it falls in the 1:00 window in the US, they are playing the game at 9:30 AM Eastern time, and the game will be broadcast nationally on FOX. 
  • Seattle at Carolina was "flexed" to CBS during the 1:00 slot. 
  • This is the last Thursday Night Football game that will be broadcast on CBS as well as the NFL Network. From now on all Thursday Night games will appear only on the NFL Network, with one exception. The 3rd game on Thanksgiving Day will appear on NBC. 

San Diego (+9) over DENVER 
This line feels pretty inflated. I watched the Sunday Night Football game too, but I don't think it means the Broncos are suddenly two scores better than the Chargers, something they haven't been in almost two years. 

I expect San Diego to use their offensive blueprint in this game: control the ball, ease their way down the field a few yards at a time, avoid negative plays (be they penalties, sacks, or turnovers), and keep the ball out of the opposing quarterback's hands. This formula has worked wonders for them almost all season. It didn't work for them against Kansas City last week, they only went 3/10 on 3rd down after not converting 3rd downs at less than a 38% rate in any other game this season. 

In fact, they executed this very plan last year in Denver on a Thursday night to win 27-20. Denver's defense has stepped up a couple of weight classes between then and now, but the Chargers are playing much better now as well. 

2014 Midweek Picks: 6-1

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