NFL Betting Predictions: Week 8 Opening Line Report and Picks
In Week 7, we delivered in a big way, going 3-1, including a +145 play on the New York Giants ML. The Chiefs covered the -3 spread with ease, and the Giants covered the +3 in their win in Jacksonville. The lone blemish was the Lions, with a disappointing result in Dallas. Before heading into Week 8, let’s look at the biggest Week 7 storylines throughout the league.
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- Trouble for Tom: Tom Brady came out of retirement for… this? The Buccaneers are sitting at a sub-par 3-4 record, yet still sit top of the division. A blowout loss to the consensus worst team in the NFL in Week 7 just added to the misery.
- Dak Delivers: While Cooper Rush filled in admirably, the starting QB job in Dallas still belongs to Dak Prescott. It wasn’t the best game of Prescott’s career, but 207 passing yards to go with 1 TD and 0 INTs was enough to get a crucial win.
- Cincinnati is back: After starting the year 0-2, the Bengals once again look like Super Bowl contenders. Four wins in their last 5, with the Browns and Panthers on the horizon, leaves Joe Burrow and company well positioned for another deep playoff run.
- Aaron Rodgers needs help: The Packers got dominated by the Commanders on both sides of the ball, leaving their record at 3-4 through seven weeks. The NFC North dominance is clearly coming to an end, with the Vikings looking poised for their first crown since 2017.
- NFC Beast: The NFC East was the worst division in football for the last two years but has clearly turned a corner, posting a 20-7 combined record through seven weeks, including 5-0 in non-division games in the last two weeks.
- Chiefs are still contenders: The Kansas City Chiefs smoked Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers, improving their record to 5-2. Patrick Mahomes is truly one of a kind and has the capability to lead the 25th-ranked defense to a No. 1 seed.
While Week 7 was great, it’s time to move onto Week 8. The opening lines have dropped, and it’s critical to lock in value early in the week. There is always risk, such as the Chiefs dropping from -3 to a pick 'em last week, but it’s unlikely star running backs will be traded every week. It takes patience to lock up the bankroll for a week, but every half point matters when looking to beat the bookies. Let’s dive in.
Game 1: Miami Dolphins at Detroit Lions
Opening Line: Miami Dolphins (-3)
Two teams going in opposite directions meet in Detroit in Week 8. Tua Tagovailoa has a perfect 4-0 record in the games he has completed, compared to the 0-3 record the Dolphins possess without him. He is back at full strength and should easily take advantage of the Lions. The Dolphins added Tyreek Hill in the offseason and have seen their offense tick up a notch since his arrival. Going back to the torrid 8-1 finish last year, the Dolphins with Tagovailoa are on a 12-1 run. Across the field stands the Detroit Lions. Heading into the season, there was some buzz surrounding this Lions team, and that chatter continued after a competitive Week 1 against Philly and a win against Washington in Week 2. However, they have fallen off a cliff and have a defense that will let anyone through, averaging 32.3 PPG against, worst in the league by almost 4 points. The Lions are looking directly at another losing season and another high draft pick to go along with it. In Week 8, the Dolphins will jump out to an early lead and never look back. If this spread was any higher, I’d be worried about the backdoor cover, but at a measly -3, a cover to go along with a Dolphins win is well within reach.
Pick: Miami Dolphins (-3)
Game 2: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
Opening Line: Tennessee Titans (-1.5)
Tennessee started off the season 0-2 but has since rattled off four straight wins. This has been largely due to the defense stepping up at crucial times and RB Derrick Henry doing Derrick Henry things. While there remains legitimate concerns surrounding their passing game, the Titans look poised for another playoff appearance. Hosting the Titans is Davis Mills and the Houston Texans. The Texans are rebuilding, and winning games is clearly a low priority for them. After shipping out franchise stars JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson in consecutive seasons, the Texans are a long way from their division win in 2019. The gulf in class between these two teams is much more than the 1.5-point spread suggests. While Tennessee has their problems, and are the road team, they should ride Henry to a comfortable win. At -1.5 points, this certainly feels like a no-brainer, and I expect this line to climb to -3 before Sunday afternoon.
Pick: Tennessee Titans (-1.5)
Game 3: Washington Commanders at Indianapolis Colts
Opening Line: Indianapolis Colts (-3)
Both of these teams have undergone quarterback changes in recent weeks. For the Commanders, Carson Wentz broke his finger, so up stepped 2021 starter Taylor Heinicke. In his first start of the year, Heinicke quickly threw a pick-6. However, he turned his game around and led his team to a 23-21 victory over the Green Bay Packers. For the Colts, Matt Ryan separated his shoulder and has been benched for the remainder of the season. Sam Ehlinger has been named the starter, but he has yet to throw a pass in the NFL. Handing over the keys to the franchise to a virtual rookie for the rest of the season is a bold move, but a necessary one. In this intriguing matchup, I’m forced to take the experience of Heinicke to prevail. He has shown the ability to win football games and makes the entire team around him better. They truly love him as QB in Washington, and the overall feeling around this team has improved astronomically. The defensive line is always a threat and will be licking their lips to get to the new QB. Unless Ehlinger is able to pull a rabbit out of the hat, I’ll gladly take the free field goal given to the Commanders.
Pick: Washington Commanders (+3)
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