NFL Week 8 Lines and Betting Picks 2021
The Week 7 Byepocalypse of the 2021 NFL season has come and gone, and there were plenty of storylines throughout. The Kansas City Chiefs are in disarray, the Packers have quietly won five games in a row, Cincinnati might be the best offense in the AFC, and the Arizona Cardinals remain the best in the pros. Got all that!? Good—let’s make some early-week picks!
Each Tuesday, we give you NFL betting tips for every single game on the upcoming slate. We rank the 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Sunday games in order of confidence level, and of course provide our best bets for each of the three primetime games.
For two weeks in a row now, we have absolutely crushed our early-week betting picks. After going 12-4 last week, we rode that momentum into Week 8 in a major way. After a Thursday Night Football push, we went 12-1 total on our spread and over/under picks for the 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. games on the Sunday slate. Our best bets went an incredible 11-0 on the day! All said, we went 13-3-1 on the week, likely putting a nice buffer in a lot of readers’ Christmas shopping budgets.
Let’s continue this torrid hot streak, and get right into our NFL Week 8 early lines and top betting picks. It’s all about the money—let’s go get it, and have as much fun as the Patriots putting a 50-burger on the Jets in Foxboro!
NFL Week 8 Lines and Betting Picks
Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals -6, O/U 51
Good thing my rec. volleyball league no longer plays on Thursdays, because this might be the best Thursday Night Football matchup of all time. The Cardinals have been absolutely sizzling so far in the 2021 season, playing superb football on both sides of the ball. They are undefeated after seven games, and the Packers have won six in a row after a Week 1 mulligan against the Saints. The two hottest teams in football—with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers against top 2020 MVP candidate Kyler Murray —in a night game? Sign me up. I’d also like to be signed up for the Packers +6, because the underdogs always do us so well in primetime. The Cards have been superb defensively, and top Green Bay wideout Davante Adams is unfortunately set to miss this game due to COVID protocols, so the whole world will be betting Arizona. But Aaron Rodgers has a way of making magic happen, and he still has plenty of fire power. Expect a humongous game from dual-threat running back Aaron Jones, and plenty of targets Randall Cobb’s way. The Pack might not be able to upset Murray and perennial All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but they should at least be able to keep it within a touchdown. Give me Green Bay and the points as well as the OVER.
PICK: Packers +6, OVER 51
Note: 1pm ET games, ranked in order of confidence level.
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets +9.5, O/U 43.5
The Bengals have built something very special around 2020 No. 1 pick Joe Burrow and 2021 No. 5 pick Ja’Marr Chase. The QB-WR duo have picked up right where they left off when they won the NCAA National Championship, now utilizing their strong rapport to steamroll NFL opponents. With running back Joe Mixon and wideouts Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd joining Chase in the skill-position corps, the Bengals might just be the best offense in the AFC. Cincy destroyed Baltimore 41-17 in Week 7, putting up a staggering 520 yards (409 through the air). If this confident young squad can dominate the Ravens in Baltimore, it can absolutely beat the Jets by 10 points in New York. Gang Green rookie QB Zach Wilson might have torn his PCL, rookie head coach Robert Saleh seems to be in over his head, and the Jets just surrendered 54 points to the usually-conservative Patriots. These teams are headed in opposite directions, which should bode well for Cincy. The Bengals have been away favorites just once this season—at Detroit two weeks ago—and they covered the spread, winning 34-11. They might win by a similar amount this coming weekend against a dejected Jets squad.
PICK: Bengals -9.5
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts -1, O/U 48
Wait, so the Titans just destroyed the reigning AFC-champion Chiefs 27-3—one week after beating the high-flying Buffalo Bills 34-31—and now they are underdogs in Indy? Okay, silly oddsmakers, I’ll bite. Derrick Henry cannot be contained by an Indianapolis defense that just allowed Elijah Mitchell to amass 107 rushing yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. I also think Ryan Tannehill will make less mistakes against Indy than Jimmy Garoppolo did in his return from injury. And A.J. Brown finally looks like A.J. Brown! Tennessee’s second-year wideout, who battled multiple injuries early this season, exploded in Week 7 for eight catches (on nine targets), 133 yards, and a score. I like the obvious improvements I’m seeing from Colts QB Carson Wentz —he looks like a different guy than we saw in Indy’s 0-3 start—but I don’t think Wentz, stud second-year back Jonathan Taylor, and talented second-year wideout Michael Pittman can outscore a red-hot Tennessee offense. The Titans cover, the OVER hits, and Mike Vrabel launches into the Coach of the Year discussion alongside Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury.
PICK: Titans +1, OVER 48
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns -3.5, O/U 42.5
The Browns will get elite running back Nick Chubb back in action this week, but fellow back Kareem Hunt is on IR and QB Baker Mayfield remains questionable with a sore shoulder. I’m willing to take the early-week risk and bet the Browns -3. They should dominate the Steelers if Mayfield suits up, and they might still win and cover even if he remains sidelined. Before its Week 7 bye, Pittsburgh just barely got by a Russell Wilson-less Seahawks team, prevailing 23-20 at home by the hair on their chinny-chin-chins. I’d venture to guess Case Keenum is a better NFL quarterback at this stage of his career than Seattle’s Geno Smith —if Keenum has two-thirds of his main receiver corps (”(player-popup #odell-beckham)Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones), I’m going with the ground-and-pound Browns and their superior defense over the hapless Steelers, and buying a half-point to get this line to -3. Remember to stay on top of the injury reports ofr the Browns.
PICK: Browns -3
Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans +14.5, O/U 46.5
The Texans suck, and the Rams are Super Bowl contenders. I usually stay away from massive spreads, but I’m taking the bait as Houston just got pulverized two weeks in a row (31-3 in Indy, 31-5 in Arizona). Davis Mills needs to take up witchcraft or voodoo or something if he wants a chance in the pocket against LA’s front-seven. All Houston can hope for at this point is the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and maybe a few additional picks for shamed former franchise QB Deshaun Watson. The Rams roll on, while the Texans count the days until the regular season’s end on January 10th. Buy a point if you want extra insurance, but you shouldn’t need it.
PICK: Rams -14.5
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions +3.5, O/U 48
The Lions are not as bad as their 0-7 record indicates, and they are certainly better than the 1-6 Texans we just discussed. Against a young, erratic, and mistake-prone Eagles team, Detroit might be able to finally pull down its elusive first win of the season. Lions QB Jared Goff will be relieved to face the Philly D after struggling against the Rams, his former squad, in LA last weekend. I’ll be searching for sportsbooks that have Detroit +3.5, but my confidence in Goff as a QB exceeds my confidence in second-year Eagles QB Jalen Hurts as an athlete. Goff faced Philly once last season as a Ram, completing 20-of-27 passes for 267 yards, no picks, and a 142.1 QB rating. Rejoice, Motown, but don’t get too set in your winning ways—the Lions’ rest-of-season schedule is like a murderer’s row.
PICK: Lions +3.5
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears +3.5, O/U 41.5
The 49ers may have issues at the quarterback position with Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance, but nothing close to the signal-caller debacle in Chicago. Rookie Justin Fields looks completely lost on an NFL field, and never was it more apparent than this past weekend when the Bears fell 38-3 to the reigning-champion Bucs. Chicago committed five turnovers, and went just 2-of-11 on third down. Things won’t get much easier against a 49ers defense ranked No. 5 against the pass, and No. 6 overall. I’m all over the Niners in a get-right game in Chicago. I’m tempted to snag the UNDER, too, but 41.5 is a super low limbo bar to set.
PICK 49ers -3.5
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills -13.5, O/U 48
The Dolphins just lost to the Falcons, moving to 1-6 on the season. And the Bills have had two weeks to prepare for their divisional rivals at home. I’m not super psyched about this one (so many points!), but if I had a gun to my head for whatever reason, I’d take Buffalo -13.5. Josh Allen should be able to move the chains at will against a Dolphins squad that surrendered 323 passing yards, 6.3 yards per play, and 30 total points to Atlanta. Watch out, world—the weather is getting colder, and Allen and Stefon Diggs will only get warmer as the season progresses.
PICK: Bills -13.5
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons -2.5, O/U 46
Sam Darnold started the season smoking-hot for the Panthers, but the veteran QB has been a shell of his early-season self ever since All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey got hurt. Meanwhile, the Falcons finally look a little bit like the Falcons, with QB Matt Ryan and rookie tight end Kyle Pitts going HAM last weekend. I’ll take ATL here, as the Panthers defense seems to be losing faith in its offense. When you’re losing 25-3 to the Giants sans Saquon Barkley, your organization may be in trouble.
PICK: Falcons -2.5
NFL Week 8 Picks — Afternoon Games
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints +5, O/U 50.5
The Buccaneers just leveled Chicago 38-3, with Tampa Bay accruing well over 400 yards of total offense with relative ease. If the Bears hadn’t kept serving the ball up to the Bucs on a silver platter, it might have been closer to 500 yards of total offense. Now Tampa gets a date in the bayou with former Buccaneer Jameis Winston, who just eked out a 13-10 win over the Seahawks sans Russell Wilson. Yeah, I’m all over the Bucs in this one. Too many weapons for Tampa, too few weapons for New Orleans.
PICK: Buccaneers -5
New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers -5.5, O/U 47.5
The Patriots looked pretty doggone good last weekend in a 54-13 pouncing of the Jets, but let’s remember it was the Jets. Now Bill Belichick’s boys must travel cross-country to face a solid Chargers offense that’s had two weeks to prepare for this game. That’s not a recipe for success. A few weeks ago, we were calling the Bolts the best team in the AFC, and declaring 2020 Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert a bona fide MVP candidate. Those talks might bump back up after this coming weekend. The Chargers are 2-1 at home against the spread this season, all games in which they have been the favorite. Sorry, Mac Jones, not every leg of your rookie season can be as easy as the weeks you draw the Jets.
PICK: Chargers -5.5
Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks -3.5, O/U 43.5
No. 1 pick and Jags QB Trevor Lawrence might not be seeing as many ghosts as he had been earlier in the season, but he’s still going to have a nasty time moving the ball at Lumen Field. And on the other side, Geno Smith has looked confident enough to beat average to below-average defenses. The Seahawks almost pulled off the Monday Night Football upset over the Saints—they should be able to hold court against Urban Meyer’s Jaguars with relative ease. Smith has enjoyed plenty of success throwing to enormous second-year wideout D.K. Metcalf —maybe Pete Carroll can remind the veteran QB that he also has Tyler Lockett at his disposal.
PICK: Seahawks -3.5
Washington Football Team at Denver Broncos -2.5, O/U 43.5
After getting off to a strong 3-0 start, the Broncos have very quietly dropped four consecutive contests. Teddy Bridgewater’s concussion didn’t help matters, nor has Denver’s plethora of injuries to its wide receiver corps. Maybe a home game at Mile High against the Washington Football Team will be just what the football doctor ordered. WFT’s only two victories this season have come at the expense of the Giants and the Falcons, and this Denver squad is arguably better than both those teams. I’ll take Teddy B and his boys, although my confidence level in this game couldn’t be much lower.
PICK: Broncos -2.5
Sunday & Monday Night Football Lines
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings +2.5, O/U 54.5
The Cowboys have had a couple weeks to prepare for this game, and the Vikings just needed overtime to surmount the struggling Panthers. I’m going with Dallas, as its roster superiority from top-to-bottom means more than Minnesota’s home-field advantage. The Vikes are 1-2 at home against the spread, while the Cowboys are 3-0 as away favorites ATS. Give me Dak Prescott and his high-flying Dallas offense in primetime, and pair it with the UNDER as oddsmakers continue to overlook the Cowboys’ up-and-coming defense.
PICK: Cowboys -2.5, UNDER 54.5
New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs -10, O/U 52.5
This game seems destined to be an ugly slopfest. The Chiefs have been playing the worst football of Patrick Mahomes’ young career, and the Giants have been nearing the bottom of the NFL barrel in completion percentage (59%) and team passer rating (65.8) over the past three weeks. I can’t advocate for t
he Giants against the reigning AFC champions, but I also can’t vouch for Mahomes when he’s banged up and coming off a 27-3 thrashing at the hands of the Titans. But I’ll haphazardly go with Kansas City -10, and the UNDER. Hold your nose for this one.
PICK: Chiefs -10, UNDER 52.5
Image Credit: Imagn