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USA Today

NFL Week 8: 5 underdogs to bet on the spread

What upsets are in store for NFL Week 8? Here we preview 5 games worth backing the underdog on ATS betting.

5. New Orleans Saints (+1) at Minnesota Vikings

This isn’t a great week for underdogs, and so the Saints get the nod here. This isn’t said in such a tone because New Orleans isn’t good. Rather, because Minnesota is a quality team playing at home. Still, one would imagine that Drew Brees and his charges are going to be out for revenge after the Minneapolis Miracle took place in January, and while the Vikings are excellent, the Saints are a bit better at this stage.

4. Green Bay Packers (+9.5) at Los Angeles Rams

The Packers aren’t as good as the Rams, but this is getting a bit out of control. Los Angeles has beaten up on bad teams at home, but Green Bay is a quality opponent with the better quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. The Rams aren’t going to run away and hide in this one, especially with Rodgers and Co. coming off their bye week. Look for Los Angeles to move to 8-0, but the Packers will cover this ballooning spread.

 

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3.  New York Jets (+7.5) at Chicago Bears

The Bears are a good team, and certainly better than the Jets. New York is only a game worse in the standings as of NFL Week 8 but it’s hard to see the Jets winning against a quality opponent unless the defense scores or the other side makes considerable blunders. That said, New York shouldn’t be getting more than a touchdown. Why? Because the Bears offense is incredibly unpredictable, Mitchell Trubisky looked like Rick Mirer last week against a bad New England Patriots defense, and Khalil Mack is all kinds of banged up. Chicago wins, but it won’t cover, even at home.

2. Baltimore Ravens at Carolina Panthers (+2)

Why are the Ravens favored in this game? Both of these teams have four wins and the Panthers are at home. For those who say Carolina has been a high-wire act, that would be correct with a 63-yard field goal needed at home to beat the lowly New York Giants, and a 21-point fourth quarter comeback required to handle the Philadelphia Eagles. Still, Carolina did end up winning, something the Ravens can’t say in games against the Cleveland Browns and mediocre Cincinnati Bengals. These are two very similar teams with similar styles, but saying the Ravens are essentially five points better on a neutral field is aggressive.

 

Read: Patrick Peterson Issues Statement on Cardinals Trade Rumors

 

1. Miami Dolphins (+7.5) at Houston Texans

Have you seen the Houston Texans? I don’t care that the game is in Houston. I don’t care that the Texans are playing against Brock Osweiler, and I don’t care that they have won four straight. Houston needed a time management miracle from Frank Reich to beat the Indianapolis Colts and a pick-six to take care of the Buffalo Bills and Nathan Peterman. Houston might win this game because the Dolphins are injured to the hilt endnote very good to begin with, but there is no way the Texans are covering a touchdown (and then some) against anybody.

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