Week 8 NFL Picks: How Our Experts Are Betting Sunday’s Games
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey
- Our experts run through their favorite Week 8 NFL picks, featuring spread and over/under bets for Sunday.
- Find out how they're betting Bengals-Rams, Panthers-49ers, Packers-Chiefs and four other games.
Are the New England Patriots being overvalued? The Kansas City Chiefs being undervalued?
Our experts reveal their favorite bets of Week 8, featuring spread and over/under picks for the following games:
- Bengals vs. Rams (in London): 1 p.m. ET
- Jets at Jaguars: 1 p.m. ET
- Broncos at Colts: 1 p.m. ET
- Panthers at 49ers: 4:05 p.m. ET
- Raiders at Texans: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Browns at Patriots: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Packers at Chiefs: 8:20 p.m. ET
Let’s dig in.
Odds as of Friday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Matthew Freedman: Rams -12 vs. Bengals
The Bengals are probably not as bad as the Dolphins, but I’m not sure they’re significantly better, especially when you factor in Cincy’s cornerback injuries and mismatch in the passing game for the Rams.
So I like the Rams anyway, and there’s just something about the London game. I think the problems bad teams have tend to be exacerbated with the travel and the neutral field.
Since the NFL International Series started in 2007, the London favorites are 17-9 against the spread (28% ROI). And regular-season favorites on a neutral field are 26-12-2 ATS (31.9% ROI).
I like the Rams at anything -14 or better. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
John Ewing: Jets-Jaguars Under 40.5
An early forecast for this game calls for windy conditions (12 mph). Blustery weather can impact the passing and kicking games, which creates a low-scoring environment.
Historically, it’s been profitable to bet the under in windy games.
Not only do the windy conditions point to the under, but these teams match up well defensively against the other’s offensive strengths. The Jets ranks ninth in Football Outsiders’ defensive rushing DVOA, while the Jaguars have attempted the sixth most carries this season.
The Jets have the ninth-highest passing play percentage (63%) in the NFL and will go up against the Jags secondary that’s in the top-half of the league in passing yards allowed per game.
I’d bet the under down to 40 points. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Chad Millman: Colts -5 vs. Broncos
Here’s what I keep thinking: Within hours of Andrew Luck retiring, the Colts signed Jacoby Brissett to a $30 million deal. They didn’t wait to see how he would do this season. They didn’t look for a replacement because they knew what they had.
While bookmakers and gamblers undervalued them for several weeks, the front office had already built an impressive combination of effective running game, efficient passing game and an offensive line that gets more social media love than any of the Colts skill players.
Other than laying a predictable egg against Oakland — too much hype and over-adjustment that week — this team has methodically delivered. I believe that the Broncos are the team that didn’t show up against the Chiefs — remember they were down seven when Patrick Mahomes was injured and couldn’t stop and immobile Matt Moore from slinging dimes.
The Colts are a great value pick at under seven points. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Chris Raybon: Panthers +5 at 49ers
The Panthers don’t have the shiny undefeated record that the 49ers do, but this is a matchup of two more evenly matched teams than you might think.
The Panthers defense is ranked No. 3 in the league in Adjusted Net Yards per Pass Attempt (5.1), just one spot behind the 49ers (4.3). And on offense, Carolina is averaging 31.3 points per game in the four games since Kyle Allen took over for Cam Newton, with as many 30-point games (three) over that span as the 49ers have had all season. In fact, the Panthers do sport an undefeated record if you take out the two games with Newton.
Especially since the 49ers’ run game has taken a step back since fullback Kyle Juszczyk went down (118 yards per game over the last two compared to 200 over the first four) while Carolina has posted 129.0 rushing yards per game despite facing the league’s top run defense (Tampa Bay) twice already, it’s tough to point to a spot where Carolina is significantly outmatched.
As brilliant as Kyle Shanahan has been, he’s 2-7 ATS as a favorite, according to our Bet Labs data, while Ron Rivera is 24-14 as an underdog.
The number for San Francisco is slightly inflated; I’d bet Carolina down to +4.5. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Stuckey: Browns +10.5 at Patriots
The Patriots have had one of the easiest schedules en route to their perfect 7-0 record. I had to do a double take at their .273 Strength of Schedule, which is the lowest in the league. And to be honest, that paltry number may actually undersell how easy this season has been for New England so far.
Their seven wins have come against teams with a combined 11 wins, five of which are accounted for by the Bills, who have also had one of the easiest schedules and almost took out the Patriots in Orchard Park.
The seven quarterbacks who have finished games against New England have a combined three wins. And Daniel Jones, who is responsible for two of those three, had to play in Foxborough on a short week with almost all of his skill position players out with injuries.
The Patriots defensive numbers are extremely inflated.
Look, I’ve been screaming since Week 1 that this is the best defense in the NFL, but it isn’t historically great.
The Browns rank 28th with a -6 turnover differential and 26th with an opponent red-zone touchdown percentage of 65%, but it’s fair to expect positive regression in both — in fact, I think this Browns offense will present this Patriots defense with its toughest test yet.
The Patriots have been running a ton of man on the outside, but with frequent Cover 0 blitzes (no safety help over top). It’s worked like a charm, but they haven’t had to shut down any receiving groups on par with the Browns.
The expected return of Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams should also be enough to keep Tom Brady from having an enormous day. Ranking fifth in adjusted sack rate, the Browns are also capable of getting pressure on him.
The Patriots should win, but this is too many points for me to pass on backing a desperate Browns team off a bye looking to avoid falling to three games out of first place in the AFC North.
Baker Mayfield should makes enough plays to keep this within two touchdowns. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Mike Randle: Texans -6.5 vs. Raiders
The Raiders have played very well during a difficult stretch of consecutive road games — Oakland hasn’t played at home since Sept. 15 — but we started to see some fatigue set in this past Sunday in Green Bay.
With wide receiver Tyrell Williams (questionable) possibly out again with a foot injury, the Raiders offense lacks playmakers. Their best receiving option is tight end Darren Waller, who faces a difficult matchup against Houston. For some context, the Texans have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, giving up only one receiving touchdown.
Houston should be able to take advantage of an Oakland pass defense that ranked 26th entering Week 7, and just allowed 429 passing yards and six total touchdowns to Rodgers.
I’m grabbing the Texans against a travel-weary Raiders team playing its fifth consecutive road game and I would bet this up to Houston -8. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Sean Koerner: Chiefs +5 vs. Packers
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.
If Patrick Mahomes is out next week who would you take in their Week 8 matchup?
GB at KC
— Sean Koerner (@The_Oddsmaker) October 18, 2019
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 +5 is one of the sneakiest bets of the week. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]