NFL Betting Odds: Week 8 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
I really had no intention of addressing next Tuesday's NFL trade deadline in this space, but from what I'm reading things could get a bit wacky ahead of that.
Do I think any Super Bowl futures odds will change because of one trade? I don't. This isn't the NBA where adding one guy - short of a quarterback or a franchise-type pass-rusher like Khalil Mack - is going to alter a team's futures odds. But, it certainly can make a team that much more likely to win a Super Bowl.
The NFL trade deadline used to be nothing, often passing without casual fans even knowing when it was. That largely changed last year. The Jaguars might not make the AFC title game without trading for Bills Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Do the Eagles win the Super Bowl without acquiring running back Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins? We even saw a franchise-type quarterback change hands this time last year with Jimmy Garoppolo going from New England to San Francisco. Just that no one knew Jimmy G was that good at the time.
There have been a few deals already to boost some contenders. The Cowboys stunningly gave up a 2019 first-round pick for Raiders WR Amari Cooper. The Alabama product looked like the next Julio Jones his first two years but has not been good (other than one game in 2017 vs. the Chiefs) the past two. Can't believe Dallas gave up a first-round pick, but the Cowboys are horrible at receiver.
We all know the Raiders are tanking. The Giants have joined them, shipping cornerback and former first-round pick Eli Apple to New Orleans and defensive tackle Damion "Snacks" Harrison to Detroit. Apple has been mostly a bust and called a locker-room cancer, but the talent is there. The Saints need defensive help. Harrison could make a huge difference for the Lions because he's one of the premier run-stopping tackles in the league. Detroit currently ranks No. 30 against the run, allowing 139.3 ypg.
I'm not going to speculate who else might be dealt by Tuesday, but I can tell you my opinions on games involving the Giants and Raiders both changed this week as I was leaning toward taking them as short home dogs vs. the Redskins and Colts, respectively, but now definitely am not. The players know what's going on; hard to give full effort when your coach/front office has given up.
Here are some line moves (really nothing drastic in that regard) or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 8.
49ers at Cardinals ( +1, 42.5): This opened as a pick'em. I honestly don't care one iota about this horrific matchup, other than to see if Arizona can finally reach 300 yards in its first game since firing offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and replacing him with QBs coach Byron Leftwich. Supposedly, Leftwich will incorporate David Johnson as the focal point of the offense, as he should be. Bovada has a special on Johnson, giving him an "over/under" of 89.5 yards rushing for his highest game the rest of the way. The over is a -140 favorite. Johnson's season high is 71 yards, and he hasn't topped 55 in any other game. There's also a prop on whether Cardinals star defensive back Patrick Peterson is traded with no at -300 and yes at +200. Earlier this week, I would have said yes as Peterson requested a deal, but after he talked to ownership apparently all is well now. I'm sure Arizona still would if it gets a huge offer. Niners RB Matt Breida, WR Pierre Garcon and CB Richard Sherman are all in major question this week. Arizona might sweep this season series and not win another game.
Eagles vs. Jaguars (+3, 41.5): This has the lowest total of the week and is the last London/9:30 a.m. kickoff off the season. The loser here would be 3-5 and close to up the creek in returning to the playoffs. If either played in a better division, they might be toast already, but both the NFC East and AFC South are weak. I'm shocked there's no prop on Blake Bortles this week because he reportedly will be on a short leash here, not that Cody Kessler can do much better. You keep hearing about the Jags trading for Cleveland's Tyrod Taylor, who would truly be perfect for Jacksonville because he doesn't turn it over, but the Jags are tight against the salary cap. If Bortles is awful again, the Jags almost have to do something. Carlos Hyde will make his Jags debut. Two of the Jags' top four cornerbacks, D.J. Hayden (toe) and Tyler Patmon (neck), could sit out.
Bucs at Bengals (-4, 54.5): Cincinnati opened as a 6-point favorite. The Bengals might get back starting center Billy Price. The 21st overall pick in this year's draft has missed the past five games due to a foot injury, and the re-shuffled O-Line hasn't been good. Right guard Alex Redmond is only playing because Price is hurt, and he has been one of the worst offensive linemen in the league. Price returning would allow Trey Hopkins to move from center back to right guard. Top linebacker Vontaze Burfict is in question with a hip injury. Last thing the Bengals need is to lose one of their few good defenders as five quarterbacks have thrown for at least 315 yards against them this year. In 10 quarters (and one overtime), Bucs QB Jameis Winston has amassed 905 passing yards. Tampa Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy missed last week with a calf injury and isn't looking good. Linebacker Kwon Alexander tore his ACL last week. This should be a shootout.
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