- Week 7 of the NFL season was fairly tame, with heavy favourites like the Packers and Patriots taking care of business at home.
- This week, the Vikings and Redskins kick off the action in Minnesota on Thursday night, followed up by a full slate of games on Sunday.
- Once again, we’re picking every game of the week against the spread with the hopes of making a little money.
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Week 7 of the NFL season was a fairly calm bit of action compared to the wild Week 6 that came before it.
The heavy favourites took care of business for the most part, with the Chiefs, Patriots, and Packers all winning and covering the spread in their games. Had it not been pouring rain in Washington, the 49ers would have joined them, but instead they failed to cover as 9.5-point favourites after winning 9-0 in the mud.
With Week 8 action fast approaching, we’re once again picking every game on the schedule against the spread.
Take a look below at our best bets against the spread for Week 8 of the NFL season (* indicates home team).
LAST WEEK: 8-6 OVERALL: 54-52
Washington Redskins (+16) over Minnesota Vikings*
Is this a Kirk Cousins revenge game? Or a Case Keenum revenge game? Possibly an Adrian Peterson revenge game? Who’s to say?
If I were you, I would skip betting this one and spend time with your families, or at least betting basketball, but since I’m sworn to pick every game, we’ll back Washington and the points here and see if they can avoid the blowout.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) over Atlanta Falcons*
Matt Ryan didn’t practice on Thursday, meaning it’s likely that 38-year-old backup Matt Schaub will be taking over quarterbacking duties for the Falcons. Schaub has started just two games since the 2013 season.
Atlanta has had no shortage of problems so far this season, but the play of Ryan hasn’t been one of them. There’s enough raw talent on the Falcons that they could put things together any day, but I’d wait a week before backing them with my money.
Denver Broncos (+6) over Indianapolis Colts*
This feels like a classic let-down spot for the Colts. Coming off of a big win over the Texans to take sole possession of first place in the AFC South, a home loss to the lowly Broncos would be just baffling enough to make sense in this year’s NFL.
Ten days removed from an embarrassing loss at home to the Chiefs, public perception of the Broncos couldn’t be lower, meaning it’s the perfect time to back them.
New Orleans Saints* (-10.5) over Arizona Cardinals
Drew Brees has been practicing this week and looks likely to make his first start since Week 2 on Sunday. In his absence, the Saints have been perfect, with backup Teddy Bridgewater guiding the offence to five straight wins.
I don’t generally like backing quarterbacks in their first game back from injury, but the Cardinals soft secondary and the excitement of the home crowd makes the Saints the play here.
Los Angeles Chargers (+4) over Chicago Bears*
The Chargers find new and innovative ways to lose football games every week. The Bears mostly rely on Mitch Trubisky to handle that for them.
This is almost too obvious a pick, to the point that I considered backing the Bears just to be contrarian. Chicago hasn’t shown anything in the past three weeks that says they deserve to be 4-point favourites.
Until Mitch Trubisky shows he can move the ball against a defence that isn’t playing prevent because they’re already up four scores in the fourth quarter, it’s pretty tough to bet on Chicago.
Jacksonville Jaguars* (-6) over New York Jets
Sam Darnold’s “seeing ghosts” comment on the sideline grabbed most of the media attention after the Jets’ big loss to the Patriots on Monday night, but the problems for New York began before he even took the field.
Whatever gameplan head coach came up with for Monday night was severely lacking, and that’s not a problem that solves itself because they’re no longer facing the Patriots.
The Jaguars have proven able to beat the teams they should be beating so far this season, and the Jets are a team they should beat.
Los Angeles Rams (-13) over Cincinnati Bengals
The Los Angeles Rams pulled out of their tailspin last week with a convincing 37-10 win over the Falcons on Sunday.
This week they’re in London to face the Bengals. While I don’t especially enjoy laying such a large spread on one of the international games, Cincinnati has not shown a lot of signs of life this season, while the Rams still need every win they can manage to keep pace with the Seahawks and 49ers in the NFC West.
New York Giants (+7) over Detroit Lions*
The Lions have lost three straight games. Their two wins so far this season have come by six points combined. Mostly, all the Lions do is play competitive games, making it tough to lay a touchdown with them, even against a floundering Giants team.
Tennessee Titans* (-2.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In a battle of quarterbacks you’d probably prefer not to bet on, I’ll trust Ryan Tannehill over Jameis Winston.
It feels unlikely that Winston will replicate his six-turnover performance from London, and he may break out for one of his rare, brilliant performances that make you almost believe he could be worth another contract.
But when it comes to putting money down, he’s burned me one too many times to bet on again.
Philadelphia Eagles (+1.5) over Buffalo Bills*
The Bills have benefitted from a reasonably cushy schedule to prop up their 5-1 record, with wins coming against the Jets, Giants, Bengals, and Dolphins.
The Eagles are desperate for a win and likely eager to reset their narrative after getting embarrassed by the Cowboys on Sunday.
The Bills are probably a playoff team in the AFC, but this is not their game.
San Francisco 49ers* (-5.5) over Carolina Panthers
The 49ers have proven me wrong time and time again after I’ve dismissed their undefeated start to the season. No longer.
Carolina’s run without Cam Newton has been as impressive as anything any team has put together so far this year. Still, if there’s anything that’s going to rattle a relatively unexperienced quarterback, it’s Nick Bosa and the 49ers defence.
Houston Texans* (-7) over Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have reached the final game of their extended road trip that left them away from Oakland for six weeks. In this last game before returning to the Bay for a three-game homestand, I think some Raiders might get caught sleeping a bit.
Cleveland Browns* (+13) over New England Patriots
You don’t get rich betting against the Patriots, and chances are this will look foolish just minutes after kickoff, just as my bet on the Jets did last week.
But this is a lot of points to spot a desperate Browns team that is coming off of their bye week. Baker Mayfield has been far from good to start the 2019 season, but he’s undoubtedly got both the talent and the swagger to show up for a big game on the right day.
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) over Kansas City Chiefs*
Patrick Mahomes’ status is still unknown, and until it is, I wouldn’t put down money on this game on either side.
Andy Reid has proven his ability to make nearly any quarterback look like a star. However, the Chiefs defence has been shaky against offences that can move the ball, and without Mahomes, it feels like it will be tough for them to keep pace.
Miami Dolphins (+14) over Pittsburgh Steelers*
Yes, the Dolphins are bad.
But the Steelers haven’t done anything this season to show me they deserve to be a two-touchdown favourite against any team in the league.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is Ryan Fitzpatrick, but at least he’s a known quantity, and he’s been known to show up for primetime games and deliver shockingly good performances. I’ll take my chances with him over Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges any day.
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