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NFL Week 8 ATS Best Picks: Against the Spread Predictions

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NFL Week 8 ATS Best Picks: Against the Spread Predictions
Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Carolina Panthers on October 25, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images/AFP

NFL week 8 matchups are on tap in this space, complete with previews and predictions, and with NFL odds from the best online sportsbooks. We offer an in-depth look at four choice games, as well serve up quick-fire NFL picks against the spread for the rest of the week’s betting card.

Let’s get started…

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

Thursday, October 29, 2020, 8:20 PM ET – Bank of America Stadium

It’s been a forgettable 2020 campaign for the Atlanta Falcons thus far, marred by their inexplicable inability to close out games. Things are so bad and strange that one would even be forgiven for believing the Falcons were somehow cursed. However, football has little to do with superstition, rather it has everything to do with rational things such as execution, coaching, skill, talent, determination and much, much, more.

Admittedly, things did get stranger for the Falcons last Sunday, when they succumbed to their sixth loss by virtue of scoring a late-game touchdown. Talk about an oxymoron. And yet, it’s a true story: Todd Gurley’s late-game touchdown lifted the Falcons to a 22-16 lead, but it ultimately left an eternity on the clock (one minute) for Matthew Stafford to drive the Lions downfield to score the winning touchdown.

This latest defeat sees the Falcons slip to a woeful 1-6-0 SU mark and 2-5-0 ATS mark, a subpar record that is merely one defeat away from matching last season’s 1-7 SU start. Of course, now it’s interim head coach Raheem Mostert’s problem and not Dan Quinn’s. It’s safe to say, the pressure is on Mostert to win the job by season's end.

The Carolina Panthers are coming off a narrow 27-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints, an exciting back-and-forth tussle that saw Teddy Bridgewater give his former team a right run for its money. Indeed, the Panthers very nearly tied the game, but settled on the loss as Joey Slye’s 65-yard field goal attempt sailed past the goal posts.

Following the defeat at the Superdome, the Panthers slipped to a 3-4-0 SU mark on the season, falling under .500 for the second time in 2020. Having said that, the Panthers did come through in week 7 NFL betting with the cover as the 7-point road underdogs, thereby improving to a 4-3-0 ATS mark. That includes a 0.9 losing margin on average and a plus 3-point differential versus the spread.

Although both sides are coming off losing efforts in week 7, bookmakers have opened this NFC showdown with the Panthers tipped as the field-goal faves at home. The Panthers won the contest between these NFC South rivals in week 5, beating the Falcons 23-16 as the +2.5 closing road pups. Betting on the Falcons has been one of the least profitable exercises for NFL bettors in 2020, and there’s little indication that it’s going to change. As such, the Panthers as the home chalk is the choice NFL pick here.

NFL Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 1:00 PM ET – Lambeau Field

The Minnesota Vikings, flush off a week 7 bye, will make the trek to Lambeau Field on Sunday to take on the Green Bay Packers, the current NFC North leaders, against which the Vikings imploded spectacularly in the first week of the season. Since that defining meeting, both teams have gone in opposite directions. In fact, they sport mirror opposite records: the Packers are riding roughshod in the division with a 5-1-0 SU mark while the Vikings are propping up the division with a 1-5-0 SU mark.

Predictably, online sportsbooks cornered this game in Green Bay’s camp wholeheartedly in early betting markets. However, since the Packers went to press as the touchdown faves late Sunday, the NFL line has moved against them by half-a-point with several sportsbooks, including Heritage, Youwager and Intertops, to name a few.

To be fair, this is a surprising betting trend. The Packers bounced back in week 7 with a comprehensive 35-20 win over the Houston Texans. This made a mockery of the -2.5 closing point spread that was clearly an overreaction to Green Bay’s loss to Tampa Bay in week 6.

What’s more, not only do the Packers have Minnesota’s number behind a 43-34 win in week 1, but the Vikings have only dialled in one win this season – a victory that came at the expense of the hapless Houston Texans in week 5. After which, however, the Vikings then went on to lose to the woeful Atlanta Falcons, who were still winless ahead of week 6.

The Vikings are 3-3-0 ATS this season, with three games featuring losing margins of 9 points or greater. The Packers, meanwhile, have annihilated just about every team, with the exception of the Buccaneers. They emerge with a 5-1-0 ATS, which is a league-leading record against the spread, jointly shared with the Steelers and Chargers.

All told, nothing about the Vikings right now strikes a convincing pose, which means they’re a fade for NFL picks in this pivotal NFC North showdown. The Packers at home is the choice bet here.

NFL Pick:

Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates with Aaron Rodgers #12 after rushing for a touchdown. Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images/AFP

New York Jets vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 1:00 PM ET – Arrowhead Stadium

NFL bettors would be forgiven for mistaking this game for a college football game, given the whopping 21-point spread that sportsbooks took to press late Sunday. It’s practically history-making for NFL point-spread betting. Bearing in mind how thoroughly the Chiefs crushed the Broncos in week 7 at Mile High, the Jets would also be forgiven for feeling any misgivings about the ambitious undertaking before them.

Since the betting window opened though, there has been noteworthy movement with the NFL line shrinking to Chiefs -19, a price currently available with BookMaker and Heritage, to name a few of the best online sportsbooks. In the grand scheme of things, the move isn’t profound, nor does it change the simple fact that the Chiefs are massive faves in a likely victory at the expense of the winless NY Jets.

The Jets – somewhat uncharacteristically – proved last week that there was pulse left in them after all. Sam Darnold and Co. gave the Bills a bit of a battle at the start but any hope that Gang Green fans might have entertained proved to be short-lived as the Jets succumbed to a seventh straight loss on the season.

In all contests, the Jets have been thoroughly embarrassed. By the stats: they sport a losing margin of 16.9 points on average through seven games, and a 21-point losing margin on the road, 19-point losing margin in non-divisional games, and an 18.2-point losing margin as an underdog. Enough said.

NFL Pick:

Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/AFP

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 1:00 PM ET – M&T Bank Stadium

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the lone undefeated team going into week 8 of the 2020 NFL season. And yet: they’re at the disadvantage for their much-anticipated AFC North showdown with the Baltimore Ravens. As it stands across online sportsbooks, the Steelers are tipped as the +3 to +5 road underdogs, which, all things being considered, is somewhat intriguing.

Clearly, the prevailing expectation is that the Baltimore Ravens will rise up to the challenge, if not vanquish the Steelers and depose them from their princely perch atop the AFC standings. This expectation presupposes many things, one of which is that the Ravens are exactly the same team that rollicked to a 14-2 SU mark in 2019 to clinch the No.1 seed in the AFC conference. Another is that the reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson, will outplay Big Ben and the Steelers offense.

The Ravens are the defending AFC North champions and amongst the vogue NFL picks to win Super Bowl LV. Whether they live up to their billing in 2020, only time will tell. Based on their first six games though, it’s impossible to make such a claim. Mainly, the quality of most of the opponents they’ve faced is suspect: five wins are owed to triumphs at the expense of the Browns, Texans, Washington, Cincinnati and Dallas. With the exception of the 5-2 SU Browns, the remaining quartet represents some of the worst teams in the league this season.

The reality is that the Ravens have only been tested once this season and the outcome wasn’t good. Shellshocked is a word that springs to mind when thinking back to Baltimore’s clash against Kansas City in week 3. The Ravens were thoroughly outplayed and Lamar Jackson had no answer for his rival or the Chiefs’ high-octane offense. “Kryptonite” is a word Jackson floated in his post-game presser when describing the matchup against Patrick Mahomes.

Jackson struggled last season against the Steelers, narrowly avoiding a loss in overtime. Then, Big Ben was on the side-lines, and third-string quarterback Duck Hodges was leading the offense. All the while the Steelers defense had Jackson running for his life.

If you are what your record says you are, there’ a case to be had that the Steelers are better than the Ravens are, if ever so slightly. That fact alone makes a bet on the Steelers, plus the points, worth serious consideration for week 8 NFL picks. In fact, this is a game that might prove a value bet for the outright upset in money-line betting markets as well…. Just putting it out there.

NFL Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images/AFP

All the Rest of Week 8 NFL Picks ATS: Quick-fire Format

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 1:00 PM ET – Bills Stadium

NFL Pick:

Tennessee Titans vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 1:00 PM ET – Paul Brown Stadium

NFL Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 1:00 PM ET – FirstEnergy Stadium

NFL Pick:

Indianapolis Colts vs. Detroit Lions

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 1:00 PM ET – Ford Field

NFL Pick:

Los Angeles Rams vs. Miami Dolphins

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 1:00 PM ET – Hard Rock Stadium

NFL Pick:

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 4:05 PM ET – Empower Field at Mile High

NFL Pick:

New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 4:25 PM ET – Solider Field

NFL Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 4:25 PM ET – CenturyLink Field

NFL Pick:

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 8:20 PM ET – Lincoln Financial Field

NFL Picks:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants

Monday, November 2, 2020, 4:25 PM ET – MetLife Stadium

NFL Pick: