London’s calling for the final time this season and the Giants and Raiders take the field in the midst of their fire sales. Our NFL weekly picks expert Samantha Previte breaks it all down.
Please keep in mind that by the time you’re reading this, the line may have shifted depending on breaking news during the week, or money flowing through the market. Good luck in Week 8!
Sunday 9:30 AM EST
Philadelphia at Jacksonville, +2.5
The last of three London games will be played this weekend at Wembley. Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles, who is undefeated in London, was benched last week after his second fumble, but will get the start this week. Backup quarterback Cody Kessler got first team reps this week and Bortles will be on a short leash as the team will try to bounce back from two embarrassing losses in which they had a minus 46 point differential. This line has already moved up to 3/3.5 at a lot of books and while I think the Jaguars are going to be in desperation mode for a win, the fact that a team has played poorly isn’t exactly the best reason to back them now. Fly, Eagles, Fly, give me the Eagles laying 2.5 in London.
Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Seattle at Detroit, -3.5
The Lions will come home from an impressive win against the Dolphins to face the Seahawks, who just had their bye. Damon “Snacks” Harrison has just been traded from the Giants and will make a great addition to their pass rush unit, which will probably pester Russell Wilson and their subpar offensive line all day. The Seahawks are historically less good on the road, and Detroit is 5-0 in their last 5 games against the spread. Give me Matt Patricia the Lions to win and cover the spread.
Tampa Bay at Cincinnati, -4.5
The Bengals lost in embarrassing fashion to the Chiefs on the road last week, but lucky for quarterback Andy Dalton, this game won’t be in primetime. They’ll face a strong offense from the Buccaneers, who are much improved with Jameis Winston back under center. That said, the Bucs have no secondary and I think A.J. Green can have a monster game here. I am taking the Bengals to bounce back in a huge way and cover the 4.5 points.
Washington at NY Giants, +1.5
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: The Giants’ fire sale has officially begun. Everything must go! Eli Apple and Damon Harrison have been traded to the Saints and Lions, respectively, and it appears that no one is safe from general manager Dave Gettleman’s reach. Meanwhile, the Redskins eked out a divisional win against the Cowboys last Sunday and sit atop the NFC East at 4-2. While I’m not sure Alex Smith and the Redskins can capitalize on this juicy matchup like some other teams could, I think they win this game. Hail to the Redskins once again.
NY Jets at Chicago, -7.5
The Jets are coming off of a bad beat to the Vikings and will have to go on the road to face the Bears in Soldier Field. Unfortunately for the Bears, they came up about a foot short of tying their game against the Patriots last week in the final play of the game, but drop to 3-3 and last place in the NFC North. I don’t love this line as it feels a bit high for Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears’ unimpressive offense, but I can’t trust the Jets on the road with Sam Darnold coming off of a three interception game last week. Give me the Bears to win and cover the spread.
Baltimore at Carolina, +1.5
The Ravens lost to the Saints last week by one point due in part to a missed kick by Justin Tucker, who had made 222 consecutive PAT attempts. Meanwhile, Cam Newton and the Panthers stormed back from a 17-0 4th quarter deficit to beat the Eagles 21-17 in impressive fashion. I think both things are pretty unlikely to happen two weeks in a row, and with Baltimore’s defense looking sharp, I am begrudgingly backing the Ravens to win and cover.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, -8.5
The Browns are coming off of another heart-wrenching loss to the Buccaneers by way of a overtime fumble and 59-yard field goal. Meanwhile, the Steelers are coming off of their Week 7 bye with no sign of contract holdout Le’Veon Bell. James Conner has done great, and I expect home Ben Roethlisberger to win this game. That said, the Browns are 4-1 against the spread this year when underdogs, and they are huge underdogs for this AFC North divisional matchup. Give me Baker Mayfield and the Browns to lose, but keep it within the number.
Denver at Kansas City, -10.5
Denver is coming off of a 45-10 road win against a sad Cardinals team and will go to Arrowhead Stadium for the second week in a row on the road. They’ll face the Chiefs and juggernaut Patrick Mahomes, who just came out on the right side of a 45-10 game. The Broncos have proven they can be sneaky and rush the passer very well, but the Chiefs are 7-0 against the spread this year and I don’t think this can be the game for me to bet against them. Give me the Chiefs at home to cover this huge number.
Sunday 4:05 PM EST
Indianapolis at Oakland, +3.5
It’s official: The Raiders are having their own fire sale and a dejected Derek Carr will have to face the Colts without star wide receiver Amari Cooper. There are reports that guys aren’t respecting Carr after he was seen crying after he was sacked. Meanwhile, the Colts have been putting up big numbers as Andrew Luck’s arm strength continues to improve. Marlon Mack also impressed for the second week since coming back from surgery. I don’t love this game at 3.5, but the Raiders are clearly playing for 2019 and beyond at this point. I am taking the Colts as road favorites to cover the 3.5 point spread.
Sunday 4:25 PM EST
Green Bay at LA Rams, -9.5
The undefeated Rams will go home this week to face the Packers, who are coming off a Week 7 bye. If this spread feels huge to you, you’re right: It’s only the first time the Packers have been underdogs by eight points or more with Aaron Rodgers as the quarterback. Sean McVay’s Rams are great, but they have shown vulnerability in their pass protection and have let some games be close. As much as I love the Rams this year, I am rolling with the Packers to keep it within the 9.5 points.
San Francisco at Arizona, -1.5
It’s true that the 49ers are coming off of an embarrassing 39-10 loss to the Rams on Sunday, but nothing could have been worse than the Cardinals 45-10 loss on Thursday night to the Broncos. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was fired the next day, and quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich has replaced him. Patrick Peterson appears to be staying with the team, and I’m hoping the extra rest along with the OC change can help them bounce back in a big way here. I don’t love this game because both teams are pretty bad, but it’s Cardinals or nothing for me in this spot.
Sunday 8:20 PM EST
New Orleans at Minnesota, -1.5
New Orleans sits at the top of the NFC South at 5-1 with another win, thanks in part to a missed extra point from Justin Tucker. They’ll be on the road for the second week in a row to face Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. It appears the Vikings will be without sophomore running back Dalvin Cook for at least another game, but may add defensive end Everson Griffen back to their line, as he has resumed team activities as of Wednesday. The Saints have added cornerback Eli Apple by way of a trade with the Giants, but I think they still have big holes and will give up a lot of points to weapons like Adam Thielan, Stefon Diggs, Latavius Murray, and Kyle Rudolph. This line feels way too low: Give me the Vikings to win and cover the 1.5 points.
Monday 8:15 PM EST
New England at Buffalo, +13.5
The Buffalo Bills will face a difficult matchup at home this week against the Patriots and will be without rookie quarterback Josh Allen once again. Without any other viable options, Derek Anderson will get the start again, despite throwing three picks and no touchdowns last week. On the other side of the ball, the Bears had a drive going that would have tied the game, but the Patriots managed to win and cover on the road 38-31. Running back Sony Michel is probably out for this game, but Tom Brady can put up huge numbers with or without him. This is another huge line for the week and there’s always the chance of the backdoor cover, but I cannot and will not put any confidence in Anderson. Give me the Patriots to trounce the Bills and cover the spread.
Already Played …
Thursday 8:20 PM EST
Miami at Houston, -7.5
The Dolphins have lost 3 of their last 4 games and quarterback Brock Osweiler didn’t exactly Brock worlds against Detroit. Meanwhile, it appears the Texans are trending in the opposite direction with a win against the Jaguars last week, but might be the least impressive team currently on a 4-game winning streak. I think their division is garbage, Deshaun Watson has to start playing better, and this team is too hyped up to be a touchdown favorite on Thursday night. It’s still Brocktober, so give me the Dolphins to probably lose, but keep it within the touchdown.