Week 8 of the NFL season is here! This week’s slate kicks off with arguably the best game of the week: a Thursday Night Football clash between the undefeated Cardinals and the NFC North-leading Packers. There aren’t a great deal of standout games otherwise, but I’ll be paying attention to TEN vs. IND, DAL vs. MIN, and TB vs. NO in particular.
After Week 7 (my first round of picks this season—I know it’s weird), I’m currently a very mediocre 8-5. Let’s see if we can improve that this week.
Thursday Night Football: Green Bay Packers (6-1) at Arizona Cardinals (7-0)
The pick: Cardinals (-265)
Spread: Cardinals -6 | Over/Under: 51 | Moneyline: Cardinals -265, Packers +215
The best TNF game of the season, and maybe one of the best of all time, is coming our way this week. Arizona is on fire both offensively and defensively, while Green Bay has been rolling after an inexplicably bad opening loss to the Saints. The excitement in this one is lessened somewhat with the news that Davante Adams and Allen Lazard will be out, but it should still be a great game. It’s hard to ever count Aaron Rodgers out, but things are lining up well for the Cardinals in this one.
Los Angeles Rams (6-1) at Houston Texans (1-6)
The pick: Rams (-1000)
Spread: Rams -14.5 | Over/Under: 47.5 | Moneyline: Rams -1000, Texans +650
The Rams should have had a very easy two-game stretch here, but the Lions gave them everything they could handle last week. That being said, the Texans are far worse than Detroit. Los Angeles hasn’t been quite as dominant since their early stretch, but they’re still one of the top teams in the NFC. They take care of business on the road.
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (4-3)
The pick: Browns (-180)
Spread: Browns -3.5 | Over/Under: 42 | Moneyline: Browns -180, Steelers +155
This game is hard to predict because the status of Baker Mayfield is still uncertain. If reports that Mayfield will play are to be believed, I think the Browns should have the upper hand in this one. Pittsburgh still has a very good defense, but the offense is completely uninspiring. I think the Browns will bounce back from their tough start, and getting a win at home against a division rival will be a big part of that.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-5) at Detroit Lions (0-7)
The pick: Lions (+155)
Spread: Eagles -3.5 | Over/Under: 48 | Moneyline: Eagles -180, Lions +155
OK, I have to admit it: I’m enjoying this Lions team. They’re not good, by any means, but they’re playing their hearts out every week and managing to stay competitive with a very poor roster. After nearly pulling off the upset over a very good Rams team, I think Detroit gets their first win of the season...and soon. The Eagles have shown themselves to be eminently beatable, with a porous defense and a hot-and-cold offense. It’s time for the Lions to get a victory for underdogs everywhere.
San Francisco 49ers (2-4) at Chicago Bears (3-4)
The pick: 49ers (-210)
Spread: 49ers -4 | Over/Under: 39.5 | Moneyline: 49ers -210, Bears +175
Two of the most disappointing teams in the league meet on Sunday, and it’s hard to see this game being much fun. With Trey Lance hurt, Jimmy Garoppolo is once again the starting QB—and the results have not been encouraging. Meanwhile, the Chicago offense is so dysfunctional thanks to arguably the worst offensive line in the league and uninspired playcalling from Matt Nagy that we can’t even properly evaluate rookie QB Justin Fields. Someone has to win this game, and I’m giving the edge to the favorite.
Carolina Panthers (3-4) at Atlanta Falcons (3-3)
The pick: Falcons (-155)
Spread: Falcons -3 | Over/Under: 46.5 | Moneyline: Falcons -155, Panthers +135
These two division rivals have been going in completely different directions since the start of the season. Atlanta has rebounded from a slow start to a 3-3 record, with an offense that’s starting to look like a consistent threat. Carolina, on the other hand, started 3-0 but have since lost four straight as QB Sam Darnold has imploded. While Atlanta’s defense will probably give Darnold an opportunity to rebound, Atlanta’s offense is strong enough that I think they’ll win the day. Ultimately, I trust Matt Ryan far more than Darnold.
Miami Dolphins (1-6) at Buffalo Bills (4-2)
The pick: Bills (-850)
Spread: Bills -13.5 | Over/Under: 48.5 | Moneyline: Bills -850, Dolphins +575
Despite all the heat surrounding Tua Tagovailoa and a possible Deshuan Watson trade, I actually thought Tua played well against the Falcons. However, the slumping Dolphins now have to go on the road to play a true AFC contender in the Bills—coming off a bye no less. This is not the week to “get right”, and the Bills take care of business at home.
Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) at New York Jets (1-5)
The pick: Bengals (-525)
Spread: Bengals -10.5 | Over/Under: 43 | Moneyline: Bengals -525, Jets +385
On paper, these two teams actually didn’t seem that far off at the beginning of the season. Both had recently acquired a young, top quarterback—and both were coming off disappointing seasons. They couldn’t be playing any differently, however, as the Bengals are one of the biggest surprises of the 2021 NFL season and the Jets...are still the Jets. It’s possible Joe Flacco is an upgrade over Zach Wilson, but if anything, I think the spread is too small in this one. Bengals by a lot.
Tennessee Titans (5-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
The pick: Titans (+105)
Spread: Colts -1.5 | Over/Under: 51 | Moneyline: Colts -125, Titans +105
The Titans went on the road and absolutely blasted a rapidly-deteriorating Chiefs team...and they’re now underdogs against an average Colts team. I don’t get it. What more can Tennessee show us to make us believe they’re legit, after back-to-back upsets over Buffalo and Kansas City? Indianapolis is starting to play better, but I think the Titans are hitting their stride.
New England Patriots (3-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
The pick: Chargers (-225)
Spread: Chargers -5 | Over/Under: 49.5 | Moneyline: Chargers -225, Patriots +185
The Patriots took a dilapidated Jets team to the woodshed in Week 7, but they’ve got a much tougher test on their hands in Week 8. Los Angeles is coming off a bye, and the Chargers should be itching to get back to their winning ways after a tough loss to the Ravens. New England is a solid overall team, but I think the Chargers are a legit AFC contender. Give me Justin Herbert and that electric offense in this one.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) at Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
The pick: Seahawks (-170)
Spread: Seahawks -3 | Over/Under: 43.5 | Moneyline: Seahawks -170, Jaguars +150
I can’t remember the last time the Seahawks would have been just 3-point favorites over the Jaguars. 2017, probably? But that’s where Seattle is in Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season. The Jaguars are certainly not good, as they’re one of the worst offenses and defenses in the league. Even though Seattle is starting Geno Smith at QB, I think they’ll be able to do enough to get past the Jags at home.
Washington Football Team (2-5) at Denver Broncos (3-4)
The pick: WFT (+150)
Spread: Broncos -3 | Over/Under: 44.5 | Moneyline: Broncos -170, WFT +150
I’ve got to pick some upsets—and I’m not sure I really count Tennessee vs Indianapolis as one. So I’m going with my gut here and taking Washington over a very mediocre Broncos team. Yes, the Broncos should be able to beat Washington. They’ve also lost four straight against some good teams and some middling ones. The Football Team is a bit frisky—they arguably outplayed the Packers last week, but just couldn’t get it done in the red zone. I like Washington’s chances to pull out the win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1) at New Orleans Saints (4-2)
The pick: Bucs (-250)
Spread: Bucs -5.5 | Over/Under: 50.5 | Moneyline: Bucs -250, Saints +200
An important divisional clash, Tampa Bay and New Orleans meet for the first time this season. While the Saints have a winning record, they’ve been very average on the whole. Meanwhile, the Bucs have been one of the NFC’s best teams despite some injury-related struggles on defense. New Orleans is capable of beating up on bad teams—bad offenses, in particular—but I doubt they’ll be a match for the Bucs.
Sunday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys (5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-3)
The pick: Cowboys (-135)
Spread: Cowboys -2.5 | Over/Under: 55 | Moneyline: Cowboys -135, Vikings +115
The Cowboys having an elite offense was easy to predict: with Dak Prescott healthy, they would’ve likely set offensive records in 2020. Dallas’ defense playing well? That’s a bit of a surprise. Meanwhile, the Vikings are clearly better than their 3-3 record suggests—they lost a nail-biter in OT, and by one point to the 7-0 Cardinals. I think this could be a good game, but I’m always wary of primetime Kirk Cousins. Cowboys have the edge.
Monday Night Football: New York Giants (2-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)
The pick: Chiefs (-425)
Spread: Chiefs -9.5 | Over/Under: 52 | Moneyline: Chiefs -425, Giants +320
The Chiefs have been one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments in 2021, but I sincerely believe it won’t last. Kansas City hasn’t adjusted yet to how defenses are choosing to attack their offense, but those adjustments are coming. The mistake-prone New York Giants are the perfect opponent for an angry Patrick Mahomes and Co. to get right against.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.