Best spot bets for the NFL Week 8 odds: Eagles enter a rare – and rough – schedule spot

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Situational handicapping – or spot betting as it’s more widely known – is one of the most popular methods to find NFL betting value from week to week. 

The most common spot bets are: 1. Letdowns – a team coming off an important matchup and failing to meet the intensity of the previous game. 2. Lookaheads – a team looking past this week’s opposition to a bigger, tougher game the following week. 3. Schedule – a difficult situation in scheduling, such as consecutive road games, short weeks, or extended travels.

Now that you’ve had your crash course in spot bets, let’s see what NFL Week 8 has in store.

LETDOWN SPOT: OAKLAND RAIDERS AT HOUSTON TEXANS (-6.5, 51.5)

Letdown spots aren’t just reserved for teams coming off big wins, they can also impact teams coming off big losses. Houston fell short in its AFC South showdown with Indianapolis last Sunday, a game that had massive implications for the division and potential playoff seeding.

The Texans, who are regulars in our weekly spot bets and was our featured “letdown spot” in Week 7, was dealt a 30-23 loss and allowed Colts QB Jacoby Brissett to dress up as Andrew Luck for Halloween, passing for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Houston allowed the Colts to go 8 for 16 on third downs and gave away 54 yards on 10 penalties – two aspects of the game which have haunted Houston all season.

Enter the Raiders, who could qualify for the schedule spot by playing their fifth straight game away from home (including a trip to London in Week 5 and a bye in Week 6). Oakland has overperformed in the eyes of most, specifically on offense in recent outings.

The Silver and Black are averaging almost 420 yards per game over their last three, putting up 26.3 points per game in that span – a huge jump in efficiency from the team that managed only 18.1 points a contest in 2018. If the Texans are at all hungover from that missed opportunity in Indy, this one could be closer than the near-touchdown spread indicates.

LOOKAHEAD SPOT: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (+5.5, 53.5)

In another twist on conventional spot bets, the floundering Falcons could get caught looking ahead to their Week 9 plans: a bye week. At 1-6, Atlanta is an absolute mess – namely on defense where it allows almost 32 points per game – and the fingers are pointing at head coach Dan Quinn.

The rumblings coming out of Georgia is that Quinn will likely get canned after this Sunday’s home game versus the Seahawks. Not only will that weigh on the head coach, but his staff may be busy getting their resumes ready instead of focusing entirely on Seattle.

A losing stretch impacts the players’ moral as well. And with the way the Falcons are molting (QB Matt Ryan nursing an injured ankle), and with the recent trade of WR Mohamed Sanu and a potential fire sale on the horizon, guys are looking forward to time away from a losing locker room but are also antsy about their future with the team.

In a bit of irony, Quinn’s former club – Seattle – could be the one to deliver his pink slip Sunday.

SCHEDULE SPOT: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT BUFFALO BILLS (-2, 43.5)\

The Eagles enter Orchard Park for their third straight true road game in Week 8 – a rare spot for the 2019 season. Apparently, the schedule makers were counting on the Philadelphia Phillies to be playing for the World Series in October and didn’t want to jam up the area in which both Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field reside. That made the Eagles the only team forced to play three straight roadies this year.

Three teams found themselves in this nasty schedule squeeze in 2018: L.A Rams, New Orleans, and Baltimore. They were a combined 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in those games, playing Under the total in all three. However, Philadelphia has been wretched on the road, going 1-3 ATS as a visitor this season including losing at Minnesota and at Dallas in the first two legs of this trying trifecta.

The Eagles are allowing host teams to blow up the stat sheet with 426.8 yards of offense per game – second-most in the NFL – which has equated to 31.5 points against in those road stops. Quarterback Carson Wentz has been off as the away team, posting a passer rating of just 85.0 on the road (compared to 103.1 at home) and has seven TD passes to four interceptions (compared to six TDs and zero INTs in Philadelphia) in those four road games.

Buffalo boasts the fourth-ranked passing defense in the NFL, giving up only 201.3 yards through the air per contest, and has limited opposing QBs to a passer rating of 70.3 on the season – third lowest in the land.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook

MLB picks and predictions for Opening Day

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It was a long and scary road, but we finally get MLB betting back on Thursday, July 23. Opening Day of the pandemic-shortened 60-game baseball schedule is headlined by a pair of matchups, with the New York Yankees visiting the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers rekindling their rivalry with the San Francisco Giants.

Like we do each MLB season (COVID-19 or not), we’ll be taking a swing at today’s baseball odds and giving our best MLB picks and predictions. Up first: Opening Day 2020.

MLB picks for today

New York Yankees vs Washington Nationals

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was supposed to miss the start of the season back in the spring, but the delay to the 2020 campaign allowed the outfielder to heal up from broken ribs and return to his longball-launching self.

Judge looked great in New York’s warmup games, albeit for a limited number of at-bats. He went 3-for-7 with all three hits leaving the ballpark. And he wasn’t alone, with the Yankees’ other power bats providing plenty of pop around him in the order. He’ll get a chance to go yard again on Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Aaron Judge home run (+210)

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Giants are no strangers to Clayton Kershaw, who has long dominated the Dodgers’ divisional foes. In 49 career appearances against San Francisco, The Claw is 23-12 with a 1.74 ERA and has allowed just 0.71 hits per innings pitched in those starts.

The Giants don’t pose much of an offensive threat, averaging 8.22 hits per game in 2019. San Francisco has managed 45 total hits in its last eight starts against Kershaw – an average of 0.86 hits per inning faced. Given the Dodgers’ ace looked ready for work in his tune-up efforts, we could see him go seven innings or more on Thursday, panning out to a little over six hits for San Fran.

PREDICTION: Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)

Mookie Betts has reportedly landed a whale of a contract extension with the Dodgers after joining the ballclub this offseason via a trade with the Boston Red Sox. And what better way to lock down that deal than an impressive effort on Opening Day.

Betts recorded 313 total bases in 2019 (30th) and 353 in 2018 (fourth). He’s been swinging well in training sessions this offseason: in 27 at-bats during the spring/summer schedule, he has 13 total bases, including two doubles and a home run, while hitting leadoff during Summer Camp. We like that to continue into Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)

Top MLB consensus for today

Want to know who today’s biggest MLB betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top MLB consensus picks.

Opening Day betting card

  • Aaron Judge home run (+210)
  • Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)
  • Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)