Week 8 NFL Underdogs: Will Betting Favorites Continue To Plague Sportsbooks?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on November 1, 2021
Week 8 NFL Underdogs

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

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.

Conclusion: Pass

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts

Here’s one of the Week 8 NFL underdogs included in my best bets column.

Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets

Although this spread might be a tad inflated after the look-ahead line was Bengals -4, Mike White doesn’t lend enough confidence to bet the Jets as a double-digit dog.

Conclusion: Pass

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.

Conclusion: Pass

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.

Conclusion: Pass

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.

Conclusion: Pass

Washington Football Team @ Denver Broncos

Combine the Broncos’ defensive regression with the Football Team outplaying the Packers (6.1 to 5.7 YPP) despite their final score, and Ron Rivera’s team has enough to hang within one possession.

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.

Conclusion: Pass

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

More Angles For Week 8 NFL Underdogs

Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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