2022 Week 8 NFL Picks

Pick of the Week

MIN -3.5 vs. ARZ

High Confidence Picks


Medium Confidence Picks

DAL -9.5 vs. CHI

HOU +3 vs. TEN

ATL -4 vs. CAR

TB -1 vs. BAL

Low Confidence Picks

BUF -11 vs. GB

PIT +10.5 @ PHI

CLE +3 vs. CIN

NO +1.5 vs. LV

NYJ +2.5 vs. NE

SEA -3 vs. NYG

JAX -2.5 vs. DEN

WAS +3 @ IND

No Confidence Picks

LAR +1 vs. SF

DET +3.5 vs. MIA

Upset Picks

HOU +130 vs. TEN

NYJ +120 vs. NE

NO +105 vs. LV

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

Cincinnati Bengals (4-3) at Cleveland Browns (2-5)

The Browns are just 2-5, but they aren’t getting blown out, with all but one of their losses coming by a field goal or less. Their point differential is -18, which is better than their record would suggest, and they are even better in schedule adjusted efficiency, ranking 16th, just slightly above average. Despite that, they are underdogs of a full field goal at home. However, they might deserve to be, for a couple reasons. For one, the Browns are missing several key players due to injury, most notably guard Wyatt Teller, arguably their most important offensive player, as well as top cornerback Denzel Ward and talented starting tight end David Njoku, while their top linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is questionable after not practicing all week. 

On top of that, the Browns are facing the Bengals, who seem like one of the better teams in the league, despite their record. Like most of the Browns’ losses, all of the Bengals’ losses were close games that they easily could have won, all decided by three points or fewer, as opposed to three of their four wins coming by double digits. Their +41 point differential is 4th best in the NFL and in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency, they rank 4th, about 5 points above average and above the Browns.

The Bengals have some injury concerns as well, most notably the absence of stud wide receiver JaMarr Chase, but they have enough depth at that position to compensate and they are otherwise relatively healthy, leading to them having a four point edge over the Browns in my roster rankings. That still suggests that we’re getting some line value with the Browns, but it’s not enough for the Browns to be worth betting. That could change if Owusu-Koramoah ends up playing and the line stays at a full field goal, but that seems unlikely and, even in that case, I might keep this as a low confidence pick. I will update this pick if I end up betting on the Browns, who should be the pick for pick ‘em purposes either way.

Cincinnati Bengals 24 Cleveland Browns 23

Pick against the spread: Cleveland +3

Confidence: Low

New England Patriots at New York Jets: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

New England Patriots (3-4) at New York Jets (5-2)

The Jets are off to a surprising 5-2 start and, while they probably aren’t as good as that record suggests, they are probably still better than they are being given credit for, as 2.5-point home underdogs against the Patriots. It’s surprising that their record is as good as it is, but it’s not surprising to see the Jets be significantly improved from a year ago, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. 

The Jets’ offense is underwhelming, ranking 29th in schedule adjusted efficiency, and the injuries are starting to pile up on that side of the ball as well, missing starting wide receiver Corey Davis, impressive rookie running back Breece Hall, and talented starting right tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker, among other lesser absences, but their defense has jumped from 31st in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency a year ago to now ranking 6th, about three points above average.

That defensive performance is no fluke, as they are significantly more talented on that side of the ball this season, with several key players bouncing back from injuries (Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams) and other key players being added in the draft (Ahmad Gardner) and free agency this off-season (DJ Reed, Kwon Alexander). My roster rankings have their defense about three points above average, in line with schedule adjusted defensive efficiency and, even with their offensive issues, I still have them just a point below average overall in my roster rankings. 

The Patriots are about a point above average in my roster rankings, so they’re the slightly better team, but not enough to justify them being favored by this many points on the road. My calculated line is even, with the Jets having a slightly better chance to win than the Patriots. We’re not getting enough points with the Jets for them to be worth betting unless we get a full field goal with them, but they should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes either way and the money line is a good value at +120, as the Jets should be considered no worse than 50/50 to win this game outright.

New York Jets 17 New England Patriots 16 Upset Pick +120

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +2.5

Confidence: Low

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

New York Giants (6-1) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

The Giants are a surprising 6-1, but all of their wins have come by one score and they have been lucky to win some of them. Despite their record, they actually rank just 22nd in schedule adjusted efficiency, about two points below average, and my roster rankings have them even worse, about four points below average, in large part due to injuries piling up. This week, the Giants will be without right tackle Evan Neal, tight end Daniel Bellinger, and edge defenders Azeez Ojulari and Oshane Ximines all out this week, among other long-term injured players like cornerback Aaron Robinson and wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

The Seahawks also have a surprising record at 4-3 and that record is more in line with how they’ve played than the Giants’ record, as the Seahawks rank 17th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about a half point below average. The Seahawks probably won’t be quite as good on offense going forward as they’ve been thus far, overachieving by ranking 9th in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency, while their defensive issues, 28th in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency, are more likely to continue than their offensive success is. 

However, even with the Seahawks’ likely offensive regression taken into account, the Seahawks still rank two points higher in my roster rankings than the Giants, about two points below average. Given that, we are getting some line value with the Seahawks as field goal home underdogs, with my calculated line favoring the Seahawks by four. It’s not enough for the Seahawks to be worth betting, but they should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes.

Seattle Seahawks 27 New York Giants 22

Pick against the spread: Seattle -3

Confidence: Low

Las Vegas Raiders at New Orleans Saints: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

Las Vegas Raiders (2-4) at New Orleans Saints (2-5)

It’s unfortunate that these teams are playing this week, as I think both are underrated and significantly better than their record. The Saints are 2-5, but their primary issue has been the turnover margin, ranking dead last in the NFL at -10, which fortunately for them is not predictive week-to-week. They’re still slightly below average in schedule adjusted efficiency, ranking 21st, about 1.5 points below average, but that is better than their record would suggest. The Raiders, meanwhile, are 2-4 despite a +13 point differential and rank 11th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 1.5 points below average.

This line, favoring the Raiders by 1.5 in New Orleans, suggests about a four point difference between these two teams, which is a little much, so we’re getting some line value with the Saints, but it’s not nearly enough to bet on them with any confidence. The money line at +105 is a better value because the Saints should be considered at least 50/50 to win this game, but against the spread this is a low confidence pick.

New Orleans Saints 28 Las Vegas Raiders 27 Upset Pick +105

Pick against the spread: New Orleans +1.5

Confidence: Low

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

San Francisco 49ers (3-4) at Los Angeles Rams (3-3)

The 49ers added Christian McCaffrey to an already talented roster last week and figure to feature him in something resembling a full role this week, giving the 49ers among the most top level talent in the league, but they also have had consistent injury problems all season, which, along with underwhelming quarterback play, is why they sit at 3-4. Players like edge defender Nick Bosa, tight end George Kittle, left tackle Trent Williams, and safety Jimmie Ward have all missed time with injury and have since returned this season, but this week they’ll be without top wide receiver Deebo Samuel, talented linebacker Dre Greenlaw, stud defensive linemen Arik Armstead, and starting cornerback Emmanuel Mosley.

The Rams have also disappointed in part due to injury, but they do get some reinforcements out of the bye week, with wide receiver Van Jefferson and center Brian Allen returning to action. I still have the 49ers a point and a half better than the Rams overall, which ordinarily would give us some line value with the Rams as 1-point home underdogs, but the Rams probably won’t have much homefield advantage in this game against the 49ers, whose fans outnumber the Rams significantly and who will travel for this game. With that in mind, this line is about right, but I’m still taking the Rams, if only for a no confidence pick, because they’ve had a little bit more time to prepare.

Los Angeles Rams 24 San Francisco 49ers 23

Pick against the spread: LA Rams +1

Confidence: None

Washington Commanders at Indianapolis Colts: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

Washington Commanders (3-4) at Indianapolis Colts (3-3-1)

Both of these teams acquired veteran quarterbacks this off-season, with the Commanders taking Carson Wentz off the Colts hands so they could replace him with ex-Falcon Matt Ryan, but neither quarterback will play in this game, with Wentz injured and Ryan getting benched for young, inexperienced backup Sam Ehlinger. Wentz’ replacement Taylor Heinicke isn’t a significant drop off though, while Ehlinger has no regular season experience and should be considered the more questionable quarterback. Despite that, the Colts are favored by a full field goal at home. My calculated line has the Colts as 2-point favorites, so we’re getting some line value with the Commanders, although not nearly enough to justify a bet. The Commanders should be the right side, but for pick ‘em purposes only.

Indianapolis Colts 20 Washington Commanders 19

Pick against the spread: Washington +3

Confidence: Low

Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

Denver Broncos (2-5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) in London

Normally the rule of thumb in London games is to pick the favorite, as the better team tends to be better suited to play in a weird situation in a London game, covering the spread at a 63.4% rate all-time. In this case, that would be the Jaguars, who are favored by 2.5 points, but we aren’t getting much line value with them, as my calculated line is Jacksonville -2. I am still taking the Jaguars for pick ‘em purposes because they are slight favorites and have familiarity with playing in London more than any franchise, but there’s not nearly enough here for the Jaguars to be worth betting.

Jacksonville Jaguars 20 Denver Broncos 17

Pick against the spread: Jacksonville -2.5

Confidence: Low

Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)

The Eagles are the league’s last remaining undefeated team, but they’ve been very reliant on the turnover margin, leading the league by far with a +12 turnover margin. That’s a concern because turnovers are not really predictive week-to-week and, in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency, which is much more predictive, the Eagles rank just 5th, ranking 13th, 7th, and 25th on offense, defense, and special teams respectively. That’s still impressive, but it’s not as impressive as their record and puts them outside the top few teams in the league.

The Eagles are also in a tough spot here having to turn around again and play on Thursday Night Football next week. Favorites cover at just a 42.3% rate before Thursday Night Football and the Eagles, favored by 10.5, could easily take their foot off the gas in the second half and allow a backdoor cover, even if they do manage to get a big lead. We’re not getting much line value with the Steelers, with my calculated line having them as 10 point underdogs, but that would change if TJ Watt ends up making his return this week from a 6-game absence, which seems more likely than not at this point. If that happens and this line doesn’t shift drastically, I will strongly consider a bet on the Steelers.

Philadelphia Eagles 26 Pittsburgh Steelers 17

Pick against the spread: Pittsburgh +10.5

Confidence: Low

Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

Chicago Bears (3-4) at Dallas Cowboys (5-2)

The Bears pulled the huge upset against the Patriots last week, but they still rank just 25th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 4 points below average, and my roster rankings have them even worse, about 6 points below average. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are 5-2 despite inconsistent quarterback play, led by a defense that ranks 1st in schedule adjusted efficiency, and they should get a better game from Dak Prescott this week, in his second game back from a thumb injury that he suffered week one and that cost him 5 games.

This line is still pretty high, despite the Bears’ win last week, favoring the Cowboys by 9.5 points, but my calculated line has the Cowboys favored by even more, at 11, and the Cowboys are in a good spot as well, ahead of a bye, as home favorites of 6 points or more cover at a 63.3% rate before a bye. The Cowboys are worth at least a small bet at 9.5 and if Cowboys’ top safety Malik Hooker, who is highly questionable after not practicing all week, ends up playing and this line doesn’t move up, I will likely increase this to a high confidence pick.

Dallas Cowboys 27 Chicago Bears 13

Pick against the spread: Dallas -9.5

Confidence: Medium