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October 25, 2014

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Week 8 NFL picks against the spread for the Sun’s handicapping contest

Philadelphia favored over Atlanta by less than a field goal

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) speaks with Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank before before the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Atlanta.

Sun's NFL betting game of Week 8

Which side would you bet in Sunday morning’s game?
Falcons +2.5 — 65%
Eagles -2.5 — 35%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Click to enlarge photo

Michael Vick

Matt Ryan and Michael Vick spent their recent bye week under extremely different circumstances.

Ryan basked in the glow of leading the Atlanta Falcons to a franchise-best 6-0 start to the season and becoming an early front-runner for the NFL MVP award with a 98.8 quarterback rating.

Vick faced constant scrutiny about his job security because of his 13 turnovers through six games, in which the Philadelphia Eagles have gone a disappointing 3-3.

The embattled former Falcons signal caller even fell victim to a flat tire on his way home to Virginia Beach, Va. Ryan looked forward to his own homecoming in peace.

The Falcons travel to Ryan’s hometown of Philadelphia on Sunday morning for an early game against the Eagles, who are installed as 2.5-point favorites in local sports books.

The spread shows local bookmakers aren’t as mesmerized by a zero in the loss column as fans. Atlanta may have the league’s best record, but Las Vegas considers it nowhere near the best team.

After starting the year 3-0 straight-up and against the spread, Atlanta has looked somewhat unimpressive. The Falcons pulled out close victories against two lowly teams they were favored over by a combined 17 points, the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders, and trailed the Washington Redskins until an injury to Robert Griffin III.

That’s still better than the Eagles, a team that found its only cover of the year in a 16-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Two of the three members in the Las Vegas Sun’s handicapping contest think Philadelphia’s woes against the Vegas number will continue Sunday. One of them likes the Falcons to tumble to their first loss of the season.

All three also picked a side in the AFC East showdown between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. Like the Falcons vs. Eagles game, the host Jets give the Dolphins 2.5 points in the contest.

Look below for all six Week 8 picks from Case Keefer, Ray Brewer and Taylor Bern. Games are listed in order of kickoff time.

 

Case Keefer

Record: 22-19-1 (2-3-1 last week)

Eagles -2.5 vs. Falcons

Dolphins +2.5 at Jets

Falcons vs. Eagles over 45.5

Broncos -6 vs. Saints

Cardinals +6.5 vs. 49ers

49ers vs. Cardinals over 37.5

 

Ray Brewer

Record: 19-22-1 (4-2 last week)

Falcons +2.5 at Eagles

Jets -2.5 vs. Dolphins

Panthers +7.5 at Bears

Colts vs. Titans over 46.5

Giants -1.5 at Cowboys

Saints +6 at Broncos

 

Taylor Bern

Record: 17-23-2 (3-2-1 last week)

Patriots -7 vs. Rams

Falcons +2.5 at Eagles

Jets -2.5 vs. Dolphins

Bears -7.5 vs. Panthers

Redskins +4.5 at Steelers

Cardinals +6.5 vs. 49ers

Note: An earlier version of this story had incorrect records for Case Keefer and Taylor Bern. They've since been corrected.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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