Week 7 of the NFL season is in the books, so let’s take a game-by-game look at the opening odds for week 8 action.
The biggest story coming into Week 8 has to be the injury to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes who dislocated his kneecap and will be sidelined for the near future. Expected to miss up to six weeks, his hopes of repeating his MVP season are over. The Chiefs, with Matt Moore, are now the only home underdog on the schedule this week. Other significant injuries this weekend are to quarterback Matt Ryan and WR Adam Theilen.
As of this writing, a few moves have been made today around the league which requires mentioning as well. Both undefeated teams acquired help at the wideout position with the 49ers trading for Emmanuel Sanders and the Patriots welcoming Mohammad Sanu to Foxboro. Both are expected to play Week 8 for their new teams but their usage right off the bat remains to be seen.
With all that out of the way, let’s take a look at each game’s opening odds this week and any betting notes to go along with them. All lines are from the Westgate and as always, are subject to change.
Washington Redskins (+675) vs Minnesota Vikings (-1050)
Spread | 16.5
Total | 40.0
Week 8 of the NFL season will continue to be another bet against week for the Redskins. They have been one of the most profitable teams to fade and show no signs of slowing down. This spread ties for the highest-ever spread for a Thursday Night Football game. Oddly, the other game was Week 7 when the Patriots stomped on the Giants playoff hopes. There have been only two other instances of a spread hitting 15 points over the last three decades with the favored team covering each of those games. Teams favored by 15 or more points this season are 5-1 ATS. Even without Thielen, the Vikings are a far better team and should win this game easily.
New York Giants (+260) vs Detroit Lions (-320)
Spread | 7.5
Total | 48.5
You know things are bad when you are more than a seven-point underdog to the Detroit Lions. As far as bad beats go, the Giants losing to the Arizona Cardinals must be the No. 1 candidate last week. Just when you thought things might be ok in New York. The thing about this game for bettors is that the Lions have trouble covering home favorite lines. They rarely lose these games, but they also rarely cover. Their last 20 games as a home favorite have them with a 16-4 record but just 12-7-1 against the spread. On the flipside, despite their struggles, New York has been a good bet as an underdog of seven or more with a 7-3-1 record ATS in their last ten. Both teams struggled last weekend but the difference is the Lions had trouble with a team that is actually good. New York looks pretty lost but with a TD cushion, they might be worth a unit or two with Barkley another week removed from injury.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+115) vs Tennessee Titans (-135)
Spread | 5.5
Total | 46.5
Turns out, to the shock of many, that Ryan Tannehill is a better quarterback right now for the Titans than Marcus Mariota. Tannehill threw for over 300 yards on 23 of 29 attempts and the offense actually looked like the dynamic squad they were predicted to be. Tampa Bay is coming off a bye after losing to the Panthers in London and needs to see a stark improvement on offense if they have any chance of competing in this game. History is not in their favor, however. The Titans have dominated the NFC over the last couple of years, including five straight wins since the start of last season. Even better, they have covered six of their last seven against then NFC. Things take a turn when you look at their home-road splits as the Titans are just 1-4 ATS their last five games in Nashville and were a field goal away from that number being 0-5. As for Tampa Bay, they have strung together a solid streak of five wins and a pushover their last six road games against AFC teams. This game is looking like the stinker of Week 8 but will be interesting to see if Tannehill can continue to grow in his new starting role.
Los Angeles Chargers (+190) vs Chicago Bears (-230)
Spread | 5.5
Total | 40.5
The last thing the Chargers need right now is a trip to Chicago. The Bolts haven’t won a game at Soldier Field since the Jackson Five had the No. 1 song in the country and Richard Nixon was president. LA is becoming impossible to bet on with a 1-4-2 ATS record so far this season, good for 2nd worst in the league. While the Bears were far from impressive last week against the Saints, bookmakers still saw enough to make them significant home favorites. Truth is, it’s hard to trust either of these teams with your money right now, so you might be better off looking elsewhere this weekend.
Seattle Seahawks (-180) vs Atlanta Falcons (+155)
Spread | 3.5
Total | 54.0
Most books have yet to release odds on this game at all with Matt Ryan’s availability unknown at this time. Ryan was removed from Sunday’s tilt versus the Rams with a high ankle sprain and was spotted in a walking boot after the game. Matt Schaub would get the nod should Ryan not be able to suit up. Frankly, it might not matter much for ATS bettors as the Falcons are 1-6 on the season with Ryan under center, the worst record in the NFL so far this year. With odds out before news of Ryan’s status, it might be a good move to bet on him missing this week before the odd shift. If Ryan is declared out, the line will sit closer to double digits so you might as well grab it while you can.
New York Jets (+195) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (-235)
Spread | 5.0
Total | 41.0
The Jets proved once again to be their own worst enemy on Monday Night against the Patriots. Many expected a close game from the AFC rivals, alas that was not in the cards. NY predictably blew it, with Sam Darnold throwing 4 interceptions in the game. With the Jets on the road, it becomes much harder to trust them to turn things around. They have gone just 2-13 in their last 15 games away from the Meadowlands, including 5-9-1 against the spread. The Jags are coming off a win against the Bengals on Sunday and are playing like a slightly better team right now. Not sure if they are 5 points better or if this line was too heavily influenced by the Jets loss.
Philadelphia Eagles (+100) vs Buffalo Bills (-120)
Spread | PK
Total | 42.0
Bills Nation will be enjoying a rare weekend where their team is a betting favorite. Since the start of the 2017 season, the Bill has been favorites just 13 times. Thing is, they have won 11 of those games and are 7-5-1 ATS. Buffalo is on a streak of ATS wins in fact, with a 9-2 record dating back to last season. The Eagles, to their credit, have taken eight of their last nine games against AFC teams and are a better team on paper. The look-ahead line had the Bills -1.5 but after their rough game against the Dolphins, it seems faith has diminished.
Cincinnati Bengals (+425) vs Los Angeles Rams (-550)
Spread | 14.0
Total | 48.5
The Bengals have been really, really bad this season, even for them. Guess what usually doesn’t help a winless team on the ropes? An international game in London to be sure. Wembley has not been kind to underdogs since beginning to host games ten years ago. Since the international series began, underdogs are 5-18-1 on the moneyline and 8-16 ATS. These are very strong trends to warrant a bet-against week for the Bengals. As if you were planning to bet on them otherwise. Sure, the Rams have had issues this year too. But LA is coming off a blowout of the Falcons and have never lost a game to an AFC team under Sean McVay.
Arizona Cardinals (+325) vs New Orleans Saints (-400)
Spread | 10.0
Total | 48.0
Whether Drew Brees plays or not in this game, the Saints will be heavy favorites either way. Both he and Teddy Bridgewater give this team a great chance to blowout the lowly Arizona Cardinals. This line is right in the middle of where it should be with a starter not yet named. If Bridgewater starts, this line likely closes around 8.5 while a Brees start might push it over 11. An early week bet here is essentially a bet on who starts under center for New Orleans. While I usually try to avoid such stats, one fringe trend really stands out when looking at the Saints in October. New Orleans has a 16-0 ATS streak going right now in October and are 20-1 in their last 21 outings.
Denver Broncos (+240) vs Indianapolis Colts (-280)
Spread | 7.0
Total | 43.5
The Broncos have played downright poorly on the road this season. Heck, they have been doing it for years now in fact. Since the start of the 2016 season, Denver is just 5-16 SU in games away from Mile-High Stadium and are just 6-15 ATS in that same span. In contrast, the Colts have won eight of their last nine games on their home turf despite covering just five of those contests. This year, Indy is a pleasant 4-1-1 ATS which is good enough for league-best after seven weeks of play. Even with the extra rest, this game has Colts written all over it. Especially if Brissett can continue to put up big numbers after taking over for Andrew Luck.
Carolina Panthers (+245) vs San Francisco 49ers (-240)
Spread | 6.0
Total | 41.5
This is a game where historical stats might be a bit misleading. Carolina has reeled off six straight wins against the 49ers, in fact, the Panthers haven’t lost to San Francisco since 2001. Sure, Kyle Allen has done a great job filling in for Cam Newton, going 4-0 ATS and SU. But this Niners team is unlike anyone we’ve seen for quite some time. Another stat I’m happy to fade this week is that SF is just 1-8 in their last nine games as a favorite of six points or more. Again, this is a different 49ers team and it’s no wonder they have remained undefeated so far in 2019.
Oakland Raiders (+250) vs Houston Texans (-300)
Spread | 7.0
Total | 51.0
The Raiders will have to wait one more week before running back to Oakland with their tail between their legs. They have been on a very tough stretch of five road games, getting dominated by matchups away from home. Surprise surprise, they haven’t been doing well of late. They get a respite of three straight home games after this week, and they sorely need it. The Raiders are just trash on the road to he frank. They are 3-15 SU and 4-13-1 against the spread in their previous 18 road games. There is little to like about betting on the Raiders at all this year, especially in a week like this.
Cleveland Browns (+380) vs New England Patriots (-475)
Spread | 10.0
Total | 46.0
The Patriots have the luxury of hosting yet another AFC victim at Foxboro. Since 2009, New England is 59-3 against AFC teams at home, 39-20-3 against the spread. This bodes well for the Patriots as they look to avoid an upset loss to an underperforming Browns squad. The Browns are riding a hot hand when covering spreads on the road with a 4-1 record, but they are still the Browns and they are still playing the Patriots. The look-ahead lines for this game were closer to the 6-7 point range so if you are considering a play here, it might be best to wait until the sharp money comes in and see where the line ends up.
Green Bay Packers (-220) vs Kansas City Chiefs (+200)
Spread | 5.0
Total | 48.0
The look-ahead line for this game had the Packers as field-goal favorites but things changed quickly with the news of Patrick Mahomes knee injury. Either way, this would have been a tough game for KC as they have struggled to cover against NFC teams over the last two seasons, going just 1-5-1 in those games. On the flip side, Green Bay is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games against AFC opponents and has their starting quarterback healthy and ready to go. It’s a real shame that Mahomes will not suit up for this game as I was looking forward to a shootout between MVP hopefuls. If you are looking to bet Green Bay I would jump on this line now as I expect it to jump closer to 7 points before kickoff on Sunday night.
Miami Dolphins (+625) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (-950)
Spread | 17.5
Total | 43.0
So will the Dolphins be able to secure their first win of the season against the Steeler at home? Nah. Look, never say never, but the Dolphins are just the worst right now and Pittsburgh at home is a hard game for anyone. In fact, the Steelers have not lost a Monday Night game at home since 2007. Miami, on the other hand, is just 2-7 in Monday games and just 1-8 ATS over that same timeframe. Also, consider that this Dolphins team is far worse than the squads of previous seasons. Sure the Dolphins have covered two in a row, wow. And the Steelers are on a 0-5 ATS slide as double-digit favorites, but I mean c’mon, it’s the Dolphins. This might be the worst Monday Night game this season so might as well make it interesting with a play on the Steelers.