Through the first eight weeks of the NFL campaign, underdogs are 58-49 (54.2%) against the spread. But we’ve seen that trend normalize itself over the last three weeks, as favorites went 18-14 ATS (56.2%). How should bettors approach Week 8 NFL underdogs?
These betting angles include both pregame spreads and teaser options to help fill out your card. Let’s get started.
Week 8 NFL Underdogs
- TheLines NFL Week 8 Power Rankings
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals
As enticing as Aaron Rodgers is as a road underdog, the possibility of additional Packers — beyond wide receivers Devante Adams and Allan Lazard — testing positive for COVID-19 steers me away. Adams is likely out because of his results, and he owns the league’s highest target share (41.2%) while generating the fifth-most yards after catch (210).
Even with the Cardinals averaging just 5.3 yards per play (YPP) over their last three games, I’d look towards the home team.
Conclusion: Pass on Packers, but consider teasing Cardinals down to a pick’em
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Despite the Panthers‘ four-game losing streak, their defense is only allowing the eighth-fewest expected points added (EPA) per dropback over that span. EPA is determined by expected points scored based on the down, distance, and field position at the start of a play — compared to the end of the play.
Newly-acquired cornerback Stephon Gilmore (PUP) could also make his Carolina debut this week, but Phil Snow’s secondary is a tough matchup for the Falcons‘ pass-first offense regardless. Assuming P.J. Walker replaces Sam Darnold under center, Carolina represents a valuable teaser option.
Potential Underdog Angle: Panthers Teaser Leg (+8.5 or better)
Best Available Line: Panthers
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
Tua Tagovailoa boasts the fourth-highest quarterback grade (via Pro Football Focus) in his last two starts, but the Dolphins‘ secondary still doesn’t match up well in their rematch against the well-rested Bills and MVP candidate Josh Allen.
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts
Here’s one of the Week 8 NFL underdogs included in my best bets column.
Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears
As poorly as the Bears performed against a pair of top-five offenses, they’ll now face Jimmy Garoppolo, who ranks No. 24 in completion percentage over expectation (CPOE). Let’s grab Chicago over a key number.
Potential Underdog Angle: Bears Teaser Leg (+9 or better)
Best Available Line:
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Mike Tomlin is 40-20-2 ATS as an underdog, and he’d be No. 1 in rah-rah success rate if that metric existed. But I’m not anticipating the bye week solving a Steelers offense that’s averaging the seventh-fewest EPA per dropback.
Los Angeles Rams @ Houston Texans
The Texans accrued the eighth-highest EPA per play over their first two games with Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) at QB. Given the Rams inability to limit chunk plays, plug your nose if Taylor returns. This line is still inflated if rookie Davis Mills starts again.
Potential Underdog Angle: Texans +14.5 or better
Best Available Line: Texans
Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions
Although the Lions covered for us as 16.5-point underdogs against the Rams in Week 7, they’ve still trailed by two possessions or more in every second half this season. Even Philly signal caller Jalen Hurts will expose this atrocious secondary.
New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Chargers
This game includes another one of my best bets.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Seattle Seahawks
Sure, rookie Trevor Lawrence is matching up against a Seahawks defense yielding the tenth-most yards per pass attempt (YPA). Albeit Geno Smith’s inability to stretch the field, the Jaguars rank No. 31 in that department.
Check out TheLines NFL Week 8 best bets podcast on Thursday, as our own Stephen Andress has an intriguing angle to back Jacksonville.
Washington Football Team @ Denver Broncos
Potential Underdog Angle: Football Team Teaser Leg (+9 or better)
Best Available Line: Football Team
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
Saints wideout Michael Thomas (PUP) won’t return this week, but let’s see if Jameis Winston can take advantage of the Buccaneers‘ banged-up secondary. New Orleans’ defense has continuously matched up well against Tom Brady too.
Potential Underdog Angle: Saints +3.5 or better
Best Available Line: Saints
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
The look-ahead line initially dipping from Cowboys -2.5 didn’t add up with both teams coming off a bye week. The market subsequently adjusted, but it’s now reverted to the Minnesota with Dallas QB Dak Prescott (calf) potentially out.
Backup Cooper Rush doesn’t inspire much confidence is a Dallas teaser position.
New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs
This spread is still inflated despite it dipping two points from the look-ahead line (Chiefs -12.5). Kansas City is in position to bounce back after averaging 4.9 YPP in Tennessee, but Daniel Jones can take of the opposition’s bottom-three passing defense.
With Giants wide receivers Kadarius Toney (ankle) and Sterling Shepard (hamstring) expected to suit up, I’m willing to be back the road underdog while getting two possessions.
Underdog Angle: Giants +10.5 or better
Best Available Line: Giants