Our Model’s Favorite Week 8 NFL Bets
Our Betting Model predictions at SportsGrid have highlighted some games for Week 8 that may represent some value for bettors looking to have some action on the craziness that will surely ensue this weekend!
The SportsGrid Betting Model lists sides and over/unders on a five-star system, with five stars being the highest likelihood, down to a listing not having stars as games that are too close to call. This week we have a plethora of five-star games, which means there should be a lot of value to be had. I’ve highlighted some of them below.
Falcons vs. Panthers Over 49
The first five-star prediction of the SportsGrid model is taking the over in the Falcons-Panthers game. This Thursday Night matchup figures to be a complete shootout, which is why the model likes it: The average score of games in the NFL this season has totaled 50.2 points per game, and two of the bottom-five defenses in the NFL, attached to high-powered offenses, aren’t expected to get into the 50s?
The Falcons get a fully healthy Julio Jones to join up with breakout star wide receiver Calvin Ridley and tight end Hayden Hurst to press a young Carolina defense that is still coming into form. On the flip side, the Falcons defense seems to be in a lack-of-arms race with Seattle, the Giants, and Minnesota for which defense is going to give up record-setting yardage and scoring totals to opponents in any given week.
Throw in Carolina’s ascendant passing game with wide receivers Robby Anderson, DJ Moore, and Curtis Samuel, and unsurprisingly, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is on track to put up career highs in passing yards and touchdowns this season. In what should be another NFC South shootout, the model is likely correct in being incredulous as to how this game doesn’t get up into the low or mid-50s.
Buccaneers vs. Giants Over 46
Another five-star prediction of the SportsGrid model is taking the over in the Monday Night Football Buccaneers-Giants game. The Giants defense, as mentioned in the Falcons/Panthers writeup, is really, really bad. The Buccaneers might actually score 46 on their own, considering that they are clearly rolling as a team: putting up 39 points on the Chargers and Packers, as well as 45 points on the Raiders in three of the last four weeks. There’s not much to say about the Bucs that everyone doesn’t already know: They have the GOAT quarterback, two stud wide receivers, Rob Gronkowski, they’ve added Antonio Brown, their offensive line has taken a huge step forward this year, and Ronald Jones has paced their run game as a solid complement to the passing game.
They are an offensive force to be reckoned with. On the other hand, the Giants have a worse defense than all three of those aforementioned teams that the Patriots have smoked. The Giants offense is finally getting healthy again, as wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate are back for the team. The newly healthy Giants were able to put up 21 points last week on Thursday Night Football and should be able to hit at least the 14-17 points needed to make this go over. The over is the play here.
Titans (-239) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals may win another game in 2020, but it’s likely not going to be against an irritated Titans team that just got beaten pretty soundly in Pittsburgh. The game just sets up as a nightmare stylistically for the Bengals: Their defense was already bad, but now have the majority of their defensive line out: Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, DJ Reader, etc. are all out.
Their secondary and linebackers corps scare nobody, and they’re going to get a pissed-off Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill playing against them. They will have to do this while also trying to defend tight end Jonnu Smith and breakout wide receiver AJ Brown. It’s just a lot to ask for second-year Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor with a rookie quarterback in Joe Burrow.
The Bengals are a fun team to watch and keep up with, but the cupboard is pretty bare on defense, as mentioned, as well as bottom-barrel at offensive line. Edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Harold Landry should have a field day teeing off on the makeshift offensive line that Joe Burrow has to throw behind. It’s just going to be a complete 180 from having to face a Pittsburgh team that should realistically compete for the AFC Championship, if not the Super Bowl, to a team much weaker on both lines and all-around. The Titans should roll here as per the model.
Panthers (-2.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons
This goes in parallel with the above “over” bet. Going into the season, the Panthers were expected to be amongst one of the worst teams in the league: many prognosticators had them as going 3-13, while Atlanta was projected at 7.5 wins. The roles seem to have flipped here as Atlanta can’t seem to win a game, or rather, can’t stop seemingly giving games away: last-second losses to Dallas, Chicago, and Detroit have the Falcons at the bottom of the NFC South looking up, and they let go head coach Dan Quinn two weeks back. You likely know the offensive pieces for Atlanta: Matt Ryan, wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, and running back Todd Gurley, but their defense, especially their passing defense, has been one of the worst in the league, and one that Carolina quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and pass-catchers DJ Moore and Robby Anderson should have little issue shredding in the Thursday Night Football home tilt in Charlotte.
The Panthers, coached by first-year coach Matt Rhule, have quietly put together a formidable offense and a defense that, while not great, has held its own in the run game and has been slightly below average in the passing game, but is nowhere near as bad as anyone has expected. The Panthers should win this by three or more, so laying only 2.5 is a solid prediction from the model.