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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 8 Analysis/Review/Notes/Power Rankings


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Nov 2, 2021
   
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Sunday, October 31, 2021 Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Indianapolis Colts Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Earlybird Dependable (WIN OFF BUY) You have to shop around for the right numbers & then use the proper line to your advantage. This sportsbook is going in the wrong direction! Nobody remembers Week 3 in Tennessee (besides the 25-16 Titans' win) that Indianapolis was missing key personnel. In addition, QB Carson Wentz (force to play with an ankle injury) did not establish continuity with his offense @ that time. Personnel will be changed this time around as 2 key Indy cogs are now back in Pro-Bowl LG Quentin Nelson & RT Braden Smith. This not only opens things up for RB Jonathan Taylor but Wentz's effectiveness with play-action. Double-revenge is ALSO into play as the Colts were embarrassed on this field last season losing 45-26. Defensive personnel played a key role in that route with Indianapolis missing 3 defensive starters from its front 7. With Wentz (11-1 TD/INT ratio TY) @ 100%, it considerably opens up Frank Reich's play-calling in order to stretch the ball downfield to WR's Michael Pittman & T.Y. Hilton (he should be available this time). Let's crunch some key numbers! Nashville's Finest have been pretty consistent when coming off consecutive SU underdog wins. They've dropped 4 in a row versus the number in this situation. It's going to hard to match that intensity they had @ home the past 2. When Tennessee takes on an Indy team with a better than .400 winning percentage, they've gone a no-show 2-9-1 ATS. It's hard to ignore HC Frank Reich's performance versus teams coming off a pair of wins. This situation has produced winners to the tune of 12-3-1 ATS & an even tighter 7-1 versus the number if seeking revenge. My bottom line says I love the fact the Titans are now on the road & giving up 4.5 YPR with the 22nd-ranked defense. The sense of urgency is clearly on the Indy side (trailing Tennessee by 2 games) knowing the Jets & Jacksonville await. The Titans have a huge game next Sunday night with the L.A. Rams @ So-Fi. Yes, RB Derrick Henry gets his 100 yards. However, QB Ryan Tannehill with a 7/5 TD/INT faces the better defense of the Colts that's responsible for their NFL 2nd-best +9 turnover differential. Don't be fooled or forced to play this game @ a bad number. We're going to Lucas Oil Stadium to play a 9* on the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (buying to + 3 1/2) or play it in a tease as my NFL Earlybird Dependable! Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -180 Philadelphia Eagles Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (WIN) Yes, taking a favored Eagles team is usually ugly. However, this situation warrants it! While both of these offenses aren't too far away from each other, I believe the defense of Philadelphia holds the upper hand. As far as turnover differential is concerned, the Eagles hold a rare +3 turnover advantage. Whether 2-5 SU Philly has a full compliment of offensive weapons or not, QB Jalen Hurts is facing a manageable 25th-ranked defense this week (with multiple injuries-especially in the secondary) that's limited & lacks depth. HC Nick Sirianni should be able to find matchup problems & expose that lack of depth by utilizing RB Miles Sanders (or if a no-go Boston Scott or Kenneth Gainwell) the right way. Face it, Detroit's 0-7 SU & have only played 2 of those games within 8 points. We're also catching the Eagles AFTER a very flat game @ Las Vegas. We should be getting their "A" game here since there's NO divisional game in sight until November 28th @ the N.Y. Giants. They face a Dan Campbell Lions' team that just played their "A" game (a 28-19 loss) in an all-out effort to spoil Matthew Stafford's bid @ beating his ex-team last week. Now let's gets ready for some key & definitive analytics spelling out a Philly "W". Spanning the past 26 NFL seasons, the Birds are a super 11-1 both SU & ATS from Game 4 or later versus winless teams. The past 8 chances in this situation have produced a perfect SU & an ATS record of 8-0! My bottom line zeroes in on an incredible number that's been money EACH & EVERY time since its inception. It involves Detroit QB Jared Goff & is pretty simple. It says play AGAINST Goff without HC Sean McVay on his sidelines. In his short career, Goff is an alarming but perfect 0-14 SU (0-7 with the Lions-I feel for QB Coach Mark Brunell) without him. There's been plenty of garbage time for him to pad his stats. He still chimes in with a pedestrian 8/6 TD/INT ratio & has been sacked 17 times. Principal Owner Sheila Ford Hamp will be getting people often saying her team hasn't been relevant since 1957 for some time to come. Let's go to Ford Field in Michigan to play the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (hold your nose) as my 8* NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week! Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -210 Cleveland Browns Rating: 8* Mike's AFC North Battle For Wild Card Position (NO PLAY--KEENUM DID NOT START) It's still before the halfway point (Week 8 of 18). But for right now, these 2 are battling for that last Wild Card position (AFC Seed #7). The current holder of that position is the Cleveland Browns whose defensive (DC Joe Woods' 3-4 scheme) front has done its job with DE's Myles Garrett & Jadeveon Clowney combining for 13 of the team's 20 sacks (tied for 3rd in the league). They now face a Pittsburgh offense with immobile QB Ben Roethlisberger (7/4 TD/INT ratio) that still hasn't settled into the new Matt Canada schemes yet. Until the Steelers establish that balance they need to effectively run play-action, they will hover & fall short to good teams especially on the road. Both teams will certainly test each other in the trenches early. Numbers show that Pitt has NOT taken advantage of the bye week as they've come back to go 3-7 ATS the past decade. Despite injuries, the Brownies still hold a Top 10 offense (9th overall-1st in rushing) & a Top 10 defense (2nd overall, 3rd vs. the rush & 7th vs. the pass). This is impressive since those numbers include games against superior passing attacks like Kansas City, the L.A. Chargers & Arizona. Case Keenum (who fits the Stefanski mold quite well) should get the nod, his career numbers show a superior 12-3-1 ATS numbers versus opponents coming off consecutive wins. The subset of that squeezes out a just as impressive 4-1-1 spread record IF facing a divisional foe. My bottom line says even though Steel City comes in with revenge for the 48-37 WC Playoff Round loss LY @ Heinz Field, the additions of RB Nick Chubb (523 rushing yards 7 4 TD's), OT Jack Conklin & WR's Jarvis Landry & Odell Beckham Jr. add an extra dynamic Cleveland didn't have of late. Because of the fact that Steelers' HC Mike Tomlin is 40-20-2 ATS as an underdog & there's always a strong backdoor cover chance with WR Chase Claypool going up against rookie CB Greg Newsome, I feel the ML is where we want to be since the line is over the number 4. Let's go to FirstEnergy Stadium to play the CLEVELAND BROWNS as my 8* AFC North Battle For Wild card Position Play! Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Seattle Seahawks (NFL) - 4:05 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -190 Seattle Seahawks Rating: 10* Mike's 10* NFL Public Missed Perception Play (WIN) What the mushes are breezing over in this matchup is strength of schedule. While the Jaguars have been playing the Texans, Broncos @ Dolphins, HC Pete Carroll's 2-5 SU Seahawks' entry have played quality competition like Tennessee, Minnesota, L.A. Rams, Pittsburgh & New Orleans. Both of these teams APPEAR to have compatible stats. But as you see, that's LARGELY due to strength of schedule. With NFC West leading Arizona coming to town in 3 weeks, Seattle doesn't want to start the season with 4 consecutive home losses (especially to an inferior Jacksonville team). Rookie QB Trevor Lawrence is feeling fat & happy since becoming the FIRST rookie QB to win a game (23-20 over 1-6 SU Miami) in London (previously rookies were 0-5 SU) while ALSO breaking a string of 20 consecutive SU losses by his Jaguars. Yes, this is the same Jacksonville team that were out-scored 92-59 in their previous 3 games. Believe it or not, this is a revenge game. Yes, it was 4 years ago in Florida when QB Russell Wilson suffered 3 INT's in a 30-24 Jags triumph. That's when Jax was 3-point favorites in a strong 10-6 year (their last winning season) under HC Doug Marrone that saw them go all the way to the AFC Championship before losing @ NE 24-20. Wilson (probably on IR until Week 10) & QB's Coach Austin Davis will SCHOOL Geno Smith (2/1 TD/INT ratio with a 67% completion percentage) on attacking this defense with many flaws. I love the turnover differential advantage as Seattle comes in @ +2 compared to the Jags with a whopping -10! The numbers continue to grow in our favor knowing Smith's 5-0 ATS the last 5. Here's where the analytics throw this game overwhelming in our favor. Besides Pete Carroll being 5-0 SU & ATS the last 5 when coming off 3 exact SU losses, he's a lights-out 20-1 SU @ home when paired up against opposition with a .200 or less winning percentage. My bottom line points out these numbers are just as horrible on the Jaguars side. The last 14 chances have seen Urban Meyer's lads go a throwing bricks 1-13 ATS against NFC West teams. But when those NFC West teams are coming off a SU loss, Jacksonville is a perfect 0-12 ATS all-time. Since there's always that chance for a backdoor cover (check the SU analytics), we're going for the "W" which is what this city DESPERATELY needs. Let's go to Lumen Field to play the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS as my 10* NFL Public Missed Perception Play! NOTES: It was an excellent day but I felt if Cleveland didn't scratch Case Keenum (whose flourished under Kevin Stefanski's system way more than Mayfield & can stretch the field ), the Browns may be sitting 5-3 right now. Nevertheless, a push & we're moving on. It was nice how they TRIED to manipulate that Indy line into them as favorites but I still wasn't buying it. It's awesome when you get 2 blowout wins instead of 1 so we'll be looking for more as the season gets deeper. Before we get into the Power Rankings, let's clarify some things first. DON'T pay attention to most gum-flapping clowns that try to put our rankings. They do it as a popularity contest or conversational piece & have no idea how to take all the relevant analytics into account. I mean anyone putting the Patriots in a Top 8 is outright asinine. They're 1-3 SU versus winning teams! Let's move on to my NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 9. 1) Los Angeles Rams -- (by clear the best NFL team & 1 in QB protection) 2) Green Bay Packers -- (they're 2 for now & 3-1 vs. winning teams, winning @ Arizona but the caution flag is still out) 3) Arizona Cardinals -- (beat the Rams by 17 in LA while pummeling the Titans & the Browns by over 3 TD's in their houses) 4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- (should be 10-2 before Buffalo game in Dec. 5) Buffalo Bills -- (#2 in QB protection, they're the #1 scoring offense AND defense-could 10-2 heading into Tampa Bay) 6) Dallas Cowboys -- (sorry, but that's all they are thus far--best win vs. 4-3 Chargers, a +5 in TO differential has helped immensely for a "D" ranked just 19th) 7) New Orleans Saints -- (earned it through out-scoring the Buccaneers & the Packers 74-30- they're 2-0 perfect versus winning teams but bad loss to NYG brings them down) 8) Baltimore Ravens -- (they're still good but will they continue to prove it?) 9) Tennessee Titans -- (1-1 versus winning teams but NYJ loss drops them a few notches-their #1 AFC seed status may drop quickly after facing Rams & Saints back-to-back 10) Las Vegas Raiders -- (2 wins versus Baltimore & Pittsburgh has them up-but waiting for how they handle adversity after the Ruggs' incident) 11) Cincinnati Bengals -- (out-scored Pittsburgh & Cincinnati on the road 65-27 but bad loss to the NYJ has them out of Top 10-they go for first half-divisional sweep @ home vs. Cleveland) 12) Pittsburgh Steelers -- (they figured out how to win ugly but should be 6-3 after Black N' Blue Division games with Chicago & Detroit 13) New England Patriots --Right now, can a work in progress team be any higher going 1-3 versus winning teams? Carolina may give them fits this week) 14) Los Angeles Chargers -- (4-3 but is this where they pick up momentum? The jury will be out the next 3 weeks) Near Misses: Carolina Panthers (impressive win over New Orleans but bad loss versus NYG, Kansas City Chiefs (How do they handle GB with backup & then @ Raiders?), Denver Broncos (4-4 SU but 0-3 versus winning teams-their defense is 1st in yards per point but how will they do without Von Miller?), Cleveland Browns (another team that's 4-4 SU/0-3 vs. winning teams but bad coaching decisions & inter-turmoil are going to be tough to overcome). Mike Handzelek's 2021-22 NFL Overall Record: 15-9 for a showing a profit 63%
 


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