Last week’s strategy of parlaying a pair of totals didn’t work out too well. So in Week 8, we’ll go back to a mixture of totals and sides. Here’s my Week 8 parlay card.
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Leg 1: Baltimore Ravens -4 vs. Steelers
This line opened up at Baltimore -5.5 before getting bet down to as low as -3.5 earlier in the week. The spread is now at -4, as of Saturday night, but I still like Baltimore to cover in this AFC North showdown.
As someone who has a Super Bowl future on Pittsburgh, it’s hard not to be thrilled about a 6-0 start. However, the Steelers might be a bit overvalued in the market. When you take a closer look at Pittsburgh’s resume, it includes just one win by more than 10 points and four wins against the Giants, Broncos, Texans, and Eagles, none of which were in dominant fashion.
Pittsburgh’s defense isn’t one I love to fade, but the absence of athletic linebacker Devin Bush could really hurt. Baltimore’s offense is predicated on athleticism and misdirection in the running game. That demands discipline and mobility at linebacker. While T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree could cause havoc on the edge, Marcus Allen, Vince Williams, and Robert Spillane could be a liability up the middle. Lamar Jackson and Baltimore’s backfield could gouge the league’s best rush defense.
On the other side of the ball, Baltimore’s secondary should contain Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s passing game. Expect cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and Jimmy Smith to win their matchup against Juju Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, and Diontae Johnson.
It’s also worth noting that the Ravens are 9-5 ATS coming off the bye week under John Harbaugh. Take the Ravens to cover in the first matchup between Roethlisberger and Jackson.
Leg 2: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears – Under 42.5
In case you haven’t noticed, the Chicago Bears’ offense isn’t good. Nick Foles has mainly been a more stationary, slightly more competent replacement for Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. The Bears can’t block and have no reputable weapons aside from Allen Robinson. Matt Nagy’s offense ranks 27th in points scored and 22nd in yards gained.
Despite not having Michael Thomas for almost the entire season, the over is 6-0 in Saints games this season. That streak could come to an end Sunday at Soldier Field. The Saints are just a decent offense right now. They rank 11th in points scored, 12th in yards per play, 13th in net yards per pass attempt, and 17th in rushing yards per attempt.
Both defenses enter this game ranked inside the top-12 in yards per play allowed with various strengths. The Saints rank third against the run while the Bears possess the sixth-best passing defense.
If there’s one area where Chicago’s defense can be exposed, it’s against the run. The Bears are giving up 119.7 rushing yards per game, which means the Saints could feed Alvin Kamara early and often. Expect the Saints to keep the ball on the ground, get the ball out quickly in the passing game, and sustain long drives to keep the clock running.
Fortunately for Chicago, Robinson cleared the concussion protocol after leaving Monday night’s game. That’ll help, but Robinson will have to overcome a tough matchup with Marshon Lattimore. Ancillary weapons Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller, and Jimmy Graham haven’t made a consistent impact.
The weather is also on our side here. While the skies will be clear, the winds will be whipping along the lakeside. Twenty MPH winds are expected throughout the game, with gusts up to 30 MPH. That could impact the passing and kicking game, which could keep precious points off the board.
Parlay Odds: +259
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Matt Barbato is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @RealMattBarbato.