NFL Tips: Mike Carlson goes all in on the Saints in week eight

New Orleans Saints players celebrate
Will the Saints and Bears cover Mike's overs bet on Sunday?

It's week eight in the NFL season and Mike Carlson is here with three more bets for this Sunday including Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints to produce the points...

Best Bet: Chicago v New Orleans - Over (43.5 at 10/11)

"It won’t be easy: Chicago is one of the best defensive teams, and the Saints main receivers now are Marquez Callaway, TreQuan Smith and Deonte Harris, none of whom will be confused with Michael Thomas, but I think the Bears will keep this close and Nick Foles might put up a couple of scores to get that number up to 44."

Last week was another difficult one but, although my best bet on the Niners and Patriots going over 43.5 didn't work out thanks to New England's shortcomings, my biggest regret was not putting you onto Washington Team Football (aka WTF). The line was going back and forth in their game against Dallas but the Cowboys still stunk, even before Andy Dalton was KO'd.

I did land you a decent value bet, with the Steelers on the money on the moneyline, and the Chiefs paid off with the first half over and covering 9.5 in Denver. The Bills stumbled and nearly fell against the Newark Airport Jest (NY Jets for the uninitiated), and of course the Brady Bunch Bucs were all over Vegas, my bad for trusting Gruden.

I bring these games up mostly because they have an impact on what might look like picks for this week.

On Betfair's NFL...Only Bettor podcast on Wednesday, we agreed on Cleveland laying 2.5 to Vegas, and I went for the Bills laying 4 to New England (that's down to 3.5 now). I suspect the Bills' performance against the Jets, coupled with the idea that a Belichick team could lose four in a row is working against that, and I'm going to give you something else now.

Last year the Pats defended Buffalo well in two low-scoring wins: the idea was to make Josh Allen beat them, and he couldn't. Based on the game against the Jets, he still might not be able to. But the difference now is New England is just the kind of team the Bills' D can stop, a team with few offensive weapons. Even fewer with Julian Edelman having knee surgery and N'Keal Harry in concussion protocol. The "if" is Cam Newton. The Cam of week two might pull off a win here but the Cam of the last two weeks can't. So I'll offer you a different bestie, recognising that Sunday is All Saints Day.

Saints and Bears can squeeze over the total points line

Best Bet: Chicago v New Orleans - Over (43.5 at 10/11)

Wednesday the Saints were laying four points on the road. That has gone up to 5.5, which means I wasn't alone in thinking it was a good bet. That 1.5 difference is somewhat empty, given how scores go, but it's significant enough for me to cool off on taking the Saints, except perhaps as an outside shot, because I like the over better. It won't be easy: Chicago is one of the league's best defensive teams, and the Saints main receivers now are Marquez Callaway, TreQuan Smith and Deonte Harris, none of whom will be confused with Michael Thomas, but I think the Bears will keep this close and Nick Foles might put up a couple of scores to get that number up to 44.

Packers are a touchdown better than Vikings

Value Bet: Green Bay (-5.5 at 10/11) v Minnesota

The line here has dropped a point since Wednesday, and might drop further, but I see the Pack as a TD better than the Vikes at home, even without the crowd. Minnesota's defense hasn't been as we might have expected it to be, and its offense can be controlled by limiting Adam Thielen and slowing down a Dalvin Cook-less run game. I think Green Bay can do this. The first half over under is 26 but I like the under, although it's only 8/11 (evs to go over) because the game over/under has dropped from 53.5 to 50.5.

Brady boosts Buccs in defence and in attack

Outside Bet: Tampa v New York Giants Over (45 at 9/10)

This one requires the Giants to cooperate a bit, and I think they can, even though what people are missing about Tampa's resurgence this season is that the defense has been doing it, as it did last year: Tom Brady's big contribution is that he is cutting down the turnovers that made it difficult for the Bucs, even with a good D. A score-line of 35-10 is what this game requires, and I think that's not unlikely, in which case the Bucs covering 11.5 (up from 10.5 Wednesday) might be possible. I suspect that number will go up again before Sunday.

I kept away from the Bills at the Pats, but you might want to try the over 41 at 10/11. That's down from 43 on Wednesday, but it still requires the Pats to probably contribute more than 14. But if you think they can win, points will be the reason, so you could go over, but I don't see it.

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