A glance at the best bets for NFL Week 8 with odds, the spread for each game and pro football picks.
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
Buffalo’s domineering defense should hold down the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. Oakland will be without Marshawn Lynch (suspension) as they square off against the league’s seventh-best rush defense by YPG. With little ground activity to keep the Bills’ defense honest, Derek Carr could be baited into some throwing mistakes. No team in the NFL has been better in the turnover department than Buffalo this season (plus-10).
Meanwhile, the productive LeSean McCoy should pile up yardage against a soft Raiders defense (26th by YPG). And Tyrod Taylor should face little pressure from Oakland’s pass rushers (just 12 sacks through seven games) when he has to drop back and pass.
Oakland is notorious for not traveling well, especially for 1 p.m. games, while Buffalo typically thrives at home. All of this plays into the Bills’ hands and makes them an enticing wager as a nominal favorite. They are the best bet of the week.
The pick: Bills -2.5
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots (-7.5)
The suddenly-streaking Chargers (3-0 SU and ATS last three games) are an intriguing underdog as they travel east to face the Patriots.
Philip Rivers has led a solid aerial attack all season long (eighth by YPG) and will match up against the league’s worst pass stoppers. He should have plenty of time to find his targets, as his stout offensive line (10 sacks allowed through seven games, fourth-best in the NFL) faces a mediocre New England pass rush (tied for 15th with 15 sacks). By contrast, Tom Brady will be under duress as L.A.’s fourth-ranked pass rushers (23 sacks) face a line that’s allowed its star quarterback to eat dirt 18 times (18th of 32 teams).
The Patriots have been a shaky proposition at home this year, failing to cover in three of their first four in Foxboro. Expect Melvin Gordon to get plenty of touches (130 all-purpose YPG in three road contests this season) as the Chargers keep this one within the number at a minimum.
The pick: Chargers +7.5
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-9)
Two of the NFL’s hottest teams from a betting standpoint meet in the Superdome on Sunday afternoon. The Bears have covered on three straight occasions, while the Saints have covered four straight times. However, it seems unlikely that Chicago will match strides with Drew Brees and his high-powered offense.
New Orleans in fifth in PPG this year and fourth in YPG. The Bears have done well to hold the likes of Carolina, Baltimore and Minnesota to an average of 295 yards over their last three games, but the Saints’ offense is far more dynamic than any of those teams’ units.
Mitchell Trubisky has yet to be fully utilized by the Bears, as he threw only seven times last week. He’s completed just 50% of his passes in three starts to date and will face a Saints defense that’s managed a miraculous turnaround during their four-game ATS winning streak. They’ve allowed just over 270 YPG in their last four contests while forcing turnovers left and right (plus-5 turnover differential last four games).
The Saints should cruise to a double-digit win at home this week.
The pick: Saints -9
Best of the rest (picks in bold)
Minnesota Vikings (-9.5) at Cleveland Browns (London)
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-13)
Atlanta Falcons (-4) at New York Jets
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2)
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-10.5)
Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks (-5.5)
Dallas Cowboys (-2) at Washington Redskins
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Detroit Lions
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)