NFL Odds Week 8: Underdogs That Will Cover Spread

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIOctober 26, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 20:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass in the third quarter during an NFL game against the Chicago Bears at FedExField on October 20, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Week 8 of the NFL season doesn't have the most competitive games, but there are a number of underdogs who will certainly be able to cover the spread.

The first game of this week wasn't the most exciting one to watch.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got demolished 31-13 against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football, showing that some underdogs aren't always smart to bet on in regards to covering the spread.

Still, there are a few teams that will be able to cover the spread, so let's take a look at each of them along with a breakdown of why they will be able to do so.

Note: All betting lines are courtesy of


New York Jets (+6) at Cincinnati Bengals

Date: Sunday, Oct. 27

Time: 4:05 p.m. ET


The New York Jets are a completely different team this season than they were in 2012.  They're already 4-3, and they should be able to play a competitive game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Excluding their strange blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Jets have played in very close games this year.  Their six other contests have been decided by a combined 29 points, or fewer than five points per game.  

The reason the Jets play in such close games is because of their strong defense, especially against the run.  Pro Football Focus (subscription required) has the Jets as the highest-graded run defense at 59.5, with the Kansas City Chiefs in second at just 38.2.

Meanwhile, we can see that Geno Smith is improving as a passer.  He's still thrown 11 interceptions this year, but he's starting to look more comfortable and making better decisions.  He's not a fully developed QB just yet, but he's showing signs that he can be a quality starter down the road.

The Bengals are a great team, but even if they can win this one, it won't be by much.


Miami Dolphins (+7) at New England Patriots

/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Oct. 27

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET


The New England Patriots will likely take the AFC East in 2013, but this divisional rivalry should be a bit closer than most people think.

After starting the year 3-0, the Miami Dolphins have lost their last three games.  After getting blown out by the New Orleans Saints, the Dolphins have lost their last two games by just a combined five points.

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Meanwhile, the Patriots have had a bad habit recently of keeping opponents in the game.  They've split their last four matchups, all of which have been decided by seven or fewer points. In fact, six of their seven games this season have been decided by less than a touchdown, even though they're 5-2 on the year.

The Dolphins have weapons on both sides of the ball who could keep this game close.  Ryan Tannehill, Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline can make people pay through the air, while Brent Grimes and Cameron Wake can blow up plays on defense.

I actually think the Dolphins have a real chance to win this game.  Miami is a playoff-caliber team in the AFC, and a big win against New York could help them turn things around.



Washington Redskins (+13) at Denver Broncos

Date: Sunday, Oct. 27

Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

I know that the Denver Broncos have one of the best offenses in the NFL, but the Washington Redskins should be able to at least keep up with them in this one.

The offense for the Redskins has finally started to turn things around recently, putting up 45 points against the Chicago Bears in Week 7.

The big difference for Washington's recent offensive surge is that Robert Griffin III has started making plays with his legs.  Since coming off of the bye week, he's ran for 161 yards on just 20 carries over the past two games.

The Broncos don't have the strongest defense, either.  They're giving up an average of 28.1 points and an NFL-worst 319.9 passing yards per game.

There's no denying that Peyton Manning and the rest of the Broncos are going to put up huge numbers as well, but it's going to be real hard for them to win by two touchdowns in this one, as the Redskins are continuing to improve as a football team.