NFL Week 8 Opening Odds & Early NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Monday, October 20, 2014 12:54 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 12:54 PM UTC

Even as week 7 is busy wrapping up, sportsbooks roll out NFL odds for the coming week. With the NFL shops open for business already, join us as we take an early look at week 8 NFL betting odds and spot the value NFL picks.

New England Patriots -6.5 vs. Chicago Bears +6.5
The Chicago Bears are in all sorts of trouble right now, down 3-4 SU on the season and sat in third place in the NFC North behind the high-flying tandem of Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. They aren’t exactly out of it, but they aren’t inspiring any confidence in NFL betting circles at the moment.  The alleged bust-out in the locker room, heard by the media patiently waiting in the hallways before they were allowed into the room to collect post-game comments from the players following their lacklustre 27-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins at home, is a cause for concern.

Although it’s not clear which players were involved in the postgame venting that’s now making the rounds in NFL betting circles – there has been suggestion that it was Brandon Marshall calling out Jay Cutler – it’s clearly something NFL bettors must weigh in the balance of their week 8 NFL odds as the 6.5-point underdogs. Frankly, team disunity, disrespect and dissension isn’t a great recipe for success. If reports are true and Jay Cutler is indeed losing the locker room (or has lost it altogether), then it’s a serious concern for the Bears ahead of their date with the widely respected Tom Brady. Patriots are sat lotus atop the AFC East – their rightful place in the division’s hierarchy if you ask any diehard Patriots fan – following a three-game winning streak at the expense of the Bengals, Bills and Jets. An in-form Patriots up against a porous Bears’ defense together with a Bears’ offense (ahem Jay Cutler) that boasts a disturbing trend for turnovers is a recipe for a blowout. Take the Patriots as the 6.5-point chalk.

NFL Picks: Patriots -6.5 (-110)

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Baltimore Ravens +2.5 vs. Cincinnati Bengals -2.5
After the Cincinnati Bengals were schooled by the Indianapolis Colts in a 27-0 defeat as the 3-point road pups, the previous week’s 37-37 tie to the Bengals feels more like a loss than it did then. Bengals were utterly shattered by Andrew Luck and company in a game that odds makers clearly believed would be close, if the NFL odds were any indication. So you can imagine, given their current suspect form, our mild surprise over Bengals being installed as the 2.5-point chalk in week 8 NFL betting when they host the Ravens.

The Ravens opened the season on a defeat to the Bengals at home, but since have reeled off five wins in their subsequent six games to improve to 5-2 SU and take over the lead in the AFC North at the expense of the Bengals. So there’s the small matter of revenge to contend with in this intra-divisional clash when considering your NFL picks.

Since 2011, when the Ravens swept the series with the Bengals, the pair has split their meetings, each winning at home. The Bengals win in Baltimore in week 1 NFL betting snapped that home winning trend, and the Ravens will be keen to level the score when they descend on the Bengals in Cincinnati.

Of course, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Ravens have proven beatable on the road in seasons past. That they are a modest 6-7 ATS as the away underdogs since 2012 with an average margin of defeat at 5.3 points. All that does is largely explain this pessimistic NFL betting outlook. As well, one can't be too candid with the Bengals' favourable 10-4-1 ATS record as home favourites since 2012 with an average margin of victory hovering at 12.3-points, which underscores their favourable odds on the Week 8 NFL odds board.

As far as this season goes though, Ravens are 4-2 ATS while the Bengals are 3-3 ATS. What’s more, Ravens are riding the momentum of two consecutive wins – 29-7 over Falcons and 48-17 over the Buccaneers – and third blow out win over NFC South opponents; compared to the Bengals, who after allowing the Panthers to rally for a tie in week 7 NFL betting were blanked out in Indianapolis. What this amounts to on paper is an NFL matchup between two teams that look to be headed in opposite directions at the moment. In other words, this is a prime opportunity for the Ravens to capitalise on if they hope to clinch the AFC North division title. Hence, we recommend taking the points with the Ravens on your NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Ravens +2.5 (-110)

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