Week 8 in the NFL kicked off Thursday night with a bang. The league’s only unbeaten team is unbeaten no more. The shorthanded Green Bay Packers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 24-21. It was a huge road win and a big statement for the depth of the Packers. As predicted in the Thursday night edition, Green Bay not only covered the +6 point spread but won the game outright. Aaron Jones hit on the “bonus prop play” anytime touchdown scorer (-121) and Chase Edmonds finally found the endzone. NFL Week 8 betting started off with a bang.
Now it’s time to turn the page to a full slate of Week 8 Sunday action. This week’s slate is much more appealing than Week 7. Our betting lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Without further ado, let’s dive into some key matchups and week 8 betting plays.
NFL Week 8 Betting: Best Plays and Predictions
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (4-3) -4.5, O/U 41.5, 1 pm ET
This will be the first meeting between these two teams since the playoff game last season in the wild card round. The Pittsburgh Steelers (ML +175) enter this Halloween matchup off their bye week after back-to-back wins over the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Pittsburgh is getting healthier on both sides of the ball. T.J. Watt showed his health was back to form with a dominant performance in that game versus Seattle.
The Cleveland Browns (ML -210) are coming off an impressive win last Thursday night over the Denver Broncos. With both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt out, third-string running back D’Ernest Johnson exploded for 146 yards and a score on 22 carries. Case Keenum played for the injured Baker Mayfield. He did just enough to help the Browns get the W. Both Mayfield and Chubb are expected back this week.
- The Steelers have won seven of their last eight October games
- The Browns have failed to cover the spread in eight of their last nine games against the AFC North
- Five of the last six Steelers games have gone under the points total
- Pittsburgh is 2-4 ATS (against the spread) in 2021. Cleveland is 4-3 ATS
How to Play this
These two teams do not like each other. The loser of this game has sole possession of last place in the division. For years the Browns have been the bottom feeder of the AFC North. Last season saw them take a step towards the top; however, this team is not healthy. Mayfield is going to play even with his torn labrum. Watt, Alex Highsmith, and company will bring the pressure and test out his durability. Both teams will try to control the game by running the ball. Najee Harris will touch the ball at least 20 times. Look for Pittsburgh to take advantage of a Browns defense that ranks 28th in third-down efficiency.
Final Score: Steelers 20 – Browns 16
Take the Steelers +4.5, under 41.5
Carolina Panthers (3-4) at Atlanta Falcons (3-3) -3, O/U 46.5, 1pm ET
After starting the season 3-0, the Carolina Panthers have lost four straight. It is no coincidence that all this has happened with Christian McCaffery on the injured reserve. Sam Darnold for three weeks looked like a legit NFL quarterback. Last week against the New York Giants, it looked like he saw the ghost of the New York Jets.
The Atlanta Falcons have won three of their last four to get themselves to the .500 mark. Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts leads the team in receiving yards and is tied for the team lead with 31 catches. He has recorded back-to-back games with 100+ receiving yards. This game features two teams going in opposite directions.
- The Panthers have failed to cover the spread in each of their last four games
- Atlanta has won six of the last seven against Carolina
- Atlanta averages over 46 more yards than Carolina allows per game
- Carolina averages 20.9 points per game, while Atlanta allows 29.3 ppg
- Carolina is 3-4 ATS in 2021. Atlanta is 2-3-1 ATS
How to Play this
Darnold was benched last week against the Giants. Head coach Matt Rhule says Darnold is still their guy. Robbie Anderson has been inconsistent and D.J. Moore has gone quiet after a hot start. The Falcons have more offensive weapons. Cordarrelle Patterson, Calvin Ridley, and Pitts provide enough firepower for Atlanta to secure this NFC South victory.
Final Score: Falcons 31 – Panthers 23
Take the Falcons -3, Over 46.5
New England Patriots (3-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) -4.5, O/U 49.5, 4:05pm ET
The Los Angeles Chargers are becoming a bit of a popular team with NFL bettors. Justin Herbert is emerging as one of the league’s hottest young stars and head coach Brandon Staley is being praised across the league during his first season. Coming off their bye week, which was preceded by a blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Chargers will look to get right at home.
Mac Jones and the New England Patriots are coming off a 54-13 mauling of their little brother, the Jets. It was a needed laugher for a Patriots team that has had many close games go against them in 2021. The last time these two teams met, Bill Belichick handed Herbert the most lopsided loss of his young career.
- Chargers have won six of their last seven against AFC opponents
- Chargers have covered the spread in five of their last six games as favorites
- Six of the Patriots last seven games as underdogs have gone under the points total
- New England is 3-4 ATS in 2021
- Chargers are 4-2 ATS in 2021
- Five of the Charges six games have gone Under the points total
How to Play this
Herbert and the Chargers are the better team. With the Kansas City Chiefs floundering, it would behoove the Chargers to get the win on Sunday. You have to respect how well Mac Jones has played in his rookie season. He has made mistakes, but given his team chances to win almost every week. However, this week will be too tough a task for the rookie.
Final Score: Chargers 33 – Patriots 23
Take the Chargers -4.5, Over 49.5
Bonus Prop Plays
Najee Harris, Steelers RB – Over 68.5 rushing yards -115
Kyle Pitts, Falcons TE – Anytime touchdown scorer +140
Nelson Agholor, Patriots WR – Over 2.5 receptions -180
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