NFL Week 8: Early Slate Best Bets

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    MIA @ DET1:00pmMIA -3.551.5MIA -3.5
    PIT @ PHI1:00pmPHI -10.542.5PIT +10.5

    Miami Dolphins (4-3) @ Detroit Lions (1-5)
    Game Preview: In Week 8, the Dolphins head to Detroit on the heels on a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, stopping a three game skid, while the Lions, losers of five of six games so far, seem likely to vie for the #1 overall pick in next year’s draft.

    Tua Tagovailoa returned from a three week absence last week that coincided with the Dolphins 3-game losing streak to help right the ship against a strong Steelers defense, and he gets a much more favorable matchup in the Lions 31st ranked passing defense. Tua’s quick release (6th fastest of qualified QB’s this year) coupled with the Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle tag team out wide, should allow the Dolphins skill players to feast on the Lion’s carcass all afternoon.

    The Lions offense should get a boost from the return of DeAndre Swift this week after missing the past three games due to shoulder an ankle injuries. His skills as a receiver should help Jared Goff in this matchup when and if the Lions end up chasing points and have to focus on their passing offense. Amon-Ra St. Brown, who entered the NFL’s concussion protocol after last week’s game, was also cleared to play.

    Vegas clearly thinks that this will be a high-scoring game, as the aforementioned Lions pass defense should have little success slowing the Dolphins aerial attack, and Detroit’s also benefitting from a weak Dolphins secondary. I don’t think Goff and the Lions have enough in the tank to pull off an upset here, so I’m taking the Dolphins at -3.5 (-112) to cover the spread with relative ease, and also hitting the over for the game at 51.5 (-109).

    PICKS: MIA -3.5 & O51.5

    Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)
    Injury Watch (Impact Players)
    Out: K Chris Boswell (PIT), LB T.J. Watt (PIT)
    Game Preview:

    The Eagles by the numbers through Week 7 of the 2022 season:

    • 1st in turnover differential (+12)
    • 1st in time of possession (33:59)
    • 4th in points score per game (26.8)
    • 4th in points allowed per game (17.5)
    • 1st in rushing attempts per game (37.5)
    • 1st in rushing TDs per game (2.2)

    The Eagles 6-0 record is based primarily on a dominant rushing attack, led by their two way threat at QB, Jaylen Hurts, coupled with a stingy defensive unit. Credit is due to their coaching staff as well, who have leaned into their strengths, dialing up the most runs per game in the league. The end result has been a successful but conservative offense that has minimized turnovers and dominated the time of possession, choking out their opponents in the process.

    Pittsburgh’s season is off to a rocky start, with rookie QB Kenny Pickett being thrust into the starting role after the Mitch Trubisky redemption experiment lasted all of four weeks. Pickett sports a 2:7 TD to INT ratio, and the ineffective QB play hasn’t done any favors for the Steelers’ run game, which has yielded just 625 rushing yards on a paltry 3.7 yards per carry so far this year.

    With Pittsburgh also without their starting kicker this week (Chris Boswell) and having pushed out T.J. Watt’s return, they don’t look like they are prepared to steal one from the NFL’s last undefeated team. That said, I don’t love the huge spread given that the Eagles are a run-first team, so I’m taking the Steelers against the 10.5 point spread (-114) and the under (-108).

    PICKS: PIT +10.5 & U42.5

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