Since more money gets wagered on favorites as opposed to underdogs in most matchups, oddsmakers and sportsbooks tend to do very well when underdogs have a good week. After many successful weeks for underdogs, Week 7 was one for the favorites, as they went 8-5 ATS. There are still two undefeated teams left (Patriots, 49ers) and two teams looking for their first win (Dolphins, Bengals). As of now, there are just two road favorites (Green Bay and Seattle) in this week’s slate. Here is a look at the early NFL Week 8 lines and their predicted movement throughout the week. (odds courtesy of FanDuel)
Thursday, October 24th – 8:20 PM EST
Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings (-16) – O/U 42
Predicted Movement: We are on the precipice of betting history in this matchup. To date, the largest spread for a Thursday night game is 16.5 points when the New England Patriots played the New York Giants two weeks ago. Will the number get bet high enough to break the record? As one-sided as this matchup may appear, there is the interesting storyline of Adrian Peterson making his return to Minnesota. Other than that, this game could get ugly quickly. Minnesota has averaged 36 PPG in its recent three-game winning streak, while Washington was shut out 9-0 against San Francisco. While the spread may not go high enough to make history, look for Minnesota’s offensive resurgence to be enough to move the O/U up a couple of points.
Sunday, October 27th- 1:00 PM EST
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (-7) – O/U 50
Predicted Movement: The Detroit Lions would have told you a week ago that scoring 30 points against the vaunted Vikings defense would be enough to win. However, Detroit’s defense allowed 503 total yards and 42 points. Kirk Cousins had his best game of the season, as he threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns while Dalvin Cook added two touchdowns and 142 yards on the ground. Detroit’s defense will look to get right against the New York Giants, who just allowed eight sacks to the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona forced Daniel Jones into three turnovers (one interception and two fumbles), and New York allowed 156 yards on the ground. The Lions are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games against teams with a losing record. Given that Detroit is playing consecutive games at home, I would look for bettors to move this spread off the key number, closer to -7.5 or -8.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) at Atlanta Falcons – O/U 53.5
Predicted Movement: It went from bad to worse for the Atlanta Falcons last week. They suffered another embarrassing loss (37-10 to the Rams), Devonta Freeman was ejected for fighting, Matt Ryan sprained his ankle and was last seen in a walking boot, and head coach Dan Quinn’s days seem numbered. Keep an eye on the status of Matt Ryan throughout the week. The team is optimistic that he can play this week, and then they have a bye the week after. If Ryan cannot play, Matt Schaub will be the starting quarterback. In this scenario, Seattle should be favored by closer to 6 or 7, while bringing down the O/U a few points as well.
Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills (-2.5) – O/U 43.5
Predicted Movement: The Philadelphia Eagles turned in another poor performance, getting manhandled from the start of a 37-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles can blame injuries for their struggles, but the fact is Carson Wentz turned the ball over way too much. The Buffalo Bills also did not have a great performance, but it doesn’t take much to beat the Miami Dolphins these days. Buffalo “won ugly” in a 31-21 win, keeping their trend toward another playoff berth alive. When predicting line movement in a game involving the Eagles, one should always look to the injury report. If many of their big names are inactive again (DeSean Jackson, Tim Jernigan, etc.), this line should creep toward a field goal.
Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago Bears (-5) – O/U 40
Predicted Movement: The Los Angeles Chargers lost in the most inconceivable way last week. Trailing by three with under a minute to go, the Chargers were stopped three times at the one-yard line. The final blow was a fumble by Melvin Gordon, and the Titans went on to take a knee from there. The Chicago Bears, meanwhile, were severely outmatched by the New Orleans Saints. Gameflow caused Chicago to attempt 54 passes as opposed to seven runs. The Bears are quickly finding out that attempting 54 passes with Mitchell Trubisky as their quarterback is not a key to success. Bettors will need to decide if Anthony Lynn or Matt Nagy have lost their locker rooms, and they’ll also need to think about how much motivation each team’s players have after disappointing losses. My guess is that there is still confidence in Los Angeles, given how anemic the Bears looked both offensively and defensively. Look for the spread to come down a touch before kickoff.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans (-2.5) – O/U 46.5
Predicted Movement: The Buccaneers are fresh off of a bye while the Titans escaped last week in a miracle finish against the Chargers. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked great in relief of Marcus Mariota, throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns. Most trends favor the Titans, as Tampa Bay is 1-8 ATS in October over the last three seasons. The Titans are 12-3 ATS against NFC South opponents since 1992. Given that the last time we saw Jameis Winston he was once again a turnover machine, enough money should come in on the Titans to move this spread through the key number of three.
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (-6) – O/U 44
Predicted Movement: The fact that this line is less than a touchdown is somewhat perplexing. Denver comes in a little more fresh given that they played on Thursday, but they were noncompetitive in a 30-6 loss to the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Colts are riding high after taking over first place in the AFC South with an impressive win over rival Houston. Oddsmakers may see this as a typical “letdown spot” for Indianapolis, but enough public money will be bet on the Colts to move this spread. Look for the Colts to kickoff giving more than seven points at home.
Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams (-13) – O/U 48.5
Predicted Movement: These two teams head to London feeling very different about their futures. Cincinnati may be contemplating a quarterback change given the ineffectiveness of Andy Dalton all season. Waiting in the wings is fourth-round draft pick Ryan Finley, who the Bengals might want to get a look at before next year’s draft. The Rams trade for Jalen Ramsey seems to have paid immediate dividends, as the defense forced five sacks, an interception and a fumble returned for a touchdown. Not that Andy Dalton is a tremendous upgrade over Ryan Finley, but if Finley is announced to play, this line will balloon over two touchdowns.
Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-9.5) – O/U 48.5
Predicted Movement: Though Teddy Bridgewater has led New Orleans to a 5-0 record in his five starts, Drew Brees is set to return to practice this week and could be under center when the Saints face the Cardinals. Bettors are gaining some confidence in Arizona after three straight wins. New Orleans is 6-0 ATS in October over the last two seasons. While the spread should remain about where it is, the O/U should be bet a little higher as Kyler Murray looks more and more comfortable in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5) – O/U 41
Predicted Movement: The Jaguars took care of business on the road against the winless Bengals, pulling away in the fourth quarter after trailing at halftime. The Jets are 2-13 SU and 5-9-1 ATS in their last 15 road games. However, the Jets are a public team and looked rejuvenated offensively with the return of quarterback Sam Darnold against Dallas. This number should be bet down to -4 or -3.5 by kickoff.
Sunday, October 27th- 4:05 PM EST
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (-5.5) – O/U 41.5
Predicted Movement: The San Francisco 49ers remained unbeaten with a sloppy 9-0 win over Washington. It was a tough game to get anything going offensively, as field conditions were awful through a constant downpour. This week, the 49ers welcome Kyle Allen and the Carolina Panthers, who are coming off of a bye. Since taking over as starter, Allen is a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS this season. However, the 49ers allow just 10.7 PPG and 90 rushing yards per game. That is the kind of recipe one needs to beat a Carolina team with MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey. If bettors are willing to give the 49ers a pass for a messy win last week given the terrible conditions, I see enough confidence in the undefeated squad to move the line closer to a touchdown.
Sunday, October 27th- 4:25 PM EST
Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots (-10) – O/U 46.5
Predicted Movement: Since 2009, the Patriots are 59-3 SU at home against AFC opponents. They are also 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games as double-digit favorites. In addition, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have never lost to a first or second-year quarterback. The Browns have an advantage for coming off of a bye while the Patriots have a short week. However, there won’t be enough support on Cleveland to move this line in their favor.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (-6.5) – O/U 51.5
Predicted Movement: The Texans would surely have been more than a touchdown favorite if not for their disappointing effort at Indianapolis last week. The Raiders also turned in a poor effort, allowing Aaron Rodgers to throw for 429 yards and five touchdowns. Both of these teams rank in the bottom half of the league in total defense. Given how well both offenses have played lately, this O/U is sure to climb some before kickoff.
Sunday, October 27th- 8:20 PM EST
Green Bay Packers (-4) at Kansas City Chiefs – O/U 48.5
Predicted Movement: Since Patrick Mahomes left last week’s game with a knee injury, we’ll be deprived of a quarterback duel between him and Aaron Rodgers on Sunday Night Football. Quarterback Matt Moore was not asked to do much in replace of Mahomes. Moore completed just 53% of his passes for 117 yards, but he did connect on a deep ball to Tyreek Hill for a lone touchdown. Meanwhile, this is only Green Bay’s second road game in the last seven weeks. Kansas City has gone just 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games against the NFC. Green Bay is 6-1 ATS against the AFC in their last seven games. This number won’t get too inflated because of the respect bettors have for Andy Reid and Kansas City’s skill position players. However, this is still a quarterback mismatch, so look for Green Bay to be heavily bet in this one.
Monday, October 28th- 8:15 PM EST
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5) – O/U 43
Predicted Movement: This is a sign of how bad things are in Miami. They are more than a two-touchdown underdog to a 2-4 Steelers team who is starting their second-string quarterback. Mason Rudolph will be back under center after clearing the concussion protocol. The Dolphins looked more competitive last week against Buffalo, easily covering the large 17-point spread. Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to have reignited the Miami offense, though their defense remains 31st in the league against the run. While the Dolphins have covered their last two games (Bills, Redskins), there still isn’t much betting support for them. However, the Steelers are 0-5 in their last five games as favorites of 10 or more points. I don’t see this spread moving, given the Steelers quarterback situation and their lack of success as big favorites.