NFL Week 8 Picks & Predictions: 5 Best Bets for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyreek Hill (No. 10).
- At 1 p.m. ET, our staff has five best bets for five games.
- We're betting three sides and two player props to kick off the main slate.
- Check out where our action is on Sunday afternoon below.
NFL Week 8 Picks
John LanFranca: PJ Walker had the best performance of any Panthers quarterback this season a week ago against Tampa Bay.
Not only did he make some eye-popping, big-time throws, he averaged 8.5 air yards per attempt. The biggest recipient of his surprisingly good play was DJ Moore, who was targeted 10 times in a game Carolina led throughout.
Moore saw a 10% increase in route participation and commanded a massive 47.6% target share. Without Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey, Moore is unlikely to be propped below 60 yards many more times this season.
Without Casey Hayward and A.J. Terrell, the Falcons’ play in the secondary has suffered greatly. This is one of the strongest player props positions I've taken in 2022.
Brandon Anderson: The numbers don’t tell the full story for either of these teams. Detroit’s offense looks like it’s gone off the rails, but it might just be missing its playmakers, while Miami’s offense has fallen off since a hot start, but might just need more consistent QB play.
The Lions get some playmakers back this week as Amon-Ra St. Brown expects to play while D’Andre Swift finally makes his return. Their offense, though, has been exposed as all-or-nothing, and when the big plays don’t come, the awful defense just gets obliterated.
That’s what I’m expecting here. The Lions’ defense ranks last in DVOA overall and against the pass, allowing the second highest percentage of explosive pass plays. That’s a death knell against Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Miami kills opponents with speed, especially late in halves when the Lions defense has struggled most.
Dolphins -4 | Lions +4
This is also a different offense with Tua Tagovailoa. He leads the league at 8.6 YPA, and his 0.289 EPA per play ranks third among QBs behind only Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Per RBSDM, Tagovailoa is worth about a full expected point every four plays above Teddy Bridgewater. That’s about the same as the difference between Mahomes and Marcus Mariota.
Give Mariota these speedy weapons and it’s good; give them to Mahomes and it’s lights out. When Tua plays a majority of the snaps this season, Miami is 4-0; the Dolphins are 0-3 otherwise.
Miami is just a different team with Tagovailoa. The Lions have little chance of stopping this attack with him back.
I got the Dolphins at -3, but -3.5 is still worth betting. Again, be sure to check out our NFL odds page before locking any bets in.
So far this season the Raiders have given up six touchdowns to tight ends. That's made even more impressive when you consider that they've played just six games having had a bye, so they're averaging one TD to TEs a game.
Johnson is the Saints’ best pass-catching TE; he has over three times as many targets as Adam Trautman and comes into this game having scored twice last week against the Cardinals.
Juwan Johnson TD, book it.
Simon Hunter: These two teams are going in completely opposite directions.
The Vikings are first in the NFC north at 5-1 and look healthy coming off a much-needed bye. The Cardinals are last in the NFC West at 3-4 and all we hear is about Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray butting heads.
I’m a huge fan of fading Kirk Cousins — but that’s mainly in primetime games. A 1 p.m. game on Sunday at home, though? That's when Cousins shines.
Cardinals +3.5 | Vikings -3.5
I agree Minnesota is very lucky to have the record it has, but it's hard to argue against all the talent it has on offense. We’ve seen that if Cousins can protect the ball and get it to Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook, the Vikings are hard to beat.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 1-6 ATS. They have gotten off to slow starts all season. Against the Vikings, I see that being a major problem.
Murray doesn’t love long rest (eight days or more) as he is 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS. The Vikings are terrible against the run, but excellent at rushing the quarterback.
I see the Vikings getting out to an early lead and bleeding the clock with Cook in the second half.
John LanFranca: The Jets have had a good run and their defense seems to be playing at a much higher level than they did in 2021.
With that said, they still only possess the No. 21 DVOA defense on first down despite taking on the likes of the Brett Rypien-led Broncos, the Skylar Thompson-led Dolphins, the 24th-ranked Steelers and the struggling Packers. It's important to add context to their recent winning streak.
Patriots -2.5 | Jets +2.5
Bill Belichick has dominated every opponent unfortunate enough to face the Patriots following a double-digit loss. In his career, Belichick has bounced back to the tune of 23-8-1 (74.2%) against the spread the game after his team is defeated by 10-plus points. When his squads have failed to cover by more than 21 points, Bill is 11-1 ATS the following week.
Expect a very motivated Patriots team to win this game.