Week 8 of the 2013 NFL season is about to begin, making this an ideal time to get your last-minute bets in on the Thursday Night Football contest and consider wagering on Sunday's slate of games.
If you aren’t sure which way to lean, don’t fret. I have you covered with a complete list of the latest lines, my picks for each matchup and more.
Make sure you take a look at the highlighted games below the table for a list of can’t-miss picks in Week 8.
|Away Team||Home Team||Line||Prediction (ATS)|
|Carolina Panthers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||CAR -7||Panthers|
|San Francisco 49ers||Jacksonville Jaguars||SF -16||49ers|
|Dallas Cowboys||Detroit Lions||DET -3||Cowboys|
|New York Giants||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI -5.5||Eagles|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Cleveland Browns||KC -8||Chiefs|
|Buffalo Bills||New Orleans Saints||NO -11||Saints|
|Miami Dolphins||New England Patriots||NE -6.5||Dolphins|
|New York Jets||Cincinnati Bengals||CIN -6.5||Jets|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Oakland Raiders||PIT -2.5||Raiders|
|Washington Redskins||Denver Broncos||DEN -12||Redskins|
|Atlanta Falcons||Arizona Cardinals||ARI -3||Cardinals|
|Green Bay Packers||Minnesota Vikings||GB -9.5||Packers|
|Seattle Seahawks||St. Louis Rams||SEA -10.5||Seahawks|
OAKLAND RAIDERS (+2.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
Fading the Raiders may have been a wise move for much of the 2013 season, but it’s time to jump off that train for this home matchup against the Steelers.
Oakland is 2-1 straight up in games played at the Black Hole, a stark contrast to its 0-3 record away from the Northern California digs. The only loss came when backup Matt Flynn was filling in for starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who was out with a concussion against the Washington Redskins.
Which team will cover?
Pittsburgh is just 1-2 away from Heinz Field, with the only win coming two weeks ago during a short trip to beat a mediocre New York Jets team that managed just six points. It’s going to be much different when the Steelers travel across the country to play in one of the NFL’s toughest stadiums.
The Raiders' steadily improving defense was able to heal up during a much-needed bye in Week 7, which also afforded the offensive line time to get its act together and offer more protection to Pryor and the team’s running backs.
As long as the Silver and Black can get a few critical stops on defense and protect the signal-caller, there should be no issues outright winning at home. Pittsburgh will certainly provide a challenge, but take the points and watch Oakland eek out a win.
Carolina Panthers (-6.5) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Panthers are taking a short road trip to take on the collapsing Bucs in an NFC South showdown. It’s a lopsided affair that should feature a double-digit spread, but instead Carolina is conceding less than a touchdown to the beleaguered opponent.
Oddsmakers are going to regret that decision when fans hammer the chalk in this Thursday Night Football showdown. The Panthers are one of the hottest teams in football and should only look more impressive after they push above .500 and move their winning streak to three straight games.
The defense has been leading the way in Carolina, and it seems that their job will be a bit easier on short rest. Tampa Bay stud running back Doug Martin is out for this contest with a shoulder injury, and unproven backup Mike James will attempt to navigate the lanes and find running room.
He has his work cut out for him, as the Panthers are conceding just 84.5 yards per game on the ground. It won’t get any easier through the air, and it won’t be pretty if rookie quarterback Mike Glennon is tasked to air it out against a secondary that is tough to best.
With Carolina allowing just 217.7 yards per game to opposing passers, it is going to be a long day for the Bucs offense.
Factor in that the Panthers have won their past two games by a combined 40 points and have a renewed focus on offense with quarterback Cam Newton leading the way, and you are looking at a recipe for a blowout.
Seattle Seahawks (-10.5) over ST. LOUIS RAMS
The Seahawks may have the easiest matchup of Week 8, as their elite defense clashes with an offense led by replacement quarterback Kellen Clemens.
A stat that will likely tell the story of this meeting is turnovers. Seattle has forced a league-leading 19 takeaways over the first seven games of the season and will undoubtedly add a handful more to that total this week.
During his unspectacular career, Clemens has thrown 13 interceptions—compared to seven touchdowns—and fumbled away the ball eight times. He’ll likely account for at least two turnovers himself and possibly allow the opposing defense to put some points on the board with a pick-six or fumble-touchdown.
When the Seahawks do have the ball, they will be looking to run the ball early and often. Marshawn Lynch is primed for a big day, as the Beast Mode running back is staring down a defensive front that is allowing opposing rushers to gash them for over 126 yards per game.
Don’t be surprised if this is the blowout of the week and the Seahawks win by two or more touchdowns in a nationally televised contest.