Never will there be a week in the NFL when mayhem does not ensue. Week 8 was just another one of those weeks. I improved from 1-4 in Week 7 to go 2-3 in Week 8. The Lions came back to win, but could not cover the 3.5 points. The Seahawks won by four, coming two points short of covering the 5.5 points. I came that close to 4-1, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. That brings my record on the season to 21-19. Respectable, but now it’s time to kick it into gear. With the season halfway through, you get a better grip on the good teams, the mediocre teams, and the bad teams in the NFL. Let’s move on to my Week 9 JB Locks against the spread.
1. Chargers (5-3) @ Dolphins (4-3) (-2.5)
It’s somewhat surprising that the Dolphins are favored in this game, but they are at home. Miami has been inconsistent all season and are winners of two straight, which mean they are bound to lose this week. The Chargers are coming off back-to-back losses to division foes. There’s no chance they lose this game. The Chargers looked way too good before the last two losses to drop a third straight and fall to 5-4 in a very tough AFC West. There’s just more talent on the Chargers. They will win this game by at least a field goal.
2. Eagles (5-2) @ Texans (4-4) (+2.5)
Another surprisingly low spread in this one, but again the fact that the Texans are home accounts for that. The Texans are nowhere near as good as the Eagles. Jadaveon Clowney’s return will help, but it won’t make up for the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick is still the starting quarterback. The Eagles defense has been good at scoring off turnovers, which should continue in Houston Sunday. With Chip Kelly’s squad looking up at the Cowboys, this is a big game for Philly to secure. Lock in an Eagles win by at least a field goal.
3. Cardinals (6-1) @ Cowboys (6-2) (-4.5)
The Cowboys miraculous 6-1 start to the season may quickly turn around. They lost at home to the Redskins. Tony Romo hurt his surgically repaired back, and then the team had the audacity to put him back in the game and risk further injury. It was not the best decision. Romo likely will be a game-time decision, but it’s hard to see him be very effective if he does play. If Brandon Weeden plays, you can lock in a Cardinals win. If Romo plays, the worst the Cardinals do is lose by a field goal. This team is clicking on all levels, and Carson Palmer needs to get some love.
4. Rams (2-5) @ 49ers (4-3) (-10.5)
It took a couple of weeks, but quarterback Austin Davis is finally getting exposed. The third-string QB struggled last week in a 34-7 blowout loss in Kansas City. The Rams just are not a good football team, and they have no idea what they are doing in the backfield. It’s been a running back by committee, but none of the three backs have led the way for them. The 49ers are coming off a bye, so they should be fresh. They beat the Rams three weeks ago by two touchdowns in St. Louis. Expect them to win this one in San Francisco by two touchdowns.
5. Jets (1-7) @ Chiefs (4-3) (-9.5)
Wait, Jake is locking in the New York Jets? Call me crazy, but the Jets are a much different team when Geno Smith is not behind center. Michael Vick gives them some playmaking ability, and gives them a more accurate QB with confidence. Smith looked lost last week, throwing three picks on the first three drives before the Jets turned to Vick. This team has had four losses by one possession. 9.5 is a big number. The Chiefs are rolling right now, winning their last two games and four of their last five, but winning by double digits will be a tough task. The Jets won’t win this game at a rowdy Arrowhead, but you can lock in a loss by single digits.