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NFL Betting Picks for Week 8 - Best Bets, Expert Odds and Predictions

C.J. Stroud - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

We are almost at the halfway point, and almost every team has had a chance to lose two games. The two reigning conference champions are the only one-loss teams. The Chiefs have won six straight after losing their first game to the Lions. (Make that seven straight; they play the Broncos this week. Or pick the Broncos to pull the upset if my pick record is any sign.)

Every contending team has been embarrassed, but let's not put too much stock in these narratives about "frauds." If every team is a fraud, one of these frauds will ultimately win in February. Yes, the 49ers lost two straight, including to the surging Vikings, but they were without offensive stars like Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey for all or part of one or more of those games.

The Dolphins are said to have a "losing record" against "winning teams," which is technically true, but they've only played two winning teams--the Broncos and the Eagles. It may be concerning that they were blown out, losing both by 14 or more. But the Chargers, whom the Dolphins beat in Week 1, are not chumps, and we will need to see a larger sample, including games against Kansas City, Dallas, Baltimore, and Buffalo again in the second half of the season.

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Week 8 NFL Betting Picks - Moneyline

Last Week: 0-1 on Moneyline, 0-1 Against the Spread, 1-0 on Over/Under Picks

Season-long Record: 2-4 on Moneyline, 3-10 Against the Spread, 7-1 on Over/Under Picks

Houston Texans @ Carolina Panthers (HOU -3.5 / HOU -183)

Sunday, 1:00 pm | O/U: 43.5

 The Texans are favorites with -183 odds, which implies a 64.7% chance that the Texans will win, but the Texans are much better than the Panthers. Their win-likelihood should be considered closer to 70% or 75%. 

The Texans are 3-1 in the past four weeks and 4-0 against the spread. Their only loss in October was a two-point loss to the NFC South-leading Atlanta Falcons, a game in which the Texans were the underdog. They've been underdogs in each of the past four games. The market has been underrating them and still is with these odds, although they are the outright favorites now.

Houston's success is not due to luck or flukey wins. Their offensive scoring rate is slightly above average, while their defensive stop rate is slightly below average. The Panthers are one of the worst teams on both offense and defense.

The Texans really do have a quality passing game now with the young receivers, rookie Tank Dell and third-year breakout Nico Collins, and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud has emerged as a very accurate quarterback who hasn't shown the flaws scouts feared. He has thrown nine touchdown passes and only one interception. Even if you account for PFF's "turnover-worthy plays," Stroud has only put the ball in harm's way on 2.4% of plays, which ranks below 23 quarterbacks.

Pick: Texans (-183) over Panthers on the ML

 

Week 7 NFL Betting Picks - Against the Spread

Baltimore Ravens @ Arizona Cardinals (BAL -9.5)

Sunday, 4:25 pm | O/U: 44.5

 After the Cardinals upset the Cowboys in Week 3, there was a brief moment in which people (myself included) thought the Cardinals fought hard and might be a better team than the tanking-for-Caleb team we wrote them off as. Now, in the past four weeks, the Cardinals have faced teams from conferences that are not from the NFC East. And they've gotten crushed by an average of 15 points per game. 

The Cardinals have lost each of the past four games by 10 or more points. The fact that the spread is 9.5 is valuable, letting the Seahawks win with a touchdown and a field goal. In the past three decades, 10 points has been the fourth most likely margin, occurring 5.8% of the time, according to Boyds Bets. Nine-point games only occurred 1.7% of the time.

The Ravens have the eighth-best offense in terms of schedule-adjusted per-drive scoring rate and the sixth-best defense. The Cardinals' offense is only slightly below average, but their defense is the second-worst in the league. Lamar Jackson has completed over 70% of his passes in six of his seven games and is coming off a game in which he averaged 13.2 yards per attempt. He should be able to dice up the Cards.

Pick: Ravens (-9.5) over Cardinals

 

Week 7 NFL Betting Picks - Over/Under

New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts (NO -1)

Sunday, 4:05 pm | O/U: 43.5

Colts games have gone over in five of seven games, but the Colts themselves have only more than 20 points three times, including a 21-31 loss to the Jaguars in Week 1. Last week, the Colts surprisingly put up 38 in a loss to the NFL's No. 1 defense, the Cleveland Browns. The Colts had the benefit of a 32:31 time of possession advantage.

The Saints' defense is the No. 5 defense in terms of opponent scoring rate and has limited opponents to 20 points or less in four of their seven games. Six of the Saints' seven games have gone under.

Pick: Under 43.5 (-110)



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