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NFL Week 8 Picks Straight Up – Predicted Upsets and Underdogs Showing Value

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Updated Oct 30, 2021 · 7:17 AM PDT

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
  • The Seahawks can’t win without Russell Wilson and we don’t see that changing against the underdog Jaguars
  • Overdue for a victory, can the Detroit Lions get off the schneid against the Philadelphia Eagles?
  • Last week’s picks went 2-1, winning 2.68 units and bringing our season total to +14.27 (11-8 record)

In the spirit of Halloween, our Week 7 picks were a winning treat. And yet I can’t help but feel tricked by the Seattle Seahawks, who once again had the ball late with a chance to drive for the win and promptly went backwards, ruining our shot at a perfect week.

Looking at the lines for Week 8, it should be a lot more competitive than last weekend’s action that saw an average margin of victory of 18.6 points heading into the Monday Nighter. But while the score of that sloppy, rainy affair was close, it was clear the side we backed had no interest in actually winning that game. Now’s our chance to get some revenge on those cowardly Seahawks, who are favored at home. Naturally, their opponent leads off this week’s upset picks.

NFL Week 8 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Seattle Seahawks SEA -4 +165 Jaguars 1.5
Philadelphia Eagles vs Detroit Lions PHI -3.5 +164 Lions 1.5

Odds as of October 29th at DraftKings and FanDuel.

Seahawks Can’t Run Away From Issues

Still searching for their first win with Geno Smith, oddsmakers think the Seattle Seahawks are poised to get it this weekend as four-point favorites over Jacksonville at home. Having watched this team closely over the last two weeks, I heartily disagree with that prediction.

It’s one thing for Pete Carroll to play ultra-conservative football when he has Russell Wilson to bail him out: when you’re running the ball into eight man boxes then asking Smith to convert on third and long, that’s just called losing football.

Seattle hasn’t had a Legion of Boom level defense in over five years. They need to score points to win games, yet their offensive approach against the Saints was to ignore their top two weapons of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and instead, keep running the ball into the teeth of one of the league’s best defenses.

We’re not going to confuse 1-5 Jacksonville with the Saints, but the Jags are alright at stopping the run. They’re tied for fourth in the league, holding opponents to just 3.8 yards per carry. The Jags have also held four of their last five opponents under 100 yards, with the one exception being the man nobody can stop, Derrick Henry in Week 5. We won’t talk about Jacksonville’s dreadful pass defense: 1) because that doesn’t help my argument and 2) because the Seahawks aren’t going to test it anyway.

The Jaguars have their own coaching issues to worry about too, but right now the only thing that matters is Trevor Lawrence’s development. And so far, that’s going well. The first overall pick has rebounded from some rough early outings and is showing improvements every week. Before the bye, he lead the Jaguars to their first win in 20 games, ending the NFL’s second longest losing streak in history.

James Robinson is also running the ball like one of the best backs in the league, so either way, the Jags should be able to move the ball against this uninspiring Seahawks D.

What makes this upset pick especially fun is the Darrell Bevell revenge factor. The longtime Seahawks scapegoat is now the Jaguars offensive coordinator and yet the conservative offense he was blamed for continues in Seattle. Think he’ll use this Sunday to make a statement about aggressive offense against his former team?

No Lion, Detroit Gets Their First Win

The 2-5 Philadelphia Eagles are not playing well, but they’re a favorite by default this week, getting 3.5 points in Detroit against the winless Lions.

It’s especially funny to make this pick right after bashing Pete Carroll, because Dan Campbell’s approach to the game couldn’t be more the opposite. He’s still looking for his first win as Lions head coach, but it certainly hasn’t come for lack of trying.

Campbell knows Detroit’s talent doesn’t stack up to the rest of the league, but his team has stayed in plenty of games by staying aggressive. If he continues that approach and uses all four downs against this Eagles D, Jared Goff and company will rarely come off the field. Philly’s two-high defense is so focused on stopping the deep shot, they’re allowing offenses to do everything else quite easily.

The Lions pass defense is abysmal, so bettors may be thinking that the Eagles offense can cover this spread singlehandedly. But if you’re only familiar with Jalen Hurts from his stellar fantasy performances, then do I have some news for you: he’s not a good passer. At all.

Since an electric Week 1 game against the lowly Falcons D, most of Hurts stats have come in garbage time. He can’t seem to connect with his receivers until the Eagles are down 20 in the fourth quarter. And sure, if there’s one team you’d like your chances of pulling off a late comeback against, it’d be these unlucky Lions. But given how hungry Campbell seems to have his team for that first W, I don’t think Detroit will surrender a lead when they get one on Sunday.

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