Rolling along into Week Eight. We’re already halfway through most fantasy football regular seasons and will hit the midpoint of the NFL season after next week is complete. Nevertheless, we’ve got a lot of work to do to get our heads above water, so let’s get right to it!
ELO starts its turnaround with a 4-1 week. I was a slightly less scintillating 2-3 on the line picks but did go 3-1 on my Best Bets.
Last week: My picks, 2 – 3; Analytics, 4 – 1; Best Bets, 3 –
Detroit at Dallas – “This feels like a game Dallas wins by running the ball, playing great defense, and minimizing the number of throws Dak Prescott needs to make coming off the injury.”
I think we can safely say this was the “Call of the Week” as we hit the line and the Under Best Bet.
Tampa Bay at Carolina – “Carolina is +500 on the money line. That’s worth laying a unit on, just in case Tom Brady trips and sprains an ankle stepping off the bus.”
Should have included that with the Under Best Bet…
New York Giants at Jacksonville – “whenever I think the wrong team is favored, Vegas almost always knows something I don’t.”
Except for this time, of course.
Green Bay at Washington – “this team shouldn’t be a road favorite of more than a field goal against anyone.”
Got the line right but the Under Best Bet was wrong because the Packers had a Pick-Six to put the total over the number.
Cleveland at Baltimore – “Baltimore has alternated wins and losses every week this season. Unfortunately, they lost last week.”
The pattern held, so the Baltimore money line Best Bet was a hit. The cover did not, unfortunately.
Both sides of the ball matter when placing NFL bets, and Club Fantasy covers defense too. Check out You Down with IDP?, every Thursday at 7 PM EST.
Season: My picks, 14 – 28 – 1; Analytics, 18 – 24 – 1; Best Bets, 5 – 8 – 1
NFL Lines Week 8
(Standard disclaimer – All opinions are my own and may or may not reflect those of this website. “Analytic Lines” are ELO point spreads from fivethirtyeight.com, and “Vegas Lines” are courtesy of thelines.com, current as of the writing of this article. Predicted Line (“PL”) is my early week estimate of where the Vegas line would be set. Chosen games are those with a multiple-point variance between the Vegas and Analytic Lines.)
A chance to make up ground this week, as nine games have multiple-point differences between the Vegas and Analytic lines. Bring It!
Game of the Week
Denver at Jacksonville (at London) – Analytic Line: JAX (+1.5), Vegas Line: JAX (-2.5), PL: JAX (-1.5)
Three games this week where Vegas and ELO think different teams should be favored. The first is in London between the Broncos and the Jags. ELO likes Denver, while Vegas and I like Jacksonville. The Jags have extensive experience with London games and have a two-time zone shorter flight to get there. Denver couldn’t take advantage of Zach Wilson at altitude and Breece Hall’s injury last week. The wheels are off.
Pick: Jacksonville (-2.5)
Make It A Parlay
New England at New York Jets – Analytic Line: NYJ (-1.5), Vegas Line: NYJ (+2.5), PL: NYJ (+3)
Another split-decision game. Even though Justin Fields schooled the Pats on Monday night, I think the axiom of taking Bill Belichick against rookie and/or sub-par quarterbacks still holds. Zach Wilson is not the former but is most definitely the latter.
Pick: New England (-2.5); Best Bet: Under 39.5
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams – Analytic Line: LAR (-2.5), Vegas Line: LAR (+1), PL: LAR (+2.5)
The third and final game that Vegas and ELO disagree on the favorite. San Fran embarrassed the Rams on Monday Night in Week Four. That didn’t look like a fluke. They looked like the superior team. The Rams’ only home cover this year was against the Panthers after they fired Matt Rhule and had to make a cross-country trip. I don’t think that changes this week.
Pick: San Francisco (-1)
Arizona at Minnesota – Analytic Line: MIN (-7), Vegas Line: MIN (-3.5), PL: MIN (-3.5)
Rest won’t be an issue here, as the Cards played last Thursday while the Vikes were on bye. Minnesota’s going to win the North by default. Unlike ELO, I don’t think they should be touchdown favorites over an Arizona team that looked like it got some swagger back with the return of DeAndre Hopkins. Gimme whatever points I can get.
Pick: Arizona (+3.5)
Cincinnati at Cleveland – Analytic Line: CLE (+6.5), Vegas Line: CLE (+3), PL: CLE (+4.5)
Line Picking Rule Number One: Beware the Home Dog on Monday Night! Also, the last time Cincinnati beat Cleveland in a game that wasn’t a meaningless final game of the season was in 2017.
Pick: Cleveland (+3); Best Bet: Cleveland Money Line (+145)
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia – Analytic Line: PHI (-13), Vegas Line: PHI (-10.5), PL: PHI (-10)
I got burned last week by laying double digits on Tampa Bay. I’m not going back to that well, especially since Philly has taken its foot off the gas in the second half of games with big leads and given up some back door covers.
Pick: Pittsburgh (+10.5)
Tennessee at Houston – Analytic Line: HOU (+4), Vegas Line: HOU (-1), PL: HOU (+4.5)
Technically, this is also a split-decision game, but this line has moved heavily on the news of Ryan Tannehill missing the game due to injury. Two things here: Malik Willis may be a better option for this team than Tannehill, and even if he’s not, the Houston run defense is so bad it won’t matter. Derrick Henry gonna eat. The Titans’ money line has come down to nearly even money. I’ll jump on that.
Pick: Tennessee (+1); Best Bet: Tennessee Money Line (-105), Over (39)
Washington at Indianapolis – Analytic Line: INDY (-1), Vegas Line: INDY (-3), PL: Pick ‘Em
Two bad teams and two backup quarterbacks. Take the points.
Pick: Washington (+3)
New York Giants at Seattle – Analytic Line: SEA (-0.5), Vegas Line: SEA (-3), PL: SEA (-2.5)
The Giants feel due for a letdown. However, making a west coast trip and having to deal with the 12th Man seems like a better spot for it than at Jacksonville last week.
Pick: Seattle (-3)
Are you looking for some more fantasy content? Then, check out our Week 8 rankings!