Week 8 of the 2014 NFL season could see several of the league’s top teams lose, as four teams with five wins are not favored in their games, according to the betting odds at Las Vegas casinos. Nearly half of the games have a point spread of three points or less, and no game on the schedule features a spread in double-digits.
The favorites were slightly better than the underdogs in Week 7, as they covered eight of the 15 betting lines. Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 8.
San Diego Chargers (+8.5) at Denver Broncos
The betting line is very high for a matchup that includes two of the AFC’s top teams, but the Broncos have made it difficult to bet against them. When they win, it’s always by at least seven points, and their last three victories have all come by two scores or more. San Diego gave Denver their only home loss of 2013, but it’s hard to envision the Broncos losing in Week 8.
Prediction ATS: Denver
Detroit Lions (-3.5) at Atlanta Falcons
After a 2-1 start, the Falcons have lost four straight games by double-digits. There’s little reason to believe it will get better for Atlanta when the two teams play in London. Detroit is allowing just 15 points per game, and they would be tied for the best record in the NFL if their kicker hadn’t missed three field goals in Week 5.
Prediction ATS: Detroit
Minnesota Vikings (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have been blown out against good teams, but they’ve kept it close against non-playoff competition. Minnesota has lost three in a row, and they usually play poorly against Tampa Bay, losing six straight to the Bucs.
Prediction ATS: Tampa Bay
Chicago Bears (+6) at New England Patriots
The loss of Jerod Mayo almost cost the Patriots their Week 7 game against the Jets, allowing New York to run for 218 yards at Gillette Stadium. Chicago will have a difficult time winning in New England, but running back Matt Forte could have a big game, keeping it close for the Bears.
Prediction ATS: Chicago
St. Louis Rams (+7) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Rams enter Week 8 in last place, but their 2-4 record might be deceiving. They’ve played a very difficult schedule, and three of their losses have come to the Cowboys, Eagles and 49ers. The Chiefs are overvalued because Arrowhead Stadium is known for giving the team such a strong home-field advantage, and they’ve failed to cover 12 of the last 14 point spreads when playing in front of their fans.
Prediction ATS: St. Louis
Seattle Seahawks (-5) at Carolina Panthers
Despite their 3-3 record, it’s still too early to jump off the Seahawks bandwagon. Their first two losses came to teams that have a combined 11-3 record, and the Rams needed two trick plays to beat them by just two points last week. The Panthers are a bad team, losing by at least three scores in all of their defeats. Seattle will be out to prove that they are still a Super Bowl favorite, and they could get a big win.
Prediction ATS: Seattle
Buffalo Bills (+3) at New York Jets
Even when they’ve struggled in the last few years, the Jets have still found success against the Bills, beating their divisional rivals seven out of nine times. Kyle Orton and a banged up running game could have trouble against New York’s defensive front, giving the Jets their first win since the opener.
Prediction ATS: New York
Miami Dolphins (-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Dolphins should be in contention for the playoffs all season long, having beaten the Patriots and Bears, and nearly defeating the Packers. Despite their one victory, the Jaguars might be the worst team in the league, and home-field advantage doesn’t mean much for Jacksonville.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Houston Texans (-2) at Tennessee Titans
The Texans probably won’t be a playoff contender, but they appear to be the best of the NFL’s bad teams, having beaten the Redskins, Raiders and Bills. Houston should bounce back from their Week 7 loss when they allowed 24 points in the final minutes of the first half. Tennessee should struggle with quarterback Zach Mettenberger getting his first career start.
Prediction ATS: Houston
Baltimore Ravens (PK) at Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati looked like a legitimate Super Bowl contender through the first three weeks, but they haven’t won a game since then. The loss of A.J. Green has made a significant impact on the offense, and his status is unknown for Sunday. Even if the wide receiver does play, he might not be very effective, and he recorded 131 yards in a close Week 1 victory over the Ravens. Baltimore’s only loss since the opener came in Indianapolis, and they are clearly the better team at this point in the year.
Prediction ATS: Baltimore
Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Leading both the 49ers and Seahawks in the division, the Cardinals have proven that they are for real. With Carson Palmer healthy and a top five scoring defense, it’s hard not to take Arizona when they are at home and laying less than a field goal. The Eagles won’t be easy to beat, but Nick Foles’ propensity to throw interceptions in 2014 could come back to hurt Philadelphia.
Prediction ATS: Arizona
Indianapolis Colts (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Whether it’s been at home or on the road, the Colts have been unbeatable since Week 3. Both of their losses came against one-loss teams by just one possession, and they have a few impressive victories, getting wins over the Ravens and Bengals. The Steelers won in Week 7, but the Texans practically handed them the game. Pittsburgh is an average team, and they will have a tough time beating one of the best teams in the AFC.
Prediction ATS: Indianapolis
Oakland Raiders (+7) at Cleveland Browns
The Raiders are the only winless team in the NFL, but they could have a few wins had one or two plays gone differently in some of their games. Two of Cleveland’s three wins have been decided by three points or less, and Sunday could be another close contest.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
Green Bay Packers (+1.5) at New Orleans Saints
The Saints have covered the spread in most home games under Sean Payton, but it’s becoming clear that New Orleans is not as good as they have been in past seasons. They needed overtime to beat the Buccaneers at home, and defeated the Vikings in a game that was competitive for much of the way. Aaron Rodgers should have a field day against a poor pass defense, putting the Packers at 6-2.
Prediction ATS: Green Bay
Washington Redskins (+9.5) at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are Super Bowl favorites and the Redskins are one of the worst teams in football, but Washington usually plays Dallas close. In the last 15 matchups between the two teams, the Redskins have covered the spread 12 times. The Cowboys have been the league’s best team for six weeks, and they are due for a bit of a letdown.
Prediction ATS: Washington
Season Record: 55-50-1