Co-Host of THE HERD and FOX Sports Betting Analyst
NFL Week 7 is in the books, and it was another profitable one for us.
If you follow us in this space, you know I went 2-1 last week.
This week, we have a slate full of interesting games, leaving me plenty of opportunities to win us some pizza money.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into my best bets for Week 8.
Houston Texans @ Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. ET FOX and FOX Sports)
The winless Panthers made a big move during the bye week as head coach Frank Reich handed off play-calling duties to Thomas Brown, the OC who has never called plays.
Brown comes from Sean McVay’s coaching tree, so expect him to dial up a lot of pre-snap motion and schemes to open up a mediocre receiving group. There’s zero tape on what Brown will do, and the Panthers have had two weeks to prepare.
Also consider this, the Texans have been an underdog in five of six games — they closed as a 1-point favorite against the Indianapolis Colts which resulted in a loss.
Now you’re laying points on the road with a rookie QB?
Pick: Carolina (+3) to lose by fewer than 3 points (or win outright)
Blazin’ 5: Cowboys defeat Rams, Lions blowout Raiders, Giants upset win in Week 8
Atlanta Falcons @ Tennessee Titans (1 p.m. ET CBS)
The Titans are off a bye, have a coaching advantage, and we know about Desmond Ridder’s struggles this season on the road.
And yet, the only play here for me is Atlanta at anything under a field goal.
It feels as if the Titans had some internal discussions about the franchise during the bye week because they traded their best player in the secondary (Kevin Byard) and then announced rookie Will Levis — who was terrible in the preseason — will start at QB.
If Desmond Ridder doesn’t turn the ball over in the red zone like he’s done all season, the Falcons should win another low-scoring game. The Falcons have won games by 1, 2, and 3, as Arthur Smith loves to play it safe.
PICK: Atlanta (-2) to win by more than 2 points
Eagles vs. Commanders, Vikings at Packers, Raiders at Lions NFL Week 8 Best Bets
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers (1 p.m. ET FOX and FOX Sports App)
Last year, these two played split high-scoring games with totals of 50 and 77. This game’s total is low (42), with Aaron Rodgers gone and Justin Jefferson out.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have been a disaster. Off a bye week, they were unable to score any points in the first half against a Denver Broncos defense that hasn’t been able to stop a nosebleed.
First halves have been horrendous for Green Bay in the last four games, as they have been outscored 63-6. However, by some metrics, they have the best second-half offense in the league. Perhaps this is because they’re always trailing.
The Packers have injuries with two DBs going on IR this week and RB Aaron Jones and rookie TE Luke Musgrave missing practice. And despite all of that … I’m going to take the Packers at home.
The Vikings are on a short week and are coming off a huge win over the San Francisco 49ers. Now, they must go outside for a division matchup against a desperate team. Temperatures are going to be in the high 30s.
PICK: Packers (+1) to lose by fewer than 1 point (or win outright)
Chiefs, Eagles sit atop Acho’s & James Jones’ list of Top 6 NFL Teams
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET CBS)
Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m going to take the Broncos here getting over a touchdown.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs can roll out of bed, go through the motions, and win this game by three. A week after an emotional win over the rival Los Angeles Chargers, the Chiefs have to go on the road for this one before a trip to Germany to take on Miami in a massive game.
The Broncos aren’t good, but home underdogs in this spot have been. Home underdogs of 7+ in the first half of the season — before tanking begins and injuries add up — have been a staggering 28-9. And there have been 13 straight covers in this spot, with nine upsets, including the Patriots last week.
Patrick Mahomes has never lost to the Broncos.
Temperatures are expected to be in the teens and 20s, with snow expected, meaning a big ground game, and the Chiefs will be without their best run-stopping LB, Nick Bolton.
PICK: Denver (+7.5) to lose by fewer than 7.5 points (or win outright)
Expectations for Zach Wilson ahead of Jets vs. Giants?
Chargers -2, Steelers +9.5, Giants +10
Last weekend was a great teaser weekend, but this week, there are some landmines. I like teasing favorites down through key numbers of 7 and 3 – but only at home. And I like teasing underdogs up through 3 and 7 – at home.
Chargers -9 to -2
Brandon Staley cannot lose this game, and if he does, he’ll probably be unemployed by Monday. The Chargers offense gets to come up for air after facing the Cowboys and Chiefs – two elite units. The Bears are not elite. Tyson Bagent looked terrific at home with an easy, safe game plan. Let’s see what happens on the road when faced with a deficit.
Steelers +2.5 to +9.5
I continue to like the Steelers more than the market does. Sure, I’m nervous about their cornerbacks getting torched (again) by Calvin Ridley. And I’m 0-3 this year going against the Jags. In Mike Tomlin, I trust (18-5-3 ATS as a home underdog).
Giants +3 to +10
There’s some risk here if Daniel Jones is back as the starter – he’s more mistake-prone than Tyrod Taylor. The Jets just cannot win with a margin, and the total here (36) tells you it’ll be a low-scoring game.
Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst who also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead. Follow him on Twitter @JasonRMcIntyre.
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