On Monday, PFN’s Ryan Gosling gave out his NFL Week 8 predictions in my place. Since then, I’ve had a couple days to review the betting odds and put together potential bets for the week. After further review, here are my NFL Week 8 picks for the entire slate.
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What Are the Week 8 Odds and Betting Lines?
All odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Buffalo Bills Odds
Buccaneers +330, Bills -420
Both teams are coming off terrible Week 7 losses for different reasons. The Buffalo Bills were shocked by the New England Patriots, allowing New England their best offensive performance of the season.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Atlanta Falcons despite three red-zone fumbles from Desmond Ridder, with two of them coming at the goal line.
Since their Week 5 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars without Tre’Davious White, Matt Milano, and DaQuan Jones, the Bills’ defense ranks 26th in success rate. The offenses they have faced during that stretch? The Jaguars (good), New York Giants (very bad), and the Patriots (also very bad).
I took the Patriots team total over last week at 14.5, and that hit with ease. I’m going to continue to fade this Bills defense and take that same bet with the Buccaneers.
Pick: Buccaneers over 16.5 points (+100 at DraftKings)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Commanders Odds
Eagles -295, Commanders +240
This seems like a perfect sell-high/buy-low spot for both teams, but can I actually stomach it?
The Washington Commanders played the Philadelphia Eagles very close the last time these two teams played, and they defeated them in Philly the meeting prior to that last season. Additionally, Jalen Hurts might be playing through an injury, as he played the second half against the Miami Dolphins with a knee brace.
I’d wait to see if this gets to seven if you like the Commanders getting this many points at home.
Pick: Lean Commanders +6.5 (-105 at FanDuel)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Odds
Jaguars -152, Steelers +128
History says to back the Pittsburgh Steelers when they’re a home underdog, as they’re 18-5-3 ATS under Mike Tomlin, but I’m having a hard time totally getting there. They have gained more than 300 yards of offense in just one game this season and haven’t generated more yards than their opponent in any game despite being 4-2.
I think their struggles will continue against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has quietly been one of the best this season, ranking sixth in success rate and seventh in EPA/play as a unit.
Only in one Steelers game this season have there been at least 41 point scored — and that required two defensive touchdowns. Now that the total has moved past a key number at 42 (DraftKings), I like the under.
Pick: Under 42 (-110 at DraftKings)
New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts Odds
Saints -102, Colts -116
You’re going to have a really difficult time convincing me to bet the New Orleans Saints after what we watched on Thursday Night. They’re a very mediocre team that is an eye sore to watch, and it starts on offense. Derek Carr was supposed to be an upgrade at the quarterback position, but he has been the 23rd most efficient starting QB this season.
This is another total where I like the value in fading the line movement, as it has gone up from 41.5 since Sunday night. Last Thursday was the first time a Saints game went over the total since Week 11 of last season. Meanwhile, there were 77 combined points scored in the Indianapolis Colts’ loss last week to the Browns, but there were six turnovers between the two teams, with all but one happening in the team’s own territory, and another that went for a touchdown.
These are two of the eight-worst offenses in the NFL by success rate. The Colts put up 456 yards of offense last week against the Cleveland Browns — I’m betting on that not happening for the second straight week.
Pick: Under 43.5 (-110 at FanDuel)
Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers Odds
Texans -148, Panthers +126
I know the Carolina Panthers are bad, but have the Houston Texans proven enough yet to be 3-point road favorites? The advanced metrics say yes, as the gap in DVOA between these two teams is bigger than the difference between the Texans and any other team in the NFL.
And for context through a betting lens, the Panthers are the only remaining winless team both straight up and against the spread.
This will be the first matchup between C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young in the NFL. Both of them should be well rested and prepared coming out of bye weeks. At the moment, I don’t have a strong play here, but I lean towards the Texans giving points for the time being.
The Panthers are just that bad.
Pick: Lean Texans -3 (-110 at FanDuel)
Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys Odds
Rams +225, Cowboys -275
One major weakness for the Los Angeles Rams is their pass protection for their aging QB Matthew Stafford, who has certainly lost some mobility. They currently rank 27th in pass block win rate, and Stafford has been sacked the eighth-most times this season. Unfortunately for them, they’ll be going against a Dallas Cowboys defense that leads the NFL in pass rush win rate, led by DPOY co-favorite Micah Parsons.
The Cowboys have also been a very dominant home team this season, winning by a combined 55 points in their two games at Jerry World. This might be selling too low on the Rams coming off a disappointing home loss to the Steelers, but I see similar problems here for them that they experienced against the Eagles.
Pick: Cowboys -6.5 (-105 at FanDuel)
Atlanta Falcons vs. Tennessee Titans Odds
Falcons -142, Titans +120
It looks like Ryan Tannehill will be missing this one. Both Will Levis and Malik Willis will be taking snaps under center for the Titans, making it one of those rare games where Ridder is the best quarterback on the field.
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If Tannehill is ruled out, I’m not sure how Tennessee is going to generate offense. We’ve seen how their offense has fared with Willis at quarterback, and Levis is a complete unknown. It will be easy for the Falcons to stack the box to go all out in defending Derrick Henry, and they’re a stout run defense as it is, ranking first in EPA/play.
I lean towards the game under, but potential turnovers from both teams is scaring me off from making an official pick. Did you see Ridder fumble the ball twice at the goal line last week?! With a total so low, that definitely scares me, but it’s still my favorite play in this game for the time being.
Pick: Lean Under 36.5 (-108 at DraftKings)
New York Jets vs. New York Giants Odds
Jets -146, Giants +124
The New York Giants have been playing much better football in recent weeks, but considering how bad they were to start the season, I guess that doesn’t mean a whole lot.
Still, you have to give credit when it’s due, and their offensive success rate has improved from 39.7% (28th) to 44.3% (16th) with Tyrod Taylor at QB the last two weeks. Their offense should also be getting a major boost this week with the expected return of All-Pro LT Andrew Thomas.
The New York Jets, meanwhile, should be able to rely on Breece Hall and their rushing attack against a Giants run defense that is 27th in success rate and 29th in EPA/play. This will be one of those rare totals where I lean towards the over.
Pick: Over 36.5 (-112 at DraftKings)
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins Odds
Patriots +370, Dolphins -480
The Patriots held their own against the Dolphins’ offense in Week 2, as it was the least amount of yards Miami had gained this season up until their loss to the Eagles last week. But that game was in Foxborough, and the Patriots still had Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez.
Despite their 29-25 upset win over the Bills last week, the Patriots are still a bad team, and the Dolphins have dominated bad teams at home this season. I’m expecting Tua Tagovailoa and company to get back on track.
Pick: Dolphins -9.5 (-110 at FanDuel)
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers Odds
Vikings -110, Packers -106
These two NFC North teams are coming off completely opposite Week 7 performances. The Vikings pulled off an impressive upset over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, while the Green Bay Packers lost to a very bad Denver Broncos team.
Based on last week, it makes sense why this line has flipped. The Packers opened as short home favorites on Sunday night. Yet, despite each team having four losses, the Vikings have been the far superior team all season.
It might be a square pick to back them coming off their biggest win of the season when they’re playing a division rival on the road, but I can’t bring myself to pick the Packers.
Pick: Vikings -1 (-110 at DraftKings)
Cleveland Browns vs. Seattle Seahawks Odds
Browns +138, Seahawks -164
I liked the Seattle Seahawks a lot better when they were giving less than a field goal. Even despite giving up 456 yards of offense to Gardner Minshew and the Colts, the Browns’ defense still scares me a bit here.
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But this is a fade of the quarterback position for the Browns. We don’t know if Deshaun Watson is playing or not, but regardless, even if he plays, he clearly didn’t look right last week coming off his shoulder injury.
In Watson’s place would be P.J. Walker, who has been downright terrible this season. In two games, he has completed just 50% of his passes at 5.8 yards per attempt, and has yet to throw a touchdown while being intercepted three times. He is currently the lowest-graded QB at Pro Football Focus so far this season by a wide margin.
Pick: Seahawks -3 (-115 at FanDuel)
Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers Odds
Bengals +198, 49ers -240
Deebo Samuel is expected to be unavailable again this week, but Trent Williams’ status is uncertain. Regardless, we’ve seen Joe Burrow and this Cincinnati Bengals offensive line struggle against elite defensive fronts, and the 49ers obviously have one of the best in the league.
This will be a mismatch of the eighth-best defensive line in pass rush win rate going against an offensive line that is 31st in pass block win rate this season.
Williams’ absence would be a huge blow to the 49ers offense. If he’s out, I’d lean towards the under.
Pick: 49ers -5.5 (-110 at FanDuel)
Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals Odds
Ravens -420, Cardinals +330
The Baltimore Ravens absolutely destroyed the Detroit Lions last week in what was expected to be a close game between two playoff contenders. This week, the Ravens get to play an Arizona Cardinals team that has fallen back to reality after overachieving to start the season.
But we have seen Lamar Jackson and this Ravens team struggle to cover big spreads in recent years, so I’ll be looking to tease this game with the Kansas City Chiefs, who never lose to Denver.
Pick: Ravens -2 and Chiefs -2 in a 6-point tease (-120 at DraftKings)
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Odds
Chiefs -400, Broncos +310
I mentioned above that I’m teasing the Chiefs with the Ravens. The Broncos’ defense held their own against the Chiefs the last time they played just a couple of weeks ago, but that was on Thursday Night Football, and we saw what Kansas City did to the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday.
This will be one game I’ll certainly monitor to live bet. The Chiefs obviously have one of the best offenses in the NFL, but they take their foot off the gas in the second half when they have a big lead.
So far this season, they rank second in first-half points per game but just 29th in second-half scoring. If they get out to a big lead in the first half, I’ll bet the Broncos’ live spread.
Pick: Ravens -2 and Chiefs -2 in a 6-point tease (-120 at DraftKings)
Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Chargers Odds
Bears +350, Chargers -450
Taking the Chargers to give more than one score is gross, considering they have won just two games by more than one score since the beginning of last season. However, it seems like the play here.
The Chargers might be on a two-game losing streak, but that has come against the Cowboys and Chiefs. Rather than playing against Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, and two of the best defenses in the NFL, they’ll be facing Tyson Bagent and the 28th-ranked defense by EPA/play and DVOA.
If you are scared off by the Chargers being favored by that many points (understandable), you can do a primetime tease with the Lions on Monday night.
Pick: Chargers -8.5 (-110 at FanDuel)
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Detroit Lions Odds
Raiders +310, Lions -390
I feel very square picking two favorites of more than a touchdown two games in-a-row, but it has to be done. If there’s any team that needs a get-right spot this week, it’s the Lions after falling 38-6 to the Ravens last week. As bad as that score sounds, it actually undersells how outmatched they were by the Ravens.
This should be an easy bounce-back spot for Jared Goff and their offense, as they perform much better at home than on the road, especially when it’s the defense of the Las Vegas Raiders instead of the Ravens.
As long as this stays under 10 points, I like the Lions to cover here. The only thing that worries me is that this seems too easy.
Pick: Lions -8 (-112 at DraftKings)