La Canfora’s Week 8 NFL picks: Chiefs, Steelers cover as big favorites and more best bets

We are finally getting in a groove. After a slow start to the season, we had an undefeated run in Week 7 and I am feeling good about Week 8. Last week was our second 3-0 performance but first since Week 1. Our season record is up to 10-5-1, and I feel like we have a pretty good handle on most teams by now.

My only regret was not petitioning to file this column sooner this week because I absolutely, positively looooooooved the Texans on Thursday night and that turned out to be an easy win.

Here’s what else I like this week.

Packers +9 at Rams

Aaron Rodgers has finally started to look like himself, and he’s been off the injury reports for a while. The Packers are coming off a bye and getting a bunch of receivers back. Sure, I still have extreme reservations about Mike Pettine’s ability to do much of anything with the Green Bay defense, but I do expect the Packers to produce some big plays in what could be a shootout and manage to keep pace with the Rams. Los Angeles is due for a slip-up at some point, and that secondary does give me pause. But if ever there was a time when the Packers were going to show that they belonged even on the periphery of the NFC playoff discussion, it’s right here, right now. I expect them to keep it a one-score game.

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Chiefs -10 vs. Broncos

Denver has been a disaster on the road under Vance Joseph, and that big win over the Cardinals doesn’t change much for me. A bunch of Broncos are looking over their shoulders thinking this might be their last game there with the trade deadline looming. Denver cannot stop the run, and there should be play-action shots galore for the Chiefs. I don’t see Case Keenum being able to do much even against this suspect Chiefs defense, and I would expect the Chiefs to sell out to stop the run here. Kansas City has too much firepower and can beat you in too many ways, and Andy Reid won’t let Von Miller destroy his day. Run right at the ends, play physical football and run your way to a blowout win.

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Steelers -8 vs. Browns

Lot of big spreads this week, but that’s what happen as the league’s haves and have-nots begin to separate. The Steelers already had their one let-down game against the Browns and settled for that ugly tie in weird conditions. Now they come off a bye to host the reeling Browns, caught amid more of Hue Jackson’s self-created turmoil. Carlos Hyde and Josh Gordon have already been traded, and Pittsburgh’s defense, which has been a lot better since the first two weeks of the season, will put Baker Mayfield under duress. If you take away Jarvis Landry in the Browns passing game, who else can win for them? Cleveland is reeling a bit lately, and I really like this spot for the Steelers to stay atop the AFC North and maybe start pulling away from the pack.

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