NFL Week 8 Computer Predictions: Eagles Look To Take Command of the NFC East

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NFL Pick: Eagles -6.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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The NFL’s Week 8 schedule has several key division games, including a chance for the Eagles to sweep the Commanders in Washington. The best game record-wise is between the Jaguars and Steelers, who are a combined 9-4 with only 2 losses each, in Pittsburgh. Finally, the top 2 picks in the draft meet for the first time as Bryce Young’s Panthers seek a home win against C.J. Stroud’s Texans after both teams enjoyed a bye week.

After examining the NFL computer predictions at Bookmakers Review, we picked out our top spreads or totals for your Week 8 bets at your favorite offshore sportsbooks.

Eagles Start to Separate in NFC East

The Eagles started October needing overtime at home to survive Washington in a 34-31 game in Week 4. But the Eagles were impressive in a 31-17 win over Miami while Washington (3-4) has only looked worse ever since, including a 14-7 loss to the Giants last week.

The Eagles are a 6.5-point road favorite with a total of 43.5 points. We think it’s time for a comfortable win in this series.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Commanders

Sunday, October 29, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at FedEx Field

Week 4 Recap: Eagles 34, Commanders 31 (OT)

Washington was 1 play away from pulling off another huge upset in Philadelphia for the 2nd season in a row. This time, the Commanders would have gotten the job done without a single takeaway as this game had no turnovers from either team. It was a lot of successful offense on both sides, and the Commanders are the only team to rush for over 100 yards against the Philadelphia defense this year.

A lot of that was Sam Howell, who had 40 rushing yards to go along with his 290 passing yards. But the issue with Howell is taking sacks, a stat he is on pace to shatter the record with by taking 97 sacks in a 17-game season. He took 5 sacks against the Eagles, but he delivered on a game-tying drive in the final minutes with a touchdown drive.

The problem was coach Ron Rivera goofed and absolutely should have gone for a 2-point conversion and the win. Instead, he settled for the extra point and overtime, the Commanders went 3-and-out in overtime, and the Eagles won on a 54-yard field goal.

The Commanders have not looked that good on offense since while the Eagles have improved their defense and just traded for Titans safety Kevin Byard.

Philadelphia’s NFC to Lose Again?

After Week 7, it is hard to say the Eagles are not the best team in the NFC again. With the way the Cowboys flopped in a big game with San Francisco, and now the way the 49ers have lost 2 in a row as a considerable favorite against the Browns and Vikings, it is looking like another year with the Eagles favored to go the distance in the NFC.

Philadelphia’s 31-17 win over Miami was impressive for both sides of the ball. Jalen Hurts had a good game, A.J. Brown had another great game, the Brotherly Shove is unstoppable on 4th down, and the defense held that prolific Miami offense to season lows across the board in points, yards, and first downs.

The Eagles were shaky to start the year, and they did blow that double-digit lead against the Jets in a game where Hurts threw 3 interceptions. But if you had to trust a team in the NFC to get to the Super Bowl, it is hard to not pick Philadelphia again.

The Pick

What stands out to me is that Hurts had little problem finding Brown wide open against this Washington defense, and Brown just tied the NFL record with his 5th-straight game with over 125 receiving yards. He can dominate this defense again.

The Washington offense just takes too many negative plays with Howell’s sacks, and the Eagles have tape on him now that they played him and should be better prepared. Last game was close, but this one should be closer to a comfortable win. We like the computer score picking a 10-point win for the Eagles, who only need to win by a touchdown to cover for your NFL picks. They should do it this time.

Score Prediction: Eagles 28 – Commanders 18   

NFL Pick: Eagles -6.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Steelers and Jaguars to Play Ugly Game?

One of the best games this week by record is Jacksonville (5-2) at Pittsburgh (4-2). The Jaguars usually make things tough on the Steelers, but this is the first time the teams have met in the Trevor Lawrence era.

The Jaguars are a 2.5-point road favorite with a total of 42 points. Will the Steelers drag another team into a low-scoring affair?

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, October 29, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Acrisure Stadium

Pittsburgh’s Consistency

You almost have to admire offensive coordinator Matt Canada for his consistency in Pittsburgh. The Steelers rarely get a first down on their opening series, they rarely score a touchdown in the 1st quarter of games, and they never reached 400 yards of offense in any game under Canada since 2021.

But if the defense can keep it close in the 4th quarter, that’s when Kenny Pickett can be good for a drive. He just has to make sure T.J. Watt and the defense keep it close as the only game Pickett has ever won when the Steelers allowed more than 18 points was against Cleveland, a 26-22 win that involved the defense returning 2 turnovers for touchdowns.

But the Pittsburgh offense can be in for a rough one here, because the Jacksonville defense leads the NFL with 16 takeaways, and they rank 7th on 3rd down and 11th in the red zone. Josh Allen is having a great season with 7 sacks.

Jacksonville: Good Enough for 5-2

For being 2-loss teams in late October, these teams do not blow you away statistically, but at least the Jaguars have a positive scoring differential (plus-27) unlike Pittsburgh (minus-24).

The Jaguars have won 4 in a row and have scored at least 23 points in every win, which we already established is enough to beat Pickett and the Steelers. Trevor Lawrence is not taking a huge leap in his 3rd season, and the connection with Calvin Ridley has been inconsistent. But he showed his scrambling ability in New Orleans with 59 yards despite concern over a leg injury going into the game.

Lawrence has completed at least two-thirds of his passes in every game this season except for the Kansas City loss. As long as he protects the ball when getting sacked, he should be able to outplay Pickett in this one and do enough for his team to win.

The Pick

This final score looks solid as the Jaguars are simply getting more out of their skill players and offense than the Steelers are right now. That seems unlikely to change in this one as nothing ever really changes with Canada’s offense in Pittsburgh. But if the Jaguars are held under 24 points, then this under should be a hit. For Pittsburgh, 5-of-6 games have gone under 42 points this season.

Score Prediction: Jaguars 22 – Steelers 17

NFL Pick: Under 42 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Panthers to Finally Win a Game?

The Carolina Panthers (0-6) remain the NFL’s only winless team. They are coming off a bye week as are the Houston Texans (3-3), who have been praised for the way quarterback C.J. Stroud has started his career. Will Stroud outplay Bryce Young too, or can the Panthers finally end this losing streak and get a win?

The Panthers are a 3-point home underdog with a total of 43.5 points.

Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers

Sunday, October 29, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Bank of America Stadium

Home Sweet Carolina?

The 2023 Panthers are the 38th team in the salary cap era (since 1994) to start 0-6. Of the previous 37 teams, 31 of them finished 4-12 or worse, so we are dealing with poor teams. Only the 2009 Titans rallied to finish 8-8 for a non-losing record, and that was after benching Kerry Collins for Vince Young at quarterback.

How many of those 37 teams started 0-7? That number was 30, which is 81.1% of the sample here. But not many teams are in a better position for their 7th game than the Panthers, who are at home, coming off a bye, and they are only a 3-point underdog.

But not only is Carolina 0-6 SU, the Panthers are 0-5-1 ATS, only getting a push as a 3-point underdog against the Saints in Week 2. Still, the Panthers have been better at home where they have only played 2-of-6 games this season. They made it close with the Saints late, and they were right in the game in the 4th quarter with Minnesota in a 21-13 loss where the Panthers held the ball for over 38 minutes.

The Panthers have struggled on both sides of the ball, but the good news is they are not playing in Detroit or Miami, the locations of their last 2 games where they allowed 42 points both times. The Texans have shown some scoring prowess this year, but the fact is they have been held to 20 points in 4-of-6 games, and they only scored 19 points in Atlanta and 9 in Baltimore.

Positive Regression?

C.J. Stroud has done a very good job as a rookie, running a version of the Kyle Shanahan offense as his coordinator, Bob Slowik, came from that coaching tree. The Texans just lack the overall talent of the 49ers, but Nico Collins has been great as a new No. 1 receiver, and Tank Dell has flashed as a rookie wideout.

But the running game is only 30th in yards per carry, and the Texans have been relying heavily on protecting the ball as they only have 3 giveaways with Stroud being lauded for only throwing 1 interception on his first 213 passes. The Saints even fumbled the ball right back to him after the interception.

But if we know anything about super low numbers for turnovers, it’s that a bad game is usually around the corner. The 49ers only had 3 turnovers through 6 games too running the original system the Texans run, but they turned it over 3 times in Minnesota alone on Monday night. Remember, the Vikings were the cursed turnover team earlier this season.

Carolina’s defense is tied for a league-low 5 takeaways on defense. They join the Raiders as the only defenses who have yet to recover a fumble this season.

The Pick

In a year with this much parity, how long can a team really go winless when elite teams are losing outright to bad teams? Admittedly, the computer score gave us the idea for picking a Houston upset, but it also speaks to Houston not blowing the competition away or having a ton of advantages in this game.

According to Pro Football Reference, both teams are at the top in missed tackles on defense, so neither has tackled well. Both had a bye week before this game, so that should cancel that advantage, or possibly give Frank Reich an edge as the veteran coach who has led bye weeks before in Indianapolis. We talked about the expected turnover regression for both the Houston offense and Carolina defense.

Finally, Adam Thielen is playing so well for Carolina, Chuba Hubbard appears to be a better back in this offense than Miles Sanders, and hopefully Young takes personally the fact that people are praising Stroud way more than him so far (rightfully so too). Give us something to understand why you were the No.1 pick.

We’ll trust the computer score and take the Panthers with the points, and they may even get their first win in this one.

Score Prediction: Panthers 25 – Texans 23

NFL Pick: Panthers +3 (-120) at BetAnySports (visit our BetAnySports Review)

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