At the start of the NFL season, I outlined some key concepts for betting NFL games. We’ll continue to use those betting tips and strategies to make weekly picks as we head into NFL Week 8.
Last week we targeted two underdogs — the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. The Falcons fell behind early against the Bengals and never recovered, losing 35-17. The Seahawks came through for us in a 37-23 thrashing of the Chargers. If you divided your bets equally between the spread and moneyline, you’d have made a decent profit, since the Seahawks were +250 to win outright.
Let’s take a look at our NFL Week 8 Betting Tips and Strategies.
NFL Week 8: Target These Double-Digit Underdogs
Through the first seven weeks of the season, NFL games have been kind towards underdog bettors, which works perfectly with our strategies.
Underdogs are 60-44-3 ATS through seven weeks of the season. A $100 bettor backing underdogs against the spread would be up $1,160 so far this season.
Not! Too! Shabby!
With that in mind, there are two NFL Week 8 underdogs to target this week.
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Pittsburgh STEELERS (+11) vs. Philadelphia EAGLES
Haven’t we learned this yet? Do not bet against Mike Tomlin as an underdog.
I’ve written before about Tomlin’s impressive track record as an underdog. The Steelers head coach has gone 44-23-2 against the spread in his career as an underdog.
Two weeks ago, the Steelers upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-18 as 10.5-point underdogs. Last week, they kept it within one score against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football, losing a squeaker on their closing drive, 16-10. QB Kenny Pickett is looking more comfortable under center and stretching plays with his legs like he did in college.
Now the bad news. The Steelers offense is … terrible. They rank dead last in most passing categories, showcased by Pickett’s three interceptions against the Dolphins — which, admittedly, is not good and could be a problem against an Eagles team that’s holding opponents to fewer than 190 passing yards per game.
The Eagles also enter this contest undefeated, a perfect 6-0 to start their season (4-2 ATS). They rank top five in NFL offense, defense, takeaways, and basically every other statistical category as well. Jalen Hurts is a legitimate MVP candidate (the +500 third betting choice at DraftKings), and the Eagles are the front-runner for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Oh! They’re coming off a bye week, too. The extra rest and fresh legs will only help against a tired Steelers team that’s played two extremely competitive games in back-to-back weeks.
This look-ahead line was Eagles -7 at most sportsbooks. The point spread reopened at -9.5 on Sunday and has been pushed to -11 at some sportsbooks. For some reason, a Steelers outright win against the Bucs and a close loss to the Dolphins (a sleeper Super Bowl candidate FYI) somehow resulted in a four-point move towards the Eagles?
I don’t buy it.
It’s unlikely we see the Steelers pull off their second double-digit upset of the year, but we’ve seen crazier things happen every single week this season. Give me a Steelers team that would love nothing more than to give their in-state rival their first loss of the season. It’s been far too profitable backing Tomlin as an underdog to ignore a four-point move toward the Eagles.
I’d play the Steelers down to the key number of +10.
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Green Bay PACKERS (+12) vs. Buffalo BILLS
For the first time in his career, Aaron Rodgers is a double-digit underdog.
It’s been a brutal start for the reigning MVP and the Green Bay Packers. Picked by most to win the division for a fourth straight year (oops!) the Packers find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Losses as large favorites against the Giants, Jets, and Commanders have the Packers outside the NFC playoff picture for the first time in four years.
At 3-4 (2-5 ATS), the Packers enter the toughest part of their schedule. With upcoming games against the Bills, Cowboys, and Eagles over the next five weeks, the Packers are (or should be) in full-blown panic mode. They need to get their season on track, and what better opportunity than…
…a tough road game against the best damn team in the NFL!
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Everyone knows how good these Buffalo Bills are. They rank first in offensive yards gained and defensive yards allowed. They’re scoring 30 points per game and allowing only 13 on defense. They’re the NFL’s best team on both sides of the ball.
And yet… I have a hard time wrapping my head around Rodgers and the Packers as double-digit underdogs.
I expect the Packers defense, their lone bright spot, to show up for their toughest test of the season. The Bills offense, for as good as it’s been, leans heavily on the passing game, opting to throw the ball more than 65% of the time. Do you know which team currently boasts the best passing defense in the league? Anyone?
Yup. The Green Bay Packers. They rank first in passing yards allowed, holding their opponents to fewer than 170 yards per game.
If there was ever a game to motivate Rodgers, who’s spent more time this year planning his post-football Jeopardy career and hallucinogenic investment portfolio than helping his young receiving core, a tough matchup against the Bills might be it. This could be the kick in the teeth he needs to whip these receivers into shape. It’s hard to believe they leave Buffalo with a victory, but ten and a half points?
I like the Packers as double-digit underdogs, and as of Wednesday, BetMGM is offering +12.
Also read: Packers plummet down Super Bowl 57 oddsboard
NFL Week 8: Back the Titans as Short Favorites
When a line moves a few points, it’s often profitable to bet against it, if the market has over-corrected.
Tennessee TITANS (-2) vs. Houston TEXANS
Like we did with the Steelers and Packers, let’s take advantage of another point spread that’s jumped a few points.
This line opened in the Titans -3.5 to -4 range, before sharp bettors hit the Texans. As of writing, this line has moved down to Titans -2, below the key number of 3. A 2-point move is good enough for me to take a shot on Tennessee.
The Titans enter this matchup against the Texans having won four straight games. Their offense got off to a slow start to begin their season, but has steadily improved. The genius game plan of “get the ball to Derrick Henry” is paying off. The running back has notched five touchdowns in the Titans’ last six games.
While the Titans rank in the bottom half of the NFL in scoring offense, ranking 21st in total points per game, they actually rank third in first-half points scored. More than 75% of their total points have come in the first half of games this season. Scoring early and handing the ball to Henry to chew clock and protect the lead is not a terrible strategy!
Look for the Titans to get off to another fast start and simply run the Texans to death. Houston is allowing a league-worst 164 rushing yards per game, and Henry will be the toughest running back they’ve faced this season.
Give me the Titans at anything below the key number of 3.