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The best underdogs to bet in Week 8

We’ve got some big underdogs in Week 8, but there is value to be had. We break down the best underdogs to consider betting for the weekend.

Mason Rudolph of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 30, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Week 7 brought plenty of one-sided affairs in the NFL with 10 games being decided by at least 10 points. The most lopsided contest was between the Patriots and Jets. The Patriots defense was once again stellar, holding the Jets to no points while intercepting Sam Darnold four times. Sony Michel had a busy night, scoring three touchdowns on 19 carries in what turned out to be a 33-0 win for the Patriots.

Another team that went on to win going away was the Cowboys, who defeated the Eagles by a score of 37-10. Ezekiel Elliott was dominant on the ground, turning 22 carries into 111 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles received another lackluster performance from Carson Wentz, who finished with only 191 passing yards and one touchdown to go along with one interception. He’s now thrown for fewer than 200 yards in three of their last four games.

As far as some of the closer games went, the Colts and Texans were locked into a tight battle in Indianapolis. There wasn’t much scoring in the first half, but the teams woke up to score a combined 21 points in the third quarter. The Texans moved to within five points of the Colts on a DeAndre Hopkins touchdown reception near the midway point of the fourth, but the Texans failed to put any more points on the board, leaving them with a seven-point defeat.

Moving on to Week 8, the featured matchup figures to be the Chiefs hosting the Packers, but that game has lost plenty of excitement with Patrick Mahomes (knee) likely out. There aren’t a lot of appealing underdogs to key in on, but here are three who could turn out to be profitable.

Giants (+6.5) at Lions (O/U 49)

It looked like the Giants were going to be blown out at home by the Cardinals last week after falling down 17-0 in the second quarter. However, they quickly responded with two touchdowns, one of which came on a blocked punt. They were once again trailing by only three points after Saquan Barkley ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but they didn’t score again on their way to a six-point loss.

The Lions have been a difficult team to predict. They played well against the Packers two weeks ago in a contest that they likely should have won if not for a couple of questionable calls by the officials. However, their defense was eaten alive by the Vikings in Week 7 with Kirk Cousins throwing for four touchdowns. They gave up a whopping 42 points in what turned out to be a 12-point defeat.

Which Lions team will we see in Week 8? Well, they certainly have a good chance to win with this game being at home. However, the Giants have covered the spread in eight of their last 10 road games and are a much more dangerous team with Daniel Jones at quarterback. Given the line, I’ll take the Giants and the points.

Chargers (+3.5) at Bears (O/U 41)

The Chargers seem to find a new heartbreaking way to lose every week. They had three chances at the goal line to win last week against the Titans, but couldn’t come through. The final attempt resulted in a fumble by Melvin Gordon, who finished with only 32 yards on 16 carries. With the loss, their record sits at an ugly 2-5.

Speaking of ugly, there wasn’t much to like about the Bears loss to the Saints last week. Not only was Drew Brees (thumb) still out for the Saints, but Alvin Kamara (ankle/knee) and Jared Cook (ankle) were also sidelined. Latavius Murray went on to dominate on the ground and Bears didn’t score their first offensive touchdown until there were less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. They scored a second touchdown in the closing minutes, but they still lost, 36-25.

With how poorly both of these teams have played, this could go either way. Working in the Chargers’ favor is that they have won five of their last seven games as road underdogs. The Bears have also failed to cover the spread in 10 of their last 11 October games as favorites. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the Chargers won, making the points an appealing option.

Dolphins (+13.5) at Steelers (O/U 43)

By their standards, the Dolphins played well last week versus the Bills. They carried a 14-9 lead into the half, but they couldn’t make it hold up. The Bills scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, punctuating their explosion with a 45-yard kickoff return from Micah Hyde with less than two minutes to play. One of the main reasons the Dolphins only lost by 10 points is that they finally received some respectable play at quarterback with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for 282 yards and a touchdown. Maybe just as important was the fact that he only threw one interception.

The Steelers are coming off of a bye, which came at the perfect time based on all of their injuries. Mason Rudolph has been cleared from the concussion protocol, so he’s set to return after sitting out Week 6. Reports also indicate that James Conner (quadriceps) expects to play after being forced to leave that Week 6 bout versus the Chargers. It’s difficult to envision a path in which the Dolphins earn their first win of the season in a game that’s going to be played in Pittsburgh, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid this game. This is a huge line considering the Steelers only have two wins of their own, one of which came against the lowly Bengals. As crazy as this might sound, I’ll take the Dolphins and the points.

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