NFL Week 8 Betting: Best spread, over/under bets before lines move

2T1Y10P Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

• Bet the Jaguars (-1.5) to end the Steelers' winning ways: Jacksonville is riding a four-game win streak and faces a Pittsburgh team that would be below .500 by Pythagorean win total.

• Bet the Lions (-7.5) to bounce back and cruise: Jared Goff returns to the friendly confines of Detroit and an indoor stadium, where his PFF passing grade is above 90.0 this season.

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If you are betting on NFL spreads, you better do it early. After reviewing each line on the PFF Forecast Podcast, we are here to share our favorite early bets to make before the market catches on and lines move.

We went 39-30-4 last year and are sitting at 10-12 (-4 units) on the year with one more play to go on Monday Night Football. Make sure you don’t miss anything by joining in on the action with the PFF Betting Discord.

If you are wondering why we bet early, here is a great primer.


Detroit Lions (-7.5) vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Jared Goff returns to the friendly confines of Detroit and an indoor stadium, where his PFF passing grade is above 90.0 this season. When playing outdoors, Goff's PFF passing grade over the past two seasons sinks below 70.0.

Reports indicate Jimmy Garoppolo is set to return this week for Las Vegas, but he may not be able to stop the Lions from reminding the league that they are a contender. To make matters worse, Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels decided to kick a field goal to go down 15 this week instead of going for it on fourth down — exactly the kind of coaching a team wants to face when trying to cover a large spread.

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Teaser: Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) @ Denver Broncos & Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) @ Arizona Cardinals (-120)

This is a Wong Teaser, which happens when each side you tease crosses both the numbers three and seven, as is the case here with the Chiefs moving from -8.5 to -2.5 and the Ravens moving from -8.5 to -2.5. Because three and seven are the most common end-of-game point differentials, crossing those numbers gives the bettor more outcomes for which each side wins.

The Chiefs' defense stymied Justin Herbert and the Chargers in the second half in Week 7, allowing them to cross midfield just two times and intercepting Herbert on both drives. Charles Omenihu made his return to the lineup and had a 17.6% pass-rush win rate plus a sack, further solidifying what looks to be a top-five defense in the NFL. The unit is allowing opposing offenses to score on just 25% of drives, the second-lowest rate in the NFL.

Patrick Mahomes had 317 yards and three touchdown passes by halftime against the Chargers. The Chiefs are now third in the NFL in offensive drive success rate despite concerns about a lack of outside weapons. Denver had a respectable showing in a Thursday night matchup at Arrowhead two weeks ago, but the Broncos are the only team allowing opposing offenses to score on the majority of their drives.

The Ravens showed they belong in the top tier of NFL teams not named the Kansas City Chiefs with a 38-6 drubbing of the Detroit Lions, and Lamar Jackson is now PFF’s highest-graded passer after another stellar performance. Jackson averaged more than 13 yards per attempt, and Baltimore averaged 5.4 yards per carry with a 50% success rate against one of the league’s best run defenses up to this point.

On defense, coordinator Mike Macdonald put his name near the top of the head coach candidate list by completely shutting down Jared Goff and wunderkind offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, with Detroit averaging -0.265 expected points added per dropback. Baltimore has played down to competition this year, but a teaser gets us under a field goal here against arguably the least talented team in the NFL.


Teaser: Buffalo Bills (-1.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers & New Orleans Saints (+8.5) @ Indianapolis Colts (-120)

This is a Wong Teaser, which happens when each side you tease crosses both the numbers three and seven, as is the case here with the Bills moving from -7.5 to -1.5 and the Saints moving from +1.5 to +8.5. Because three and seven are the most common end-of-game point differentials, crossing those numbers gives the bettor more outcomes for which each side wins.

The Bills continue their up-and-down 2023 season with a somewhat embarrassing loss at the hands of Mac Jones and the New England Patriots. But they get to quickly shake it off with a Thursday Night Football matchup against a Buccaneers offense that ranks 29th in offensive success rate. The Bills are still a top-eight team in converting series into scores and preventing opposing offenses from scoring, and while Tampa Bay’s defense presents challenges, it’s hard to envision the Buccaneers scoring many points.

New Orleans looked absolutely anemic on offense against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football for the first three quarters, but we think that may be playing too large a role in this spread. The Saints' wide receiver trio of Chris Olave, Michael Thomas and Rashid Shaheed against a Colts cornerback group that ranks 21st in PFF grade is a serious mismatch, and New Orleans should get back at least one if not both starting tackles.

On defense, New Orleans plays press-man coverage as much as any team, which should take away a lot of the quick throws into the soft spots of zones that have enabled Gardner Minshew to dink and dunk his way down the field. The Saints' run defense is also a top-five unit in EPA per rush allowed and success rate, which should put Indianapolis in second- and third-and-long scenarios with ineffective early-down running that leads to more trouble.


Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are 4-2 with a -24 point differential. If we were to use their Pythagorean win total, they’d be a sub-.500 team this season. Getting Diontae Johnson back from injury proved to be a huge help for quarterback Kenny Pickett, as he finished the game with five catches for 79 yards. However, the Rams lost seven points from Brett Maher‘s missed field goals and extra points, which was a factor in the game ending how it did.

The Jaguars have been playing good football lately, winning four straight games despite all of them coming in a 19-day period. During that stretch, their defense ranks fourth in expected points allowed per play and their offense ranks ninth in EPA per play. Trevor Lawrence is also a top-10 passer by PFF grade this year and has won games by distributing the ball around rather than force-feeding a certain player the whole time.

The rest factor is also important here, as the Jaguars will have three extra days of rest compared to the Steelers.

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