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NFL Week 8 survivor pool picks, predictions: Fly with the unbeaten Eagles

Philadelphia should have no trouble getting past the offensively-challenged Steelers

Philadelphia Eagles teammates Kenneth Gainwell (left) Quez Watkins (right) celebrate after Gainwell's touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles teammates Kenneth Gainwell (left) Quez Watkins (right) celebrate after Gainwell's touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)Read moreMitchell Leff / Getty Images

If you’re still alive in your NFL survivor pool, well … chances are you’ve entered a new survivor pool.

That’s because the two biggest Week 7 betting favorites — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13 at Carolina) and New England Patriots (-8.5 vs. Chicago) — went down in flames, losing by the combined score of 54-17.

The raging inferno that the Bucs and Patriots ignited singed countless NFL survivor pool contestants across the land. Unless, of course, those contestants followed our advice.

Both of our Week 7 survivor recommendations — the Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders — posted double-digit victories at home.

So which teams are trustworthy this week, which features a slew of short favorites and just two squads on bye (Chargers and Chiefs)? Two squads stand out like a father wearing plaid shorts, a neon pink shirt and socks with sandals at his kids’ soccer game.

Here are our Week 8 NFL survivor pool best bets.

Top play

Philadelphia Eagles

The undefeated Eagles return from their bye week with a dream matchup against their instate rivals — something that has rarely (if ever) been said, given how consistently tough the Pittsburgh Steelers have been over the decades.

But these Steelers … eh, they’re not your father’s Steelers. Or your grandfather’s, for that matter.

Sure, Pittsburgh is responsible for two of this season’s four biggest upsets, knocking off the Bengals 23-20 in overtime as a 7-point road underdog in Week 1 and stunning Tampa Bay 20-18 as a 9.5-point home pup two weeks ago.

But the Cincinnati win was a bit of a fluke, while the upset of the Bucs lost some luster after Tampa’s complete no-show last week against the dreadful and decimated Panthers.

So we think the real Steelers are the team that got blasted 38-3 at Buffalo in Week 5 and produced just 10 points in Miami on Sunday night.

The latter was mostly the fault of rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, who can’t stop doing rookie quarterback things. The first-round pick from Pitt tossed three interceptions against the Dolphins, and now has seven picks (versus two touchdowns) in 127 pass attempts over four games.

Now Pickett, on somewhat of a short week, gets to face a rested Eagles defense that ranks in the top five in multiple statistical categories, including second in interceptions (9).

Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia offense have tallied at least 20 points in all six games, including 24 or more five times. Pittsburgh? It hasn’t scored more than 20 points since that 23-20 overtime season-opening win in Cincinnati, averaging just 14 points the last five weeks.

And now you know why the Eagles are an 11-point favorite this week at Caesars Sportsbook — and why they’re our favorite survivor play in Week 8. Because while double-digit favorites are just 4-4 ATS this season, they’re 7-1 SU. And that record would be 8-0 had Tom Brady and the Bucs not laid that egg in Carolina on Sunday.

» READ MORE: College Football Playoff odds: Ohio State now clear favorite to win title

Sleeper pick

Buffalo Bills

We know: Recommending the Super Bowl favorite to win at home as a double-digit chalk doesn’t really qualify as a “sleeper” pick. But the fact is 12 of this week’s 15 games have point spreads of 4.5 or less (including 10 priced at -3 or less).

That’s a whole lot of land mines. So pretty much by default, we’re suggesting the Bills.

Like the Eagles, Buffalo is coming off a bye. And like the Eagles, Buffalo is a double-digit home favorite. Unlike the Eagles, though, Buffalo is facing a Hall of Fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.

Wait, Rodgers and the Packers are a double-digit underdog? Indeed. And rightfully so. Green Bay has dropped three straight games to the Giants, Jets and Commanders, and nearly lost a fourth at home to New England (27-24 overtime win).

As much as anything, though, this is a disastrous scheduling spot for the Packers. Take a look at Green Bay’s travel itinerary in the last calendar month: trip to Tampa Bay, back home, trip to London, back home, trip to Washington, D.C., and now Buffalo (with a visit to Detroit up next).

Obviously, people have lost a lot of money doubting Rodgers over the years. Not this week, though. Josh Allen and the Bills should have a cakewalk Sunday.

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

Team to avoid

Miami Dolphins

Miami looks to have turned the corner after a string of losing seasons. The Lions, on the other hand, look to be the same-old Lions.

Detroit is off to a 1-5 start and brings a four-game losing skid into its Week 8 game against the Dolphins. That includes consecutive losses at New England and at Dallas by the combined score of 53-6.

That said, the Lions have been frisky at home. They beat the Commanders, 36-27, and suffered three-point losses to the undefeated Eagles and better-than-anticipated Seahawks.

Detroit is obviously desperate, which is the kind of team you want to avoid playing against in a survivor pool. And even though the Lions’ defense has been abysmal, we’re not sure Miami can take advantage of it. Eliminate a stunning 42-38 comeback win at Baltimore in Week 2, and here’s the Dolphins’ point production this season: 20, 21, 15, 17, 16, 16.

The fact Miami is just a 3-point favorite has us smelling trap. Don’t fall for it.

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