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NFL Spread & Total Picks: Week 8 Bets To Make Right Now

NFL Spread & Total Picks: Week 8 Bets To Make Right Now article feature image

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images Pictured: Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

We’re nearing the halfway point of the season!

Find the Week 8 spread and total bets our staff has already locked in below. Note that we included books that are offering the best lines for each pick as of writing, but you can compare real-time spreads and totals across multiple sportsbooks with our NFL odds page.

NFL Spread & Total Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead to that analysis.

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Raiders +2.5 at Browns 
Colts -2.5 at Lions
Ravens -3.5 vs. Steelers

Raheem Palmer: Raiders +2.5 at Browns

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

This is the perfect spot to buy-low on the Raiders after their 45-20 home loss to the Buccaneers: Since 2003, teams that have lost by 25 or more points are 237-209-8 (53.1%) against the spread the following week (per our Bet Labs data). This isn’t a significant edge, however it’s clear that teams that trail by more than three touchdowns tend to bounce back the following week:

The Raiders offensive line was a mess in Week 7 as right tackle Trent Brown didn’t play due to a positive COVID-19 test and his backup, Patrick Omameh, was inactive. With Brown’s proximity to the four other starting offensive linemen, left tackle Kolton Miller, left guard Denzelle Good, center Rodney Hudson and guard Gabe Jackson weren’t cleared to play until Sunday morning as they were required to self quarantine. The Raiders then lost right tackle Sam Young to a knee injury in the second quarter and Gabe Jackson was ejected in the third quarter.

Despite the offensive line woes and inability to run the ball against the league’s best rushing defense in Tampa Bay, the Raiders were down just four points in the fourth quarter before the game got out of hand. Now they face a Browns defense that’s a step down in quality compared to the Buccaneers: Tampa Bay is first in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA, first in defensive passing efficiency and third in defensive rushing efficiency. By comparison, Cleveland is 20th in defensive DVOA, 16th in passing efficiency and 23rd in rushing efficiency.

The Raiders are sixth in offensive DVOA and eighth in early-down success rate, though, so they should have no problem scoring at will against a Browns defense that gave up 34 points and 468 total yards to the Bengals last week.

The Browns will be without the services of Odell Beckham Jr., and while he may not have a direct impact on the point spread, the Browns were already just 16th in passing success rate and 17th in explosive pass play rate (plays of +20 yards). It’s tough to imagine this improving in his absence.

The Browns certainly have an advantage on the ground, but given the choice of being better on the ground or through the air, I’d rather have the latter. And in a game with a high total, I prefer to back the better passing offense.

And finally, road dogs of 6 or fewer points are 27-12 (69.2%). My model also makes this game a pick’em, so I bought low on the Raiders at +3 (get notifications as I make my picks), but I like them down to +2.5.

I would also recommend adding this play to a 6-point teaser along with the Packers (-0.5).

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

Brandon Anderson: Colts -2.5 at Lions

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

On paper, this looks like a pretty even fight. Indianapolis is 4-2, but Detroit is now 3-3 and gets to play at home. The Lions have won two in a row, one of them a dominant victory against a poor Jaguars team with only one win all season: In Week 1 against these very Colts.

The Colts certainly don’t feel very impressive. They lost to those Jaguars and then to the Browns by multiple scores. And the last time we saw the Colts before their bye week, they trailed the lowly Bengals 21-0 after just one quarter, barely pulling out the win.

The Lions may not be particularly impressive, but it sure feels like the Colts haven’t been either. This sort of just feels like two equally mediocre teams.

But feelings lie.

The Colts entered this past weekend fourth in the entire NFL in DVOA ranking and third in defensive DVOA. They’ve made things hard on themselves with a bunch of mistakes, whether turnovers or inefficient performance on third down and in the red zone, but they’re dominating teams overall. Even with a middling offense, the team is piling up yardage margins and dominating the clock.

If you just look at the numbers so far, the Colts look a whole lot like the Ravens. Would you make the Ravens less than a field goal favorite against the Lions in any world on any field?

Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: Philip Rivers

The Colts are coming off a bye week, too. That means extra rest, and maybe it means a chance for Philip Rivers to gel better with an offense he has struggled to look good in. The offense can really only get better, and that’s a scary thing with this team.

Early in the week, I’m always looking to lock in a bet I think might move past a key number later in the week. I’m grabbing Colts at -2.5 before it hits and passes that magic number of 3.

[Bet now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

Mike Randle: Ravens -3.5 vs. Steelers

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

The Ravens will be ready for their AFC North Rivals at home in Week 8.

The Steelers’ perfect 6-0 record has hidden some weaknesses on both sides of the ball. Their run defense is elite, ranking first in DVOA, allowing opposing running backs just 3.31 yards per carry. However, their pass defense has shown vulnerability — especially against opposing teams’ top wide receivers.

The Steelers have allowed the following stat lines this season:

  • A.J. Brown: 6 recs, 153 yards, 1 TD
  • Travis Fulgham: 10 recs, 152 yards, 1 TD
  • Randall Cobb: 4 recs, 95 yards, 1 TD
  • Will Fuller: 4 recs, 54 yards, 1 TD

Pittsburgh has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts, including nine touchdowns. In addition, the loss of linebacker Devin Bush (ACL surgery) is a huge blow to the Steelers defensive front seven.

Playing their second consecutive road game, the Steelers travel to Baltimore to face a well-rested Ravens team coming off their bye. When head coach John Harbaugh has extra time to prepare, that’s usually bad news for their opponent:

Baltimore has won three consecutive matchups with Pittsburgh, and the Ravens are one of the few teams that can match the Steelers’ defensive efficiency — the Ravens rank third in run defense and seventh in pass defense DVOA, allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and fourth-fewest points to opposing running backs.

This is simply a bad spot for Pittsburgh. As a result of consecutive road games, a well-rested rival, the Bush injury, and Harbaugh’s preparation prowess, I’m taking the Ravens and laying the 3.5 points.

As per our public betting data, 91% of the bets have backed Pittsburgh, lowering this line from 5.5 to 3.5. If this somehow goes below -3, I would love it even more.

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

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