If you ignore the primetime matchups, Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season brings us some incredible games and plenty of potential excitement. There are divisional rivalries, games that are just too damn close to call, and for Miami Dolphins fans, there’s the long-awaited arrival of Tua Tagovailoa. Not sure who’s winning this weekend? We’ve got you covered with NFL predictions, including predictions against the spread, for the all the remaining Week 8 games.
All spread lines are provided by DraftKings and were correct at the time of writing. They are, of course, subject to change the closer we get to kickoff.
NFL predictions against the spread, Week 8 (1 PM ET)
New England Patriots (+4.0) @ Buffalo Bills (-4.0)
The Buffalo Bills haven’t beaten the New England Patriots since 2016, and the Patriots have won by at least a touchdown in every game since. These, however, are not your all-dominant, Super Bowl-bound boys from Boston that we have come to know and love (or hate depending on your inclination), and it’s the Bills that lead the way in the AFC East.
Despite some high-scoring contests between the two franchises in the past, neither team has scored more than 20 points in their last three games, and I expect the game to be closer to a stalemate than a shootout. The strength of the Bills offense – the Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs connection – faces a Patriots pass defense that ranks fourth in passing yards allowed, although both Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson are questionable at the time of writing.
NFL prediction against the spread for this Week 8 AFC East encounter: The Bills win but narrowly fail to cover the spread.
Final score prediction: New England Patriots 18 Buffalo Bills 21
Tennessee Titans (-5.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5)
After suffering their first defeat of the season last week to the Pittsburgh Steelers, everything is set up perfectly for the Tennessee Titans to bounce back against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Although the Bengals managed to limit the Cleveland Browns to just 82 rushing yards and 3.7 yards per carry in their narrow loss last week, their defense has still given up the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL this season and allowed the fifth-most yards per carry and yards per game. That will be music to the ears of Derrick Henry.
The Bengals’ much-maligned offensive line will be without starting left tackle Jonah Williams as they face a Titans defense that has forced the third-most quarterback knockdowns in the league. The banged-up Bengals will also be without Joe Mixon.
NFL predictions against the spread for this Week 8 matchup: The Titans get back to their winning ways and cover the spread while doing so.
Final score prediction: Tennessee Titans 31 Cincinnati Bengals 24
Las Vegas Raiders (+2.5) @ Cleveland Browns (-2.5)
These two teams are a lot closer than their records suggest. The Cleveland Browns sit at 5-2 after beating the Bengals last week, whereas the Las Vegas Raiders dropped to 3-3 after a battering from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both teams are averaging 28 points per game, while the Raiders have allowed an extra point per game compared to the Browns on average this season.
The Browns defense has been stout against the run so far in the 2020 NFL season, ranking fifth in rushing yards allowed. They have, however, been abysmal in the passing game, giving up the third-most passing yards in the league. The Raiders have an offense that sits in the top 10 in the NFL for yards per play, which has come more from the passing game than the ground game. There lays the keys to a Las Vegas victory.
NFL predictions against the spread for one of the closest games of the Week 8 schedule: The Raiders sneak a win but fail to cover the spread.
Final score prediction: Las Vegas Raiders 30 Cleveland Browns 28
Indianapolis Colts (-3.0) @ Detroit Lions (+3.0)
The Indianapolis Colts come off of a bye week to face a Detroit Lions team that has won its last two games, including the comically farcical victory over the Atlanta Falcons last week.
The Lions offense has been hardly prolific in this 2020 NFL season, ranking 28th in rushing yards and 23rd in passing yards, and should provide little problem for a Colts defense that ranks second in yards per play allowed and third in total points allowed.
The problem for the Colts is that they’ve been fairly stagnant on offense themselves, ranking 32nd in total rushing yards and 22nd in points scored. That rookie kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is their top point scorer tells you all you need to know about the Colts offense led by Philip Rivers.
NFL predictions against the spread for this Week 8 matchup: The Colts win and cover the spread.
Final score prediction: Indianapolis Colts 24 Detroit Lions 18
New York Jets (+19.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs (-19.5)
In one of the most ridiculously one-sided matchups in the Week 8 NFL slate, the Kansas City Chiefs host a New York Jets team that seems destined to become the newest addition to the 0-16 club. The most interesting subplot to the game may well be Le’Veon Bell facing off against the team that let him go earlier in the season.
The Jets rank near the bottom of every conceivable defensive metric, whereas the Chiefs can pick and choose the way that they dismantle your defense with Andy Reid’s offense. Just ask the Denver Broncos, who have one of the best defenses in the NFL but were ripped apart to the tune of 43 points.
NFL prediction against the spread for this Week 8 clash: The Chiefs win and cover the huge spread.
Final score prediction: New York Jets 10 Kansas City Chiefs 35
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) @ Miami Dolphins (+3.5)
Although Ryan Fitzpatrick has led the Miami Dolphins to three wins in their last four, they will come out of the bye week and face the Los Angeles Rams with Tua Tagovailoa making his first career start. That’s right; it’s Tua Time!
The rookie makes his first start against a Rams defense that ranks third in the league in sacks and has allowed the fifth-fewest points in the NFL through seven weeks. On the other side of the ball, the Rams have been able to move the ball well both on the ground and through the air but have struggled to translate that into points.
The Dolphins have allowed the second-fewest points in the league so far in 2020, and if they can hold the Rams rushing offense to a low-yardage game, the excitement and enthusiasm for the introduction of Tagovailoa could carry Miami to victory.
NFL predictions against the spread for this Week 8 clash: Miami Dolphins sneak a win and cover the spread.
Final score prediction: Los Angeles Rams 21 Miami Dolphins 23
Pittsburgh Steelers (+4.0) @ Baltimore Ravens (-4.0)
For the second straight week, the Pittsburgh Steelers take part in the best game of the week. This time around, a fierce AFC North divisional rivalry adds even more fuel to the fire as the 6-0 Steelers travel to Baltimore to take on the 5-1 Ravens.
Can the Steelers use the same gameplan that they employed to defeat the Tennessee Titans to get a win on the road against the Ravens? The NFL’s best rushing defense allowed Derrick Henry just 3.8 yards per carry, and will have their hands full once again with a Ravens rushing offense that ranks third in yards and first in yards per carry.
The Steelers will be motivated by revenge after losing both games to their divisional rival last season.
NFL predictions against the spread for this Week 8 AFC North rivalry rumble: Pittsburgh gets their seventh win of the season and covers the spread.
Final score prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 24 Baltimore Ravens 23
Minnesota Vikings (+6.0) @ Green Bay Packers (-6.0)
Davante Adams accounted for 192 of Aaron Rodgers’ 283 passing yards last week as the Houston Texans felt the full force of a Green Bay Packers team that was looking to bounce back from defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If Rodgers and the Packers bring that same level of energy for their NFC North rivalry game against the Minnesota Vikings, then this game could get out of hand very, very quickly. The Vikings have allowed the second-most points of any team that has played six games this season and have shown very little on offense to think they could go toe-to-toe in a shootout. Kirk Cousins has thrown the second-most interceptions in the NFL this season.
At the time of writing, running back Dalvin Cook was listed as questionable, which could have a major impact on the much-maligned Minnesota offense.
NFL predictions against the spread for this Week 8 NFC North game: The Packers win and cover the spread comfortably.
Final score prediction: Minnesota Vikings 24 Green Bay Packers 34