NFL Week 8 Expert Picks, Best Bets Against the Spread
Which NFL underdogs are most enticing in Week 8? Just two games have a spread of a field goal or less, while four have double-digit lines. Below are our experts picking the games against the spread this season, along with each of their picks against the spread and best bets for this weekend’s slate.
New York Jets (+6) at Jacksonville Jaguars
C’mon now. If the Jets had their bye last week, after the Dallas win, instead of being featured in the soundbite-filled Monday night loss to the best defense in football, they’d be getting two or three points. Sam Darnold (and his offensive linemen) has been overwhelmed in two of his three games, not coincidentally against two of the most complex, disguise-heavy defenses in the NFL (New England and Buffalo, who have made every opposing quarterback they’ve faced look very bad).
Jacksonville, while talented, is as straightforward a defensive scheme as you’ll get. You have to take opponent into account when assessing these teams—remember how Kirk Cousins was the worst quarterback in football after two bad games that, oh yeah, happened to come in two of the toughest environments an opposing QB can play in (Green Bay and Chicago)? He’s 3-0 with a 142.6 passer rating since then. I suppose there’s a chance the mental scars from Monday night won’t heal in time for Sunday, but more likely this is the start of a rebound for Darnold and the Jets. Plus, this is a Jaguars team that is 2-5 SU (2-4-1 ATS) over its last seven home games, and 1-4 SU and ATS as a home favorite over the past two seasons. —Gary Gramling
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams (-13) in London
This is essentially a second road game in a row for the Rams, who were in Atlanta last week and in London this week, which could be a red flag, but not against the hapless Bengals. Cincinnati is the perfect opponent for a Rams blowout and cover. The Bengals simply don’t have the offense to keep up with Los Angeles. They haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game this season and have topped 17 points just twice. You’re laying less than two touchdowns here, which won’t be a problem at all for the Rams to cover with their high-powered offense.—Jimmy Traina
Philadelphia Eagles (+1.5) at Buffalo Bills
This is the best buy-low, sell-high spot on the board. Admittedly, I don’t love backing the Eagles playing in their third consecutive road game, but they essentially need this win here to keep this season alive. Philadelphia is much better talent-wise than its record would indicate. Meanwhile, per Football Outsiders’ DVOA, the Bills are the worst 5-1 team in NFL history. I don’t think Josh Allen is the quarterback that can take advantage of this sorry Eagles secondary. And while this Bills defense is impressive, here is a list of the quarterbacks they’ve faced: Sam Darnold, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Tom Brady, Marcus Mariota and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Half of those quarterbacks have already been benched this season! I think the Eagles escape Buffalo with an outright win here. —Max Meyer