The funny thing is, I almost published this story a day earlier because I saw Baltimore was favored by five against the Dolphins and thought it seemed a little too high. After thinking about it for a bit, Matt Moore was an unknown factor and that’s never a good thing to bet on and woo boy was that a good call. So now that we are done with that disaster of a game, let’s take a look at some of the better matchups going into this weekend and where you should probably put your money:
A Tad Over/A Tad Under: Week 8 NFL Betting Lines
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2), O/U 46
I’m confused by this line. The Panthers are an inconsistent team for sure but how are they underdogs against a 2-4 Tampa Bay team? There’s no way that being on the road is enough to favor the Bucs over the Panthers.
So Carolina, who is 3-1 on the road this season, is coming off two losses including a stinker against Chicago last week so it’s understandable why you may be hesitant to bet on them. Let me put that to rest.
Their first loss was a close one against the Eagles who are shaping up to be one of the best teams in the league this season. Their second loss was concerning because the offense could only muster a field goal in a 17-3 loss against the Bears. Now the reason that loss shouldn’t be too concerning to you is that Chicago’s only two touchdowns were defensive.
So the Panthers defense is still a formidable opponent even with Luke Kuechly questionable, and Jameis Winston is hurt going into the game with a shoulder injury that was clearly bothering him against the Bills last week.
So I understand why many would expect the Panthers to fall against Tampa Bay but if you want a good bet on an underdog, you won’t find one much better than this. Both defenses have struggled in the first half of this season so I think the over here is the way to go.
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles (-12.5), O/U 45
The last time I said bet on the 49ers was a line extremely similar to this against the Cowboys a few weeks ago. I know it may seem asinine to bet on one of the worst teams in the league against one of the best but spreads this big rarely work out especially in the NFL. The 49ers in particular, are not a smart team to take lightly.
There have been only two games so far in the season that San Francisco has lost by more than two or three points so while their record may not show it, the 49ers are a competitive team. Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard played above expectations so it’s not crazy to think he can keep San Fran in the mix in Philadelphia.
Another thing to consider is the 49ers pass rush is one of the few bright spots of that defense and Jason Peters was just lost for the season. The Eagles are also banged up on the defensive side with safety Chris Maragos and linebacker Jordan Hicks both out, and corner Ronald Darby questionable.
If you’re hesitant about this one you can always hedge your losses by betting on the over because if Philadelphia really does win this one by more than 12 points, you can rest assured they’ll be getting close to that 45 point mark and the 49ers offense will surely produce a few points as well.
Houston Texans @ Seattle Seahawks (-5.5), O/U 46
The Texans are one of those confusing inconsistent teams that play better than they should one week but then fail to meet expectations the next. As the season’s midway point draws closer, looking at the Texans’ schedule, a pattern is becoming increasingly clear. They play close to the good teams but they can’t ultimately pull it off.
Now you can blame this on rookie inexperience with Deshaun Watson, poor coaching or whatever, but the reality is that the Texans three wins are against the Bengals, the Titans, and the Browns. Not the most impressive resume.
So traveling to Seattle who, even with Cliff Avril out, has one of the best pass rushing attacks in the league, is not an easy ask of Houston particularly given their offensive line struggles this season. I know Duane Brown is returning but after sitting this much time out, he is more than likely going to be rusty.
So I think Seattle has this one to cover the spread although they’ve had offensive struggles this season so I think they’ll win by more than a touchdown but scoring as a whole will be low. Take the under on this one.