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NFL Week 8 betting trends: Can Eagles continue success as big favorite?

Philadelphia is laying a big number against the Steelers this week. Is it too big?

Quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles are a 10.5-point home favorite this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Of the Eagles' six wins this season, two have been by double digits. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles are a 10.5-point home favorite this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Of the Eagles' six wins this season, two have been by double digits. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)Read moreMichael Reaves / Getty Images

The Eagles return from their bye week as an overwhelming favorite to keep their undefeated season alive with a victory in their Keystone State showdown against the Steelers. In fact, Philadelphia is tied for the biggest favorite in the Week 8 NFL odds market.

Can the Eagles cover the double-digit number? History suggests the answer is “definitely” … but it also suggests the answer is “maybe not”.

Allow us to explain as we examine some strong NFL betting trends — both positive and negative — heading into Week 8.

Bank on an Eagles’ blowout? Maybe

Philadelphia is one of two teams that has been favored in every game this season. The other? Buffalo, which is ironic for a couple of reasons.

Like the Eagles, the Bills are a 10.5-point home favorite against (of all teams) the Packers at FanDuel. And like the Eagles, the Bills were a double-digit home favorite against Pittsburgh this season (more on that in a moment).

How has Philadelphia fared as a lofty favorite in recent seasons? Pretty good. Since 2014, the Eagles are 10-1 SU and 7-3-1 ATS as a double-digit chalk. That includes two games in consecutive weeks last year: They pushed as a 10-point home favorite in a 27-17 win over Washington and covered as an 11-point chalk in a 34-10 rout of the Giants.

Meanwhile, the Steelers are in an 0-for-3 slump as a double-digit underdog. In two games at Kansas City last year, Pittsburgh lost 36-10 as a 10.5-point pup (Week 15) and 42-21 as an 11-point underdog (playoffs). Then three weeks ago, the Steelers got popped 38-3 at Buffalo while catching 14 points.

So all signs indicate Eagles -10.5 is a slam-dunk bet Sunday, right? Not necessarily. Because only two of Philadelphia’s six wins have been by double digits. Also, only two of Pittsburgh’s five losses were blowouts.

In addition to getting steamrolled at Buffalo, the Steelers lost 29-17 in Cleveland. That game ended when Pittsburgh lateraled the football multiple times in desperation, with the Browns eventually returning a fumble for a touchdown with no time on the clock.

» READ MORE: NFL odds, predictions: Should you bet the Eagles to go 17-0?

Bengals are on the prowl

The ATS cash cow that had been the Atlanta Falcons through the first six weeks of the 2022-23 NFL season stopped producing milk in Week 7. The Falcons traveled to Cincinnati as a 6.5-point underdog and never threatened to cover in a 35-17 loss.

With that, Atlanta is now tied with the New York Giants atop the point-spread standings at 6-1 ATS. But neither squad carries the distinction of “hottest ATS team in the land” heading into Week 8. That honor goes to the squad that trucked the Falcons last week.

The Bengals have now covered the spread in five straight games since enduring season-opening losses to the Steelers and Cowboys, both as a 7-point favorite. This week, Cincinnati heads 250 miles north to Cleveland on Monday Night Football.

The Bengals are a 3.5-point favorite at FanDuel against a Browns team that halted an 0-3 ATS slide last Sunday, cashing as a 6.5-point underdog in a 23-20 loss at Baltimore.

Since the calendar turned to 2022, Cleveland is 3-6 ATS (1-4 ATS at home). Conversely, dating to Week 14 of the 2021-22 season, the Bengals are 13-2 ATS overall, 8-1 ATS on the road and 6-2 ATS as a favorite (playoffs included).

Included in that sizzling run is a 21-16 upset of the Browns as a 6.5-point road underdog in Week 17 last season (a game in which Cincy’s starters rested). That win is part of the Bengals’ ongoing 7-3 ATS streak in this instate rivalry.

However, Cleveland has won six of the last eight meetings outright, and the underdog has covered six of the last seven (including five in a row).

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

How ‘bout them (moneymaking) Cowboys?

Slotting right behind the Falcons and Giants in the point-spread standings are the Bills (4-1-1 ATS) and three squads at 5-2 ATS, a group that includes the Dallas Cowboys, who have cashed in five of their last six games.

The Cowboys have long been one of America’s Teams at the wagering window. Dallas’ popularity is such that oddsmakers have been known to charge Cowboys bettors a “tax” in the form of a point spread shaded in favor of their opponents.

Well, looks like it’s time for a tax hike. Because since the start of last season, the Cowboys — yes, the Mike McCarthy-led Cowboys — are (wait for it) … 18-6 ATS in the regular season.

This week, Dallas is a 9.5-point home chalk against the Bears, who are fresh off their shocking Monday Night Football upset in New England as an 8.5-point underdog. Chicago has been a wash for bettors overall this season (3-3-1 ATS), but it is 3-1 ATS when catching 6.5 points or more (only blemish: a 27-10 loss at Green Bay as a 10.5-point pup).

During their 24-game moneymaking romp, the Cowboys are 12-3 ATS as a favorite but just 2-1 ATS when laying more than eight points.

Start spreading the … respect

The Giants and Jets won (and covered) again last week. They are now a combined 11-3 SU and ATS. And yet both are underdogs once more this week.

At FanDuel, the Giants are a 3-point pup at Seattle, while the Jets are catching 2.5 points from the Patriots.

Including a trip to London, the Giants are 3-for-3 away from MetLife Stadium, part of a 5-0 ATS mark as an underdog. The Jets have been perfect as a visitor (4-0 SU and ATS) but have won and covered just once in three home games. However, they are 4-2 ATS as an underdog.

Before taking out that second mortgage to jump on the Jets this week, digest this stat: The Patriots have won 12 consecutive games in this rivalry (nine by double digits), and since 2001, they’re 35-8 against the Jets. Only two of those defeats have come since the 2011 season.

Trending in the wrong direction

For two decades in New England, Tom Brady made a lot of Patriots bettors rich. Since taking his talents to Florida, though, Brady is 24-22 ATS, with just two covers in seven games this season.

Brady and the Buccaneers enter Thursday’s Week 8 game against Baltimore as the coldest team in the NFL from a betting perspective with five straight non-covers. But Tampa Bay has hardly been the only money burner.

Miami, Jacksonville and Green Bay are all in 0-4 ATS funks, while the Lions — who host Miami this week — have failed to cover in three straight.

Other noteworthy NFL betting trends heading into Week 8:

  1. Despite getting pummeled in Cincinnati, the Falcons are laying 4.5 points at home against Carolina. It’s the first time this season that Atlanta has been favored.

  2. The Panthers recorded the biggest upset of the 2022-23 campaign last week (21-3 over Tampa Bay as a 13-point home underdog). However, they’re still among six teams with an NFL-worst 2-5 ATS record (0-2 ATS on the road).

  3. Green Bay, which travels to Buffalo for the second of three straight road games, is a double-digit underdog for the first time in Aaron Rodgers’ 18-year career. The Packers are 1-1 ATS as a pup this season.

  4. The 49ers, who are coming off an ugly 44-23 home loss to Kansas City, is a 1.5-point road favorite at the Rams — and for good reason. San Francisco has won seven straight regular season meetings (including a 24-9 home rout in Week 4). The Niners have covered the spread in six straight series battles — including last year’s NFC Championship Game loss — and seven of the last eight.

  5. Week 7 saw the Over/Under split down the middle at 7-7. For the season, though, the Under is still 63-44-1 (58.9%, not counting the tie).

  6. Only two games this week feature a total north of 49 at FanDuel: Dolphins at Jets (51.5) and Raiders at Saints (49.5). So far this season, the Under is 12-4-1 in games with totals of 49.5 or higher.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.