NFL Week 8 is shaping up to be an interesting one. We have possibly the best and worst teams going head-to-head, with the largest point spread of the season. Weather is a factor in mean games across the league and, of course, there has been a bit of COVID news. Let’s take a look at the best bets for this crazy Week 8. As always, watch the injury news, since there is plenty. Lines will be moving a lot, especially on Sunday morning.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-5.5)
Fresh off their bye week, the Vikings could be in a world of hurt. They traded away pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, hinting at their mindset for the rest of the season. They really do not have a pass rush now, which puts further pressure on an inexperienced cornerback group. Speaking of cornerbacks, Holton Hill and Mike Hughes have not practiced, as of Wednesday, and Cameron Dantzler was placed on the COVID list. While this game calls for plenty of wind, Aaron Rodgers throws a tight enough spiral to take some shots, and the play action will again kill this Vikings team.
Indianapolis Colts (-3) at Detroit Lions (Under 50)
The Colts are fresh off a much-needed bye week to get their team a bit healthier. The rest has served star linebacker Darius Leonard well, as he has returned to practice. His return makes a strong defense even tougher, as the Colts are tied for the fewest yards allowed per play this season (4.8). Offensively, the rest should help this offensive line, who is expected to have a big day against a weak Lions front. The Colts line is given a ridiculous 62 percent matchup advantage in run blocking, per Pro Football Focus. The Colts are clearly the more physical team on both sides of the football, which should result in a relatively low-scoring win. This very well could be the breakout Jonathan Taylor game we have been waiting for.
Las Vegas Raiders (+2.5) at Cleveland Browns
Teams favored by 2.5 points or less are 6-16 against the spread this season, including the TNF game this week. I don’t see why the Raiders are getting points in this game. While Cleveland’s run defense looks pretty good on paper, I believe it is a bit skewed, due to the opponents they have faced. It’s also affected because their pass defense is so bad. They allow over 300 passing yards per game, with a lot of weaknesses in their secondary.
Offensively for Cleveland, they just lost Odell Beckham Jr. This is getting looked over, since Rashard Higgins and Baker Mayfield did so well last game. The Browns are also a team that wants to set everything up with the run. Austin Hooper is clearly the best run blocking tight end they have, and he is out again. Whether this game is windy or not, I think the Raiders are the better overall team and will get a road win.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Miami Dolphins
I don’t think starting Tua Tagovailoa is a good decision, but we will see in this game. Miami has a 57 percent matchup disadvantage in their pass blocking, per Pro Football Focus, which is the worst of the week. Whether Tua proves me wrong or not, this Miami defense still allowed five yards per carry, which is the third-worst in the NFL. The Rams want to run the ball, since this takes pressure off of Jared Goff, while also setting up the play action. I assume they have success here, despite the whole narrative of a west coast team traveling east.
Week 7 Results: 4-1
Season to Date: 17-17-1
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