BY KENNY CASH AND CHARLIE BANKROLL
It just doesn’t stop. More winning weeks in both the NFL and College. Compare Bankroll and Cash to any “expert picker” or talking head in the business and you’re coming out ahead.
Here’s a quick rundown on the locks of Week 8:
- San Francisco 49ers +13
- New Orleans Saints -9
- Cincinnati Bengals -10, Over 42
- Penn State +7, Under 57
- Florida +14
- Georgia Tech +14
- Washington State -3
- Vanderbilt +7
NFL Week 8
San Francisco 49ers +13 at Philadelphia Eagles
Whooooaaaaaaaah there, whoooaaaah. We’re pumping the brakes on the collective crowning of Carson Wentz as the new “best quarterback in the NFC” (you’re better than that, Sports Illustrated). Yes, he is a talented quarterback that plays in the NFC East. Yes, he showed up against the disappointing Redskins in prime time. We get it. We’re holding judgment on Wentz’s rise until his late season gauntlet of the Broncos, Seahawks, and Rams in a five-week stretch.
Meanwhile, last week San Francisco got absolutely embarrassed on national TV against the if-Zeke-is-out-we’re-screwed Cowboys. This absurd line is an overreaction to both the outcomes of last week’s games and the narratives surrounding the teams overall. The Niners, despite their record, are tough and well-coached – they should keep this within 14.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia 31, San Francisco 20
Pick: 49ers +13
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals -10, 42 Total
Put-upon-failing-salesman-from-Glengarry Glen Ross and walking cliché Chuck Pagano is still choppin wood, stickin to the process, stayin the course, because it’s one game at a time, week in, week out. It’s a big one cuz it’s the next one, can’t get too high, can’t get too low, gotta keep swingin the axe, takin it one day at a time. He’s keepin the blinders and earmuffs on, next man up, it is what it is, eventually the tree’s gonna fall. Would you play hard for this guy? No, no, you wouldn’t. It’s an odd thing to watch, an NFL team that has totally quit on a lame duck head coach. With this Colts team, we get to see a prime example. Whether or not Pagano remains all season to keep the seat warm for Harbaugh/Gruden/literally anyone besides him is really the only pressing question for Indy this year.
Oh, also, star receiver T.Y. Hilton blatantly called out the Colts’ offensive line this week, which is nice.
Ok, we’re wasting column space here. Cincinnati is an actual football team, so they should take this easily. The Bengals will put up enough to get close to the over, then look for a garbage time TD from Jacoby Brissett to put it over the top.
Score Prediction: Cincinnati 35, Indianapolis 14
Pick: Bengals -10, Over 42
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints -9
Mitchell-not-Mitch Trubisky, in an indictment of the modern NFL, is now 2-1 as a starting quarterback. His combined passing stats through three games actually amount to borderline respectability, were he playing at the JV level. Credit to John Fox for easing him in – this is one of the lowest QB utilization rates we’ve seen since the advent of the forward pass. The only thing stopping the Bears offense from out-Brownsing the Browns is that the Browns are realllllllly Brownsing it so far.
New Orleans at home translates to AT LEAST 24 points, and there isn’t a world in which Trubisky throws off his shackles and leads the Bears to four scores. The Bears defense has been impressive to this point, but the only way Chicago covers is by repeating last week’s multiple defensive touchdown performance, and probably not even then.
Score Prediction: New Orleans 31, Chicago 7
Pick: Saints -9
Penn State +7 at Ohio State, Total 57
Ohio State is coming into this game hot, with senior Quarterback JT Barrett holding an astounding 21-1 touchdown-interception ratio. The public is lining up to hop on the Urban Meyer bandwagon. Not Cash and Bankroll.
The last three games the Buckeyes have played against Top 10 opponents: Oklahoma 31, Ohio State 16. Clemson 31, Ohio State 0. Ohio State 30, Michigan 27. When Ohio State plays against teams that can match them talent-wise, they struggle to score, and Barrett regresses back to who he is – a slightly above-average college QB that will have a cup of coffee in the NFL then be out of the league immediately.
We’ve discussed/dismissed Penn State what seems like every week this season, but last week’s throttling of Michigan really built up this talented group’s bona fides. We’re looking for Barkley and McSorley to slow down slightly against Ohio State’s tough front seven, but eventually their talent will overwhelm. Take Penn State and the crazy amount of points they’re getting, while you still can.
Score Prediction: Penn State 30, Ohio State 17
Pick: Penn State +7, Under 57
Georgia at Florida +14
These games are always close – Georgia hasn’t beaten Florida by more than 12 points since 1997, and has lost outright each of the last three years. The Gators have struggled to score all year, but this Florida defensive unit is by far the best squad Georgia has faced this season. UGA has just a single quality win to date, a comeback victory over Notre Dame, and is climbing in the polls thanks only to the toppling of teams above them.
Florida, and the points, in the swamp. Easy money.
Score Prediction: Georgia 21, Florida 13
Pick: Florida +14
Georgia Tech +14 at Clemson
Georgia Tech comes into this game 6-0 against the spread, and we’re picking this streak to continue. Georgia Tech’s triple option should shorten the game and keep the Yellow Jacket offense on the field enough to make a double digit point spread far too wide, regardless of opponent. Dabo Swinney will likely be playing conservatively throughout to keep QB Kelly Bryant healthy, which restricts some of Clemson’s offensive dynamism.
Clemson should be able to hold on at home, but they’re not hitting this point spread.
Score Prediction: Clemson 24, Georgia Tech 17
Pick: Georgia Tech +14
Washington State -3 at Arizona
Arizona QB Khalil Tate is an absolute monster running the ball, averaging 220 yards in his first three games. But his recent offensive success has thrown this line totally out of whack. Is anyone watching this Arizona Defense? They beat Colorado by just three points, allowing 42 points to a weak Buffaloes offense. They gave up 44 points to Cal.
The Cougs are the best defense that Tate has faced, and after an eye-popping 62-point win by Washington State last year (62. 62 points.), we don’t think Khalil has enough by himself to make the 60-point difference needed to cover here. This won’t be a runaway like last year, but look for Washington State to have this all but locked up by halftime. Air it out, Pirate Captain.
Score Prediction: Washington State 45, Arizona 28
Pick: Washington State -3
Vanderbilt +7 at South Carolina
Derek Mason and Vanderbilt come into this game having lost four straight SEC games, two of which have come against top-4 teams in Georgia and Alabama. During his tenure with Vanderbilt, Mason has led his squads to many upsets on the road against SEC opponents, and in this game we’re predicting just that. Vanderbilt’s biggest weakness this year has been on the ground, but this South Carolina rushing attack will not be able to exploit it. Give us the Commodores in what should be the SEC’s best game this weekend.
Score Prediction: Vanderbilt 24, South Carolina 21
Pick: Vanderbilt +7
Go on, get the jet skis.
Money Line Parlay: Boston College, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Virginia. Payout: +1200
Money Line Parlay: Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins. Payout: +800