Free NFL Picks - Week 8 (2008)

Written by:
Frank Doyle
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Sports Interaction's betting analyst Frank Doyle makes his free NFL picks for Week 8 of the 2008 season, with special emphasis on the New Orleans v San Diego game at Wembley Stadium, London, England, a game that none of us here at were willing to touch.

You can never underestimate the importance of location when you're betting sports. Hot weather teams in cold weather stadia, cold teams broiling in the sun, sufficiently hostile fans making a twelfth man - it all goes into the mix. And playing a game on the other side of the world makes a difference too.

In theory, it's the same for both teams in London on Sunday - both have had to travel, and to put up with the inconvenience of that. And it'd be easier to pick one or the other if their form lines hadn't been so maddeningly inconsistent all year. But study of the facts of the game can give us a pick, and that pick is to bet under the 46 total points scored set by Sports Interaction

The 46 point number is because both teams are famous for their high octane offenses and not quite so high octane defenses. But here's what I think - I think neither the Saints nor the Chargers will light it up at Wembley for the very reason that they're playing at Wembley.

Wembley stadium is built for soccer. The turf in the stadium caters for the dancing feet of soccer players, and not the ploughing hooves of scrimmaging football players. The closest it comes is the rugby league finals in Britain but rugby league does not have a scrum, as rugby union does, and neither game features constant scrimmaging, as football does on every single snap. You saw how the field churned up last year when the Giants and Dolphins were there. Soft conditions underfoot mean no blocking; no blocking means no offense. Under 46 points with Sports Interaction is the way to go.

Elsewhere, you have to like Tampa Bay with the points at Dallas. The Cowboys are falling to pieces right before our eyes, while the Buccaneers have the most under-rated quarterback of the past ten years in Jeff Garcia. A team of prima donnas against a team of football players who aren't afraid of getting a busted nose here and there - Tampa Bay +1.5 with Sports Interaction is the pick.

Finally, although it's always risky betting on bad teams, even when you're betting on them to be sufficiently bad to let the other team cover, Washington's visit to Detroit looks a tempter. One of the many wonders about the Lions this year is now very poorly they start, and this makes Washington -4.5 for the first half with Sports Interaction a very attractive bet indeed.

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Frank Doyle,

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