NFL Week 8: Potential Upsets
The favorites got the best of the underdogs in Week 7 of the NFL season, going 8-7, but once again the pups had an impressive showing with outright victories - six of the seven pups had as much bite as their bark. With six teams receiving byes this week, it's a much shorter card than usual, yet there are still a couple of underdogs worth looking at from the 13-game slate.
The Thanksgiving Day regulars - Dallas and Detroit - meet in Motown, where the Lions are laying -3 to the visiting Pokes at 5Dimes. Sure, the Lions' Matthew Stafford is facing the league's third-worst pass defense, and he comes in with an NFC-high 2,129 yards passing, and tied for second in the NFL with 15 touchdown passes. But the Cowboys are in after shutting down Philadelphia's high-powered offense with a banged-up stop unit. Minus three starters, the Cowboys' defensive line pressured and harassed quarterback Nick Foles before a sack put him out with a head injury. Meanwhile, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo was clutch in the second half, going 12 of 15 for 122 yards on two touchdown drives. The Lions may be the home favorite, but that doesn't mean they're the better team.
The New York Jets are catching +7 points at Cincinnati in a battle of teams that won in the final seconds last week. These are two of the more impressive defensive units in football - the Jets rank 4th overall, while the Bengals are 9th - and generally speaking when you can expect a low-scoring, physical affair, you also have to look at the underdog. Cincinnati has won three straight, with the last two by identical scores on kicks by Mike Nugent. But while the fortune has been in the Bengals' favor, you have to question a top-notch defense that squandered an 11-point third-quarter lead. Such was the case last week against Detroit. New York arrives in Cincy after ending a six-game regular-season losing streak to New England, and will have plenty of confidence, enough so that it should be able to keep this one close.