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Against the Odds (2011) – Week 8

Last week Vinnie’s feature pick (Denver) not only beat the spread but won outright. Thanks to the Jaguars, Falcons, Jets and Bears, however, it was overall not the best of weeks of Vinnie. Hope is renewed in Week 8, and here’s why:

Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants (-10):  On paper the Giants’ injury-riddled defense is soft enough to allow Daniel Thomas a decent rushing day, but this is where any match up advantage comes to an end for Miami. Matt Moore will undoubtedly become more focused on the Giants’ pass rush than his receiving options; Dolphins’ quarterbacks are being sacked close to four times per game, while this is likely the healthiest defensive ends Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora have been all season. Ahmad Bradshaw and Eli Manning will have no problem putting plenty of points on the scoreboard, versus the grossly underachieving Dolphins defense.

Gimme the Giants minus the points.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks (+2.5):  Things in Seattle’s favor here include, “the 12th man” and Tarvaris Jackson probably getting the nod at quarterback and … that’s about it, really. Cincinnati has a darn good pass defense, led by its corners and underrated defensive line rotation, which brings us to the things
not in Seattle’s favor. These include – but certainly aren’t limited to – Marshawn Lynch and Zach Miller being questionable to play, the Andy Dalton to A.J. Green connection, and Cincinnati benefiting from a week off after winning its last three games. Bernard Scott should get some quality work in as well, subbing for Cedric Benson this week.

Gimme the Bengals minus the points.

Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills (-6.5):  This one pits household names such as Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin and Logan Paulsen against those of David Nelson, Naaman Roosevelt and Scott Chandler. Actually, if it took you a second to figure which team was which, you’re not alone. Although quarterback John Beck isn’t as lackluster a contributor for Washington as the casual fan may believe, his supporting cast is going south in a hurry. Fred Davis and Jabar Gaffney can pick up some of the slack while Santana Moss is out, but this marks one of those weeks where it won’t add up to nearly enough. Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson, in particular, will fair quite well for Buffalo.

Gimme the Bills minus the points.

Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers (-10)Alex Smith is managing the 49ers offense more efficiently than at any point in his NFL career, and Frank Gore is running the football about as well as ever. The Browns defense matches up well enough to limit Gore somewhat, but this by itself won’t keep the lead within reach of Cleveland. Don’t expect much from Colt McCoy & company, all of whom the 49ers defense will be neutralizing from the opening kickoff until the final bell. Vinnie likes this game to become way out of hand sometime in the second half, or else stay boringly low-scoring yet firmly under San Francisco’s thumb.

Gimme the 49ers minus the points.

New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams (+15.5):  Some games it pays not to overthink, you know? Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles are torching opposing defenses on a weekly basis, while the Rams defense has become downright putrid. Maybe St. Louis can answer with some touchdowns, get the ball into Brandon Lloyd‘s hands downfield a few times? Nope. With Sam Bradford unlikely to play, this leaves St. Louis with A.J. Feeley for the second week in a row. Saints win big here – really big.

Gimme the Saints minus the points.

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