Survivor pools: Best picks for Week 8 NFL games

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

October 24, 2022 07:34 PM
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In last week’s Survivor article, I wrote about the Buccaneers-Panthers matchup just a couple days after Tampa Bay lost to the Steelers and said, “Tampa Bay can’t do this again this week, right?” Well, it turns out they can. And they took out another sizable chunk of Survivor players in the process. While the Bucs weren’t last week’s pick in the article, many had them as the lone double-digit favorite on the board against the Panthers -- and those people are now more annoyed with Tom Brady than Gisele Bundchen is. Throw in another big upset with the New England Patriots losing on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears, and it was another tough week for Survivor players.

In any event, if you’re still standing in your Survivor pool, kudos to you because very few top contenders have performed up to expectations thus far. We didn’t really get our first big upset until Week 8 last season (the Mike White game in Jets vs. Bengals; the following week was Jaguars over Bills). This season, we’ve seen a bunch of them, and 98% of the 6,133 entries in the Circa Sports Survivor Contest have been eliminated.

If you’re still alive, take a deep breath and take a good, long look at the Week 8 slate.

GAMES TO CONSIDER

Philadelphia Eagles (-10.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers

The last thing any team wants to do is give Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense some extra possessions. It may be inevitable in the Keystone State showdown because Kenny Pickett can’t help but throw the ball to the other team. Pickett threw three more interceptions in Pittsburgh’s 16-10 loss to the Dolphins. Once Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins adjusted on defense, the Steelers had five straight punts to open the second half and then the two interceptions that cost Pittsburgh the game.

Teams on a roll like the Eagles don’t necessarily want the bye week, but they come out of it with a great chance to be at least 9-0 with the Steelers, Texans and Commanders the next three games. Philadelphia has outgained the opposition by 0.9 yards per play and ranks in the top five in points per drive on offense and on defense. They’re + 12 in turnover with only two giveaways and 14 takeaways. It sure looks like those extra scoring opportunities are coming and the Eagles should take care of business this week.

The lone hold-up is that you can take the Eagles in two weeks against the Commanders when it looks like a much tougher Survivor card.

Buffalo Bills (-10.5) over Green Bay Packers

For the first time in his illustrious career, Aaron Rodgers is a double-digit underdog. Everything lines up for that to be the case, though, as the Bills are clearly the NFL’s best team, are coming off a bye and the Packers stink right now. Green Bay has lost three in a row to the Giants, Jets and Commanders, managing just 301, 278 and 232 yards of offense over those games. This is the second of three straight road games for Green Bay and the third in four weeks after playing the Giants in London in a Week 5 “home” game.

The Packers have the fifth-best average starting field position against on defense, yet rank 15th in points per drive allowed. The Bills are third in points per drive allowed, so it will continue to be a struggle for Rodgers and the offense, along with some expected regression from the Packers defense.

Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) over Arizona Cardinals

For a less obvious consideration, how about the Vikings off a bye against the Cardinals? Arizona is on some extra rest after facing the Saints, but the 42-34 win over New Orleans isn’t as impressive as it may seem. The Cardinals got two pick-sixes right at the end of the first half in a span of 1:04. The Saints scored 34 points across the other 10 drives and had seven yards per play and 494 yards of total offense. That includes an interception in the end zone thrown by Andy Dalton on the Saints’ second possession.

New Orleans racked up 215 yards of offense on the first three drives, so this wasn’t just a case of garbage-time production. If that’s what the Saints did with Dalton on a short week, what will Kevin O’Connell, Kirk Cousins and all of those weapons do with extra time to prepare? The next spot to take Minnesota might be Week 13 against the Jets or Week 15 against the Colts, so this is a tough decision, but one that could have some equity if you save a really good team for later in the year.

THE PICK

Dallas Cowboys (-10.5) over Chicago Bears

Of the three double-digit favorites are on the card this week, the Cowboys are the only of them against a rookie head coach in Matt Eberflus, and he’s on a short week off of Monday Night Football. Dallas was workmanlike in the win over Detroit last week, as Dak Prescott shook off some rust in the 24-6 victory. While Dallas wasn’t explosive on offense, the defense continued to perform at a high level, holding a Lions bunch that had amassed 6.2 yards per play to that point in the season to just 5.6. Detroit only had one drive with more than 50 yards gained and the Cowboys forced five takeaways.

The Bears are coming off an impressive Monday Night Football win over New England, but Justin Fields holds the ball longer than any quarterback in the league, which creates ample opportunities for Micah Parsons and others to put Chicago behind the chains. If you don’t have to save the Cowboys for consideration on Thanksgiving, they’re the pick to make this week.

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PRO TOOLS

Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings for every game on the board, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

NFL Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

CFB Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

View more CFB tools for Pro subscribers

View more NFL tools for Pro subscribers

PRO TIPS

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

Live Bet Tonight: In games with favorites laying 3 points or fewer, check out laying the price on the moneyline and avoid losing by a few points. View more tips

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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