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BETTING

NFL Week 8 Best Bets: Broncos & Chiefs Will Deliver Fireworks

There are some key division games in the NFL’s Week 8 schedule, including Vikings-Packers and Chiefs-Broncos. We also have an AFC matchup in Pittsburgh where the Steelers and Jaguars enter with only 2 losses each.

We make our best bets for Week 8 below, and you can always find these bets at the top-rated sportsbooks.

Picks Summary


Minnesota Is Still Better Than Green Bay

The Minnesota Vikings may only be 3-4, but after playing the top 3 Super Bowl contenders tough, including an upset win over the 49ers on Monday night, you have to say the team is in a much better spot than the Green Bay Packers (2-4).

If we are just keeping it real, the Packers are a 46-yard field goal from the Saints away from potentially being 1-5 with only a Week 1 win over the Bears, a team they always beat, to show for in 2023.

But with Minnesota playing an emotional game on Monday night, the familiarity of division games, and a betting public that still sees value in Green Bay, the spread has been jumping wildly on this one. We have already seen the Vikings go from a 2.5-point underdog to a 1.5-point favorite to a pick ‘em at other books.

That is why we are going with the Vikings to win the game with the best moneyline odds we can find.


Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

Sunday, October 29, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Lambeau Field


A Signature Win for Kevin O’Connell

While the 2022 Vikings had no shortage of exciting wins, it is hard to say the team had any signature wins that left no doubt who the better team was. They needed a lot to go right in a 33-point comeback against the Colts, who had Jeff Saturday as the head coach. They needed the most egregious fumble in the NFL in over 40 years in Buffalo to steal that game last season after they were stopped at the goal line on 4th down.

But on Monday night against the 7-point favorite 49ers, Kevin O’Connell looked like a coach who embraced the underdog role as his team did not have Justin Jefferson against the most talented roster in the league. Even without left tackle Trent Williams and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, the 49ers are loaded and have a better roster than Minnesota.

But the Vikings led wire to wire and picked off Brock Purdy twice in the 4th quarter to turn the 49ers away. In fact, the Vikings forced the 49ers into as many turnovers (3) as they had in the first 6 games combined this season. It was a victorious night for defensive coordinator Brian Flores as it is hard to imagine this defense doing this to a high-caliber offense last year.

It was also a subliminal night for Kirk Cousins, who was previously 2-10 on Monday nights. This time, he turned in one of the best games of his career with 378 yards, 2 touchdowns, no sacks taken on 45 throws, and his only interception was a play where the defensive back ripped the ball away from his receiver. Cousins was excellent without Jefferson, making full use of his other talented receivers like rookie Jordan Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson.

It was a rare sight in the Cousins era in Minnesota that the Vikings looked like a competent team on both sides of the ball against a real contender. After starting 0-3, the Vikings are 3-1 with only a 27-20 loss to the Chiefs, the defending champs.

Green Bay Keeps Fading

Meanwhile, things continue to get worse for Green Bay and Jordan Love in his 1st season as starter. How do you know the Aaron Rodgers era is over? The Packers have lost their last 2 games despite the team not allowing 20 points in either contest. That has not happened in Green Bay since 2005 when Rodgers was a rookie and Brett Favre was laboring through his worst season.

The Packers continue to start games poorly, going scoreless in the 1st half in Denver before rallying to take a late lead, but the defense gave up a go-ahead field goal. With a chance to get his own field goal to win the game, Love threw an inaccurate pass to Christian Watson that injured his knee, and then he threw a prayer on 3rd-and-20 that was intercepted to end the game.

Love continues to be terrible as a deep passer and too aggressive for his own good. Love’s 9.4 air yards per throw is the deepest in the league, yet he ranks 24th in yards per attempt (6.5).

Love has thrown into a tight window on 25.4% of his passes, the highest rate in the league according to Next Gen Stats. It is probably a minor miracle that he has not thrown more than the 7 interceptions he has.

With the way Minnesota is not afraid to blitz quarterbacks, Love could be in store for some quick decisions on Sunday. Right now, he is not making enough good decisions and safe throws to move the offense. Love ranks 24th in passing success rate (40.9%). Even in his worst season last year, Rodgers was still at 45.1% in that stat last season.

Cousins’ Experience in Green Bay

Not only is Cousins outplaying Love this season, but he has experience on his side in this rivalry. Despite some bad showings in national games, Cousins is a respectable 5-5-1 as a starter against the Packers in his career. That’s respectable since he was usually facing Aaron Rodgers in his best years.

But in the last meeting at Green Bay in 2022, Cousins threw an early pick-6 and the Packers also had a 105-yard kick return touchdown to take an early 14-3 lead. Minnesota never recovered and lost 41-17.

But Cousins has won in Green Bay before (28-22 in 2020), and he threw for 425 yards and 4 touchdowns in a game that ended in a 29-29 overtime tie in 2018. Overall, he has 22 touchdowns to 8 interceptions against the Packers.

This season, the Green Bay defense is nothing special, ranked below average in most key categories. The Packers have not created multiple takeaways in a game since Week 1 against the Bears. That’s also the only game this season where Green Bay scored over 24 points.

We have already seen the Lions come into Green Bay and win 34-20 in a blowout. The Vikings may not be able to play that well, but if they can bring some of the intensity and intelligence they showed against the 49ers to this game, then they should be the better team even without Jefferson.

The Pick

For all the talk about Minnesota’s regression in close games this year, it is Green Bay that leads the NFL with 3 blown leads in the 4th quarter, including the loss in Denver last week. It would have probably been 4 blown leads if the Saints made that late field goal in Week 3.

Every Minnesota game has been within one score in the 4th quarter this year, but that gives the Vikings a 3-4 record in close games with 1 blown lead so far. The Packers are 1-3 in close games, so the team with the bigger issue here is the home team.

It would be the most Cousins thing ever to shred the 49ers and throw a pick parade in Green Bay the next week, but it’s also a Cousins thing to be sitting at 4-4 after Week 8. He is Mr. .500 after all. Let’s go with the Vikings to stack wins for your NFL picks.

NFL Pick: Vikings ML (-110) at Bet365


Let’s Try That Over Again in Chiefs-Broncos

We just saw the Chiefs take care of the Broncos in a 19-8 win in Week 6. Now 17 days later, the Chiefs will look for a 17th-straight win over their AFC West rival.

The Chiefs are an 8-point road favorite with a total of 46 points. The Broncos looked awful in that last game, but we are trying to make that over happen this time.


Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Sunday, October 29, 2023 – 04:25 PM EDT at Empower Field at Mile High


Why the Chiefs Will Score More Than 19 Points This Time

First, the Chiefs scoring fewer than 20 points in any game with Patrick Mahomes is noteworthy as it rarely happens. But that 19-8 win over Denver was rough to watch, and not all the unpleasantries came from the Denver side.

The Chiefs left points on the field as they almost seemed to be toying with Denver that night:

  • Mahomes threw a bad interception in the red zone in the 1st quarter.
  • The Chiefs tried a Tush Push from a field goal formation with tight end Noah Gray on a 4th-and-2 instead of kicking a short field goal or letting Mahomes and the offense go for it.
  • In the 3rd quarter, the Chiefs tried to run Kadarius Toney on a 3rd-and-1, and he was stuffed for a 2-yard loss, leading to a punt.

Denver played poorly enough to let the Chiefs get away with these mistakes, but the Chiefs need to be better than this. They also will probably want to make up for last week when they only scored once in the 2nd half against the Chargers after a dynamic opening half where Mahomes passed for over 320 yards.

Also, in the 5 games that Mahomes has finished in Denver in his career, the totals have been 51, 50, 59, 52, and 62 points. It is in Arrowhead where the Broncos usually sputter badly. The Chiefs’ offense travels anywhere.

Why the Broncos Will Score More Than 8 Points This Time

This one is self-explanatory, though it cannot be understated how awful Russell Wilson was in Week 6. He finished with 95 passing yards on 22 attempts, and he doubled his interception total for the season with a pair of picks. It was only the 3rd game in Wilson’s career where he did not pass for 100 yards, and he also took 4 sacks that night.

Wilson was much better against Kansas City last year as a member of the Broncos when he had 469 yards and 4 touchdown passes in the 2 games. But clearly, the Kansas City defense is playing better than ever. In fact, the Chiefs are the only team to not allow more than 21 points in any game this season.

The Chiefs intercepted Justin Herbert twice and sacked him 5 times last week, the first game in Herbert’s career where he had that many sacks and picks.

We have seen the Broncos struggle at home to score under Sean Payton this year. They had to squeeze out a 19-17 win over Green Bay last week, and the Packers are not nearly as good defensively as the Chiefs.

But division games can be weird, and no one expected a shootout between these teams last year after the Chiefs went up 27-0 in Denver and had to hang on 34-28. The Broncos have to be sick of the losing streak to this team, and they did bring in Payton and Wilson specifically to win games just like this one.

That does not mean the Broncos are going to get the job done, but scoring at least 20 points should be a goal in this game. The offense has talent, but they need to put things together. Hopefully it will look a lot different than the 19-8 game did.

The Pick

In a season where few things are making sense, you almost have to go against logic and expectations at this time. So, instead of counting on another low-scoring cover by the Chiefs, let’s go with something more exciting and unexpected like a 27-20 score that hits the over and looks closer to the matchups last year when Denver’s poor offense found some success against the Chiefs.

Maybe the Broncos can even flirt with an upset, and you know you are not beating the Chiefs with a low number of points. But even if the Chiefs explode on offense and put up another 31 points, we’ll trust Denver to get at least 17 this time to hit the over that way.

NFL Pick: Over 46 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


Pittsburgh and Slow Starts

The Steelers (4-2) and Jaguars (5-2) have a couple of the best records in the AFC, but it is understandable why no one is really talking them up as Super Bowl contenders right now. While you could build an impressive roster between the 2 teams, individually they have shortcomings that would not make you trust them to knock off a team like Kansas City in January.

The Steelers are a 2.5-point home underdog, a situation they are getting used to being in this season. But one thing they are still not used to doing is starting games well on offense. We are looking at a special game prop for this matchup and betting that the Steelers will fail to gain a first down on their opening drive.


Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, October 29, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Acrisure Stadium


Blame Canada

The constant in Pittsburgh’s offense to explain why this unit rarely produces has been offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Almost on cue, the Steelers came out of their bye week and immediately went 3-and-out on their opening drive against the Rams.

The only surprise was to find out it was just the 3rd 3-and-out by the Steelers to start a game in 6 games this season. However, that is still a high rate, and these results are not pretty.

  • Week 1 vs. 49ers: 3-and-out punt
  • Week 2 vs. Browns: Interception on 3rd play (no first downs)
  • Week 3 at Raiders: 3-and-out punt
  • Week 4 at Texans: Interception on 8th play (2 first downs)
  • Week 5 vs. Ravens: Punt after 6th play (1 first down)
  • Week 7 at Rams: 3-and-out punt

While a couple of the drives ended with Kenny Pickett throwing an interception, the pick against the Browns occurred on 3rd down on the 3rd play of the drive, so that technically was a first drive without a first down, meaning this prop has hit in 4-of-6 games for Pittsburgh this year.

Jaguars Are a Good Defense

The Jacksonville defense may lack the household names on Pittsburgh’s defense, but it has performed a little more consistently this year than the Steelers have.

The Jaguars lead the NFL with 16 takeaways, so those Pickett interceptions could become a problem in this game. Jacksonville is also ranked No. 7 on 3rd down, allowing offenses to convert only 35.4% of the time.

But the Jaguars have done a very good job on opening drives on defense. Jacksonville has forced a 3-and-out on 5-of-7 opening drives this season. That includes stopping Josh Allen (Bills) and Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) on opening drives.

This is Kenny Pickett in a Matt Canada offense that is vanilla as they come, especially on opening drives at home.

The Pick

We are taking a chance with this one as the implied odds only give it a 33.3% (1-in-3) chance of hitting. But given how bad the Pittsburgh offense is at the start of games and how stout the Jaguars have been this season, it feels like a good value bet to take advantage of the matchup this week.

NFL Pick: Steelers First Drive to Achieve First Down – No (+200) at Caesars Sportsbook

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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