NFL Week 8 Betting Tips: Steelers ready to cause a minor upset against the Jaguars

By Tom Collins

Latest NFL Odds

26 October 2023

We finally broke through with a winning accumulator in last week’s column, albeit the Chiefs and Chargers could only muster a push in the total points market. That being said, the line eventually dropped down from 48 to 47.5 points before the off and I know a few of you capitalised!

The clocks go back on Sunday so make sure you tune into the NFL action at the earlier time of 5pm! Here are three selections to complete your week eight treble.

Minnesota Vikings (even) @ Green Bay Packers (even)

Kick-off: 5pm Sunday BST

Games between the Vikings and Packers have been crucial in determining the winner of the NFC North in recent times with one of these famous franchises claiming top spot in the division in 14 of the last 16 seasons. That run might be coming to an end this year with the Detroit Lions’ resurgence, but it’s still going to be a hard fought and hard hitting match-up.

The Packers need a win now more than ever after losing their third straight game in a dull 19-17 scrap against the Denver Broncos last Sunday. Not only did they lose the game, but they also lost numerous key players to injury. Among them were safety Darnell Savage (calf) and corner Eric Stokes (hamstring) on the defensive side of the ball, while young receiver Christian Watson (knee) and tight end Luke Musgrave (foot) were also pulled out early on offence.

Even if a couple of those guys can play this week, the Pack still face an almighty task to beat the Vikings fresh off a home win against the San Francisco 49ers. Kirk Cousins played great, rookie receiver Jordan Addison dominated, and TJ Hockensen proved to be their safety net. It’s surprising that they aren’t stronger favourites to follow that win with another and, although my heart obviously lies with Green Bay (#GoPackGo), Minnesota has to be the bet here.

Prediction: Vikings to win @ 10/11

Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5)

Kick-off: 5pm Sunday BST

Teryl Austin’s ‘bend don’t break’ approach on defence seems to be working as the Pittsburgh Steelers have conceded an average of just 21.2 points per game (tied-17th in the league) despite giving up the third-most yards per game (383.5). They held the Ravens to 10 points in a shock victory three weeks ago and backed that up by conceding just 17 points to the Rams on Sunday. 

The question is: Can Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars run amok? I don’t think so. Although the Jags sit top of the AFC South right now with a record of 5-2, their wins have come against the Colts (twice), Falcons, Saints and Bills. Those four sides have a combined record of 14-14, so they’re not exactly in the league’s top echelon.

As strong as they are offensively with Travis Ettiene and a strong receiving corps backing up Lawrence’s nifty quarterback play, their defence has been found lacking on several occasions. They have shipped 20+ points in their last three games despite winning and can be vulnerable through the air. Step forward Kenny Pickett and George Pickens.

Jags are 2.5pt favourites in this game, but I’m taking the Steelers to continue their upward trajectory on what is forecast to be a wet and gloomy afternoon in Pittsburgh.

Prediction: Steelers to win @ 5/4

Chicago Bears (+8.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers (-8.5)

Kick-off: 12.20am Monday BST

Chicago have lost five of their seven games this season, but both victories have come in complete blowouts (40-20 and 30-12). It’s pretty difficult to predict which Bears will show up, but I’m going to err on the side of caution this week as they travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers.

The Bolts have been predictably strong on offence so far this season - they have scored 17 or more points in every game - but have yet again lacked the character to consistently come out on top in close encounters. Another cause for that is the injury to star running back Austin Ekeler, who missed three games earlier in the campaign. They are glad to have him back now.

Following a rather quiet return to football in their defeat to the Chiefs last week, Ekeler is ready to dominate the line of scrimmage once again and I’m backing him to score a touchdown here (I also wouldn’t put you off 2+ touchdowns at a bigger price). The Bears have conceded three rushing touchdowns in three road games so far and Ekeler is sure to get a bigger workload as they seek to increase their time of possession.

Prediction: Austin Ekeler anytime touchdown @ 4/5

NFL Week 8 Recommended Bets

Vikings @ Packers: Vikings to win @ 10/11
Jaguars @ Steelers: Steelers to win @ 5/4
Bears @ Chargers: Austin Ekeler anytime touchdown @ 4/5

Accumulator pays: 47/10

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