Written By Billy Attridge
It’s insane to think about but after this weekend some teams will have already finished half their season! NFL Week 8 brings about some bigger spreads, none of which we will talk about from a side perspective. Instead, we’ll look at a total that’s on the move in Pittsburgh, a live underdog in the Buccaneers, and why we’ve already seen a 3.5-point movement through zero in the Baltimore and Carolina game. Before investing this weekend, read below to see why these numbers have moved! As always, we also reveal the Vegas look ahead lines for Week 9.
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh Under 50.5 (-110):
BetOnline.ag opened this total at 50.5, where we saw it tick up to 51 before we saw a drop back down to 50.5/50. When we break down this Pittsburgh defense, we have to talk about who they’ve faced. The Steelers have gone against the 3rd toughest slate of opposing offenses, with 5 of their 6 opponents ranking Top 10 in passing efficiency. The only opponent who didn’t? The Cleveland Browns week 1. Despite this grueling schedule of opposing offenses, Pittsburgh’s defense ranks 6th in both passing and rushing success rate – and they’re finally healthy on that side of the ball. Taking a look at Cleveland, their strength is clearly on the defensive side of the ball. They rank 6th in total defensive efficiency, including a pass defense that’s 3rd in the league, and they’ve ALSO faced 5 offenses currently ranking Top 15 in offensive efficiency. Monitoring some of the Browns who are dinged up on that side of the ball (CB E.J. Gaines, DB Damarious Randall, LB Joe Schobert) is imperative to where this total could ultimately ends up closing.
Tampa Bay +4.5 (-110) @ Cincinnati:
BetOnline.ag opening Bengals -5.5, and we quickly saw a move on the underdog, down to the current number, with some shops even moving to -4. Cincinnati started hot this year, going 4-1, before dropping the last two games against Pittsburgh and Kansas City. Looking at this matchup, Tampa Bay is a net +0.1 yards per play, but has suffered from a -9 turnover margin, while the Bengals are a net -0.6 yards per play, with a 0 turnover margin. Cincinnati has really struggled on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 28th in defensive rush success rate, and 29th in pass success rate. Factor in that starting defenders Vontaze Burfict, Darqueze Dennard, and Dre Kirkpatrick haven’t practiced yet this week, that could spell trouble for this defense with Nick Vigil already out with an MCL. The injury bug has also bitten the offensive side of the ball, with Billy Price, John Ross, Giovanni Bernard, and Tyler Kroft all questionable/doubtful to play. This number may continue to tick down closer to kickoff.
Baltimore -2 (-110) @ Carolina:
Baltimore was one of the sides with the biggest early movement, going from a 1-point underdog to a 2-point road favorite at BetOnline.ag. While that doesn’t cross any key numbers, as we approach the “3”, this movement gets real interesting. Baltimore fell at home to the Saints last week, but did have a 17-7 lead after three quarters, and won the yards per play battle 5.5 to 4.8; while Carolina surged back from down 17-0 in the 4th quarter for a huge win at Philadelphia. One reason for this move is the fact that the Panthers have faced the 3rd easiest slate of opposing defenses thus far, and will now take on arguably the best defense in the NFL. They are battling injuries as well, with Cam Newton dealing with a shoulder injury (probable), TE Olsen, LT Kalil, WR Smith, and DE Addison. Baltimore plays extremely physically and this is not a game you want to come into banged up. Carolina is 4-2, despite being -0.2 in adjusted net yards per play. This will be a fascinating game to monitor as we approach the most important number in football, which ultimately will determine the strength of this move.
NFL Week 9 Vegas Look Ahead Lines:
San Francisco -2.5 (-120) vs. Oakland
Minnesota -6.5 vs. Detroit
Kansas City -7 @ Cleveland
Baltimore -3 vs. Pittsburgh
Carolina -4.5 vs. Tampa Bay
Miami vs. New York Jets (N/A/ – Tannehill)
Washington -1 vs. Atlanta
Buffalo vs. Chicago (N/A – Allen)
Houston -1.5 @ Denver
Seattle PICK’em vs. Los Angeles Chargers
New Orleans vs. Los Angeles Rams
New England -7.5 vs. Green Bay
Dallas -4 vs. Tennessee
BYE: Philadelphia, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Arizona