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NFL Week 8 Picks: Late Slate Best Bets for Titans vs Texans, Commanders vs Colts

NFL Week 8 Picks: Late Slate Best Bets for Titans vs Texans, Commanders vs Colts article feature image
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Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Taylor.


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NFL Odds & Picks

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Titans -2.5
4:05 p.m. ET
Texans +3
4:05 p.m. ET
Derrick Henry Rushing Yards
4:05 p.m. ET
Jonathan Taylor Anytime TD
4:25 p.m. ET

Pick
Titans -2.5
Best Book
Time
4:05 p.m. ET

Editor’s note: This was written before the Titans ruled out starting QB Ryan Tannehill. Malik Willis is getting the start for Tennessee.

Derek Farnsworth: My favorite bet of the week is the Titans.

Ryan Tannehill might be nursing some injuries, but that shouldn’t factor much into this game. Derrick Henry has carried the ball 58 times over the last two games and gets to face the worst run defense in the NFL. He has been dominant against the Texans over the last few seasons and there’s no reason to think that slows down.

The Titans are battling for the division title, while the Texans are actively shopping some of their players. In addition to the 2.5-point spread, I have also bet on some adjusted lines: Titans -6.5 and -9.5.


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Pick
Texans +3
Best Book
Time
4:05 p.m. ET

Editor’s note: This was written before the Titans ruled out starting QB Ryan Tannehill. Malik Willis is getting the start for Tennessee.

Brandon Anderson: Tennessee’s two best and most important players remain questionable for this one. Ryan Tannehill exited last Sunday in a walking boot and is now also dealing with illness, while star defender Jeffery Simmons is dealing with an ankle injury.

This isn’t exactly a loaded Titans team, so potentially losing their best player on each side of the ball — or at least getting a limited version — is a huge swing. It’s especially huge at QB, where rookie QB Malik Willis may be forced into action. Willis is an outstanding runner so you’ll want some rushing over props if he does play, but he is a long ways away as a passer. He holds onto the ball far too long and makes slow, poor decisions.

That sort of QB making his NFL debut on the road simply cannot be a field goal favorite, not even against the lowly Texans.

Houston has been competitive in all but one game this season. Lovie Smith has his guys playing hard. The Texans simply don’t make it easy on the opponent. They make them earn it. And while the Titans have won four in a row, those wins came against the winless Raiders, one-win Commanders and hapless Colts — and all four games were close late.

These teams are more even than you think, and the Tannehill and Simmons injuries make it even closer. Tennessee has little in its receiving corps and not much on the line. Maybe Derrick Henry has a throwback game and does it all himself against a bad run defense, but there’s just not much else to like.

This division is weird. The Titans dominate the Colts. The Colts lose in Jacksonville but beat them at home. And the Texans hang with the Titans. The Titans have only covered two of their last 11 against Houston (18%), and the Texans are 12-6-1 ATS (67%) at home against Tennessee. The Titans are Houston’s single most profitable home opponent in franchise history.

With a line around -2.5, books are practically begging bettors to take the Titans. This 4-2 division leader only has to win by a field goal? Last year’s 1-seed against the terrible Texans, by a field goal?!

Don’t fall for it. Play the number and back the Texans at home.

Houston has a real chance to pull the upset and pull within 1.5 games of the division lead. It is +6600 to win the worst division in football at Bet365. It’s a weird year, and that awful division will get even worse if these Tannehill and Simmons injuries linger. If Houston wins, I’d put their division odds around 12% versus 1.5% implied here. I already sprinkled. Care to join me?

If Tannehill is cleared to play, expect this line to rise above +3. I still like playing the number and the Texans in that spot. If he’s out, this likely drops back below the key number and maybe below +2 as well, so I’ll take a risk and play now.


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Pick
Derrick Henry Over 99.5 Rushing Yards
Best Book
Time
4:05 p.m. ET

Dylan Wilkerson: Derrick Henry has rushed for 200-plus yards in each of his last three games against the Texans.

Given Houston’s poor run defense (32nd in defensive rush DVOA), Henry could go off again playing in the Titans’ run-heavy offense. Last week, Josh Jacobs ran for 143 yards and 3 TD’s; I expect to see something similar from The King.


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Pick
Jonathan Taylor Anytime TD
Best Book
Time
4:25 p.m. ET

Sam Farley: Picking Jonathan Taylor to score a touchdown isn’t the boldest call ever, but in this case, it’s one of the most sensible.

The Colts have moved away from Matt Ryan to Sam Ehlinger and they should probably rely on the ground game as they get the Year 2 QB acclimated to the NFL.

Taylor has only scored one touchdown so far this season, but that will change. He’s still as dynamic as ever and faces a Commanders team who has allowed eight TDs to running backs this season. Interestingly, five of those eight were receiving touchdowns, an area in which Taylor can thrive.

This is a guy who scored 20 times last year. He’s elite and he’ll get back to doing what he does best on Sunday, and that’s finding the end zone.


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