As we push towards the middle weeks of the NFL season, there figure to be quite a few intriguing matchups in Week 8. The Sunday slate of games loses the Thursday Night matchup, but there’s still plenty of other games for people to bet on during the most important day of the week for football fans.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons -3

It’s been a pretty rough go for the Carolina Panthers in the last few weeks, and the odds of that changing too much this week are slim. It’s not that the Atlanta Falcons are world beaters by any means, but Matt Ryan has looked like the old quarterback at home so far this year.

These two NFC South rivals will have a pretty close contest, but Atlanta pulls it off and covers against the spread. Carolina could benefit from Christian McCaffrey playing in this game, but even if he does, he won’t be at full strength. That means another tough week for Carolina’s offense.

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Pick: Atlanta Falcons -3

Miami Dolphins of Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills -14

The Buffalo Bills have looked like one of the best teams in the NFL this year, and they will be very well rested after coming off their bye week. They crushed Miami at home in Week 2 of the NFL season, 35-0. It might not be that big of a blowout this time, but the team is without question on a mission.

The only thing that might make some people hesitate on whether or not to go with Buffalo is that Tua Tagovailoa seems to be back and ready to play at a high level. This was the game he originally injured himself, forcing him to miss close to a month of action. He’s kept Miami in games the last few weeks, but they’ve lost despite him completing about 75% as passes. Buffalo still wins by more than two touchdowns, but it will be closer than the 35 point loss before.

Pick: Buffalo Bills -14

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

San Francisco 49ers -3.5

Taking a slight favorite on the road is always a pretty tough proposition, specifically in the NFL. San Francisco certainly has not been a dominant team this year, and their offense makes them look like one of the worst teams in the game at times. They rely on turnovers to pick up victories, but a much more comfortable Justin Fields for the Chicago Bears might not be prone to them this week.

Essentially, the Chicago Bears coaching staff is coaching for their jobs at this point in the season. Matt Nagy knows that his time might not be long in the Windy City, so he needs every type of when he can pick one up. Losing this one at home could be the one that breaks them, so look for a slight upset victory for the Bears to hold off some asking for his job.

Pick: Chicago Bears +3.5

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns -4

The AFC North is once again looking like a pretty strong division, and Pittsburgh and Cleveland need to keep pace with Baltimore and Cincinnati by picking up a win in Week 8. That makes a pretty big match for these football teams, with Cleveland having an advantage in front of their home crowd.

They’ll need just about every advantage they can get considering all the players out due to injury. Cleveland might be the most banged-up team in the NFL, and they will be hoping for a low-scoring game since their defense can’t put pressure on the rush.

Pittsburgh has relied a lot on Najee Harris running the ball, as the passing game hasn’t been as strong as in recent years. Ben Roethlisberger still looks a little bit slow, and that will continue in this matchup. Pick the Browns to win and cover.

Pick: Cleveland Browns -4

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions

Philadelphia Eagles -3.5

If Detroit is looking to finally get things going this season, this is the game to do it. They’re facing a pretty lackluster Philadelphia Eagles team that has two wins on the year, and they get them at home. After being right there in several games, can Detroit finally break through and pick up a win?

The biggest issue for Detroit just comes down to scoring. Finding the end zone has been a challenge all season long, but Philadelphia doesn’t bring in the best defense ever. Not only that, but rookie Jalen Hurts has only been average so far this year. Detroit might not win this game, but expect them to keep it close enough to be the winner against the spread.

Pick: Detroit Lions +3.5

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

Tennessee Titans -3

The Titans have looked like one of the strongest teams in the NFL in the last few weeks, beating Kansas and Buffalo. Many did not see that coming, and they face another big test on the road going up against the Indianapolis Colts. Indianapolis has plenty to play for as well, as they are still right there in the mix for the AFC South.

Can the Titans score enough to win and cover? With the way their defense is playing, they might not have to score that much to get the job done. The Colts will put up some points, but Tennessee finds a way to win by at least a touchdown.

Pick: Tennessee Titans -3

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets

Cincinnati Bengals -11.5

Who would’ve thought that Cincinnati Bengals would be a double-digit favorite on the road in any matchup this year? One of the most surprising teams in the NFL enter as huge favorites going to New York, and they just might be able to cover. The way the team is playing, they put up points pretty easily. Joe Burrow has been finding his favorite target Ja’Marr Chase frequently, and that shouldn’t be slowing down at all against a Jets team that seems to not even want to win.

To make matters even worse, the Jets are likely starting back up quarterback Mike White in this matchup. Even though he’s looked fine in some action, the Bengals will put a ton of pressure on him. Take the Bengals to cruise to a victory on the road and keep the momentum going.

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -11.5

Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams -15.5

The Rams didn’t cover last week as a double-digit favorite, making some a little hesitant to take them again while facing a poor team on the road. They only won by nine against the Detroit Lions at home, so can they really beat the Texans by more than two touchdowns?

Despite Detroit being winless, they put up a lot more fight than the Houston Texans have shown over the last few weeks. Not only is Houston struggling, but they are beaten up, which is not good for a team facing one of the best in the NFL. Tougher matchups lie ahead for the Rams, but they take care of business and cover convincingly in this one.

Pick: Los Angeles Rams -15.5

New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers -4

New England has been keeping it close against good teams this year, but ultimately lost to the likes of Tampa Bay and Dallas. They face another elite quarterback this week in Justin Herbert, and the focus will be on forcing him to commit at least a turnover or two in key moments.

Mac Jones needs to play well for New England to score points, since the Chargers will get a few touchdowns along the way. It will be a pretty back-and-forth matchup, which means New England is the pick as the underdog. They can pretty easily win this game, or keep it within a field goal.

Pick: New England Patriots +4

Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks -3.5

As a home team hosting an East Coast team on the West Coast, Seattle has the inherent advantage. However, Jacksonville had a bye week, while Seattle is coming off of a shorter week. Geno Smith has done an adequate job so far filling in as a quarterback for Seattle, but Jacksonville will put some pressure on him in the backfield.

Even though Jacksonville is one of the worst teams record-wise in the NFL, they still have a lot to play for. The quarterback is hungry, the head coach is looking to prove doubters wrong, and there’s plenty of other players on the roster with a fighting mentality. They might not win, but they’ll cover on the road.

Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5

Washington Football Team at Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos -3.5

Denver will be very happy to make it back home after a long road trip. They are always tough to beat at high elevation, and a struggling Washington Football Team might not have an answer. They are averaging around 30 points per game against them this year, which means Denver should be lighting up the scoreboard.

Quite a few people are looking at Washington as upset winners this week, but Denver will be able to limit them pretty well. Their defense is very stingy with points, so take the home team to win and cover.

Pick: Denver Broncos -3.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4.5

Can Tampa Bay‘s offense be slowed down on the road? Inside a dome, Tom Brady should have a pretty big day. The future Hall of Famer has a chance to knife up the New Orleans defense, making up for any lackluster approach from Tampa’s defense.

The Saints will keep it close, but Tampa Bay finds a way to simply outscore them. It should be one of the most intriguing matchups of the weekend, but the old quarterback gets the job done.

Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4.5

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

Dallas Cowboys -3

These two teams both enter Sunday Night’s matchup coming off bye weeks, meaning they will be very well-rested. Dallas is going into what should be a pretty hostile environment, but they’ve been able to show that they can beat teams on the road so far this year. As long as they can somewhat contain Dalvin Cook and the running game, Dallas has a big chance to win and cover.

The Minnesota defense is strong, but Dallas is going to test them quite a bit. Look for this to be a close game, and it very well could come down to the final possession. It’s tough in a back-and-forth match-up to not take the home underdog, so grab Minnesota in a tight one against the spread.

Pick: Minnesota Vikings -3

 

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