Will rain on the East Coast be the great equalizer?
The NFL wheels keep spinning and this weekend's weather for the Week 8 slate could be a factor on the East Coast. Rain is in the forecast for a lot of places so that's something to consider when handicapping these games.
People will automatically think rain is a bad thing for scoring, but if you think about it, it's harder for the defense to react to a move on a wet track. Betting on bad teams nowadays also is not a bad way to go as well with pretty much everyone being competitive.
Record: 20-11-2 (3-2-1 last week; 11-4-1 last three weeks)
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Oct. 29 unless otherwise noted.
Carolina Panthers (4-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4), 1 p.m.
The Buccaneers were a preseason chic pick and unfortunately, they have not lived up to it. Tampa's two wins were at home against the Bears and the Giants. The defense is not in good form right now allowing 30 points or more three times this season although all of those were on the road. Now the Bucs come home in a spot where little is expected of them. Jameis Winston is putting up good numbers through the air, but he needs to cut down on the turnovers. Carolina has lost two straight and Cam Newton is struggling with consistency (and answering questions from the media). The defense has been its typical strong self, but it hasn't been enough during this losing streak. Last year, the Bucs won two close, low-scoring games, forcing seven Carolina turnovers along the way. I don't like to go against the line move because usually those guys are right, but I think we're getting Tampa in a good spot. The Panthers are playing their fourth road game this month and I think it catches up to them here. SELECTION: Tampa -1.5
San Francisco 49ers (0-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-1),1 p.m.
The mismatch of all mismatches on paper, but this screams situational play with the road team. First off, rain is in the forecast which may factor into the play-calling for the Eagles, who have been very balanced. Philly is coming off a highly emotional Monday night game against the Redskins and have a bigger test next week against the Broncos. They also lost right tackle Jason Peters and linebacker Jordan Hicks, two valuable cogs to their respective unit. San Francisco has lost five games by three points or less this season and that includes at Seattle, Arizona and Washington. Of concern is the amount of travel that the 49ers have done as of late, but I think they get to play an unfocused Eagles team that is hearing how good they are from all angles. As an Eagles fan, I hope this isn't a sweat, but I think it will be. SELECTION: 49ers +12.5
Oakland Raiders (3-4) at Buffalo Bills (4-2), 1 p.m.
The Raiders are heading east to play the Bills on Sunday and everyone is back on their bandwagon after the home win last Thursday over the Chiefs. But as Lee Corso says, not so fast my friends. That victory snapped a four-game losing streak and showed an Oakland team that couldn't run and struggled at times to stop the pass. Marshawn Lynch will miss this game due to suspension. The Bills have been a huge surprise sitting at 4-2 on the season. They are coming off an impressive comeback win over Tampa Bay at home. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews is getting healthy and giving Tyrod Taylor another weapon. LeSean McCoy should have his way in this one against a vulnerable Raiders D. Yes, Buffalo has shown some leaks against the pass, allowing its last two opponents to put up more than 300 yards through the air, but I think they match up well with Oakland. The money move is with the road team. I think the home team takes this one. SELECTION: Buffalo -2
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) at Detroit Lions (3-3), 8:30 p.m.
The Steelers are a weird team to figure out especially on the road. The splits for Ben Roethlisberger away from home are not great. This team struggled in Cleveland and lost to Chicago on the road, but also have victories at Kansas City and Baltimore. Pittsburgh has decided to build the offense around Le’Veon Bell and the ground game and that's the way to go. The better unit has been the defense, which has allowed only one opponent to put up more than 25 points and that was Jacksonville, who did it with the benefit of five turnovers. Detroit is coming off a tough loss in New Orleans and is now fresh off a bye week and at home. The defense has been pretty good outside of a few efforts against Atlanta and Carolina. The Lions have forced at least three turnovers four times already this season. Pittsburgh has gone under in six of its seven contests and 30 of the last 44 overall. To me, this play says a lot about the Steelers’ road offense and their awesome defense against a Lions team rested off a bye week with a decent defense of their own. SELECTION: Under 45.5
— I really debated adding the Colts to this card. I'm so thoroughly unimpressed by the Bengals, who did not look good against the Steelers last week. The problem is that the Colts seem like they've packed it in for the season and aren't showing much life. The defense is awful and banged up and Jacoby Brissett is under siege almost every snap. This number is so big and I really don't think the Bengals are worth it.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.