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The 2021 NFL season has been profitable thus far, and Week 8 offers four opening lines that are must plays. We’ve scoured the trends and matchups and found the best picks. Consider these your four core plays for Week 8 of the NFL season.
Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season kicks off Thursday night as the Green Bay Packers travel to face the undefeated Arizona Cardinals. The primetime games this week are shaping up to be crucial for how the playoff race will unfold as the season progresses. Sunday night’s battle between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, and Monday night’s matchup with the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs, will have direct implications on the playoffs.
A large portion of the league will use Week 8 as a gauge for whether they should be buyers or sellers at next week’s NFL trade deadline. This is the last chance to either bolster the roster with an impactful veteran or to sell off pieces not part of the long-term future. These are all things we’ll consider with our Week 8 picks.
We’ve turned in a profitable season thus far and the midpoint is a good time to recalibrate our systems. The slew of injuries and surprising results must be accounted for in projections. We’re confident we’ve identified the best opportunities in the opening lines.
Here’s a look at my top four picks centered around early NFL odds (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; picks based on a 1-to-5-star scale):
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets Opening Line and Pick
NFL Week 8 opening line: Bengals -8.5
The surprise team of the 2021 season through the first seven weeks has to be the Bengals, who are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 41-17 in Week 7. They now take on a Jets team that is reeling from a loss to the New England Patriots in which the defense allowed 54 points and 551 yards of total offense.
New York is 1-5 ATS on the season and has a league-worst minus-15.8 margin of victory. With Cincinnati’s success and New York’s struggles in mind, you won’t be surprised to learn that this spread has shot up dramatically. After opening at Bengals -3.5, the line has moved to double digits (Bengals -10) in some places with reports Jets QB Zach Wilson (knee) will miss 2-4 weeks.
PICK: Bengals -8.5 (-110) ★★★★★
SEE ALSO: All Week 8 NFL odds and lines
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts Opening Line and Pick
NFL Week 8 opening line: Titans -1.5
You can make a case that this matchup boasts two of the hottest teams in the AFC. The Titans have won three straight, including victories over the Buffalo Bills and Chiefs. That latest win over Kansas City was a thumping where the defense allowed Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and company to score only three points.
Meanwhile, the Colts put up 30 or more points in each of their last two games as QB Carson Wentz has seemingly found his groove. Tennessee won the first head-to-head matchup of the season in Week 3 and has jumped out as the favorite after Indianapolis opened as a 2.5-point favorite in some spots. Now, the Titans are 1.5-point favorites, which is largely thanks to that convincing win over the Chiefs. Tennessee is 5-1 ATS in its last six games heading into Week 8.
PICK: Titans -1.5 (-110) ★★★★
New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers Opening Line and Pick
NFL Week 8 opening line: Chargers -5.5
While beating the Jets may not be that surprising, New England’s 54-point outburst certainly was. That seems to have boosted some confidence for bettors as this number has fallen below six points and down to Chargers -5.5. Los Angeles was on a bye in Week 7 and has been one of the better teams in the NFL against the spread at 4-2 ATS. The Chargers are 8-2 ATS over their last 10 games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a home favorite.
PICK: Chargers -5.5 (-110) ★★★
Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings Opening Line and Pick
NFL Week 8 opening line: Cowboys -3
Both of these teams are coming off a Week 7 bye. The Cowboys are the lone team in the NFL undefeated against the spread, boasting an impressive 6-0 mark. While they’ve been kind to bettors so far, this number has fallen as low as Cowboys -1.5, so there does seem to be some confidence in the Vikings. However, Minnesota is 1-6 ATS in its last seven home games.
PICK: Cowboys -3 (+100) ★★★
Picks made 10/26/2021 at midnight ET.