Best Bets: NFL Week 8

Zach Schiller’s Best Bet: Titans (-4) at Bengals

While Joe Burrow has certainly impressed so far in his inaugural campaign, he and the Cincinnati Bengals are no match for the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are coming off of a devastating last-second loss last week to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and should come into this game motivated to get back in the win column. The key matchup to watch for in this game is the Titans’ ground game against the Bengals’ run defense. The Titans boast one of the game’s best running backs, Derrick Henry, and have made a habit of producing long, clock-eating drives that demoralize defenses. This will be a tough matchup for a Bengals defense that ranks in the bottom tier of the league in rush defense. Expect the Titans to impose their will on this game and easily cover.

Aaron Notis’s Best Bet: Las Vegas Raiders (+3) at Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns looked lost before the past week’s game against the struggling Cincinnati Bengals. Baker Mayfield threw for five touchdowns and the Browns came out with a win despite the loss of star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. However, the Raiders defense is strong. Las Vegas will look to bounce back after their elite defense gave up 45 points to Tom Brady’s Buccaneers. Their offense still was able to put up 20 points on a brick wall Tampa defense. Josh Jacobs struggled with 16 yards in ten rushes, but Derek Carr was still able to throw for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Expect the Raiders to beat the odds and take down Cleveland. 

Matthew Frankle’s Best Bet: Green Bay Packers (-7) vs Minnesota Vikings

After a surprising blowout loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Aaron Rodgers looked like his usual self against the Houston Texans last week, throwing for 283 yards and four touchdown passes in a 35-20 win. Without Aaron Jones last week, Davante Adams was a major key in the Packers’ offensive attack, with 196 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions. Other than the loss to the Buccaneers, the Packers have won and covered in every game, and that includes a 43-34 week one win over the Vikings. While the Packers look like a playoff contender, the Vikings have been a disappointment this season with only one win so far. They recently traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a third and fifth-round pick, weeks after acquiring him from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a second and fifth-round pick. With Aaron Rodgers and Davonte Adams facing off against a weak Minnesota secondary, the Packers should be able to score with ease, and you should feel comfortable taking them to win and cover against the Vikings this week.

Hunter Firment’s Best Bet: Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (Over 55.5)

The Raiders were blown out 45-20 over the weekend against the surging Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the Browns (thanks to a last-minute touchdown from Donovan Peoples-Jones) won a 37-34 shootout over the Bengals. Do you notice anything about those two scores? Yes, they are high-scoring and would both hit the 55.5 point over that is set for the Raiders and Browns matchup this weekend. I expect a Baker Mayfield-Derek Carr duel when the Raiders travel to Cleveland for a 1:00 battle. The Raiders have scored 28.5 points per game this season, and have given up 32.8 points per game. In other words, they are literally playing in shootouts on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, the Browns are scoring 28.6 points a game, and giving up 31.6 points a contest. Two potent offenses, and two abysmal defenses. Points will not be at a premium; take the over. 

Aaron Silverstein’s Best Bet: Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys

Conventional wisdom says it usually isn’t a good idea to bet on your own team. At the same time, when you give me the chance to bet on my birds to win AND for the Cowboys to lose at the same time, I have to take that chance. But really, taking the Eagles this week is not just my bias shining through. Yes, this historic rivalry matchup boasts two teams from an awful division, but the Eagles at least are on somewhat of an upward trajectory, while the Cowboys are on a downward spiral. Last week, the birds were sloppy throughout against the Giants but showed a lot of heart to battle back from eleven points down with six minutes left to win on Thursday Night Football. The week before, Carson Wentz led another spirited comeback against the juggernaut Ravens and came up just short. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have shown anything but heart and determination in recent weeks. It often looks like the defense isn’t even trying, and players have come out with heavy criticism of Mike McCarthy and his staff. On top of this, with Dak Prescott hurt and Andy Dalton coming down with a concussion last week, the Cowboys are being led by Ben DiNucci, a seventh-rounder out of James Madison who actually lost to our very own Colgate Raiders two years ago in the FCS playoffs (Go Gate!). Yes, both teams are struggling, but at least one has shown some fight in recent weeks and has a quarterback capable of making plays and coming up clutch. Fly Eagles Fly on Sunday night.