We've now entered the halfway point of the season for most clubs and, with the trade deadline approaching, Week 8 is poised to be an extremely pivotal slate for a number of different reasons. On top of assessing various players on the roster before the deadline, we have a number of key matchups that could set the course for division races the rest of the way. Baltimore and Pittsburgh will be duking it out in a critical AFC North head-to-head and the Patriots will try to salvage their season when they head up Buffalo to face the Bills. In the NFC, the ever-competitive NFC West will see if the 49ers can hand Seattle its second-straight loss after starting the year undefeated.
All that makes for an exciting week when looking at these games from a betting perspective. Before we jump into the Week 8 slate, we'll quickly look back at a solid Week 7. I was able to go 12-2 straight up and 9-4-1 ATS. Big wins included picking San Francisco as a straight-up winner over New England, covering with the Giants, and predicting a blowout win by the Chiefs. Tennessee not pulling out the win and the Bills failing to cover were some of the few loss from a generally strong week for us. As we try to build off that, let's kick it off with my locks of the week.
All odds via William Hill Sportsbook.
Who'll cover the spread in Week 8? Pete Prisco, R.J. White and Kenny White join Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to pick every game; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Locks of the Week
Minnesota at Green Bay
Sunday, 1 p.m ET (FOX)
Point spread: Green Bay -6.5
Green Bay has been a cash cow this season, owning a 5-1 ATS record coming into Week 8 and especially beating up on teams that are either at or below .500 (5-0 ATS). The last time these two games squared off was back in Week 1 where they combined for 77 points in a Packers win, marking their third straight victory for both ATS and SU against the Vikings. With Aaron Rodgers and his prolific offense now at Lambeau Field, they can look to build upon their 7-3 ATS record as a home favorite over the last two seasons.
Pick: Green Bay -6.5
Score prediction: Green Bay 33, Minnesota 20
Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Point spread: Tampa Bay -10.5
The Buccaneers are clicking on all cylinders as of late and Tom Brady has been lighting the NFL on fire through the air. They now travel to New York where they'll be a double-digit road favorite against the lowly Giants. Head coach Joe Judge has some familiarity with Brady thanks to their years in New England together, but the Giants don't have the horses to keep up in this one. New York has also struggled at MetLife Stadium, owning an 0-3 ATS record there this season. Over the last five seasons, Tom Brady has covered in 75% of the games he's been a double-digit favorite in and covers 77% of the games he's faced a team that is under .500.
Pick: Tampa Bay -10.5
Score prediction: Tampa Bay 30, New York 13
Atlanta at Carolina
Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET (FOX/NFLN)
Point spread: Carolina -2.5
The Falcons just seem to invent new ways to lose games on a weekly basis, which does make for a fun team to fade. Carolina was able to beat them in Atlanta a few weeks back and Teddy Bridgewater is as solid of a quarterback as they come to place a wager on. He's covered 76% of the games he's started in his career and has been even better after a straight-up loss, which the Panthers will be doing after falling to the Saints last week. Under that circumstance, Bridgewater covers 82% of his games. Expect a nice bounceback for him and the Panthers here.
Pick: Carolina -2.5
Score prediction: Carolina 27, Atlanta 21
L.A. Rams at Miami
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Point spread: L.A. Rams -4
It's a new day in Miami as the Dolphins will officially make the change at quarterback, starting No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa. While this marks a new era for the Dolphins, I don't expect it to begin with a W. Tagovailoa gets the less than desirable task of squaring up against Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams defense that ranks just outside the top 10 in the NFL in DVOA. While some may look at the Rams playing on short rest as a negative, it was actually pretty lucrative for bettors leaning their way last season going 3-0 ATS in that scenario.
Pick: L.A. Rams -4
Score prediction: L.A. Rams 23, Miami 14
New England at Buffalo
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Buffalo -3.5
The Patriots find themselves at a crossroads in their season. At 2-4, they head into Buffalo to take on the first place Bills in a game that could dash their chances of clawing back into the AFC East race. While they haven't given a good reason to lean their way as of late, this feels like a make-or-break scenario that Bill Belichick will have his team ready for. This matchup is also pretty solid for New England as Buffalo's poor run defense plays into one of New England's few strengths offensively. Cam Newton also has a great familiarity with Sean McDermott's defense after seeing in practice every day during their shared time together in Carolina. Take the points and, if you're feeling bold, roll with the moneyline at +170.
Pick: New England +3.5
Score prediction: New England 24, Buffalo 17
Rest of the bunch
N.Y. Jets at Kansas City (-19.5)
Pick: N.Y. Jets +19.5
Score prediction: Kansas City 24, N.Y. Jets 7
Las Vegas at Cleveland (-2.5)
Pick: Las Vegas +2.5
Score prediction: Las Vegas 20, Cleveland 17
Indianapolis (-2.5) at Detroit
Pick: Detroit +2.5
Score prediction: Detroit 24, Indianapolis 16
Pittsburgh at Baltimore (-3.5)
Pick: Pittsburgh +3.5
Score prediction: Baltimore 27, Pittsburgh 24
Tennessee (-6) at Cincinnati
Pick: Cincinnati +6
Score prediction: Tennessee 24, Cincinnati 21
L.A. Chargers (-3) at Denver
Pick: L.A. Chargers -3
Score prediction: L.A. Chargers 20, Denver 16
New Orleans (-4) at Chicago
Pick: New Orleans -4
Score prediction: New Orleans 23, Chicago 17
San Francisco at Seattle (-3)
Pick: Seattle -3
Score prediction: Seattle 24, San Francisco 20
Dallas at Philadelphia
Pick: Eagles -9.5
Score prediction: Eagles 24, Cowboys 14
Against the spread in Week 7: 9-4-1
ATS overall: 47-42-1
Straight up in Week 7: 12-2
SU overall: 60-30-1