Week 8 of the NFL season gets under way with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings bumping heads on Thursday. It’ll be a revenge game for Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum and Adrian Peterson. While that game is sure to be a can’t-miss affair (just kidding), let’s take a look at all of the games on the board for Week 8 and examine the best over-under bets on the board.
Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins has heated up just in time for a date with his former team on Thursday Night Football. After struggling through his first four starts of the season, Cousins has thrown for over 300 yards in each of his last three games, going 3-0 with 10 touchdowns and just a single interception. Cousins should be able to lead Minnesota to a fourth straight win and improve to 6-2 on the season. After all, he won’t have to do much with the Vikings sixth-ranked scoring defense ready to match up against the NFC’s worst defense on a short week.
New York Giants @ Detroit Lions
It seems like most weeks the Lions are one or two favorable plays or calls from the officials away from picking up a win. After falling to 2-3-1 with a loss to Minnesota last week, Detroit needs to start picking up actual victories moving forward. A date with the Giants should provide them with the perfect opportunity to get back on track. New York is coming off its third straight loss, an ugly 27-21 defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals. While the Lions should be able to beat up on the Giants, their defense likely won’t give up many points to rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and company in this one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Tennessee Titans
Remember the Titans? Ryan Tannehill did just enough to get them back in the win column with a 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers last week. Now he has an excellent opportunity to drag them back to .500 with a win over the slumping Buccaneers. While the Tampa Bay offense has shown flashes, inconsistency and turnovers have ultimately plagued throughout their 2-4 start.
Things likely won’t get any easier for Jameis Winston and company against a tough Titans defense this season. Tennessee will try to establish the run early, win the time of possession battle and play lockdown defense to squeeze out a win in a low scoring affair.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Chicago Bears
It wasn’t that long ago that the Chargers were talked about as a legitimate contender in the AFC. Fast-forward to Week 8 and at 2-5, Phillip Rivers and company are on the outside looking in on the AFC playoff picture. A road trip to Chicago to face a desperate Bears team likely won’t help all that much. Neither of these offense has shown much this season and that likely won’t change when they clash on Sunday. All signs point towards another under in this matchup.
Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons can’t seem to catch a break this season. After an ugly 1-5 start, things got even worse for Atlanta when Matt Ryan was injured in last week’s 37-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. It won’t get any easier for them against another NFC West opponent in the Seahawks this week. Seattle is coming off just its second loss of the year, a 30-16 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, and will be motivated to rebound on the road.
Russell Wilson is the MVP favorite right now for a reason. However, with more of an emphasis on keeping the football on the ground against an awful Falcons defense we might not see him go to the air as often as he has at different points this season. With Ryan’s status in doubt this week, we don’t expect Atlanta to score very many points.
New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Things went from bad to worse in a hurry for the Jets in an absolutely brutal 33-0 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. Now they have to travel to Jacksonville to play a Jaguars side that doesn’t have any quit in them. Gardner Minshew has rallied Jacksonville to a 3-4 record. With a little luck, they should be able to get back to .500 this Sunday.
However, with the Jets motivated to earn a measure of redemption after they were embarrassed last week, we should see a much better effort from them on Sunday. With both defenses primed for strong performances, under looks good here.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Buffalo Bills
The good news for Buffalo is that an elite defense combined with a relatively weak remaining schedule should be enough to push them in to the playoff picture in the AFC this season. The bad news is that there are still major question marks about an offense that has been held to just 20.2 points per game this season. Josh Allen and company need to show something against a Philadelphia defense that has been torched for big play after big play this season. However, they might not have the weapons to take advantage of the holes in the Eagles secondary.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia is desperate to get back on track following a lopsided loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Carson It won’t be easy against a Buffalo defense that has allowed just 15.2 points per game this season. Take the under in what could end up being an ugly game.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams (At London)
All the Rams needed was a date with Atlanta to get back on track. Now they fly overseas to London for what should be an easy win over Cincinnati. Jared Goff earned some much-needed confidence with a strong performance in the win over the Falcons. He should have no problem airing it out against a Bengals side that has allowed 26.6 points per game this season. On the flip side, there isn’t much that has gone right for the Cincinnati offense.
Now Andy Dalton will have to deal with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Los Angeles will light up the Bengals defense, but they won’t score enough to make up for Cincinnati’s lack of firepower in a game that should fall short of the over.
Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints
Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray looks like the real deal following three straight wins. All of a sudden, Arizona is right back in the NFC Wild Card picture. However, Murray and the Cardinals are about to face their toughest matchup yet with a trip to New Orleans in Week 8. The Saints defense has really stepped up since Drew Brees suffered an injury. That will need to continue if New Orleans is going to improve to 6-0 with Teddy Bridgewater as its starter this weekend.
Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans
One week after the high of beating the Kansas City Chiefs in their own building, Houston came right back down to earth in a 30-23 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on the road. Indianapolis was able to slow down Deshaun Watson just enough to get a key NFC South win at home. Now the Texans need to turn the page and get right back to work versus Oakland this Sunday.
For their part, the Raiders are also coming off a disappointing result. Oakland took it on the chin in a 42-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers. While the total for this game is the highest total on the board for Week 8, there is a reason for it. Both teams are capable of putting up big numbers. Look for Watson and Derek Carr to put on a show on Sunday.
Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are coming off a sloppy 9-0 win in rain-soaked conditions in Washington. Now they face an even bigger threat to their ability to move the football effectively in the Carolina defense. The Panthers are ready for the challenge of becoming the first team to hand San Francisco a loss this season.
In order to do it, they will need another strong effort from their defense as well as quarterback Kyle Allen, who needs to protect the football against one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Both teams will want to pound the rock on offense and keep the heat off their quarterbacks. That should speed up the pace of this game and limit the number of opportunities each team has to score.
Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts
Just when it seemed the Broncos had turned the corner with back-to-back wins, they laid an absolute egg in a 30-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Even after Patrick Mahomes was injured, the Chiefs still managed to outscore Denver the rest of the way. Things won’t get any easier for Denver this week on the road against an underrated Indianapolis side. The Colts are coming off wins over Kansas City and Houston.
Still, their best football might be yet to come. After holding Mahomes and Watson to an average of 18.0 points in back-to-back wins, the Indianapolis defense should have no problem slowing down Joe Flacco and company this week. Meanwhile, Jacoby Brissett and company will score more than enough points to win this game, only it likely won’t be enough to push this game over the total.
Cleveland Browns @ New England Patriots
The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots don’t look like they are slowing down anytime soon. Their top-ranked defense has allowed an average of just 3.7 points per game this season. Meanwhile, New England’s top-ranked offense has averaged 31.7 points per game. Tom Brady is still the best in the business when it comes to getting the ball out of his hands quickly with smart, accurate throws. He should have no problem carving up a Cleveland defense that has allowed 25.7 points per game this season.
Meanwhile, Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense could be in trouble in this one against a Patriots defense that has scored more points than it has allowed. New England is on cruise control towards the top seed in the AFC once again. While their offense scores enough points to win and cover at home, the defense will shut down the Browns and keep the final score under the total.
Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes won’t be available in this one, but that doesn’t mean these teams can’t put on a show without him. Aaron Rodgers is coming off his best performance of the season in a big win over Oakland. He will be motivated to keep the train rolling and continue to force himself in to the MVP discussion in prime time. Meanwhile, Matt Moore isn’t about to fool anybody in to thinking he can do what Mahomes does. However, he still has enough weapons to put up a couple of touchdowns at home. While the matchup might not be as intriguing with Mahomes sidelined, this should be a high scoring affair that ends up going over the total.
Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers
There isn’t much to like on paper about this Monday Night Football matchup. The Dolphins are the worst team in football by far as they continue to tank. Meanwhile, the Steelers have become an afterthought in the AFC at 2-4. While they might not be a playoff team, Pittsburgh still ahs a lot to play for as they look to claw their way back in to the AFC playoff picture. Quarterback Mason Rudolph is no longer in the concussion protocol, so we should see him back on the field for the Steelers on Monday Night Football.
The fact that the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Miami offense managed to score 21 points against the Bills leads us to believe they could put up a similar total against Pittsburgh in prime time. As long as they do their part, we should at the very least see a high scoring game.