NFL Week 8 showcases some of the best rivalries in the league. New England battles Buffalo. Arizona travels to Carolina to take on the Panthers. San Diego heads up the mountains to throw down against Denver and the Vikings take on the Bears. Plus, one of the biggest historical rivalries in the NFC takes place this Sunday night when Philadelphia travels to Big D to take on the Dallas Cowboys. Keep reading for my NFL Week 8 Preview!
Editors Note: Check also Week 8 Betting Picks by Matt Ross
NFL Betting – Regular Season Week 8 Preview
Thursday, Oct. 27
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans -3.5 (8:25 pm ET)
This is a decent rivalry game as well. The key for both teams will be the play of their respective quarterbacks. If Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles can keep from throwing interceptions, the Jaguars will have a shot at the straight up win.
If the Titans’ Marcus Mariota continues to be hot, he’s sitting on an 8 to 1 TD to INT ratio in Tennessee’s last 3 games, the Titans will win straight up. I do believe that Jacksonville has a shot at covering the spread since I don’t think they lose by more than 3 points. But Tennessee should win the game SU.
Sunday, Oct. 30
Washington Redskins vs Cincinnati Bengals -3 (9:30 am ET)
Washington’s defense allows 119.7 rushing yards per game on average. That’s the only statistic that matters to me when the Redskins battle the Bengals at Wembley Stadium in London this Sunday morning.
Washington allowing so many rushing yards per game is a big deal because the Bengals average 15.7 rushing yards per game. Cincinnati covers this 3-point spread.
New England Patriots -6 at Buffalo Bills (1:00 pm ET)
This is my sure thing pick of the week. The Patriots have lost 1 game this season. It was 0 to 16 to Buffalo. In that game, Tom Brady was on the bench. He’s back for this battle against the Bills in Week 8. I just don’t see how the Patriots allow Buffalo’s defense to breath in this matchup.
The Bills must pay attention to LeGarrette Blount on the ground. What it means is that Tom Brady goes nuts passing the ball to Gronk. Patriots win this game by over 10 points.
New York Jets -2.5 at Cleveland Browns (1:00 pm ET)
It’s hard for me to see the Jets’ offense scoring 24 points again like it did against Baltimore in Week 6. I just don’t see how J-E-T-S gets it done versus a hard playing Browns team. Sure, the Jets should win, but Cleveland is going to catch a better team napping one of these weeks.
The Browns could catch the Jets napping in Week 8. This is especially true since the Jets must start QB Ryan Fitzpatrick again since Geno Smith is out for the season. I’m backing the Browns on the moneyline.
Detroit Lions at Houston Texans -2.5 (1:00 pm ET)
I’m not sold on the Lions rushing the football against Houston’s defense. That’s how Denver beat Houston on Monday night in Week 7. But, I’m forced to take the points in this game. Detroit’s D played exceptionally well against QB Kirk Cousins and Washington’s good offense in Week 6.
Houston’s offense is a mess because QB Brock Osweiler is terrible. Osweiler has a sub-74 QB rating on the season after his horrid performance against Denver’s defense on Oct. 24. I know Matthew Stafford is going to play well. He has for the Lions in every game this season. I’m almost 100% sure that Osweiler doesn’t play well.
Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 at Indianapolis Colts (1:00 pm ET)
The Chiefs could be in for a long afternoon against the Colts. QB Andrew Luck, in my estimation, is the best quarterback in the NFL after Tom Brady. I can write that because Luck plays behind a bad offensive line and the Colts’ have a horrible defense.
I’m not sure if Indy can beat KC, but I’m forced to take the points, again, because I know that Indianapolis is going to score some points in this game. Plus, the Colts are at home for this one.
Seattle Seahawks -3 at New Orleans Saints (1:00 pm ET)
I’m not as chilly on the Saints as so many other football analysts. Why should I be? If not for a Mark Ingram fumble while the Saints were driving for a touchdown in the second half in Week 7, New Orleans may have beaten the Chiefs. That would have been 3 wins in a row for the Saints.
The thing is, Saints’ coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees have always had success scoring points against Seattle’s defense. I think that the Saints score over 30 in this game, which should lead to a New Orleans straight up win.
Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1 (1:00 pm ET)
The Raiders aren’t a lock against Tampa Bay in Week 8. Over 60% of football handicappers believe that the Raiders are a lock. That won’t be the case when Oakland battles Tampa on Sunday because Tampa can rush the football about as well as Oakland can.
In fact, this should be a high-scoring game with both teams rushing and passing the ball effectively. The defense that breaks first is where this one will be won or lost. My gut tells me that the defense that breaks first is going to be the Oakland Raiders. I like the Bucs.
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers -2.5 (1:00 pm ET)
How good are the Arizona Cardinals? No idea. How bad are the Carolina Panthers? No idea. This could be the game that determines if the Cards or the Panthers make it to the playoffs this season. From my perspective, the Panthers are the team that’s in trouble.
Arizona’s defense as terrific against Seattle in Week 7. The Cardinals have every right to put a beat down on Carolina in this matchup. But…they won’t. I’ve got the feeling that Cam Newton has one of those special games. I’m going with Cam and the Panthers to cover the spread.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos -6.5 (4:05 pm ET)
The Denver Broncos had their rushing attack going against the Houston Texans in Week 7. They beat Houston 27 to 9. But a few weeks ago, the Broncos lost straight up to the San Diego Chargers 13 to 21. The Chargers shut down Denver’s offense.
Although this game is in Denver, I believe San Diego just knows how to play the Broncos tough I’m with San Diego to cover the spread in this key matchup.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons -2.5 (4:25 pm ET)
The total in this game is 52.5 points. Even that may not be enough points. Green Bay has no choice but to throw the football now that every single one of their running backs is hurt save for Knile Davis whom they signed last week. Aaron Rodgers has the weapons and Atlanta’s defense isn’t very good.
But, I believe that the Falcons get back on track in Week 8 after 2 straight losses to Seattle on the road and Denver in overtime at home. The Falcons to cover is my play.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys -4.5 (8:30 pm ET)
To me, Dallas should win the game. The Cowboys are probably the better overall team. But I’m not excited about laying down 4.5 points. So, even though I do believe that Dallas is the better overall team, I’m not convinced that they’re 4.5 points better than Philadelphia.
I must take the points. Philadelphia plays the type of style that can beat any team, including the Dallas Cowboys. You don’t beat Pittsburgh with Big Ben and Minnesota this season unless you are a quality team. This is the best football team that the Cowboys have faced yet this season. I think the Eagles have a great shot of beating Dallas straight up in this matchup.
Monday, Oct. 31
Minnesota Vikings -5 at Chicago Bears (8:30 pm ET)
Bad luck hit the Bears in Week 7 when Chicago lost starting QB Brian Hoyer. The good news is that Jay Cutler is listed as probable for this game. Although Minnesota should win, I have the feeling that this is going to be closer than 5 points.
I don’t see the Vikings bouncing back with a huge win over the rival Bears after Philadelphia took them apart 21 to 10. I’m with Da Bears. Also, if you watch this game, pay attention to how the Vikings protect QB Sam Bradford.
If the Bears get to Bradford the way that the Eagles did, Minnesota could be in some trouble the rest of this season.