Nfl pick em week 8

Week 8 NFL Pick ’em, Confidence Pool Picks Advice: Expert tips for football pools

Injuries to key quarterbacks and surprising upsets from a handful of teams are making life tough for those in NFL survivor and pick ’em pools, so it’s likely you’re looking for any tips or pieces of advice you can get prior to making your Week 8 picks. Fortunately, the experts from TeamRankings can help you find favorites worth trusting and underdogs worth gambling on in your football pool.

TeamRankings is the only site that provides customized picks to maximize your edge in football pools. Last year, 80 percent of their subscribers reported winning a prize in a football pick ’em contest.

FREE TRIAL OFFER: Sporting News readers can get a free three-day premium trial to TeamRankings, including game predictions, betting picks, and customized picks for pick ’em and survivor pools. Claim your free trial now!

Review of last week’s picks

Last week, we highlighted three favorites that were being picked less than half the time by the public: Chicago, Tennessee, and Indianapolis. The Colts beat the Texans at home and the Titans held on for a three-point win against the Chargers, but the Bears laid an offensive egg against the Saints. Overall, the public got 1.3 wins in those three games compared to two wins by going with our value favorites or unpopular tossups, and so going against the popular underdogs was a profitable move.

We also discussed two underdogs that were potential values in weekly contests because they were so unpopular: Denver and Atlanta. Neither bathed themselves in glory in Week 7. Denver could not do anything on offense to take advantage of a Kansas City team that was without quarterback Patrick Mahomes for over half the game. Atlanta got crushed at home by the Rams and added injury to insult when Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan suffered an ankle injury that has his status for this week in doubt.

Week 8 NFL Picks Advice: Tips for Pick ’em Pools

Note: You shouldn’t make all of the picks below (especially the value gambles). The best Week 8 picks for your specific NFL pool depend on several factors, including size, rules, and prize structure. Our Football Pick ’em Picks product recommends weekly picks for you based on all those factors.

Win odds and estimated national pick popularity data is subject to change between publication and kickoff. For the latest numbers, check our pick ’em picks product, which updates multiple times daily.

Most favorites are overrated by the public, but the teams below look more fairly valued in Week 8. You should think twice about picking against them — not because we think they are a lock to win (no team ever is), but because other games offer more compelling upset pick opportunities.

Minnesota Vikings (vs. Washington)

We are featuring the biggest favorite this week in the context of how the overall week is shaping up with so many heavy favorites. The public is understandably picking mostly favorites at a high rate, and every single favorite this week currently has a pick popularity of 68 percent or higher.

But with so many other games where the public is picking favorites heavily, don’t be the one that gets extra daring and goes against the biggest favorite. Minnesota has 90-percent win odds, highest of the week. It is being picked by 99 percent of the public. But there are several other games where the win odds for the favorite are 10-15 percent lower, but the public is also picking the favorite over 95 percent of the time.

So lock in Minnesota, make them a top confidence point play if you participate in such a pool, and let the other results dictate how this week goes.

Green Bay Packers (at Kansas City)

Green Bay is one of those smaller favorites this week, favored by four points at Kansas City. The Packers are the favorite, of course, because Patrick Mahomes is out with the knee injury and Matt Moore will start for Kansas City. Aaron Rodgers is coming off a stellar performance against the Raiders and gets to face another defense that has struggled to stop opponents (though the Chiefs did have their best defensive game last Thursday against Denver).

Our models give Green Bay a 66-percent chance of winning, and it is being selected by 75 percent of the public. That pick popularity makes the Packers a value, though, in comparison to other games this week. The Bears, for example, are favored by the same amount but are being picked by 81 percent of the public over the Chargers. The Colts have only slightly higher win odds but are being selected by 96 percent of the public against Denver.

San Francisco 49ers (vs. Carolina)

San Francisco faces Carolina in the only other game this week (besides Green Bay-Kansas City) where both teams have a winning record. The 49ers come into the game off a sloppy performance in the mud against Washington where they won 9-0. Carolina has had a bye after playing in London in Week 6 and has won four games in a row with Kyle Allen at quarterback, so you can understand why the public is, relatively speaking, more comfortable occasionally picking the upset here.

Our models give the 49ers a 72-percent chance of victory as a 5.5-point favorite, and the public is picking it 84 percent of the time. Again, because of the dynamics of this week with so many larger favorites, that makes the Niners a relative value and you should look elsewhere if you want to pick a bigger upset. There are four other games within one point of the line for this game, and the average pick popularity is 91 percent for those other favorites.

If you’re going to make a gamble on an underdog, you need to make sure that the potential reward (that is, how much your odds to win your pool will increase if your gamble pays off) is as big as possible. If you take extra risk on a super trendy upset pick, the joke could be on you.

The picks below are not appropriate for all pools. If you’re in a smaller, season-long pool with lots of games left, they are probably not worth the risk. However, if you’re in a single-week pool with a larger number of entries — or if you only care about winning weekly prizes — these highly unpopular underdogs have a compelling profile.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Tennessee)

Tampa Bay at Tennessee is tied for the smallest point spread of the week at 2.5 points. The betting market implied win odds are 42 percent for the Bucs, while our models are even more optimistic, giving them a 48 percent chance of winning.

The public, though, is taking Tennessee 70 percent of the time even though we see this one as closer to even. It’s easy to understand why the public feels that way. The last time we saw Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston was turning the ball over six times in London in a loss to Carolina. Meanwhile, Tennessee benched Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill before last week, and Tannehill threw for over 300 yards in the win over the Chargers on Sunday.

Given that this is a week with relatively scarce options when it comes to close games, combined with Tennessee’s higher popularity, Tampa Bay is an attractive upset pick here in a weekly contest to differentiate your entry.

Denver Broncos (at Indianapolis)

Denver put up an embarrassing performance in prime time last Thursday and were not competitive against the Chiefs. Indianapolis, meanwhile, has played the underdog role really well, beating those same Chiefs on the road in primetime and then winning at home against the Texans in impressive fashion.

Those factors are contributing to the Colts now being picked by a whopping 96 percernt of the public. But unlike a lot of other games this week with high popularity for the favorite, the Colts are only a six-point favorite with win odds of around 67 percent.

While taking an underdog with about a one-in-three chance to win isn’t advisable in all pool types, it is a solid value play in larger weekly prize pools because the public is almost ignoring the Broncos entirely at this point after their poor performance last Thursday.

Which of these five NFL Week 8 picks should you make?

Once you know the best value opportunities of NFL Week 8, you can increase your odds to win your pool by making educated gambles on them. Maybe you bump up the number of confidence points you assign to a team like Green Bay or San Francisco, or you take a chance on an upset like Tampa Bay or Denver.

There are a lot of potential decisions to make, and not all of them will make sense for your specific pool. It takes a lot of data and math to get to the right answer. Fortunately, we’ve built technology to do all the analytical heavy lifting for you.

Our Football Pick ’em Picks product recommends the best weekly picks for your pool based on all the strategy factors that matter. You answer a few quick questions about your pool, and it shows you the weekly pick sheet that will maximize your edge. We invite you to give it (and all our other premium NFL tools) a try for free. Good luck in your NFL pick ’em contests and office pools this week!

FREE TRIAL OFFER: Sporting News readers can get a free three-day premium trial to TeamRankings, including game predictions, betting picks, and customized picks for pick ’em and survivor pools. Claim your free trial now!

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