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NFL Picks: Best NFL trends for Week 8

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

VSiN data analyst Steve Makinen has a set of profitable betting trends for the Week 8 matchups.

You’ll find a similar report for college football this week, but in case you missed it, I figured I would take this time and space to showcase another valuable feature at that seems to be underused each season: Team Trends, which are listed for every matchup on the board.

The trends are sorted each week by a grading scale and separated by which side or total they favor. I went through all 15 NFL games in Week 8 and handpicked one of the trends I felt was relevant to the upcoming matchup. Along with the specifics of the trend, I’ve also detailed the reasons I find the angle important.

Baltimore at Tampa Bay (Thursday night)

Play ON TAMPA BAY at HOME Against strong rushing teams averaging more than 4.4 RYPA (16-7-2 ATS L25G)

Analysis: The easy thing to do at this point would be to simply give up on the Buccaneers. After all, they have lost four out of five outright and five straight against the spread. The last two losses were in embarrassing fashion. That said, it is always darkest before dawn, and something’s telling me this is where it turns. First off, this is the first time since the Bucs-Packers game in Week 3 where I think the Bucs aren’t overpriced. Second, they still have Tom Brady, and he has proven over the years that challenging him is a bad idea (in this case, as a home underdog). Third, over the last few seasons, the Bucs have consistently had one of the best rushing defenses. They figure to put this game on Lamar Jackson’s ability to throw.

Denver vs. Jacksonville (Sunday in London)

Play AGAINST JACKSONVILLE Against pathetic-scoring teams averaging 15 PPG or less (20-5 ATS L25G)

Analysis: What kind of team builds a 5-20 ATS record against the league’s worst offenses, the pathetic ones described in this trend? Probably one that has a somewhat pathetic offensive itself. The Jaguars have shown flashes offensively this season (and in recent seasons), but it’s difficult to tell when those moments will come. They have no advantage against opponents with “pathetic” offenses, a group that, of course, includes the Broncos, who are scoring just 14.3 PPG.

Chicago at Dallas

Play AGAINST CHICAGO on ROAD After a game with a turnover margin of + 3 or better (12-2-1 ATS L15G)

Analysis: As tempting as it may be to believe the Bears are turning a corner, the fact is they were very fortunate Monday night in New England. Fortunate that the weather went their way, and fortunate that New England turned the ball over four times. In their season-opening win against the 49ers, the Bears were also blessed by wretched weather, but that won’t be the case this week at AT&T Stadium, where the weather is always pleasant. The Bears, though still 9.5-point underdogs, did get a bit of a break on the line from the MNF win, though I would suggest erroneously. Dallas is finding itself and capable of winning impressively here.

Las Vegas at New Orleans


Analysis: One of the most overrated home-field advantages in the NFL is that of the Saints (I wrote similarly about Notre Dame in my college football trends analysis this week). For the last several seasons, New Orleans has been a far better team on the road. Against unfamiliar AFC foes, the Saints have gone just 2-13 ATS in their last 15 games. With the Raiders coming on offensively (2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS in their last three), it’s hard to go against the Silver and Black here.

See matchup data for every game, including trends and the latest lines, at