Koerner: My Favorite Week 8 NFL Bets

Koerner: My Favorite Week 8 NFL Bets article feature image

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4).

  • Sean Koerner breaks down four NFL bets to make based on his Week 8 power ratings.
  • See his picks for Giants-Lions, Raiders-Texans, Panthers-49ers and Packers-Chiefs.

Every week I use my NFL Power Ratings to project spreads and over/unders for every game and find the best bets. So which are still showing value?

Let’s take a look at four picks to make on Sunday based on my power ratings in the following games:

  • Giants at Lions: 1 p.m. ET
  • Panthers at 49ers: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • Raiders at Texans: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • Packers at Chiefs: 8:20 p.m. ET

Odds as of Sunday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

Giants at Lions

PICK: Lions -6.5

The Lions are popping in my Pass/Run Funnel Model with a rating of 1.08, which makes sense as their offensive strength is their passing attack (ranked fourth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA) and they’re going up against a Giants defense with pass defense as its main weakness (27th in DVOA).

The Lions losing their workhorse running back Kerryon Johnson to IR could affect them in matchups in which they need to be more balanced, but for Week 8, it could force them to just lean on their passing attack even more.

With 67% of the money coming in on the Giants as of writing (see live public betting data here), this finally moved off the key number of 7 and down to 6.5 — where the value is at. The Lions’ 1.08 PRFM rating is also showing a 70.3% in-sample win rate — any matchup that’s been over a 1 in this model is 15-4 on the season. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Panthers at 49ers

PICK: Under 41

This under is popping in my Pass/Run Funnel Model with a rating of -0.73, which gives it a downright silly 81% in-sample predictive win rate. There have been only six games this season that have earned a rating below -0.5, and the under is now 5-1. It makes sense as the 49ers’ defense has been arguably the second-best in the league (behind the Patriots), and based on the fact that they become the slowest paced team in the league when winning (Football Outsiders).

It may be worth waiting to see if the 76% of the money coming in on the over can push this up to 42.5 or even 43 before kickoff, but I highly doubt sharps will allow that.

Fire up the under here. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Raiders at Texans

PICK: Under 52

This total has crept up from 50 to 52.

Books appear to be getting flooded with over tickets (67%) and money (84%), and I’m not exactly sure why. I get why people would be investing in a Texans over, but the Raiders could help make this game lean toward an under game flow.

Deshaun Watson typically plays best when the Texans are trailing. Given we can assume a positive game script is much more likely here, they could opt to lean on Carlos Hyde and the ground game to run the clock and help shorten the game. And on the other side of the ball, the Raiders are second-to-last in pace of play (per Football Outsiders) and remain a slower-paced team when in a close or trailing game script (sixth-slowest). [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Packers at Chiefs

PICK: Chiefs +4.5

This is by far the most interesting game to handicap this week, and arguably of the season.

This spread is very much a reflection of how many points Patrick Mahomes is worth. As soon as he suffered the injury last Thursday night, I was weighing how big of an impact it would have on the Chiefs in fantasy and betting. The lookahead line for this game was right around Chiefs -3.5 before the injury, and I thought it would impact the spread by seven to nine points, so I quickly posted a Week 8 line on twitter of Packers -3.5.

I was surprised when a significant majority of people ended up taking Green Bay, with some people saying it was the worst line they’ve ever seen — it seemed like people assumed the Packers would be much closer to -7.

The reason I say Mahomes is likely worth seven to nine points depends on what numbers are being crossed based on the line move. A move from -3.5 to +3.5 crosses the most critical number in NFL spread betting (3) not once, but twice. That’s why I had this closer to a 7-point line move. If the spread was Chiefs -1.5, it’s likely the line could have ended up in the Packers -7 range as it would’ve passed 3 only once, then parked on the next key number (7) for a full 8.5-point line move.

Having said all that, it’s clear to me that the public is all over the Packers here — especially after Aaron Rodgers exploded for 429 passing yards and six total touchdowns last Sunday.

The sharps are more than likely going to back the Matt Moore-led Chiefs and bank on Andy Reid to build the offense around Moore in the 10-day window. We have to remember that they do have playmakers like Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce who can make a below-average QB like Moore look normal. We saw a glimpse of this when Moore connected with Hill for a 57-yard score in the third quarter of Thursday’s win.

Chiefs +4.5 is one of the sneakiest bets of the week. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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