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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 8 Analysis/Review/Notes/Look-Aheads

Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 8 Analysis/Review/Notes/Look-Aheads

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Nov 1, 2018
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Monday, October 29, 2018 New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills (NFL) - 8:15 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 14.0/-115 Buffalo Bills Rating: 8* Mike's MNF Bailout Play (LOSS) I've heard a ton of mushes buzzing about how the Colts smashed the Bills 37-5 so what is New England going to do? In the inconsistent NFL (stands for Not For Long), you can't fall in love with teams. You need to concentrate on situations that present themselves week by week. This is NOT the Patriots week. The Tea Men fall into my point-system play I've been using for decades. You can call it the point exhaustion road theory. But situations are what also stand out here. Remember, this like Buffalo's Super Bowl. The last time they hosted a MNF home game was 10 years ago! I'm also thinking HC Bill Belichick will be resting some of his inured players such as RB Sony Michel & TE Rob Gronkowski. Yes, Brady will get his points. However, he'll do it against a Top 5 defense on their home turf. With Green Bay immediately on deck @ Foxborough on Prime Time Sunday night, don't expect the Patriots to be on their "A" game. Let's look @ some numbers. Brady & Co. has not shined as double-digit favorites off a non-conference win. They've only covered once in their last 12 tries against the number in that situation. Here's the hammer or dagger as they say. We draw our utmost attention to teams that are divisional favorites of 7 or more AND are coming off a road win that preceded by 3 consecutive home wins. The past 39 seasons, this very rare situation has reared its ugly head just 8 times. Those favorites are a perfect 0-8 SU as well as 0-8 ATS. Double-digit divisional home dogs have shown up BIG as well by going 13-4 ATS the past 10 seasons. If that particular dog is playing home on MNF, they've covered 75% of the time. Coming into tonight, this same Buffalo team is ranked 4th in total defense compared to NE's 25th. I expect LeSean "Shady" McCoy to be a catalyst & ready to go. Don't be fooled by comparing the Patriots margin of victory @ this venue the past 3 years. Let's go to Ralph Wilson Stadium (New Era Field seriously) to play the BUFFALO BILLS (buying to + 14 1/2) as my MNF Bailout Play! Sunday, October 28, 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -175 Cincinnati Bengals Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Rock-Solid Earlybird (WIN) I could go on for an hour about all the advantages these Bengals have @ home this Sunday. Let's concentrate on the key ones here. After last week's 26-23 OT win 2 home versus Cleveland, the Bucs defense got even MORE banged up. Besides the fatigue factor of OT then going on the road, here's a list of key players hurt for new DC Mark Duffner (already 31st overall in total "D" & a dead last 32nd versus the pass). Leading sacker DLE Jason Pierre Paul has badly injured ribs. DLT Gerald McCoy is out with a calf injury. DRE Vinny Curry is out with an injured ankle. SLB Kendall Beckwith has a fractured ankle. At the heart of the defense, MLB Kwon Alexander tore an ACL in his right knee. Except last week versus Baker Mayfield, this 4-3 "D" has relinquished over 300 yards passing to every opponent. Don't read too much into the blowout in prime time versus KC. It's within Bengals' QB Andy "Red Rifle" Dalton's resume. The truth is Dalton EXCELS versus BAD defenses, especially @ home. Let's talk turnovers. On the road where Tampa Bay has been out-scored 82-39 collectively over the past 2, they've been shredded through the air versus strong-arm QB's Mitch Trubisky & Matt Ryan. When travelling, these same Buccaneers have no takeaways through the air versus 5 from Fitzpatrick/Winston. My bottom line says there's more numbers in our favor than that. TB's not only lost their last 3 of 4 SU, but are tremendous no-shows ATS going 0-7-1 their last 8 October games. The Bucs are very important -9 in turnover margin entering this one. Their opponents have 11 INT's compared to 1 for TB. I'm not making a big deal with TE Tyler Eifert out since Dalton still has WR's A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd & John Ross who've combined for 11 receiving TD's. DLE Carlos Dunlop & DRT Geno Atkins 11 sack total will get enhanced here. Let's go to Paul Brown Stadium to play the CINCINNATI BENGALS to score aplenty as my NFL Rock-Solid Earlybird! New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings (NFL) - 8:20 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 2.0/-105 Minnesota Vikings Rating: 7* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) O'h how the mush money is flowing in on the Saints! I understand that New Orleans QB Drew Brees has been solid (13/0 TD/INT ratio, 1870 passing yards, 77% completions, sacked 9 times for a 121.6 QBR) & now has 2 good RB's in the backfield with Alvin Kamara (4.6 YPC) & Mark Ingrim (3 YPC). However, the situations favor Minnesota here. New Orleans is now making their 4th road trip in 5 weeks & has a big game with the L.A. Rams @ home next week. On the flip side of the coin, let's not under-estimate what Kirk Cousins has done since arriving @ Minnesota. He's passed for 2,162 yards, 70% completions, sacked 19 times for a 101.8 QBR. RB Latavius Murray has been a breath of fresh air with 4.8 YPC (best avg. on the field today among starters). WR Adam Thielen has been a terror for secondaries thus far hauling in 67 catches for 822 receiving yards & 5 TD's. His 822 yards is higher than all Saints' starting WR's combined. Both offenses are moving the football. However, there's a big gap as far as defense staying on the field. In the 3rd down conversions yielded category, the Vikings allow 23.4% while New Orleans relinquishes a high 42.3% (an amount equal with their offensive rate). My bottom line says I'm not buying revenge (Minnesota won on that miraculous 61-yard TD catch by Stefon Diggs on the last play for a 29-24 win) since the Vikings have been super-consistent @ home. Remember, Cousins will be facing the Saints "D" who rank near the bottom in scoring defense @ 27th. In comparison, the Vikes have registered 21 sacks (led by DLE Danielle Hunter with 7 1/2) & are good enough for a Top 10 rating after 7 games. I'm banking on RCB Xavier Rhodes to keep in check WR Michael Thomas & limit his effectiveness. We'll travel to U.S. Bank Stadium to play the home-standing MINNESOTA VIKINGS (buying over the hottest power number @ + 3 1/2) as my NFL Missed Perception Play! NOTES/LOOK-AHEADS: What a crazy week of mushes hysteria! We didn't deserve to lose either game. Minnesota out-gained New Orleans 423-270 but still couldn't get the job done. Why? Because last-season hero, this-season turned goat WR Stefon Diggs quit a route that resulted in a Kirk Cousins pick-six. The momentum actually swung right before the half with the Vikes about to take a 20-10 lead. A fumble bounced the Saints way & changed the whole complexion of the game not to mention momentum. New Orleans won despite Brees throwing for a buck sixty-four. In the Monday night game in Buffalo, the Bills' "D" were as good as advertised. However, with Buffalo close to scoring & down by 6, new England gets a pick-six & gets the late cover. It was that kind of week. But as we move on, we DO KNOW mushes weeks' are few & far between. Let's keep a close watch this weekend @ 3 later games that include: the (5-2) Los Angeles Chargers travelling to take on the (4-3) Seattle Seahawks, the undefeated & (8-0) Los Angeles Rams invade the Superdome to buck heads with the (6-1) New Orleans Saints & Sunday night prime-timer pits the (3-3-1) Green Bay Packers set to tangle with the home-standing (6-2) New England Patriots. Be back next week as we buckle down & rake havoc once again in Week 9. Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 NFL overall Seasonal Record: 13-4 for a not too shabby 77%.

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