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NFL Week 8 DraftKings Sportsbook Pool Predictions

Matt LaMarca breaks down his picks in the DraftKings Sportsbook Pool for Week 8 of the NFL season.

Syndication: Arizona Republic Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

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DraftKings is offering up a new free-to-enter pool for the 2022 NFL season. It runs for the first 17 weeks of the season, and users are allowed to pick their five favorite spreads each week. You’re also allowed one self-appointed bye week, meaning each player will pick 80 games by the end of Week 17. The players who do the best will have a chance to take home part of a $100,000 prize pool, plus millions in bonus prizes.

Let’s take a look at my five favorite picks for NFL Week 8.

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings:

The Pick: Cardinals +3.5

This is my favorite spot of the week. The Vikings may be 5-1 and sitting near the top of most casual power rankings, but that doesn’t actually make them a good football team. They’ve benefitted from a cupcake schedule and a few fluky wins, and they’ve been outplayed when they’ve faced off with good competition. They were out-gained by 224 yards by the Dolphins in Week 6 – a game the Vikings still managed to win – and they were outgained by 224 yards by the Eagles in Week 2. Overall, the Vikings rank just 27th in yardage differential this season, which is not the mark of a good football team.

Regression is eventually going to rear its ugly head in Minnesota, and perhaps it will start this week vs. the Cardinals. They’re coming off one of their best performances of the season last week vs. the Saints, and getting DeAndre Hopkins back has the potential to be massive for their offense. Kyler Murray has historically been a much more efficient passer with Hopkins in the lineup, and the team wasted no time making him a featured player in his first game back. He should have no problem doing damage against the Vikings, who rank merely 31st in Football Outsiders DVOA against No. 1 receivers.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons:

The Pick: Panthers +4.5

In a matchup between two bad teams, I’m almost always going to grab the points. It’s very hard for me to look at this matchup and say the Falcons deserve to be favored by this much against the Panthers. I know they started the year 6-0 against the spread, but that doesn’t mean that they’re a good football team. They were absolutely shellacked last week by Joe Burrow and the Bengals, who had racked up more than 300 passing yards in the first half.

The Panthers are obviously not the Bengals, but I see no reason why they can’t move the ball in this matchup. They put up 21 points last week vs. the Buccaneers, who are undoubtedly a better defensive team. The Falcons are dead last in defensive DVOA, and they’re not even at full strength at the moment. Casey Hayward and A.J. Terrell have both been ruled out for this contest, leaving the team without two of their top cornerbacks.

P.J. Walker has given the team a bit of stability at quarterback, averaging 7.7 adjusted yards per attempt with two touchdowns and zero turnovers. That last number is the biggest. Baker Mayfield had six fumbles and four interceptions in his five starts, so he was routinely sabotaging his team’s chances of scoring points. It feels weird to say that Walker is an upgrade over a former No. 1 overall pick, but it’s simply true. I’ll grab the points in this spot.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles:

The Pick: Steelers +10.5

I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record at this point, but it bears repeating in Week 8: Mike Tomlin is the best underdog coach in the NFL. He’s covered in back-to-back weeks as a large underdog, including an outright win over the Buccaneers. Their cover against the Dolphins last week brings the team’s record to 48-25-3 against the spread when getting points since Tomlin took over in 2007-08.

The Eagles are probably a step up in competition compared to the Buccaneers and Dolphins, but the Eagles also have barely been tested. They’ve played just two games against teams with winning records this season, and one of them was the Cowboys with Cooper Rush at QB. That’s not the Eagles' fault – you can only play who’s on the schedule – but it makes it hard to get a feel for just how good the Eagles are. They’re probably the best team in the NFC, but I’m not ready to put them in the same tier as the Bills and Chiefs. Given Tomlin’s track record as a large underdog, I’m willing to grab the points once again.

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans:

The Pick: Titans -1.5

There is some uncertainty about who will be under center for the Titans this week, but it ultimately shouldn’t change the game plan. The team has leaned heavily on Derrick Henry over the past four weeks, giving him an average of 25 carries and four targets per game. He’s responded with an average of 140 scrimmage yards per game, and the Titans are 4-0 in those contests.

The formula should be pretty similar this week vs. the Texans. They have the worst rushing defense in the league, ranking dead last in DVOA by a wide margin. Josh Jacobs absolutely trounced them in Week 7, racking up 143 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Jacobs is having a phenomenal season, but I still think most people would say Henry is the better player.

Ultimately, I don’t care if Ryan Tannehill, Malik Willis, or you is playing QB for the Titans. As long as they can turn around and hand it off, they’ll be fine.

Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills:

The Pick: Packers +10.5

The final game on the slate is arguably the most intriguing. The Packers have had a disastrous season, losing three straight games to the Giants, Jets, and Commanders. Their offense has struggled mightily without Davante Adams, and Aaron Rodgers has started publicly throwing teammates under the bus. With that in mind, how are they supposed to hang with the Bills in Buffalo coming off a bye?

It doesn’t feel good to back the Packers in this spot, but I’m ultimately going to do it. Rodgers has very rarely been an underdog, let alone one of multiple scores. The Packers have been underdogs of more than a field goal just seven times since the start of 2019-20, and they’re a perfect 7-0 in those contests. Rodgers has also historically done some of his best work in primetime, posting a record of 40-27-2 against the spread.

Maybe the Packers’ run is finally over, but I’m willing to give them one more chance. This is basically their Super Bowl. They can’t afford to lose another game, putting themselves further behind the Vikings in the division and teams like the Cowboys, Giants, and Rams in the Wild Card. It might not matter against the Bills, but I’m expecting to see their best effort.

Year-to-Date Results: 28-7 (3-2 last week)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.