As we cross the midway point of the NFL season just two undefeated teams remain after Week 8, the Patriots and 49ers. We also saw a few bad beats on last-second plays that had many bettors cursing their TV. So, let’s review the good, the bad and the downright heinous from Week 8 of NFL betting.
Favorites Shine in Week 8
Betting on underdogs, especially against the spread, has been very profitable this season for the public. Coming into Week 8, underdogs were 60-44-2 (57.55%) while road underdogs were 65-38-2 (62.86%). Favorites fought back this weekend, going 7-6 against the spread and making some money for their backers.
The three favorites to win the Super Bowl, San Francisco, New England, and New Orleans, all took home wins this weekend. The Niners crushed the Panthers 51-13, The Patriots smoked the Browns 27-13 and the Saints dismantled the Cardinals 31-9. All three covered at home and further cemented their places atop the Super Bowl favorites board.
The Vegas books took the hardest loss of the Sunday slate with the Packers, who always see a lot of action and covered as 5-point favorites on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots win was another big win for the betting public and saw New England move to 6-2 ATS on the season, tied for the best in the NFL with the Saints, Packers, and Rams. Speaking of the Rams, they covered a 12-point spread in a win over the Bengals in London.
Big-Time Backdoor Covers
Anyone who took a chance on the Lions to cover this weekend saw their dreams dashed by a Giants backdoor cover. The G-Men closed as 6-point underdogs and with just 1:19 left on the clock, pulled within five to lose give their backers a huge last game win. Bettors saw their tides turn as Daniel Jones threw a 4-yard TD pass to Saquon Barkley, too bad it wasn’t enough to get the Giants the outright win they so desperately needed. Jones did look a bit better and with Barkley back to full speed, the Giants might be a very good underdog bet moving forward.
Another cover that rewarded sharp bettors was the Raiders, who covered as 5-point road dogs in Houston. This was almost an outright win for Oakland as they didn’t trail the Texans until the fourth quarter after a Watson TD pass to Darren Fells with just 6:26 left to play.
Another big win for the books was the Denver Broncos, who covered as 6-point underdogs in a 15-13 loss to the Colts. This was another game that could have easily been an underdog outright win with the Broncos leading up until just 22 seconds left in the game. Enter Adam Vinitieri who smacked a game winning 51-yard field goal, crushing the dreams of anyone who bet the Broncos on the moneyline.
Post-Week 8 News & Notes
The Los Angeles Chargers were the largest underdogs to snag a straight-up win with a 17-16 victory over the Chicago Bears. They finally won a close game in 2019, but it was really more of a Bears loss than a Chargers win if we’re being honest. This is because the Bears were a 41-yard field goal away from a win here but their kicking woes continued as Eddy Pineiro sailed a walk-off kick wide left. This had to be a huge relief for Chargers moneyline bettors as they avoided back-to-back crushing losses after last week’s 1-yard line fumble by LA.
The week prior they lost by a single score, same thing in Week 4 and Week 3. This was a big win for a team that needed to catch a break. Seems they finally came across a team with even worse luck than them. Worth noting the Chargers are now 6-1 when cashing ‘under’ bets and the lone exception went over by just a half-point.
While we’re on the subject of totals, the highest on the board this weekend was the Raiders and Texans game at 52.5 and really came down to the wire. The Texans trailed 21-13 early in the fourth quarter and scored a pivotal TD to make it 21-19. They were left with the decision to kick a field goal or go for two, they opted to kick the XP and the game ended just a point shy of the total when all was said and done. The second-highest total (49) was in the Giants and Lions game, this was an easy ‘over’ win for bettors while the third-highest total (49), the Seahawks and Falcons, fell just short as the game ended 20-27 in favor of Seattle.
On the other side of the coin, we have the Eagles vs Bills game with the lowest total of the weekend at 39. The Bills defense betrayed them and the bettors who took the under, giving up 31 points and almost securing the ‘over’ win all by themselves.
Finally for Week 8, the only real injury of note this weekend was suffered by the Texans J.J. Watt. Watt suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Houston’s win over the Raiders and was immediately taken to the hospital. He confirmed Sunday night, via twitter, that his season is over due to a torn muscle.
We have a lot to look forward to in week 9 with the 49ers taking their perfect record into Arizona in Thursday Night Football after covering five of their last seven games of the year. They have opened as 9-point favorites against the Cardinals who are just 2-5 ATS their last seven games at home. We get another game in London as the Texans, minus JJ Watt, take on the Jaguars at Wembley on Sunday. With him out, and London games tending to see high scores, an early bet on the ‘over’ might be a good call here.
Check back later in the week for our opening odds report and best bets for the upcoming weekend.