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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 8 Analysis/Review/Notes/Power Rankings

Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 8 Analysis/Review/Notes/Power Rankings

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Nov 4, 2022
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Monday, October 31, 2022 Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (NFL) - 8:15 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +3/100 Cleveland Browns Rating: 9* Mike's Rare MNF Mushes' Nightmare Play (WIN) The mushes are really lovin' the Bengals here! They immediately see their better 4-3 SU record (Cleveland 2-5) as well as their 5 straight covers (Browns 1-3-1 ATS during that span & 0-4 SU L4). What I actually see is this. I see a desperate Cleveland team that could easily be 5-2 SU right now that has a 3rd-year HC in Kevin Stefanski that's 4-0 SU in his short career versus the Bengals. We have a 3rd-year QB Joe Burrow (who now doesn't have bread n' butter guy & last year's NFL offensive Rookie of The Year WR Ja'Marr Chase-out 4 to 6 weeks with a hip injury) who stands 0-3 SU in his short career versus these same Brownies. The key matchup for me has to how Cincinnati's tied-for-17th-ranked rushing defense is going to stop the NFL's leading rusher in Nick Chubb (740 yards, 8 TD's). Cleveland is due for a breakout with a bye on deck & hope with QB Deshaun Watson waiting on the horizon. This is their season this week since they take on 2 straight road games @ Miami & Buffalo after their bye week. The Orange & Brown have beaten 5 of 7 teams ITS (In The Stats) this season while the Queen City Madmen have lost 4 of 7 in that same category. My bottom line looks into crunching the numbers where it reveals the underdog has covered the last 5 in a row in this series. The Bengals are 1-7 versus the number on Monday night travelers which also fits nicely with knowing Super Bowl losers have come back to go a horrible 13-26 SU on MNF. Both Jacoby Brissett & Burrow have thrown 5 INT's thus far. Cleveland's RB Kareem Hunt has to be utilized the right way to keep the Bengals' "D" from keying on Chubb. The blueprints have been laid & this game's the Browns for the taking. Remember, these Brownies have beaten Cincinnati 7 of 8 SU over the long haul. Get pumped! Let's wallow in it as we steam into First Energy Stadium to play the CLEVELAND BROWNS (buying to + 7 1/2) as my 9 Star RARE MNF Mushes' Nightmare Play! Sunday, October 30, 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -11/-110 Philadelphia Eagles Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Buy Points Play Of The Week (WIN) Yes, QB Kenny "Pick It" Pickett (7 INT's in 12 quarters) returns hone to the place where he dawned Eagles' jerseys as a kid. He won't be treated with cheers everywhere in a place where the opponent is treated rudely to say the least. Pickett's 2/7 TD/INT ratio is a tough recipe for W's so we might even see Mitch Trubisky back under center. These Philly Steak N' Cheese Boys know their physical running game mixed with timely passes has been their M.O. this season. The Steelers are 0-7 ITS & now take on a team that ranks 3rd in total points (27 PPG) compared to their own offense who rank a distant 31st (15 PPG). That's spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E up against a Philadelphia "D" that's 4th in points allowed (18 PPG), 4th in total defense (298 YPG) & 5th versus the pass (188 YPG). My bottom line says DC Jonathan Gannon will be dialing up pressure all day long versus the rookie-on-the-road Pickett. The Eagles "D" gets it done again as they pad their NFL-leading + 12 net takeaways stat. On the flip side, the Steelers have only registered 12 sacks (missing MLB TJ Watt immensely) & have yielded 13 TD passes this season. Expect Philadelphia to exploit Pitt's weaker CB's (they rank 29th versus the pass) utilizing WR's DeVonta Smith & A.J. Brown in mid-range routes. Revenge is on the plate for a Pittsburgh 38-29 win in Western Pa. in 2020. Let's not over-think this! We'll gladly go to Lincoln Financial Field to play the PHILADELPHI EAGLES (buying to - 6 1/2) as my * Star NFL Buy Points Play of The Week! Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +4/-110 Carolina Panthers Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (WIN) I was on the Panthers a little early a few weeks back. But just when players are bailing out on them, the oddsmakers have adjusted the line accordingly. Remember, they know this team has lost 13 of 15 SU & have failed to cover 13 of 15 & will be giving them more points than normal. So how do we take the Falcons after their 6-game ATS winning streak came crashing to an end with a 35-17 loss @ Cincinnati? Journeyman QB Marcus Mariota (1,179 passing yards, 61.3% completion rate 7 a 7/4 TD/INT ratio) has his club currently in sole possession of 1st place @ 3-4. However, their past 3 games have produced 20 PPG. That's hardly a recipe for a more than FG favorite that's defense (with a banged-up secondary) is 5 yards per game from being the worst in the NFL (currently rank 30th yielding 407 YPG). My bottom line says Panthers' HC Steve Wilks is coaching to be retained as permanent. Expect ANOTHER inspired performance by Carolina who rushed for 173 yards (after RB Christian McCaffrey departed for SF & Robbie Anderson left for Arizona) last week in a 21-3 win versus Tampa Bay. If P.J. Walker stays patient in the pocket & identifies hot reads, this is a down-to-the-wire affair! I've seen these same Dirty Birds entertain other teams as a favorite. The past 15 games of such nature @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium has only seen them cover 4 of them! Remember, the Red & Black have lost 6 games of 7 ITS (In The Stats) which is not a recipe for double-digit wins. The underdog & the road team is a perfect 4-0 ATS the past 4 of this series. The now ex-Panthers HC Matt Rhule even won outright 19-13 on this field last season. Let's go to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Georgia to play the CAROLINA PANTHERS (buying to +7 1/2) as my 8 Star NFL ugly Pig Game of The Week! Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +10/-110 Chicago Bears Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) It's never a good proposition to ride the mushes long term as past indications say they'll be coming down to earth. It's also a good thing to look for a team that looks slighted but are still playing complimentary football. That's these Chicago Bears all over. There's no doubt they'll be running into one of the toughest defenses thus far with ex-Penn Stater & 2nd year MLB Micah Parsons & Co. who are 2nd in the NFL defensive yards per point. But this is the same defense that yielded 312 total yards to the Lions (the Dallas offense barely had more) last week without RB DeAndre Swift. Numbers clearly slow these same Cowboys (who are still coined America's Team) sit at a current 2-7 versus the number & SU when @ home with their bye week on deck. You going to want to tweak & tighten that even further as if they're ALSO taking on a non-divisional team, they're a ticket-ripping 1-6 both SU & ATS in that same category. Don't count out Da Bears since they actually perform quite well when coming off a Monday-nighter facing an opponent coming off a SU win. They've return your ticket to the window in 8 of the last 10 circumstances in that role. The Cow Flops have not done well in Week 8 of late losing 3 of their last 4 versus the spread. Chicago QB Justin Fields is laying with more confidence now as has run support from Khalil Herbert & David Montgomery. My bottom line says we need to give Dak Prescott more time to shake off rust & get that feel under center with the bye week next up. He'll need to be fresh coming into the game @ Lambeau Field in 2 weeks (HC Mike McCarthy returns to GB). Look for an ugly game similar to last week's with Detroit. Remember, Chicago is the #1 rushing team in the NFL (181 YPG) & is tied for 6th in points allowed (19 PPG). By the way, Dallas is scoring just 19 PPG (tied for 21st). It's still all about TO's & I feel the "Monsters of The Midway" can hang in with another decision ending in single-digits. Let's go to AT&T Stadium in Arlington to play the CHICAGO BEARS (buying to + 11 1/2) as my 9 Star NFL Public Missed Perception Play! NOTES/POWER RANKINGS: It was an excellent week that's only head-scratching blemish was the Bears who rushed for 240 yards but some how did not cover an 11 1/2-point spread to a Dallas team who was previously averaging 19 PPG. However, the Browns delivered in dominant fashion, the Panthers covered after OT (would you want to be WR DJ Moore @ practice this week who probably isn't allowed to take off his helmet til' the day is over) & the Eagles rolled Pittsburgh while giving QB Jalen Hurts 10 regular season wins in a row (didn't QB in their Week 18 loss to Dallas last season). If he wins in Houston, he'll be the 1st QB in Philly's 90-year history to lead the team to an 8-0 start. Without further adieu, let's move right along with my NFL Power Rankings. 1) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES -- Contrary to some Vegas sharps, look for this squad to STAY opportunistic (leads the NFL with a + 14 turnover differential, a clear 8 TO's higher than any team in the league). Besides record, that's why I have them #1 in a season where parity is more prevalent -just ask Tampa Bay, Green Bay & the World Champion L.A. Rams. Hurts doesn't make mistakes! 2) BUFFALO BILLS -- Their rushing "D" took the week off getting torched for 208 rushing yards but still held off Aaron Rodgers & suddenly inept passing game. It'll be interesting how recently-acquired RB Nyheim Hines (from Colts) fits into the offensive & special team schemes. 3) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -- They had the week off to reflect (remember how an Andy Reid does AFTER the bye) & now face a Tennessee squad who embarrassed them 27-3 a in Week 7 game last season in Nashville. Don't think Reid won't be motivated with that something extra knowing Titans' skipper Mike Vrabel is the reigning NFL Coach Of The Year. 4) DALLAS COWBOYS -- Yep, we're going 4 (even though these next 3 spots are very tightly together) as they've beaten 2 winning teams, are #1 in the NFL in sacks, tied for 2nd in turnover differential & keep the QBs clean being 3rd in keeping him clean. 5) MINNESOTA VIKINGS -- Arguably 5th, but they too are a very opportunistic bunch @ +6 in turnover differential. Their biggest flaws have to be a pass defense that gives up a few too many big plays (rank 29th out of 32) & an offense that needs to establish the rush in top tier games (see Philadelphia-Week 2 where they got out-rushed 163 to 62). 6) SAN FRANCISCO 49ers -- Call this an up & coming team with the #1 total "D" in the league and have a suddenly diversified offense that's 7-1 ITS (In The Stats). How far can Jimmy Garoppolo take them remains to be seen? 7) BALTIMORE RAVENS -- The Purple & Black picked up a key cog in the defensive middle of their 3-4 scheme picking up OLB Roquan Smith whose got enough outside speed to boost up the pass rush. Remember, Baltimore ranks a distant 28th in pass defense. 8) MIAMI DOLPHINS -- Active team @ the trade deadline acquiring RB Jeff Wilson from SF to try to build a better running game that ranks a distant 28th & a scoring offense (22 PPG) that's a -2 PPG on the season. 9) TENNESSEE TITANS -- A certainly over-achieving team @ 5-2 SU but a dismal 1-6 ITS while ranking last in the NFL in total offense. However, they win games by controlling the line of scrimmage where they're 2nd in rushing "D" & 9th in rushing O". They face KC's 3rd-ranked rushing "D" this week. 10) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -- What a job HC Pete Carroll has done utilizing & keeping QB Geno Smith "In The Zone" as well as the emerging rookie RB Kenneth Walker, III (what a move it was when he transferred from Wake Forest to Michigan State) out of the backfield. However, they must improve a rushing defense ranked a distant 28th. 11) NEW YORK GIANTS -- Yes, HC Brian Daboll has work to do in developing a badly needed passing game. Claiming WR Isaiah Hodgins off waivers on Tuesday from Buffalo isn't enough. However, GM Joe Schoen has been in touch with the Odell Beckham Jr. reps this week so stay tuned for a possible recycle. 12) CINCINNATI BENGALS -- Only the Bears' Justin Fields (31) has been sacked more times than Bengals' QB Joe Burrow (29). If RB Joe Mixon & the running game doesn't get established, this team won't make it to the AFC post-season. Their "D" is arguably of Top 10 caliber but will tire in the end if Burrow & Co. can control time of possession better. 13) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS -- The same goes for talented rifle-armed QB Justin Herbert. They too need to establish a better running game with Austin Ekeler (84 rushes, 380 rushing yards & 5 TD's-leads team with 53 receptions good for 357 yards & 3 more TD's) & Co. or they'll become an also-ran in the AFC. They rank a distant 27th in rushing "D" yielding 138 YPG. 14) NEW YORK JETS -- I'm putting in an 8th AFC team in the Top 14 because I can't find any reason to list 7 NFC teams. Their defense has emerged as a good stop unit (ranks tied-for-5th with the Rams in total "D" yielding 311 YPG) that ranks 7th (6 -way tie) in scoring "D" yielding a stingy 20 PPG. However, QB Zach Wilson needs to stop throwing INT's by forcing the ball into tight windows & double coverages. They have to re-establish the line of scrimmage in the absence of rookie sensation Breece Hall to have a chance @ a post-season berth. I'm looking to build momentum as we approach the 1/2-way point of the regular season. Let's grind it out for Week 9! Mike Handzelek's 2022-23 NFL Overall Record: 10-8 for a slightly grungy 56% (fans said not to use the s-word as an adjective this week)
 


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