Thursday, October 29, 2015

NFL Picks, Week 8 - Thursday Night Edition

This week's NFL TV maps: 506sports

The majority of the country (in terms of map coverage, not necessarily number of households) will see 
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (CBS, 1 PM)
New York Giants at New Orleans (FOX, 1 PM)

The entire country will see 
Detroit "at" Kansas City (FOX, 9:30 AM) - this game is being played in London
Seattle at Dallas (FOX, 4:25 PM)
Green Bay at Denver (NBC, 8:30)
Indianapolis at Carolina (ESPN, 8:30 *Monday*)

Note, all times above are Eastern. 

NEW ENGLAND (-8) over Miami
Had this game been on the schedule a couple of weeks ago (before the coaching change), would anyone take Miami at +8? Yes, the Dolphins have looked much more impressive since the coaching change, but some context is necessary. 

Since Dan Campbell took over for Joe Philbin, the Dolphins beat Tennessee 38-10 and Houston 44-26. That looks impressive, but it's still Tennessee at Houston. Aside from placating Lamar Miller fantasy owners across the country by actually giving him the ball, this sea change in Miami is being overstated because the Dolphins beat up on a pair of toothless opponents. 

Are the Dolphins a better team now than they were 3 weeks ago? Yes. But I still don't like how they match up with the Patriots, Philbin or no Philbin. I don't see the Dolphins going down the field on New England with chunk plays. That's just not who they are. Even last week, the big Dolphins pass plays were short throws where the Texans defenders (most notably the safeties) simply blew the play. If you're not getting yardage in chunks, you'd better be great on 3rd downs, right? The Dolphins' offense is worst in the league at 3rd down percentage, converting only 28.6% of them. Even last week, against the Texans in a game they won 44-26, the Dolphins were 1-for-9 on 3rd downs. 

Put it all together, and I'm taking the Patriots at home on a short week. 

2015 Midweek Games: 2-4-1

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