Someone must score the first TD of the game, and this article will help you increase your odds of hitting on that player based on matchups and team strengths. It will feature a selection for each game of the Sunday slate.
Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Between these two teams, Jacksonville has the better chance to score first, even though Denver’s defense is top-tier. Denver’s offense has scored the fewest points (100) all season and has the worst red zone percentage. Jones and Christian Kirk led the team with 10 targets each, but Kirk is likely to have Pat Surtain II covering him. Surtain has held receivers in check all season and has not allowed a TD. Jones should have an easier time finding space opposite Kirk.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
The Panthers and P.J. Walker beat the Buccaneers by 18 points last week after trading their star player Christian McCaffrey. They came to play, and it showed. Foreman was the primary beneficiary of McCaffrey’s departure, as he received 15 carries which he turned into 118 yards. Neither team is lighting it up on offense, so let us find value in the underdog. Walker targeted D.J. Moore 10 times, which led the team by a wide margin. Foreman and Moore are the centerpieces of this offense now, so they should see the bulk of the workload.
Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
Odds: +450 via BetMGM
The Cowboys will likely be without Ezekiel Elliott this weekend since he has missed practice all week. Pollard should receive an increased workload this week against a team ranked close to last in rushing yards allowed. They have also allowed 10 rushing TDs this season, which ties Seattle for the third most. The Bears are weak against the run and slot receivers, so that is the position to attack. Pollard is averaging 5.6 yards per carry this season as the change of pace back alongside Elliott. As the main guy, he should see multiple targets and more carries.
Miami Dolphins @ Detroit Lions
Odds: +900 via BetMGM
This may be the best number available all year for D’Andre Swift, who has missed Detroit’s last three games due to injury. He has practiced in full this week and is ready to return to action this weekend. This offense has looked horrible without Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown, but both are likely to return this week. Swift is a big-play threat any time he touches the ball. He is averaging 8.6 yards per carry this season on 27 attempts. The Lions have not been home since week four, so expect them to come out with intensity for their home crowd.
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings
Odds: +800 via BetMGM
The Vikings return from bye to take on the Cardinals this Sunday. The Cardinals’ offense looked like a different unit with DeAndre Hopkins on the field when they scored 42 points against the Saints last week. In that game, they did have trouble stopping the passing attack of New Orleans. They put up 409 passing yards and four TDs against this Cardinals’ defense. Kirk Cousins should be able to produce a similar performance at home. Thielen was tied with Justin Jefferson in targets in week six and scored a TD. He should have a good chance of finding the end zone this week.
Las Vegas Raiders @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints are dealing with multiple injuries in their secondary. They placed Bradley Roby on IR this week, and Marshon Lattimore did not participate in practice on Wednesday. The Saints have allowed 30 or more points in their last three games and have given up the second most points this season. Josh Jacobs has scored six TDs in his previous three games, but Adams has the better matchup. Adams was targeted nine times in week seven and owns a 29.7-percent team target share this season. He presents solid value this week, considering he has five TDs already.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Odds: +800 via BetMGM
After Monday night’s game, it is clear how to beat New England. Chicago ran 243 yards and converted 11 of 18 third downs as they cruised past New England. New York should implement a similar game plan this week with Michael Carter and James Robinson (acquired from Jacksonville earlier this week). The Patriots may be without starting defensive lineman Christian Barmore again this week, which is a massive blow to their interior run defense. The Jets have not been airing the ball out. Zach Wilson is averaging 173.3 passing yards per game, so Carter offers excellent value. He has handled a decent-sized workload even with Breece Hall on the field, so his role should not change dramatically with the Robinson trade.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Odds: +650 via BetMGM
The Eagles return to action following their bye week to take on the struggling Steelers. The Steelers have played some good games recently, but in week five, they were held to three points by Buffalo. Sanders had 18 rush attempts in week six against the Cowboys and has received at least 13 in every game this season. Jalen Hurts presents a similar value and has scored six rushing TDs this season, but Sanders is the better bet. Philadelphia has had an extra week to prepare for this game, so they should come out aggressive and establish the run.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
The obvious play is to bet Derrick Henry to score first, but he is massively overvalued. The Texans side offers much more value but more variance. The Titans have given up just one TD on the ground this season but have allowed 13 through the air. Their secondary is a liability, and Cooks has the highest chance of scoring first among Houston’s receiving threats. He accounts for 22.7 percent of Houston’s targets this season and should be able to get open this week. If Houston receives the first kickoff, they have a good chance of finding the end zone first, but if Tennessee does, it is hard to believe Henry does not score.
Washington Commanders @ Indianapolis Colts
Sam Ehlinger will be the starting quarterback for Indianapolis this week after they announced they are moving forward without Matt Ryan as the starter. Matt Ryan was sacked 24 times during his time, and the offensive line has not been playing well. The Colts average 81 rushing yards per game, which is the third worst in the league. Ehlinger should offer more mobility to avoid the pass rush and potentially move the chains. Pierce should benefit from the switch behind center because he has likely practiced more with the second team than Michael Pittman Jr. The Commanders have given up 14 passing TDs this season and may be surprised by Ehlinger’s talent. Pierce has only seen 11.1 percent of targets this season, but it will look different this week with the change at quarterback.
San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
Odds: Not Listed Yet
The first TD odds for this game have not been listed at the time of writing this, but Kupp is the play. You can click here for a list of odds from several different sportsbooks. McCaffrey is probably the favorite, with Kupp directly behind him. These teams met in week four, and the 49ers won by 15. The Rams had two turnovers in that game, but Kupp played well and received 19 targets. He had 14 catches for 122 yards, but the 49ers held them to only field goals. The Rams should be highly motivated for this game, which comes after their bye week. Playing this game at home with an extra week of practice is a good recipe for getting points on the board early. While everyone else bets on McCaffrey, Kupp may be the best play.
New York Giants @ Seattle Seahawks
After the Kadarius Toney trade, Robinson is the top option in New York, even if Toney has not played. This coaching staff drafted Robinson in the second round this past draft and is starting to use him more. He received eight targets last week and ended with six catches for 50 yards. Seattle’s defense gives up plenty of yards via the air or the ground, and the Giants can open up their playbook in this matchup. They will use Saquon plenty, but Robinson offers the best value to find the end zone first. Especially now, he is practicing without limitations, which means he is healthy.
And check out our Week 8 game previews and picks:
- Broncos vs. Jaguars
- Panthers vs. Falcons
- Bears vs. Cowboys
- Dolphins vs. Lions
- Cardinals vs. Vikings
- Raiders vs. Saints
- Patriots vs. Jets
- Steelers vs. Eagles
- Titans vs. Texans
- Commanders vs. Colts
- 49ers vs. Rams
- Giants vs. Seahawks
- Packers vs. Bills
- Bengals vs. Browns
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