NFL WEEK 8 Betting Early Betting Action
NFL Betting markets are beginning to take shape in Week 8 with larger spreads and totals than the week before
The previous NFL betting slate left many in shambles, including myself. As I write my NFL Best Bets for Week 8 following Sunday Night Football, there are already some interesting takeaways from Week 7. Thus far, underdogs are 7-5 ATS with one game to go in Week 7, and following several weeks of unders covering like crazy, the totals split a bit more evenly going 7-5 to the under. With 9 of the 13 games closing within 3.5 points or less, it is interesting that dogs still reigned supreme.
All 16 of the NFL team play in Week 8, as it is the first of the mid-season bye breaks before the next one in Week 12 when no teams are on bye once again. The spreads in Week 8 are much larger than the week prior, with half of the games coming in at a spread of 5.5 points or more. Five of those games with larger favorites come in at the 4:00 PM EST slate and beyond, with both Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football having large favorites which could prove for some early bedtimes again potentially. This aligns a bit closer to the week prior where a lot of the totals were higher in Week 7 as the NFL betting slate pushed along throughout the day rather than higher totals earlier in the day, as opposed to bigger spreads in Week 8 compared to Week 7.
It may seem like I am zagging against everything that I have said previously about totals and everything that the numbers are telling us so far this NFL season, but I have two totals that I like to go over this week. I also believe these two totals should move up throughout the week, so there is ample opportunity to grab some closing line value by getting in early.
I will have more plays throughout the week on the Sharpen The Public football betting podcast that releases towards the end of the week on Thursday evenings or Friday mornings, as well as on my Twitter where you can find me @AndyHHSports. Be sure to check out the rest of my Week 8 plays at both places, as the purpose of this article is always to lock in early value against the closing line. Having a positive closing line value always gives you an advantage over the sportsbook in the long term, and that is what I strive to provide the reader every week for NFL betting. With that being said, let’s get right into it!
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Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Chargers
A lot of the night games this NFL season have been so one sided or so low scoring that NFL viewers and bettors alike have had the opportunity to go to bed a bit earlier than they anticipated due to the snooze fest on their televisions. I don’t believe that this game is going to provide a lack of entertainment – which may be quite surprising to many when you see the names of the teams playing. The Chargers and Bears both have two wins this season, a surprise to many. Yet, both these defenses are in the bottom of the league which I believe provides us a unique opportunity on the total for what has been a season filled with unders during the night games in the NFL.
The Bears offense was supposed to slow up this week against the Raiders without starting quarterback Justin Fields, but backup quarterback Tyson Bagent still helped Chicago put up 30 points on Sunday. This would not be the first bottom half defense Chicago has done well against recently, though, as they were averaging 27 points against the Broncos, Commanders, and Vikings before facing off Sunday against another bottom half defense. Chicago once again is gifted a defense that leaves a lot to be desired as they take on the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Los Angeles Chargers defense has allowed 25.8 points per game which ranks in the bottom quarter, 406.8 yards per game which ranks in the bottom two of the league, and 310 passing yards per game which ranks dead last. Chicago boasts one of the best rushing offenses in the league, ranking among the top quarter of the league, and the one area the Chargers are at least serviceable in defensively is defending the run. However, the Bears have looked to get the passing game a bit more involved as the season has gone along, and I would not be surprised if they try to emphasize that fold of their offensive game a bit more against the league’s worst pass defense.
However, Chicago ALSO has one of the worst pass defenses in the league, which I believe is going to turn this game into an absolute shootout. The Bears rank toward the bottom of the NFL for passing yards allowed as well at 257 allowed per game, and going up against Justin Herbert and the Chargers means that Chicago could also be in some trouble defensively. The Chargers rank in the Top 5 in passing yards per game and completions per game, with Herbert throwing for 266.6 yards a game and 20.8 completions.
I believe that this total should move up throughout the week, and if it does not, there are plenty of indicators to point to this game going over. I also believe that the Bears will be able to stay in this game for plenty of back and forth, as the Chargers quite literally cannot catch a break defensively. I will be interested to see where this spread lands, but would be amazed if it hits double digits. Give me the over and the Bears here in what is likely going to be a surprisingly entertaining matchup, and one that redeems the previously boring night matchups that started off our NFL season.
The Plays for this NFL Week 8 Matchup:
Bears / Chargers Over 44.5 (-110) – 1.5 Units
Bears +9.5 (-110) – 1 Unit
Carolina Panthers vs Houston Texans
The Texans and Panthers are both coming off of a bye which gives the two rookies being showcased some additional rest as we prepare for the showdown of the number one overall pick taking on the second overall pick from the 2023 NFL Draft. The Carolina Panthers traded up to acquire the rights to draft Bryce Young from the Bears, and many feel that the Texans ended up being the biggest winners early on as CJ Stroud has been the best rookie quarterback thus far in the 2023 season. Although this matchup will be the most hyped up Texans and Panthers game in their short six-game history against one another, it is not going to be the determining factor on who won the draft.
What this game will determine is if either side prepped as much as they should have coming off of their bye week, and I believe that it will give both rookies enough time to continue to mesh with their offenses and do some damage this coming weekend. Following the opening game against Baltimore where they only put up 9 points, the Texans have averaged 25.6 points a game as well as 258.5 passing yards per game which ranks them in the top quarter of the NFL. On top of that, CJ Stroud has passed for at least two touchdowns per game four times in his six game career thus far.
The Panthers are allowing 10.5 yards per completion, and 31.0 points per game this season which rank in the bottom quarter and bottom two of the NFL respectively. That points per game allowed average has been driven up by the Seahawks, Lions, and Dolphins, who put up 37, 42, and 42 respectively on Carolina. I don’t know if the Texans can cover the total by themselves here by scoring 42, but I do think Stroud and company will do their part to get halfway there or better pretty easily, and will be looking at his props and daily fantasy markets as the week progresses.
Bryce Young has continued to grow despite a slower start than his rookie counterpart, and a large part of that has been being able to depend on veteran wideout Adam Thielen who the Panthers signed from the Vikings in free agency this offseason. Houston has not been great as a passing defense either, allowing 245.5 passing yards per game which Thielen might make up half of with his recent form. The Texans are fairly weak in the middle of the field and the middle of their defensive line, where I believe if Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders can get anything going on the run that things will open up for the Panthers with ease. However, that is a big ask as the Panthers have struggled running the ball this season, not even cracking 100 rush yards a game at 98 per outing.
I like the over here as I believe there has been enough time to prepare for several weak spots in Houston’s defense for Carolina, as well as for CJ Stroud and the Texans rejuvenated offense to tee off on a Panthers offense that has been very below par all season. I look forward to seeing the top three picks face off, as you can’t forget Alabama’s Will Anderson who went third overall to the Texans and has also had a stellar season. Let’s hope for some offense in Charlotte, or at least more offense than Vegas believes two rookies can put up against one another.
The Play for NFL Week 8 23-24′ Texans v. Panthers:
Texans / Panthers Over 41.5 (-110) – 1 Unit
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THIS IS AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY ANDY CHASE
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