If you’ve ever wondered what the point spread would be if the NFL’s worst team played the defending Super Bowl champion, I have some good news for you: You don’t have to wonder anymore because it’s happening this week when the Kansas City Chiefs host the New York Jets.
In the early odds for Week 8, the Chiefs have opened as a 21-point favorite over the Jets, which is mostly notable because it’s the most that Kansas City has ever been favored by in franchise history. It also marks just the 14th time since the AFL-NFL merger that a team has been favored by 20 or more points.
In the previous 13 games where a team was favored by 20, the underdog has actually been the safer bet. Although the favored team is 13-0 straight up, it’s just 3-10 against the spread (ATS).
The 21-point spread is the eighth-largest in NFL history. For the Chiefs, it breaks their previous point spread record of 16.5 points, which last happened in 2018. On the Jets’ end, this is the third time they’ve been an underdog of 20 or more points and in the two previous games — both against the Patriots (2007, 2019) — they covered both times.
The Chiefs and Jets aren’t the only ones making history this week and that’s because the Cowboys might also make some gambling history. At 0-7 against the spread (ATS) on the season, the Cowboys are on the verge of setting the record for most games to start a season without covering the spread. Since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970, only two teams have started 0-8 ATS (1991 Bengals, 2003 Raiders). The Cowboys can match those two teams this week and could potentially break the record in Week 9 (The Bengals finished 3-13 straight up in 1991 while the Raiders finished 4-12).
With that fun nugget in mind, let’s get to the rest of the early odds for Week 8.
NFL Week 8 early odds
(All lines from William Hill Sportsbook unless noted, all games on Sunday unless noted)
Opening line: Panthers -3
If there’s one team the Falcons are probably glad to see this week, it’s the Carolina Panthers. In their past 10 games against the Panthers, the Falcons are 8-2 both straight up and ATS. However, one of those two losses did come back in Week 5 when the Panthers pulled off a 23-16 upset as a 2.5-point underdog. As for the Panthers, they’ve got Teddy Bridgewater on their side, which is good news for gamblers, because he’s 31-10 ATS in his career. That being said, there is one unfortunate trend happening right now that’s working against the Panthers: Prime-time favorites are 0-7 ATS in their past seven games, including the Seahawks‘ loss on Sunday (If the Rams don’t cover as a 5.5-point favorite over the Bears on Monday, that number will drop to 0-8).
John Breech and Ryan Wilson join Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to break down a wild Week 7 Sunday; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Jets (0-7) at Chiefs (6-1)
Opening line: Chiefs -21
Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the Jets are 4-9 ATS as a double-digit underdog, which is the worst in the NFL over that span (minimum of 5 games). On the Chiefs’ end, they’re 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 games, including the postseason. This game will mark the 15th time the Chiefs have been favored by double digits since Andy Reid took over as coach in 2013. In the previous 14 games, the Chiefs haven’t done a great job of covering, going 6-7-1 ATS (11-3 straight up)
Patriots (2-4) at Bills (5-2)
Opening line: Bills -4
This has basically been one of the most lopsided divisional rivalries in the NFL over the past 16 years. Since the start of the 2004 season, the Patriots have gone 29-3 straight up against the Bills, which includes a mark of 18-11-2 ATS. The Patriots have also won seven straight games in this series with five of those seven wins coming by at least 12 points (They’re 4-2-1 ATS in those seven games). Since hiring Sean McDermott in 2017, the Bills have gone 0-6 straight up against the Patriots. Josh Allen has also struggled, going 0-3 straight up.
Titans (5-1) at Bengals (1-5-1)
Opening line: Titans -4
The Bengals haven’t won a lot of games this year, but they have done a good job of covering. Through seven weeks, the Bengals are 5-2 ATS, which is tied for the second-best mark in the NFL. On the other hand, the Bengals don’t do so well as a home underdog, going 2-8 both straight up and ATS in their past 10 games. As for the Titans, they’ve won five straight as a road favorite while going 3-2 ATS in those games. The Titans are also just 3-6 ATS in their past nine regular season games overall.
Raiders (3-3) at Browns (5-2)
Opening line: Browns -3
Playing in Cleveland has finally turned into an actual home-field advantage for the Browns. In their past eight home games, the Browns are 7-1 straight up and 5-2-1 ATS. As for the Raiders, they’re venturing out to the eastern time zone, where they’re just 3-8 straight up since the start of the 2017 season (3-7-1 ATS). One thing to like about the Raiders is that they’re 4-1 ATS in their past five road games (3-2 straight up). Out of those three wins, two of them came when the Raiders were an underdog, including a win over Kansas City in Week 5.
Opening line: Colts -2.5
Betting on the Colts in a game where they’re playing an NFC team has been a pretty easy way to make money over the past five years. Since the start of the 2015 season, the Colts are 14-5-1 ATS against NFC teams (13-7 straight up). As for Detroit, playing this game on Nov. 1 definitely isn’t a good thing, especially when you consider that the Lions are 1-9 straight up and 2-8 ATS in their past 10 November games.
Opening line: Packers -7
If there’s one time where the Packers are a lock, it’s when they’re playing a bad team. In their past five games against teams that are .500 or worse, the Packers are 5-0 both straight up and ATS, which includes Sunday’s win over the Texans. The Packers have also won three straight against the Vikings while covering in all three of those games, including a Week 1 win where Green Bay covered as a one-point underdog in a 43-34 win over Minnesota. One thing to keep in mind about the Vikings is that they’re 5-1 ATS in the past six games where they were an underdog of a touchdown or more. However, they’re 0-6 straight up in those games.
Rams (4-2) at Dolphins (3-3)
Opening line: Rams -3.5
One reason you might want to think about betting the Rams in this game is because Sean McVay almost never loses to AFC teams during the regular season. Since hiring McVay in 2017, the Rams have gone 10-3 straight up against AFC teams (7-5-1 ATS).
When it comes to traveling to the eastern time zone, the Rams have had more success recently than almost any other west coast team in the NFL. Since McVay was hired in 2017, the Rams have gone 7-2 both straight up and ATS in eastern time (The Rams did lose a controversial game to an AFC team in the eastern time zone this year when the Bills beat them 35-32 after a questionable interference call). As for the Dolphins, they’re 3-9 straight up and 4-8 ATS in their past 12 games against NFC teams. This game will also mark the first start for rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa and he’ll be going up against Aaron Donald, which isn’t an ideal scenario for a rookie.
Opening line: Ravens -5.5
It’s a battle for first place in the AFC North and the oddsmakers clearly like Baltimore. One reason for that could be the fact that the Ravens have won three of their past four against Pittsburgh. One other thing to like about the Ravens is that they’ve gone 13-2 straight up in their past 15 home games and 6-2 ATS in their past eight games at M&T Bank Stadium. As for the Steelers, they’re 2-6 ATS in the past eight games where they were an underdog of three or more points (3-5 straight up).
Opening line: Chargers -1
Since the start of the 2014 season, the Broncos have absolutely dominated this series, going 9-3 straight up and 7-4-1 ATS. This total includes winning both games last season and going 2-0 ATS in those wins. One thing to keep in mind about the Chargers though is that they’re 4-0-1 ATS in their past five road games and they’re 5-1 ATS on the season, which is tied for the best mark in the NFL.
Saints (4-2) at Bears (5-1)
Opening line: Saints -2.5
The Bears are an underdog in this game, which is good news for them, because they seem to thrive in the underdog role. So far this year, the Bears are 4-1 ATS as an underdog and that number could improve if they cover against the Rams on Monday night. The Bears are also 13-4-1 in their past 18 games as a home underdog dating back to the start of the 2016 season (9-9 straight up). Not to be outdone, the Saints are 13-4 ATS as a road favorite in that same span (14-3 straight up).
49ers (3-3) at Seahawks (5-1)
Opening line: Seahawks -3.5
We just mentioned how well the Bears have done as an underdog; well, there’s actually one team that’s been even better and that’s the 49ers. Since the start of 2019 season, the 49ers are 7-0 ATS (6-1 SU) as an underdog, which includes Sunday’s 33-6 win over the Patriots. As for the Seahawks, they’ve won five straight games in the month of November and have gone 4-0-1 ATS on those games. They’ve also won 10 of their past 12 against the 49ers while going 8-4 ATS in those games. That being said, the Seahawks have failed to cover in two straight games.
Cowboys (2-5) at Eagles (2-4-1)
Opening line: Eagles -3.5
One reason the Cowboys were a favorite to win the NFC East this year is because they always seem to take care of business in divisional games. Since the start of the 2017 season, the Cowboys are 16-3 straight up and 15-4 ATS against NFC East teams, including 4-2 both straight up and ATS against the Eagles. Of course, that success might be canceled out by Mike McCarthy, who’s an ugly 0-9-1 ATS in his past 10 games as a head coach. The Cowboys are also the only team in the NFL that has yet to cover a game this year (0-7 ATS).
Opening line: Buccaneers -10
If you’re looking for a quarterback duel that might not end up being much of a duel, this is your game. In his career, Daniel Jones is 0-4 straight up and 1-3 ATS in prime-time games with his only cover coming in Thursday’s loss to the Eagles. On the other hand, Tom Brady is 9-3 straight up and 8-3-1 ATS in Monday games since the start of the 2010 season. However, this will be his first Monday game with the Buccaneers. As for the Giants, they’ve been a double-digit underdog six times since the start of the 2017 season and they’ve gone 5-1 ATS and 2-4 straight up. One reason to stay away from the Giants in this spot is because they’re an ugly 3-15-1 ATS at home since the start of the 2018 season (5-14 straight up). Although 10 seems like a lot of points, the Buccaneers have won four of their five games this year by double-digits.