We're already on to Week 8 of the NFL season. In Week 7, we saw some turmoil. None of the big double-digit favorites went down, but we saw Baltimore, Kansas City and San Francisco go down as substantial favorites.
As the season goes on, we have more information on these teams but we also need to consider other factors such as motivational levels and matchups. If results always followed the data, upsets wouldn't exist. Let's take a look at this week's biggest favorites at BetMGM.
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals
We kick things off on Thursday night where the Arizona Cardinals are -300 home favorites against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers will be without Davante Adams as well as Allen Lazard. Adams is arguably the best receiver in football, but his impact might be being overvalued. Green Bay is 6-0 without Adams under current head coach Matt Lafleur, including two games last season where the Packers averaged 33.5 points. Last week, the Browns were ravaged by injury on Thursday night and the public narrative was that they would struggle against Denver. Cleveland won the game. On the other side, the Cardinals are undefeated and we're all waiting for their first loss.
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are -1000 favorites at home against Miami in Week 8. It's hard to make a case against the Bills at home, coming off a bye and before that a loss against the Tennessee Titans. We can say the Dolphins have been playing close games for the most part despite their inability to come out on the winning side. I also think Tua Tagovailoa is getting too much hate. We started his career by comparing him to Justin Herbert, and now people are stacking him up against Deshaun Watson. Not exactly fair. Back to the game, sometimes weird things happen in divisional games and that's about all we could hope for here.
Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets
The Cincinnati Bengals are -550 favorites on the moneyline when they visit the New York Jets on Sunday. I would never tell you to risk your hard-earned money on the Jets, and especially not a Mike White-led Jets team. Let's be honest. If the Jets somehow end up winning this game, it won't be because of anything they did. It'll be because the Bengals flat-out didn't show up. That's not an outlandish concern when you think about how big of a letdown spot this is. Cincinnati just beat divisional rival Baltimore last week and now needs to travel to lifeless Metlife Stadium against a terrible team with a quarterback that doesn't belong in the league. I think the Bengals will be fine, but watch out.
Los Angeles Rams @ Houston Texans
The Los Angeles Rams are -1000 favorites on the road this week against the Houston Texans. It's still unknown who will start at quarterback for the Texans in this game. If Tyrod Taylor returns from injury in time for the game, I'll raise the Texans' win probability from 0.1% to 2.2%. It seems like the Texans' locker room didn't love the trade of Mark Ingram, which is a concern. Any time you're backing a bad team, you at least want to know there isn't a disgruntled locker room. Nevertheless, eventually the Rams will sleep-walk through a game against one of these bad teams. They kind of did last week but survived. Maybe if Taylor plays the Texans can keep it close.
New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers return from their bye week and they are -250 favorites at home against the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick and the Patriots beat the Chargers by a score of 45-0 last year during Herbert's rookie season. I'm interested to see what the mastermind coach has dialed up for the sophomore quarterback in the rematch. We'll learn a lot about how far Herbert has come in this game. On the other side, the Patriots' offense has gotten things going recently. Damien Harris has been great on the ground and the Chargers have one of the league's worst run-defenses. Mac Jones has probably been the best of the rookie quarterbacks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are -225 favorites on the road in a divisional game against the New Orleans Saints. Let's start with the obvious fact that this is a Jameis Winston revenge game. Unfortunately, based on what we saw on Monday night, this Saints' offense is going to have a hard time keeping up with Tom Brady. This team desperately needs Michael Thomas back and probably even more help at receiver. Fortunately, the Saints' defense is the real deal. Hopefully they can keep Brady in check and then maybe Sean Payton dials up some things offensively in a big divisional game.
New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs
Another week, another appearance by the Kansas City Chiefs in this spot. We can't blame oddsmakers for making the Chiefs -500 favorites at home against the New York Giants. However, how can one possibly back these Chiefs? Patrick Mahomes is doing that thing that little kids do where they see how much they can get away with before they get in trouble. He's playing a version of quarterback that we've never seen him or anyone else play in this league and while it could lead to some tremendous plays, it's also led to turnovers and losses this season. He needs to get back to playing structured football and taking what the defense is giving him. The whole world realizes this but I’m not sure Andy Reid is going to put the shackles on his generational quarterback just yet. Kansas City’s defense is a whole other story and even this poor Giants offense should be able to score. If the Chiefs keep it simple on offense and efficiently move the ball, they should win easily. However, they haven’t done that and in turn, their offense has looked almost as bad as their defense the past few weeks.
Here are my rankings for this week's favorites, ranked from most confident to least confident in their ability to win.
1. LA Rams
4. Kansas City
5. Tampa Bay
7. LA Chargers