NFL Week 8: Vikings’ Twickenham test & vital NFC South face-off
Panthers face Bucs with both needing a lift
The big games come thick and fast in the NFL in Week 8. Chief among them are a huge test for the Vikings at London’s Twickenham Stadium, and a huge test for the league’s exciting upstarts in New England.
Here’s the Coral News Team’s look at the major storylines in this weekend’s NFL action.
Vikings must see off Browns to avoid repeat of 2016
Minnesota Vikings may be top of the NFC North, on the back of a three-game winning streak – but nobody at U.S. Bank Stadium will be counting their chickens. Especially after last year, where the Vikes won their opening five games, before a complete collapse saw them miss out on the playoffs altogether.
On paper, they should cope with Sunday’s game at London’s Twickenham Stadium just fine.
Their opponents, Cleveland Browns, are winless this season. However, games on these shores have a habit of upsetting the form book. And the gradually improving Browns took Tennessee Titans to Overtime last weekend.
Still, the Vikings’ 2016 heartache could be what spurs them on to ensure there’s no repeat this time around. They certainly look a slick machine at present, with a solid defence and exciting offense aided by the near-perfect kicking of Kai Forbath, who has made 17 of his 18 Field Goal attempts this season.
As for the Browns, they’re still winless for a reason – a lack of cutting edge in their offense. Winning Margin: MIN Vikings 7-12 at 14/5 could prove the best bet in this clash.
Out-of-sorts NFC South pair seeking crucial victory
Sunday’s match-up between Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers may well prove to be the most important game in the division this year. The Panthers started with three wins from four, but have slipped to successive defeats ahead of this game. The Bucs are also 0-2 after a bright start to the campaign.
Tampa saw off Chicago Bears and New York Giants in their first two home games, but a leaky defence has cost them dear of late. They’ve now shipped 30+ points in successive games.
One thing the Panthers do have is a decent away record. Having already won in New England, Detroit and San Francisco, the Coral News Team fancy Ron Rivera’s men can do the damage at Tampa this weekend. Carolina to Win in the Money Line can be backed at 21/20.
In-form Chargers face serious test of their credentials
After their San Diego incarnation finished last season bottom of the AFC West with 11 defeats, few expected the Los Angeles Chargers to be a force this term. But despite a predictably ropy start, they’ve arguably been the form team in the NFL over the past three weeks.
Having seen off New York Giants and Oakland Raiders on the road, the Chargers produced a stunning 21-0 shutout of Denver Broncos at the StubHub Center. That marked the first time Denver had suffered a shutout since November 1992.
That’s all mightily impressive, but the real test of the Chargers’ mettle and ambitions will come in this week’s visit to New England Patriots. The Pats have also won three on the trot, but are no longer an immovable force at home – losing twice at Gillette Stadium already this year.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing