NFL Week 8 Mismatches: Three Offensive Matchup Advantages for Sunday

Written By Brett Gibbons on October 27, 2021
Week 8 matchups

Football is a game of mismatches, and NFL Week 8 matchups are no different.

Being able to identify mismatches weekly in the NFL can help bettors with player props, spread bets, totals and fantasy football. This week, the New England Patriots hold multiple individual advantages over the favored Los Angeles Chargers in their Week 8 matchup. There’s no mismatch too specific in the NFL, from individual offensive linemen to specific running back skillsets, everything should be looked at.

Here are three NFL Week 8 matchups that present advantages for certain players or units. This is by no means an exhaustive list. we encourage bettors to keep up to date with TheLines betting news and prop finder as well to help identify their own mismatches and values for the week.

NFL Player Prop Finder

NFL Week 8 Matchups And Mismatches To Watch

Patriots offensive line vs. Chargers defensive line

According to PFF’s offensive line-defensive line matchup analysis, the New England Patriots’ offensive line has the biggest matchup advantage over their opposing defense line than any other matchup yet this year. On top of being PFF’s second-worst graded run defense in the NFL, the Chargers are dealing with injuries up front; defensive tackle Justin Jones is designated to return from the IR but isn’t guaranteed to play Sunday and standout linebacker Kenneth Murray faced a “setback,” per the LA Times.

The Patriots are coming off a week in which three different running backs found the end zone (Brandon Bolden scored on a reception). Despite New England sitting 22nd in rush yards per attempt, they’ve gained 10% more yards per carry over their last three outings. L.A. stands last in the league in rush yards per attempt allowed with 5.4 yards per carry. Four of New England’s offensive linemen rank inside the top 15– all of which are interior– while Los Angeles doesn’t roster an interior defender graded above 80th, per PFF.

Patriots lead back Damien Harris finished Week 7 with 106 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 14 carries.

Hunter Henry vs. Amen Ogbongbemiga

What happens when a team runs the football effectively? Offenses force linebackers to diagnose run vs. pass more often. Building off the last mismatch, New England should be able to find success through the play-action pass game, which has accounted for 25.8% of rookie Mac Jones’ passing yards on the season.

Unfortunately for the Chargers, Amen Ogbongbemiga is one of the lowest-graded linebackers in the NFL this season. While starter Drue Tranquill may return to practice this week, Ogbongbemiga is the presumed starter Sunday. In 18 coverage snaps, he’s allowed a 100% catch rate and allowed 19 yards after catch.

Hunter Henry, on the other hand, is consistently one of the best receiving tight ends in the league. He’s found the end zone in four straight games and scored touchdowns on four of five red zone targets.

Alvin Kamara vs. Buccaneers defense

No, we haven’t lost our minds listing a running back as a mismatch against a Buccaneers defense allowing just 3.7 yards per carry (ranked No. 3) and one total rushing touchdown (ranked No. 1). As sturdy as they are against the run, Tampa Bay gives up passing work to running backs; and what better running back in the receiving game than Alvin Kamara?

Through seven games, the Bucs have allowed 52 receptions to backs (second most) and three receiving touchdowns to backs (fourth most). Kamara is coming off a game which he recorded 10 receptions, 128 yards, and a score on 11 targets; Kamara leads the team in targets, receptions, and receiving touchdowns. In a Saints offense that struggles to move the football, he’s a saving grace and a safety net for production.

Tampa’s most coverage-savvy and athletic linebacker, Lavonte David, has allowed 27 receptions on 30 targets (90%) for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season, a prime mismatch among NFL Week 8 matchups.

Brett Gibbons Avatar
Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons