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NFL Week 8: Best Bets: Cowboys, Falcons and Vikings to fire

Sat, Oct 29, 8:35am by Head Editor

The trend of underdogs being successful is continuing in the NFL with seven underdogs winning against the line and four of those winning the match head-to-head last week.

Maybe due to the above figures but most of the games on this week’s schedule are expected to be competitive. No team is favoured by more than five points and more than half the games feature a line of a field goal or less.

Interestingly, the biggest matchup of the week features the two hottest rookie quarterbacks in the NFL for the Sunday Night Football clash between Carson Wentz’s Philadelphia Eagles and Dak Prescott’s Dallas Cowboys which could be a match-up we see for the next decade, or more. The full preview can be found further down the page.

Once again, we have a match on foreign soil, with Wembley playing host to the Washington Redskins ($2.18) and the Cincinnati Bengals ($1.72). This match is the  last NFL game in London for the season. The move has drawn some criticism, mainly from fantasy football players who think the 9:30am kickoff is too early to settle their final teams.

Week eight kicked off on Friday morning AEDT when the Jaguars travelled to Tennessee. The home side ran out winners by 36-22, starting of my weekend well with a winning prediction.

Six teams will have the bye this week (Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, NY Giants, Pittsburgh, San Francisco) here are the three best bets for week seven of the 2016 NFL season:

Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Dome, Atlanta – 7:25am AEDT Monday October 31

The Falcons (4-3) host the Green Bay Packers (4-2) in a big NFC showdown on Sunday afternoon (Monday morning AEDT). Just because the Packers had a big win over the Bears last week doesn’t mean all of their problems are solved.

They’ll have a much more difficult time when facing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan instead of Matt Barkley. The Falcons have lost two games in a row by a combined total of five points.

The bookies have forgiven them, Sportsbet has installed the home team as favourites at $1.64. The Packers are at $2.33 and the line is at a field goal.

The last time the Atlanta Falcons played the Green Bay PackersJulio Jones had an epic performance with 259 receiving yards on 11 catches in a 43-37 Monday night loss at Green Bay (Dec. 8, 2014).

If he can pull off a similar performance against the Packers on Sunday at the Georgia Dome, Jones would find himself in rare company. Jones leads the NFL with 830 yards on 40 catches, averaging 20.8 yards per catch. Gaining 170 receiving yards Sunday would give Jones 1,000 for the season.

The last player to reach 1,000 receiving yards through the first eight games was Charley Hennigan of the 1961 Houston Oilers. Hennigan ended up with 1,746 yards in a 14-game season.

The Falcons are the NFL’s top ranked offence and I expect them to be too strong at home for the Packers.

BEST BET: Falcons to win: $1.64

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys, AT & T Stadium, Arlington, Texas – 11:30am AEDT, Monday October 31

WATCH: Oddssharks’ preview of Dallas v Philadelphia

It’s a blockbuster Sunday Night Football match-up between the top two teams in the NFC East. A win for “America’s Team” the Cowboys would make them the clear favorite to win the division. The visiting Philadelphia Eagles will be looking to extend their first-place lead.

In the head-to-head market, Sportsbet, has the home team Cowboys as a strong favourite at $1.48 with the Eagles at $2.85. The line is at four points.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has exceeded expectations as a rookie, but unlike Prescott, the quarterback has come back to earth in recent starts. He hasn’t even thrown for 180 yards in either of his last two games, and things don’t get much easier against Dallas.

The Dallas defence is looking strong, Morris Claiborne leads an improved Cowboys secondary that hasn’t surrendered more than 20 points in any of their three home games. Washington’s 23 points in Week 2 were a season-high for any Dallas opponent, and Philadelphia might be hard-pressed to match that total.

BEST BET: Cowboys to win by 1-13 points: $2.21

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears, Soldier Field, Chicago – 11:30am AEDT, Tuesday November 1

The Vikings are the best team in the NFC and the Bears are one of the worst. The Vikings were sluggish last week, taking a while to wake up after the bye week and eventually losing 21-10 to the Eagles. The Bears though, loss by more than that margin (26-10) to the Packers and only managed 199 yards of total offence.

Even though they are the travelling team, Sportsbet are happy to take the Vikings, they’re at $1.50. The Bears have only saluted once this season and are at the big odds of $2.69 for a second win, with the line at four points.

The return of Jay Cutler improves Chicago’s chances of winning, but the quarterback might have picked the wrong week to come back with the Vikings ranking first in total defence with one of the NFL’s top pass rushes. They’ll be looking to make things very difficult in Cutler’s first start since the 14-29 loss to the Eagles on the September 19.

The aforementioned defence kept the Vikings afloat with two interceptions last week but still the offence stumbled on every scoring occasion, only finding the end zone with a minute left in the game. I expect a much sharper team this week.

The Bears haven’t had any type of home-field advantage since the start of last season, and they could be in for another double-digit loss.

The spread (line) in Las Vegas is currently at six points, thanks to our friends at which means the four points on offer here in Australia is good value.

BEST BET: Vikings by over four points: $1.94

MULTI OF THE WEEK: Combining all of the below for $7.03 at Sportsbet

Falcons to win: $1.64

Cowboys to win by 1-13 points: $2.21

Vikings over by four points: $1.94


NFL week eight odds:

Washington Redskins $2.18 (+2.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals $ 1.72 (-2.5)

Oakland Raiders $1.92 (+-0.0) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1.92 (+-0.0)

New England Patriots $1.41 (-5.0) @ Buffalo Bills $3 (+5.0)

Arizona Cardinals $2.37 (+3.0) @ Carolina Panthers $1.62 (-3.0)

New York Jets $ 1.66 (-3.0) @ Cleveland Browns 2.27 (+3.0)

Detroit Lions $2.13 (+2.5) @ Houston Texans 1.75 (-2.5)

Kansas City Chiefs $1.73 (-2.5) @ Indianapolis Colts $2.16 (+2.5)

Seattle Seahawks 1.74 (-2.5) @ New Orleans Saints 2.14 (+2.5)

San Diego Chargers $2.84 (+4.5) @ Denver Broncos 1.45 (-4.5)

Green Bay Packers $2.33 (+3.0) @ Atlanta Falcons $1.64 (-3.0)

Philadelphia Eagles $2.75 (+4.0) @ Dallas Cowboys $1.48 (-4.0)

Minnesota Vikings $1.50 (-4.0) @ Chicago Bears $2.69 (+4.0)

Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*

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