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NFL Picks & Predictions: The 4 Bets To Make Based on Our Betting Power Ratings

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Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Packers CB Zaire Alexander (left) celebrates with LB Za’Darius Smith.

NFL Picks & Predictions

Pick
Kickoff
Bet Now At
Vikings +6.5 at Packers
1 p.m. ET
BetMGM
Bengals +7 vs. Titans
1 p.m. ET
PointBet
Browns -2 vs. Raiders
1 p.m. ET
BetMGM
Jets-Chiefs Under 49
1 p.m. ET
DraftKings

One way I find betting edges is by comparing the odds to my NFL Power Ratings — if there’s a notable difference between, I’ll make a bet. (By the way, you can access mine and my colleague’s NFL ratings in our new PRO Projections.)

Each week of the season I’ll highlight the biggest of those edges. We’ve got four for Week 8, so let’s jump right in!

Vikings +6.5 at Packers

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The weather forecast calls for steady 25 mph winds at Lambeau, with gusts reaching up to 40 mph.

It seems likely that the wind will impact the passing game, forcing both teams to lean on the run more. That would certainly play into the Vikings’ favor here, as Aaron Rodgers against the Vikings’ secondary was the most significant mismatch coming into this game.

The Vikings will welcome back Dalvin Cook to complete one of the best running back duos in the NFL alongside Alexander Mattison. The two should run all over this run-funnel Packers defense.

On the other side of the ball, the Packers will be without Aaron Jones, a massive blow given the potential run-heavy game script.

I already like the Vikings at +6.5, but I’m willing to wait to see if the line ends up reaching +7 before pulling the trigger. David Bakhtiari is questionable, and if he’s ruled out, I will immediately lock in the +6.5. His availability is even more critical in a matchup that could be won in the trenches.

[Bet now at BetMGM and win $100 if there’s a touchdown]

Bengals +7 vs. Titans

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

Joe Burrow has been sacked a league-high 28 times so far, but he should have a cleaner pocket against a Titans defense that ranks dead last in generating pressure.

Jadeveon Clowney is a game-time decision, and his absence would make it even more challenging for the Titans to take advantage of the Bengals’ biggest weakness: their offensive line.

The Titans offense should have no issues putting up points, and it’s likely the main reason the market is all-in on them with 68% of the tickets and 94% of the money (find real-time public betting data here). However, the Bengals offense is more than capable of a back-door cover here.

Bet the Bengals at +7 or higher.

[Bet now at PointsBet and get $125 if the Bengals gain 1 yard]

Browns -2 vs. Raiders

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

Heavy winds are likely to impact this matchup, as well. The wind could turn this matchup into a run-heavy affair, which would be ideal for either team.

The Raiders could be without Trent Brown, as it’s unclear if he will be cleared from COVID-19 protocol to return this week. Josh Jacobs is questionable with a knee injury, which could be a huge issue considering the Raiders will likely need to lean on the run game. The Browns are a pass-funnel defense and would be prone to giving up big plays to rookie speedster Henry Ruggs, but winds of 25 mph or stronger would help prevent the Raiders from taking those shots.

The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. may have less of an impact on this game, too. Baker Mayfield ended up throwing for 297 yards and five touchdowns after Beckham went down last week. I expect the Browns to craft a run-heavy game plan, not take too many chances through the air and lean on their defense.

I love getting the Browns at -2 (or -2.5) and want to lock it in before it potentially moves to 3.


[Bet now at BetMGM and win $100 if there’s a touchdown]

Bobby Ellis/Getty Images. Pictured: Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry

Jets-Chiefs Under 49

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The 20-point spread is making all the headlines, but I’m much more interested in the total.

It’s fair to assume that the Chiefs will use the first half to build a sizable lead, then pivot to the run game in the second half: They’ve run the ball at a much higher rate with a lead of seven or more points in 2020.

They kept their foot on the gas last season with a 53% pass rate when leading by seven or more points (sixth-highest), but that rate has dipped to 45% in 2020 (21st). We should see that trend continue, which would result in the Chiefs attacking the Jets’ only strength. The Jets run defense ranks 14th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and fourth in adjusted line yards. It could result in the Chiefs having a more challenging time running up the score once they go run-heavy.

On the flip side, Sam Darnold will have a tough time moving the ball against this Chiefs defense once the Jets fall behind. Steve Spagnuolo’s unit has been an extreme run-funnel one dating back to last season. I have a hard time envisioning Darnold moving the ball against this Chiefs defense without his top WR, Jamison Crowder (doubtful), again this week.

I would set this total closer to 47 given the Jets offense, which is unlikely to force the Chiefs to keep the foot on the gas beyond the first half. I would bet it down to 48.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

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