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I'm a half-game below .500 after a 2-1 record in Week 7, but that mark would be flipped if the Bills could score in the red zone. Sigh. Here are my best bets for Week 8.
The first bet I made on this week's slate was Bills -2.5, and I'm happy to play it at this number, too. It's a bit odd for this line to suggest two remotely similar teams; Buffalo might be a sloppy 5-2, but New England is a disastrous 2-4 and only getting worse by the week.
Cam Newton hasn't been the same since his positive COVID-19 diagnosis forced him to miss Week 4. He's gone 26-of-40 for 255 yards and five interceptions along with two fumbles and a rushing touchdown in the two games since, while the Patriots' offense has mustered just 28 points in its last three weeks combined.
The Bills' defense is vulnerable, but not if Newton can't rediscover his magic. Conversely, Buffalo's offense is versatile enough to exploit New England's thin front and underperforming secondary in the same way the 49ers did a week ago. This line shouldn't be this tight.
Pick: Bills -3.5
The Titans have been one of the most enigmatic teams to bet all season. They've won five of six contests but have covered in just two of them, and one of those needed a stunning comeback to force overtime. Now, a week after losing their first game of the season, they face a potential trap game against a frisky Bengals squad.
Cincinnati was a late touchdown away from upsetting the Browns as a home underdog a week ago, extending an impressive 8-2-2 run against the spread as a 'dog. The Bengals' passing attack has also been surprisingly effective in four of the last five weeks, which could be a problem for a struggling Titans secondary.
Tennessee is the better team, but both clubs should put up points Sunday, and Cincinnati has a habit of keeping every game close in the end. Expect Joe Burrow and Co. to do it again this week in a dangerous spot for the Titans.
Pick: Bengals +6.5
Did everyone suddenly jump off the Colts bandwagon and forget to tell me? Indianapolis wasn't at its best in the last two weeks before the bye, but this is still a top-five team by nearly every metric - DVOA (No. 5), PFF team grades (No. 5), net yards per play (No. 2) - with a top-tier defense and an offense that showed immense upside in a comeback win over the Bengals.
Comparatively, the Lions beat the Jaguars and Falcons - two of the league's worst teams - and still needed a miracle comeback against Atlanta. That was enough for oddsmakers to price this matchup under a field goal, which is dramatically underselling how complete Indianapolis' team is.
Detroit has leaned on its run game to produce points in recent weeks, while the Colts are tied for the fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (4) and are among the best in rushing yards allowed per game (88.3) and yards per carry (3.5). This isn't a matchup to get cute with; lay the short price on the better and more rested team.
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.