Bettors thrive on the midseason snap back.
This is the time of the year when high-flying teams come back to earth and underachieving clubs rebound, creating some excellent values.
Gamblers who used that strategy to pocket moneyline upsets and backdoor covers get one more bite of the NFL Week 8 apple when the Detroit Lions host the Las Vegas Raiders tonight at -7.5.
NFL Week 9 then begins Thursday, with the rejuvenated Tennessee Titans invading the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here are our NFL Week 8 betting results, a look forward to Monday night, a look back at how gamblers bet against previous seasonal patterns, and an overview of significant injuries that will impact future betting lines.
Lions vs Raiders MNF Week 8 Preview
Lions backers will be ready to jump in more if this line hits 7 (Best Live Odds: ). They can tinker with an alternate line to get this spread below a touchdown, but it will be expensive.
Personnel-wise, bettors know that David Montgomery is inactive, Amon Ra-St. Brown is questionable with an illness, and Jahmyr Gibbs looks like the first choice out of the backfield for Detroit.
Jimmy Garoppolo looks like he will be back for the Raiders. Davante Adams will be his prime target.
Lions vs Raiders Touchdown Scorer (First, Anytime)
- Gibbs (+475 first, -135 anytime)
- St. Brown (+500, -120)
- Josh Jacobs (+800, +100)
- Sam LaPorta (+850, +140). He’s a prime threat who has been a little bit quiet. This could be his kind of game.
- Adams (+1200, +170)
- Jared Goff (+2500, +200)
First Glance at NFL Week 9 Top Draws
The week opens with the Titans visiting the Steelers on Thursday night.
Sunday features two of the year’s top matchups.
The Miami Dolphins face the Kansas City Chiefs in Frankfurt, Germany. It’s Tua and Patrick Mahomes for a special 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff.
The game of the week stateside is the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Dallas Cowboys for NFC East supremacy. Philly is the league’s first seven-win team, overcoming two fumbles inside the 5-yard line to outlast the Washington Commanders, 38-31.
The Eagles hold a one-game lead over Dallas in the NFC East.
The Cowboys walloped the Los Angeles Rams, 43-20, with receiver CeeDee Lamb having a career game of 158 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys-Rams final was a scorigami, a term denoted for an outcome never before seen in the NFL. There have been more than 16,000 games in NFL history and this was the first that finished 43-20.
Quarterback Injury Updates
They were a major theme in NFL Week 8 and will continue going forward.
Here’s a look at the newly revamped world behind center:
Will ‘The Thrill’ Levis Electrifies Titans
The Titans found their new leader in second-round pick Will Levis. His four touchdown passes and veteran poise helped the Titans outgun the Atlanta Falcons, 28-23. Levis replaced injured Ryan Tannehill and looks like the quarterback of the future.
Betting trust in him will go beyond the four touchdown passes, three to DeAndre Hopkins. It will go beyond the fact that one touchdown to Hopkins was good for 47 yards, the other for 61.
Trust in Levis will focus on how he looks.
Think Justin Herbert. That’s how calm and comfortable he was for the Titans. He is expected to go after a second big game on Thursday.
Pittsburgh may start Mitchell Trubisky over Kenny Pickett, who was injured in the Steelers’ 20-10 setback to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Giants, Vikings, Face Major QB Woes
The New York Giants, forced to rely on third-stringer Tommy DeVito, missed their chance to steal a game and lost an overtime 13-10 heartbreak to the New York Jets.
Think about this stat: The Giants were one play away from winning the game despite having -9 yards passing. That’s the fewest in one game since the Cleveland Browns had -9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000.
The Giants still nearly won as it took the Jets completing a 29-yard pass and spiking the ball with 1 second left to set up the game-tying field goal. A pass interference call set up the overtime winner.
Considering how well the Giants’ defense has played, this is demoralizing for Big Blue.
If it’s not Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor (injured in Week 8) behind center, the Giants face major trouble against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The good news for the Minnesota Vikings is that they toppled the Green Bay Packers, 24-10, as a slight road favorite in Week 8. The bad news is that Kirk Cousins is being evaluated for an Achilles injury. His season could be over.
This may be a dagger for the Vikings, who have rallied to 4-4 after on 0-3 start. They have won three straight against the spread, including Sunday’s 24-10 triumph over the Green Bay Packers.
Jaren Hall, who could not move the team when he came in to replace Cousins in the fourth quarter, is the next man up right now. Minnesota visits the Atlanta Falcons with an untested quarterback.
The Falcons may counter with Taylor Heinicke. Desmond Ridder was knocked out of Week 8 and Heinicke played well enough to start Week 9.
NFL Week 8 Stock Watch
The Jacksonville Jaguars remain unbeaten on the road. They now have the league’s longest win streak at five and five straight covers.
While their offense is solid, their defense leads the league in takeaways, and bettors can look at them for turnover props.
The Jags take sizzling momentum into a Week 9 bye. They return against the suddenly-cold San Francisco 49ers.
As ugly as that Week 8 game was, the Jets have covered four straight times. The final Week 8 line of -3 versus the Giants was technically a push, but the line had been 2.5 most of the week. Many bettors took that and moved the number to -3 close to game time.
They try to make it five when hosting the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night.
They have won three straight on the moneyline and against the spread. They just topped the 49ers at +4. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are starting to look like the tandem that went to the Super Bowl a couple of years back. Tee Higgins is back.
They are starting to look like a playoff team and bettors may take some division stabs or futures bets on them.
Quickly becoming one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. Had four touchdowns against the Eagles, but it just wasn’t enough. Will try again when the Commanders visit the New England Patriots.
The Niners, who looked like the best team in football when October started, exit the month with three consecutive losses. They will be happy to grab the Week 9 Bye. They resume in Jacksonville for Week 10. The Niners need Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams back. The bye will help.
Everybody Loves a Gambler
Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel was 3-for-3 on 4th-down gambles in his team’s 31-24 triumph over the New England Patriots.
McDaniel, Detroit Lions coach Dice-Roll Dan Campbell, and Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni are among the most fearless coaches in this category.
Until He Loses
There were many instances of failed 4th-down attempts without dire consequences in Week 8.
But there was one on a first down. The Eagles messed up their signature Brotherly Shove play of teammates forcing Jalen Hurts into the end zone.
But the timing was off on this 1st-and-goal play in the third quarter. The Eagles fumbled on the Washington 1, losing a chance to forge a 17-17 tie.
Philly also lost a fumble on the Washington 5 and still won the game.
Keep An Eye On This
The Eagles have already put in a spinoff of the Brotherly Shove. With the same formation, Hurts gave the ball to D’Andre Swift, who broke left into the end zone for the game-winning score.
Philadelphia’s 38-31 triumph was a push as far as the line at kickoff at most sportsbooks. But it was primarily a win for Philadelphia bettors because the line was -6.5 much of the week.
NFL Week 8 Betting Highlights: It Paid to Go the Other Way
Gamblers embracing the snap-back wave — top teams falling and weak teams rising — prospered on the Panthers, Bengals, and Denver Broncos, who notched well-paying moneyline upsets as underdogs. Gamblers pounced on the opportunity.
Bettors also cashed some backdoor covers with losing teams scoring late to beat a big number. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers covered 10 in a 24-18 setback to the Buffalo Bills and the Arizona Cardinals stole a late cover in losing to the Baltimore Ravens 31-24 at +9.5. In this case, these teams had been so cold that they were eventually given a spread they could beat.
Here is a closer look at the Broncos and Panthers:
The Broncos stunned the Kansas City Chiefs 24-9 at +7, breaking a 16-game losing streak against Kansas City going back to 2015. Go figure that the high-powered defending Super Bowl champions would not get into the end zone.
The Broncos shed the piano on their back regarding the losing streak versus Kansas City and returned +260 at DraftKings for the outright victory. That was forecast on just 11% of the handle and 5% of the tickets.
This one had an interesting betting trajectory. There was serious money being wagered on Denver that did not show up in the percentages. Kansas City had 80% of the handle, but the books did not nudge the number up to encourage Denver betting. The line stayed at Kansas City -7. Oddsmakers knew the “wiseguys” would unload even more on Denver if they did.
As it turned out, Denver betting was a smart play.
The Panthers are no longer winless and cover-less. They checked both boxes in beating the Houston Texans 15-13 at +3 with bettors draped around the Panthers.
We mentioned the split personality of the wagering in Bontempo’s Betting Beat last week. The Panthers had 69% of the handle but only 34% of the bets against the Houston Texans at +3.
One can understand the different viewpoints. Carolina trailed until the final game-winning field goal.
What Goes into a Backdoor Cover
This is why it’s hard to lay the big number.
Buffalo, -10, had a 24-12 lead on Tampa Bay late in the game. Tampa Bay had 4th-and-10 from the Buffalo 24. Stop one play and it’s over. But Baker Mayfield threw a 24-yard TD pass and that was that.
The Arizona Cardinals stole a cover too. At +9.5, they trailed Baltimore 31-15 before notching a late score. A holding call negated the 2-point conversion, which they then missed. The score was 31-21.
They did the unexpected and succeeded with an onside kick.
Then they went for a field goal. Missed it. But there was a false start penalty on them. The defense can’t decline it. The ball was moved back five yards and the kick was then made.
Baltimore 31, Arizona 24. An unlikely Cardinals cover.
Nobody ever said it would be easy.
FanDuel Notable Prop Hits
Who was rooting hard for the Chicago Bears to get more than nine points in the 30-13 drubbing by the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night?
Anyone who had the Chiefs as the lowest-scoring team of the week.
That’s right. Patrick Mahomes and Co. take lowball honors with that 24-9 loss to the Broncos and paid a whopping +5500. Well deserved to anyone with that pick. Great payday for the unexpected.
Remember Denver yielding 70 points to the Dolphins early in the season? Now they hold the Super Bowl champs to the lowest total of the week.
The Jets, who seemed doomed to a 10-7 loss to the Giants before turning the tables late, would have paid +1800.
High-scoring honors went to the Cowboys at +1000 for that 43-20 win over the Rams.
The highest game goes to the Eagles-Commanders. The 69 total was good for +1100.
The lowest game was the chalk. The Giants and Jets totaled 23 points and needed overtime to go it. But the Jets’ 13-10 triumph still paid +470.
Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, and Trevor Lawrence to combine for seven touchdowns paid a hefty +650.
How Did This One Miss?
CeeDee Lamb and Cooper Kupp to combine for 200 yards was +290. Lamb went off with 158 yards. Kupp only had 21. Bettors had to think they were going to put this one in their pocket.