Our best bets for every NFL Week 8 game

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

October 30, 2022 06:43 AM
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Welcome to Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season.

Throughout the season, our VSiN experts will combine to give their best bets on every game. Check back for more picks as we get closer to kickoff.

Odds are from DraftKings (unless noted) as of Thursday night. Go to VSiN.com for Betting Splits for each game and live odds across the NFL market.

Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5, 39.5) in London

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET

Wes Reynolds: Russell Wilson has looked cooked this season, but he’s still an upgrade over what we saw from Brett Rypien last week in a 16-9 loss to the Jets. The Broncos won the yardage battle (324-260) but only averaged 4.3 yards per play, with Rypien at 4.7 yards per pass attempt. 

The Broncos rank last in points per game at 14.3, but there is value playing them in a teaser in a game with the lowest total on the board.

Wilson appears ready to go after doing the high knees in the aisle on the flight to London (yeah, he’s a little strange), so “Let’s Ride” with the Broncos and pair them in a teaser with the Texans (versus the Titans). 

Pick: Broncos + 8.5/Texans + 8.5 Teaser

Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys (-9.5, 42.2)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Femi Abebefe: A lot of old-school sharp handicappers like to fade teams coming off strong performances in prime time. I don’t think many people expected the 2022 Bears to end up in that type of spot, but after their demolition of the Patriots, I’ll be looking to short them.

From a numerical standpoint, let’s remember the Bears closed as 8.5-point underdogs against New England after having extra rest and preparation time. Now they’re at a rest disadvantage and heading to Dallas to face the Cowboys.

Whatever you think about the Cowboys, I think most people would say Dallas is probably three points better than New England on a neutral field. If that’s the case, this number shouldn’t be lower than the lookahead line of 10. 

Couple that with the fact that the Bears offensive line is shaky at best and is now going up against one of the most lethal pass rushes in the NFL. Never in a million years would I bet Chicago in this spot after last week’s performance. Give me “America’s Team” to win by double digits.

Pick: Cowboys -9.5

Las Vegas Raiders (-1, 49.5) at New Orleans Saints

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: The Raiders had a really slow start last week against the Texans but ultimately hung 38 points and got Davante Adams more involved than he has been in any game this season. They also ran the ball effectively with Josh Jacobs. It makes sense that an offensive mind like Josh McDaniels would fix some things during the bye.

This week, the Raiders have a great chance to continue that momentum. It’s an early game with a long trip to New Orleans, but the Saints are missing Bradley Roby, and Marshon Lattimore still isn’t healthy and could miss another game. That should set up well for Adams and Mack Hollins to be key cogs in a Raiders offense that has racked up six yards per play.

I wrote about it last week when I took the Raiders laying a touchdown against the Texans: This team should be a lot better. They’ve moved the ball and rank second in points per drive, despite having a bunch of red-zone issues. They’ve scored on over 54% of their possessions. They have achieved some really great rushing numbers and the passing game should be coming around.

Defensively, the Raiders are a bit limited and haven’t gotten the pressure they would like, but Andy Dalton doesn’t move well and can be pressured into mistakes when the pocket starts to collapse. The Saints are severely banged-up again this week against a fresher Raiders team off of a recent bye.

Pick: Raiders -1

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-4, 41)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: Sometimes inexplicable things happen in sports. The Panthers scored more than16 points for the first time in four games and beat the Buccaneers last week. They rushed for a season-high 173 yards without Christian McCaffrey, who was traded to the 49ers three days earlier. Prior to the 21-3 win over Tampa Bay, the Panthers had lost three straight games by double digits.

They take on a lesser foe in the Falcons this week, but one that has been low-key humming on offense. By DVOA, Atlanta is ninth in Total Offense, 15th in Pass Offense and fourth in Rushing Offense. The Panthers, meanwhile, are 30th, 32nd and 15th in those categories. With the worst offense in the NFL on third down, Carolina’s lack of efficiency has been a major issue and will continue to be.

By DVOA, the Falcons have the worst defense in the NFL, but the Panthers are a big step down from most of the opponents they have faced. After committing eight turnovers in the first four games, the Falcons haven’t turned the ball over in any of the last three. Arthur Smith’s offense is really taking hold and the team has shown clear improvement throughout the season.

The Panthers had their big bump after the McCaffrey trade, but it should be back to reality this week.

Pick: Falcons -4

Dave Tuley: Believe it or not, this game has NFC South implications with all four teams under .500 entering Week 8. The Falcons (3-4) were tied with Tampa Bay at the top of the division entering the Bucs’ Thursday night game, while the Panthers (2-5) were just one game back after upsetting the Bucs as 13-point home underdogs in Week 7 (despite trading star RB Christian McCaffrey and everyone believing they had given up on the season).

The Falcons have been overachieving all season. Their 35-17 loss to the Bengals was the first game they didn’t cover against the spread, with three upsets and three covers in straight-up losses.

The Falcons opened as 6.5-point home favorites, which is usually not a good spot for teams that are used to being dogs (see recent examples of Lions and Jaguars), and early action has come in on the Panthers. RBs D’Onta Foreman (116 rushing yards, two receptions) and Chubba Hubbard (63 rushing yards, one TD, two receptions) more than made up for the loss of McCaffrey, while QB P.J. Walker (16-for-22, 177 passing yards, two TDs) hit enough key throws to upset the Bucs, though the Panthers are still last in the NFL at 271.9 yards per game.

The Falcons, for all their relative success, are No. 30 in total defense, so we feel this line is a little inflated (the advance line from the summer was around pick’em or Falcons -1). We expect the Panthers to be in this the whole way and we don’t think anyone will be shocked if they pull another upset.

Pick: Panthers + 4

Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles (-10.5, 43)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: These aren’t Andy Reid’s Eagles, who used to be gold coming out of a bye; in fact, they’re 6-6 SU and 3-8-1 ATS in post-bye week games the past dozen years, including 2-3 SU and a 0-4-1 ATS in home games.

Philadelphia apologists will say this undefeated team is better than most of those squads, but we still don’t think the Eagles should be favored by this many points. I mean, as awesome as the Eagles have been this season, they’ve only won two games (Vikings and Commanders) by more than this spread and have failed to cover smaller spreads against the Lions and Cardinals.

Besides, the Steelers, as inconsistent as they’ve been, are coming off a 20-18 upset of the Buccaneers as 9.5-point home underdogs and a spread-covering 16-10 loss as 7-point road dogs at the Dolphins.

Pick: Steelers + 10.5

Miami Dolphins (-3.5, 51.5) at Detroit Lions

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Wes Reynolds: The Lions were a team that the metrics and math guys liked to start the season, but now they’re 1-5 and at the bottom of the NFC North (1.5 games behind the Packers and Bears). The market may have been too high on this team to begin with, but the Lions may be a bit oversold at this point. 

Detroit is back at home and indoors at Ford Field, where they have scored 35 (Week 1 vs. Philadelphia), 36 (Week 2 vs. Washington) and 45 (Week 4 vs. Seattle) for an average of 38.7 points at home. 

The shutout loss at New England in Week 5 was a bad spot for them, though still hard to excuse. However, they had a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter at Minnesota and outgained the Vikings. Last week was a highly misleading final score at Dallas. The market came in on Detroit at + 7/+ 7.5 and the number actually closed + 6.5. Detroit was only down 10-6 in the fourth quarter at “Jerry World” and had a first-and-goal at the 1 with 12 minutes left. Jamaal Williams fumbled at the goal line, ending a 12-play, 79-yard, seven-minute drive with no points. Then, Detroit forced a three-and-out only to turn it over again, giving Dallas a short field and a touchdown that put the game out of reach. The yardage between the two teams (Dallas 330-312 edge; 5.6 YPP for each) was essentially even, but the Lions had five turnovers (-4 margin) and that was the ballgame. 

Meanwhile, Miami’s secondary is really banged up with corners Byron Jones and Nick Needham along with safety Brandon Jones out for the season. Corner Xavien Howard has been battling a groin injury since Week 4 and is playing at way less than 100%, while fellow corner Kader Kohou has been limited in practice with an oblique injury. Safety Jevon Holland ranks seventh out of 87 safeties per PFF, but he can only do so much. In addition, the Lions likely get RB D’Andre Swift and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown back this week. 

This looks like a buy-low spot on the Lions. 

Pick: Lions + 3.5

Adam Burke: Sometimes you stumble upon a really good handicap that you didn’t even think about. I have our own Matt Brown to thank for this one. While waiting to hop on the desk for “VSiN Final Countdown,” I got to overhear Matt talking about his thoughts on Dolphins-Lions and why he liked Miami. I’ll present his case to you, along with some additional points.

As we all know, Tua Tagovailoa came back from concussion protocol last week and wasn’t terribly sharp against the Steelers, but he was being treated with kid gloves and maybe a little gun-shy in his own right. This week, he should be able to unleash Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill against a bad Lions defense. As Matt pointed out, Hill leads the NFL in catches of 10+ and 20+ yards. Meanwhile, Waddle leads the league in catches of 30+ and 40+ yards.

The Lions are the worst defense in the NFL in net yards per pass attempt and adjusted net yards per pass attempt. They’re also 27th in yards per catch and tied with the Raiders for fewest sacks this season. Tua should eat and his receivers should feast in this game. Add in the fast track at Ford Field and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Detroit is 32nd in points per drive allowed and 31st in percentage of opponents’ possessions ending in a score. How the Lions keep up here is a mystery. Lay it and play it with the road Dolphins.

Pick: Dolphins -3.5

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5, 49)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: There seems to be a lot of love in the betting markets for Arizona this week and I don’t get it. The Cardinals gave up nearly 500 yards to the Saints last week and greatly benefited from two pick-sixes in the span of 1:04 to end the first half. Arizona’s defense, specifically the secondary, remains a huge problem for this team.

The Vikings are being bet against because they are -0.6 in yards per play differential and have greatly overachieved as a 5-1 team, but a brilliant mind like Kevin O’Connell is coming off the bye and facing a Cardinals team that he saw five times as the offensive coordinator of the Rams from 2020-21. The Cardinals have the highest percentage of possessions ending in points for the opposition at 45.8%. The Vikings take good care of the ball and have plenty of weapons for Kirk Cousins.

Here’s another thing: Arizona is -0.9 in yards per play. The Cardinals have only mustered 4.9 yards per play. The return of DeAndre Hopkins was big, but the Saints were also missing Marshon Lattimore to start the game and lost Bradley Roby during the game, so they were basically running out practice-squad dudes. Minnesota’s YPP differential is due in large part to games against the Eagles and Dolphins, two offenses with a ton of skill-position talent. The Cardinals don’t have that to the same degree.

Situationally, the game also lends itself well to Minnesota with the Vikings coming off the bye and Arizona having a long trip and an early kickoff.

Pick: Vikings -3.5

Wes Reynolds: Minnesota comes into Week 8 with a 5-1 record and off a bye. Perhaps the bye week came at the worst time with the Vikings on a four-game winning streak and running relatively lucky of late. 

I bet the Vikings Over on their season wins total, to win the NFC North and as a 40-1 darkhorse to win the Super Bowl. Needless to say, I was high on this team over the summer and I do not dislike them, but if you look at recent form, the Vikings haven’t really proven anything. They beat a Lions team that has won one game and were outgained 416-373 (while having to come back from down 10 in the fourth quarter). Next, they beat the Saints and Andy Dalton in London while getting outgained in yards per play (5.9 to 5.1). Then, they beat the Bears after blowing a double-digit lead at home and having to score with 2:26 left to come back and win. Finally, they won in Miami against a combination of Teddy Bridgewater and third-string rookie Skylar Thompson (and were outgained 458-234).

Meanwhile, Arizona might be a bit revitalized with the return of DeAndre Hopkins after his six-game suspension. Hopkins showed no rust last Thursday night, catching 10 balls for 103 yards on 14 targets. Kyler Murray also posted his first game of the season with a passer rating of over 100. Ordinarily one player’s return does not make much of a difference, but Hopkins’ certainly does. 

— Murray with Hopkins: 9-2 record, 71% completions, 20-9 TD-INT, 271 yards/game

— Murray without Hopkins: 3-7 record, 64% completions, 11-6 TD-INT, 238 yards/game

Arizona’s scoring differential is + 6.0 points per game with Hopkins and -4.4 without him. The Vikings rank 31st in DVOA versus opposing No. 1 receivers, so Hopkins could have a monster day. Minnesota also ranks 32nd against tight ends, so ditto for Zach Ertz. 

The Cardinals defense has also been trending upward since being crushed 44-21 in Week 1 versus Kansas City. Arizona is 8th in Defensive EPA since Week 1. 

Finally, I have been critical of Kliff Kingsbury and he often seems in over his head. However, he’s 15-3-2 ATS as a road underdog.

Pick: Cardinals + 3.5 

New England Patriots (-2.5, 40.5) at New York Jets

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: This was expected to be a battle of AFC East teams with winning records until the Patriots (3-4) lost to the Bears as 8.5-point home favorites on Monday night. The Jets (5-2) continue their Cinderella story (OK, maybe that’s going too far) after four straight wins over the Steelers, Dolphins, Packers and Broncos. The Jets suffered a big loss with rookie sensation Breece Hall going down with a torn ACL, but the offense has reinforcements on the way with RB James Robinson acquired from Jacksonville and WR Elijah Moore returning after requesting a trade and being inactive in Week 7. The Jets’ No. 10 defense should also help keep this game close against a New England offense that only managed 14 points against the Bears. The Jets could even pull off the minor upset, but we feel the best way to play them is in teasers

Pick: Jets + 8.5/Saints + 7.5 (widely available) Teaser

Tennessee Titans (-2.5, 40.5) at Houston Texans

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Wes Reynolds: Ryan Tannehill did practice, albeit limited, for the first time on Thursday and the market reacted to the news and moved the Titans up to -2.5. However, the Titans have been one of the more fortunate teams this season. In fact, Tennessee has been outgained in all six games:

— Week 1: Giants 394 yards (6.8 ypp), Titans 359 yards (6.0 ypp)

— Week 2: Bills 414 yards (6.4 ypp), Titans 187 yards (3.5 ypp)

— Week 3: Raiders 396 yards (6.1 ypp), Titans 361 yards (6.6 ypp)

— Week 4: Colts 365 yards (5.8 ypp), Titans 243 yards (4.7 ypp)

— Week 5: Commanders 385 yards (6.6 ypp), Titans 241 yards (3.9 ypp)

— Week 6: Bye

— Week 7: Colts 292 yards (4.6 ypp), Titans 254 yards (4.5 ypp)

Tennessee has played its last three games against starting quarterbacks who went on to lose their jobs (Matt Ryan, injury plus a lot of ineffectiveness; Carson Wentz, injury plus a little ineffectiveness). 

I would like to see a + 3 pop for Houston but may bet them anyway at + 2.5. However, teasing the Texans up to + 8.5 looks like a prudent move with a low total and a Titans team that is only averaging 19.2 points per game.

Pick: Texans + 8.5/Broncos + 8.5 Teaser

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks (-3, 44.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Femi Abebefe: Somehow, this is the only game this week featuring two teams above .500. 

In what has been a wacky NFL season, no team has put more cash in bettors’ pockets than the Giants. Big Blue is 6-1 SU and 6-1 ATS and has won as an outright underdog in four of their seven games. Their success at the window — and on the field — has been one of the biggest stories of the season, but it hasn’t garnered them respect in the betting market.

The Giants have only been favored in three games despite having the second-best record in the league. Now, I don’t think the Giants are the second-best team in the NFL, but I’ve also started to come around on this team not being a complete fraud like most suggest.

The Giants are somewhere around average, maybe a little below average, and for the second week in a row are facing a team in the same stratosphere as them. The Seahawks have also been a pleasant surprise, but their wins have come against the disastrous Broncos, Lions, Cardinals and a banged-up Chargers team.

With Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (knee) likely out, I think this ends up being a coin flip, and like last week, I’ll take the FG again in what should be an entertaining game.

Pick: Giants + 3

Washington Commanders at Indianapolis Colts (-3, 39.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: Getting robbed of Carson Wentz facing his former team is one of the most egregious things to happen this NFL season, but we’ll soldier on with Taylor Heinicke against the Colts instead. Heinicke threw two touchdown passes on a neat and tidy afternoon against the Packers with only one pick and one sack, which was a pretty sizable upgrade over what Wentz had been providing.

The game state and Heinicke forced more balance for the Commanders, who rushed for a season-high 166 yards in the victory. They also held the Packers to just 38 rushing yards and just 232 yards of total offense overall. A week after a misleading win over the Bears on Thursday, the Commanders looked significantly better in their Week 7 win.

Now they draw backup QB Sam Ehlinger as the Colts look for any kind of offensive spark in the absence of Matt Ryan. The Colts have actually outgained the Commanders on a yards per play basis and have a stronger set of defensive numbers, but 14 turnovers have been hard to overcome. Washington has only forced four turnovers this season, so we’ll see if Ehlinger and the Colts offense can move the ball more effectively.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Ryan or Ehlinger, teams are going to force the Colts to throw to beat them. Jonathan Taylor has only rushed for 4.2 yards per carry on 91 tries this season. He has 386 yards through five games. He actually fell short of 65 yards in four of his first five games last season before going off in a big way from Week 6 on. Perhaps Ehlinger’s mobility can free up some running lanes for Taylor with some more creative packages and play calls.

This is a low total for a reason, but the conditions will be perfect at Lucas Oil Stadium and you’ve got two offenses that could look a bit different and a little more creative. Taking a shot at over 39.5 isn’t a bad idea, especially with a Commanders team that has allowed at least 21 points in six of seven games and an offense that looked rejuvenated last week.

Pick: Over 39.5

San Francisco 49ers (-1.5, 42.5) at Los Angeles Rams

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: Anybody who watched the Week 4 meeting between these teams on “Monday Night Football” understands why San Francisco is a road favorite. The Rams mustered just 257 yards and three field goals in that game. It wasn’t as big of a blowout as the 24-9 final would suggest, as the 49ers had a pick-six in the fourth quarter to ice it, but that game sums up the season thus far.

The Rams are the lowest-scoring team in the NFC and have barely gained five yards per play. Their 13 turnovers are the second most in the league and their TO% of 21% is the highest, meaning no other team has turned it over on a higher percentage of possessions than the Rams. In 19 red-zone trips, the Rams have nine touchdowns. If the ball doesn’t go to Cooper Kupp, it doesn’t seem to be moving down the field.

The NFL has seen a major downtick in offense this season, due in large part to defensive scheme changes. With the running game de-emphasized, secondaries have finally made adjustments and are playing more Cover-2, Cover-3, Cover-4 and other variations of zone. Unless a team is getting elite QB play (Chiefs and Bills come to mind), teams that run the ball effectively are having success. With Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson, the Rams aren’t one of those teams.

The 49ers aren’t running the rock all that well, but they brought in Christian McCaffrey to help in that department. They’ve also gotten some pretty strong play from Jimmy Garoppolo. In the end, this is just a basic handicap. The 49ers are very likely to win it in the trenches. They have the second-highest Pressure% in the NFL, so they should harass Matthew Stafford behind a bad and banged-up offensive line. They should control the line of scrimmage on offense as well.

Unless something magically changes with the Rams, the better team is laying a really short number here.

Pick: 49ers -1.5

Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills (-11, 47.5)

Dave Tuley: This was the first play I gave out on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night after the Week 8 openers were released. I know the Bills are the Super Bowl favorites and have the No. 1-ranked offense and defense, but they play a lot of close games (lost 21-19 at the Dolphins, failed to cover in 23-20 win at the Ravens and only covered in their 24-20 win at the Chiefs before the bye because the spread was so low at -2.5).

As for the Packers, I know how terribly they’ve played (and have made money fading them this year despite not taking the Commanders last week), but they’re not so bad that they should be double-digit underdogs. This is the first time Aaron Rodgers has been given this many points in his career, and he’s already mentioned that being such big dogs versus the Bills might be good for his team.

Now, just because a player or team sounds motivated doesn’t mean they’ll automatically win or cover, but dogs are 4-1 ATS in the past five on “Sunday Night Football,” so it has been a prime opportunity for dogs with something to prove to show what they have before a national audience.

Pick: Packers + 11.5 (SuperBook)

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PRO TOOLS

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PRO TIPS

VSiN PrimeTime: Always check to see if a moneyline parlay offers better odds than a teaser. View more tips

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PRO PICKS

Matt Youmans: Washington +6 vs Texas. View more picks

Paul Stone: Florida State -7 vs Oklahoma. View more pick

 

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