Week 8 has some very interesting lines and the market hasn’t even fully taken shape.
We have Aaron Rodgers as a double-digit underdog for the first time in his career as the Packers take on a rested Bills team on “Sunday Night Football” and Tom Brady as a home underdog against the Ravens on “Thursday Night Football.”
We also have Jacksonville as clear favorites against the Broncos in a “home” game at Wembley Stadium and a Buckeye State battle between the Bengals and Browns on Monday night.
Only two teams have byes this week (Chiefs and Chargers), while the Bills, Rams, Vikings and Eagles return from their off weeks with three of the four in clear favorite roles.
Here are some early lines to consider for Week 8 (odds are from DraftKings as of Sunday night):
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings (-4, 48)
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals outlasted the Saints on Thursday night, so the rest advantage is somewhat nullified for the Vikings. Still, Minnesota will get a crack at a really bad Arizona defense. The Cardinals had two pick-sixes in the span of 1:04 to end the first half, but the defense gave up 494 yards and seven yards per play otherwise.
Kevin O’Connell is an astute coach who has a lot of weapons and should be able to pick apart the Fightin’ Kliff Kingsburys to hang a number in this one. Meanwhile, Murray only threw for 204 yards against a Saints defense that was without Marshon Lattimore to start the game and lost Bradley Roby during it. Trusting the Vikings is a good way to have a sweaty Sunday, but they should take care of business off the bye.
Pick: Vikings -4
San Francisco 49ers (-1.5, 41) at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had a lot of soul-searching to do during the bye week. To go from a Super Bowl champion to a team averaging just five yards per play is quite a fall from grace. However, there’s a good chance the Rams figured out some of their issues during the week off, and a whole new set of problems opened up for the 49ers.
San Francisco was shredded by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in a 44-23 loss Sunday. While the Rams aren’t on the Chiefs’ level, San Francisco was exposed in a big way. The 49ers went into the game tops in the league in yards per play allowed with 4.2 but hadn’t really played a good offense to that point (including the Rams, who had only nine points and 257 yards of offense in a Week 4 loss to San Francisco).
That total was 42.5 on the slow track at Levi’s Stadium. This total is lower on the fast track at SoFi and the 49ers defense is in worse shape. Furthermore, Kyle Shanahan had a pretty good game plan against the Rams as the 49ers racked up 6.7 yards per play. This total seems too low after the teams went 0-for-4 in the red zone in the first matchup.
Pick: Over 41
Miami Dolphins (-3.5, 50) at Detroit Lions
Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins averaged six yards per play against the Steelers in a 16-10 win on Sunday night. It was good to see Tua back, but he did miss some throws and some opportunities. Moreover, the Steelers completely took the air out of the ball by holding it for over 33 minutes, which the Dolphins from getting more kicks at the can.
The Dolphins scored on four of their five possessions in the first half but settled for field goals on three of them, then had a drive stuffed on downs to start the second half. They left points on the field against a solid Pittsburgh defense. This week, they’ll face a much weaker Lions defense that had allowed 6.5 yards per play going into Week 7 (they allowed 5.6 to the Cowboys, who were easing Dak Prescott back into action).
On the fast, indoor track at Ford Field, the Dolphins should run wild. And nobody puts up garbage-time stats quite like Jared Goff. This game should feature some points.
Pick: Over 50