The Week 8 NFL schedule for the 2023 season is stacked with great matchups, and we’ve got you covered with what you need to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to every game and a bold prediction for each matchup.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a big stat to know and a betting nugget for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a game projection. Analytics writer Seth Walder picks out each matchup’s biggest X factor, and fantasy analyst Eric Moody hands out helpful fantasy football intel. Finally, Walder and Moody give us final score picks for every game. Everything you want to know is here in one spot to help you get ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Week 8 slate, including the Patriots — who are fresh off an upset victory — visiting the Dolphins, the Battle of New York and a Bengals-49ers showdown. It all culminates with a “Monday Night Football” matchup between the Raiders and the Lions on ESPN. (Game times are Sunday unless otherwise noted.)
Thursday: BUF 24, TB 18
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: DAL -6 (45.5)
Storyline to watch: This will be the Cowboys’ only home game in a 41-day span, and AT&T Stadium has been kind to them. They have a 10-game winning streak at home, their longest since 1991-92, when they called Texas Stadium home. The Rams are 2-1 on the road this season with their only loss being a 3-point affair at Cincinnati. Last year, the Cowboys got after quarterback Matthew Stafford with five sacks in a 22-10 win, and Cooper Rush, filling in for an injured Dak Prescott, threw only 16 passes with the Cowboys rushing for 163 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown run by Tony Pollard. With a struggling passing game, the Cowboys hope to establish the run game Sunday. — Todd Archer
Bold prediction: Micah Parsons and Aaron Donald will each have two sacks on Sunday. Parsons has 10 career games with at least two full sacks, the third most by any player within his first 40 career games since sacks became official in 1982. While Donald doesn’t have a game with multiple sacks this season, his last two-sack game came against Dallas in 2022. — Sarah Barshop
Stat to know: The Cowboys are 7-3 coming off a bye week over the past 10 seasons, which is tied for fifth-best record in that span. Coach Mike McCarthy is 11-5 coming off a bye as a head coach — the fifth-most such wins since his debut in 2006.
Matchup X factor: Rams left tackle Alaric Jackson. This game may well hinge on the Rams’ ability to give Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua time to get open and for Stafford to find them. Jackson’s play will be critical. He has only a 79% pass block win rate (ranked 63rd out of 68) and will face a ferocious Cowboys pass rush that includes Parsons. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: Stafford has averaged 18 fantasy points per game against the Cowboys over the course of his career. With Kupp and Nacua as his top two receivers, he can be viewed as a QB2 with upside. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Rams are 6-0-1 against the spread (ATS) in their past seven games following losses. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Cowboys 27, Rams 17
Walder’s pick: Cowboys 30, Rams 23
FPI prediction: DAL, 68.7% (by an average of 6.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: Rams cut Maher after several missed kicks … Will Cowboys use Prescott’s legs more often after bye? … McVay and wife welcome first child … Cowboys’ post-bye goal: Get off the roller coaster
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: EVEN (42)
Storyline to watch: If the Vikings can get out to an early lead, they might be able to bury the Packers, who have been outscored 63-6 in the first half in their past four games. But if Minnesota allows Green Bay to hang around — which has been the Vikings’ penchant all season, having all seven of their games decided by one score — then perhaps the second-half Packers can break their three-game losing streak. — Rob Demovsky
Bold prediction: The Vikings will become the final team to record a rushing touchdown this season. All 16 of their offensive touchdowns to this point have come via the passing game, and they have the NFL’s third-most attempts (24) in goal-to-go situations. That is a difficult approach to maintain, and the Vikings will emphasize their running game in those situations on Sunday. The Packers’ defense has allowed five rushing touchdowns on goal-to-go situations, tied for the ninth most in the league. — Kevin Seifert
Stat to know: Wide receiver Jordan Addison has six touchdown receptions this season, tied for second most in the NFL (Tyreek Hill has seven, Stefon Diggs has six). His three straight games with a receiving touchdown are tied for the second-longest streak by a Vikings rookie all-time (Randy Moss had seven straight in 1998).
Matchup X factor: Packers quarterback Jordan Love. The Vikings blitz 56% of the time — the highest rate by a team since at least 2006 — and it will be Love’s responsibility to make quick decisions in the face of that blitz. Love has just a 30.9 QBR over his past three games. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: Love’s quarterback rating with running back Aaron Jones on the field this season is 71.5, but it drops to 46.8 without him in the game. For those planning to include Love in their fantasy lineups, Jones playing significant snaps is crucial since the Vikings’ defense allows the ninth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Packers are 0-3 ATS in their past three games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Vikings 24, Packers 21
Walder’s pick: Vikings 24, Packers 20
FPI prediction: MIN, 57.9% (by an average of 2.8 points)
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1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: ATL -2.5 (35.5)
Storyline to watch: The Falcons’ defense has allowed only one rushing touchdown this season and is giving up 95 rushing yards per game. Regardless of who is at quarterback for the Titans, running back Derrick Henry will be the focal point of an offense that’s averaging 110 rushing yards per game, its lowest amount since 2018. Look for Tennessee to get Henry involved early and improve upon his three rushing touchdowns on the season. — Turron Davenport
Bold prediction: The first team to 20 points will win. Both Atlanta’s and Tennessee’s defenses have been stingy — the Falcons allowing 19 points per game, and the Titans 19.5 — and with the Titans potentially starting either Malik Willis or rookie Will Levis if Ryan Tannehill can’t play, Atlanta defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen will be able to confuse a young quarterback. Add in both teams having good red zone defenses — Tennessee is allowing touchdowns on just 30.4% of red zone trips, and Atlanta on 38.9% of red zone trips — and scoring could be difficult on Sunday. — Michael Rothstein
Stat to know: Henry has eight rushes of 10-plus yards through six games this season, his fewest through six games since 2018. His three rushing touchdowns are his fewest through six games since 2018, too.
Matchup X factor: Falcons linebacker Nate Landman. With Tannehill likely out, one has to assume the Titans will take a run-heavy approach. Landman ranks fourth among linebackers in run stop win rate. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: The Falcons rank fifth in rushing attempts per game, but they might find themselves out of their comfort zone against the Titans’ formidable run defense. Drake London should be in your lineups this week as Tennessee’s defense gives up the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Titans are 5-0 ATS after a bye under coach Mike Vrabel (7-0-1 ATS since 2015). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Falcons 21, Titans 17
Walder’s pick: Falcons 19, Titans 16
FPI prediction: TEN, 54.4% (by an average of 1.6 points)
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: NO -1 (43.5)
Storyline to watch: The Colts have committed eight turnovers in the past two games, undermining their impressive offensive totals (58 points, 810 total yards). Quarterback Gardner Minshew is responsible for all of the turnovers, and the Colts are looking for ways to minimize the giveaways so their production doesn’t go to waste. But that won’t be easy against a New Orleans defense that has already produced 12 takeaways in seven games, including eight interceptions (tied for third in the NFL). Remarkably, each of those eight interceptions was produced by a different defender. — Stephen Holder
Bold prediction: Saints wide receiver Chris Olave will have a bounce-back game with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Colts. The Saints have struggled on offense this season, with the chemistry between quarterback Derek Carr and Olave being a point of contention. However, the Colts have given up 76 total points in the past two games, and the Saints have had 10 days to reflect on their offensive problems, making Olave a prime candidate to put up yards. — Katherine Terrell
Stat to know: Carr has had 50 attempts in consecutive games, and a third straight would tie him with Drew Bledsoe (1995) for the longest streak since the 1970 merger. Quarterbacks are 0-9 this season with 50-plus attempts, and the last win was by Joe Burrow in 2022.
Matchup X factor: Colts wide receiver Josh Downs. He’s coming off a huge game — five receptions for 125 yards and a score — and the rookie’s receiver tracking metrics have been encouraging, too. He has an overall score of 63, which is 20th best among WRs. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: The Colts give up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. This season, Alvin Kamara is averaging 26.0 touches and 21.7 fantasy points per game. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Saints have gone under the total in 12 of their past 13 games. Last week snapped a streak of 12 straight unders, which had been the longest streak in over 35 seasons. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Colts 23, Saints 18
Walder’s pick: Saints 26, Colts 20
FPI prediction: NO, 54.4% (by an average of 1.6 points)
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1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: MIA -9 (46)
Storyline to watch: The Patriots excel at stopping the run, allowing the fewest yards per carry in the league this season (3.42). Despite playing two games without star rookie De’Von Achane, the Dolphins still lead the NFL in rushing yards per game (162.3) and per carry (6.3). Starting running back Raheem Mostert missed practice Wednesday with an ankle injury but returned Thursday and figures to lead a backfield that will also feature Jeff Wilson Jr. and Salvon Ahmed. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Bold prediction: The Patriots will gain more yards than the Dolphins. Miami has gained 3,236 yards this season while allowing 2,417, as its 819-yard differential is easily the best in the NFL (the Chiefs are next with 715). The Patriots have gained just 2,060 yards, but a combination of a banged-up Dolphins roster and a Mac Jones-led New England attack coming off its best game of the season foreshadows the potential for a flip. — Mike Reiss
Stat to know: The Dolphins scored 143 points in their first three home games against the Broncos, Giants and Panthers — the most points in any team’s first three home games in NFL history. Miami would need to score 57 against the Patriots to tie the 1950 Rams for the most points in a team’s first four home games.
Matchup X factor: The Dolphins’ offensive line. Miami posted a 38% pass block win rate against the Eagles in Week 7, its worst of the season. It was also its worst expected points added per play performance as an offense. Pass protection should be much easier against the Patriots. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: The Patriots’ run defense has been exceptional, allowing only 100.7 yards per game (ranked 13th) and leading the league with 3.4 yards per carry. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Dolphins are 5-0 ATS against teams with losing records, 4-0 ATS as a favorite and 3-0 ATS at home this season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Dolphins 35, Patriots 17
Walder’s pick: Dolphins 37, Patriots 13
FPI prediction: MIA, 80.6% (by an average of 11.7 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: NYJ -3 (36.5)
Storyline to watch: The Giants are 32nd in the NFL in scoring at 12.1 points per game, while the Jets are 22nd at 18.8. Both are likely to turn to their backup quarterbacks, Tyrod Taylor — Daniel Jones will likely not start as he is still dealing with a neck injury — and Zach Wilson. Points are expected to be at a minimum, as the over/under of this game is the second lowest of any game this week. — Jordan Raanan
Bold prediction: The two teams will combine for 10 sacks. The Jets and Giants rank fourth (34.4%) and eighth (31.6%), respectively, in pressure percentage, and they will be facing offensive lines that have struggled to protect the passer. Wilson has been sacked nine times in the past two games, and the Giants have surrendered 37 sacks in seven games. — Rich Cimini
Stat to know: The Giants’ 85 points scored this season are their fewest through the first seven games of a season since 1976 (76 points). If they are held under 17 points on Sunday, it will be their second-fewest points through the first eight games of a season in the Super Bowl era.
Matchup X factor: Giants cornerback Deonte Banks. He’s off to a nice start to his career, with 0.9 yards allowed per coverage snap — well below the 1.4 average for outside corners. The Giants’ defense is coming off its best performance of the season against the Commanders. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: Running back Breece Hall is positioned to deliver a great performance against the Giants’ defense. The Giants have allowed the sixth-most rushing yards per game and the eighth-most fantasy points per game. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Jets have lost seven straight games off a bye (2-5 ATS). They are 1-5 ATS in their past six games off a bye. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Jets 21, Giants 10
Walder’s pick: Jets 20, Giants 17
FPI prediction: NYJ, 63.7% (by an average of 4.8 points)
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1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: JAX -2.5 (41)
Storyline to watch: The Jaguars have one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL, giving up a league-high 1,917 yards. But even though they gave up 300 passing yards to Derek Carr a week ago, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun nabbed the first pick-six of his career. The Steelers, meanwhile, have one of the most sluggish passing offenses with just 1,153 passing yards and five passing touchdowns. Quarterback Kenny Pickett, though, came alive in the fourth quarter to beat the L.A. Rams and completed all seven pass attempts for 138 yards. Positive signs for two struggling units? — Brooke Pryor
Bold prediction: Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. will rush for multiple touchdowns for the fourth consecutive game — making him the first player to do so since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006. The Steelers rank 28th against the rush (142.3 yards per game) but have given up only four rushing touchdowns this season. Two of those four touchdowns were 1-yarders. — Michael DiRocco
Stat to know: The Steelers are playing man coverage on 49% of dropbacks, the 11th-highest rate in the NFL. Pittsburgh might want to lean into that even more as quarterback Trevor Lawrence has the highest QBR in the NFL against zone coverage but ranks 24th against man coverage. That’s the second-largest drop in QBR from zone to man this season.
Matchup X factor: Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt. It just feels like they need something special from him to have a chance. Watt has had two sacks, a touchdown or an interception in every one of the Steelers’ victories this year. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: The Jaguars’ defense ranks top five in targets, receptions and receiving yards allowed to running backs. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren could accumulate more receptions as receivers out of the backfield. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Jaguars are 3-0 ATS on the road this season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Jaguars 27, Steelers 24
Walder’s pick: Jaguars 21, Steelers 13
FPI prediction: JAX, 60.7% (by an average of 3.7 points)
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: PHI -6.5 (43.5)
Storyline to watch: Washington nearly beat Philadelphia in the first meeting before losing in overtime in Week 4, but the game turned largely on the Eagles’ big plays. Of Philadelphia’s 415 yards, 176 came on five plays (two of which were touchdowns). Eagles receivers accounted for four of those plays and 152 yards. The Commanders have allowed 34 plays of 20 yards or more while the Eagles have 29 such plays, including six last week vs. Miami. — John Keim
Bold prediction: Safety Kevin Byard will generate a takeaway in his Eagles debut. Philly has one of the best defensive fronts in football and is facing a Washington offense that has yielded a league-high 40 sacks on QB Sam Howell. Pressure up front will lead to opportunity in the back end, and Byard, a Philadelphia native, will cash in to make an instant impact for his hometown team. — Tim McManus
Stat to know: Wide receiver A.J. Brown has had five straight games with at least 125 receiving yards — tied for the longest streak in NFL history with Pat Studstill (1966) and Calvin Johnson (2012).
Matchup X factor: Howell. His sack rate is way too high at 13.5%. This has been a problem for Howell since college, and unless he can turn it around, that caps his upside. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: Howell and the Commanders might have to rely on receiver Terry McLaurin and the passing game against the Eagles, who rank second in run stop win rate. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Commanders are 7-2-1 ATS in their past 10 games as an underdog (2-2 outright, 3-1 ATS this season). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Eagles 31, Commanders 24
Walder’s pick: Eagles 24, Commanders 17
FPI prediction: PHI, 76.2% (by an average of 9.7 points)
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1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: HOU -3 (43.5)
Storyline to watch: This will be all about comparing the top pick (Bryce Young, Panthers) of the 2023 draft to the second pick (C.J. Stroud, Texans). Stroud has the upper hand in terms of record (3-3) against Young (0-5), and he has almost double the passing yards (1,660 to 967) with one more start. But this could be a good matchup for Young against a defense that ranks 26th against the pass (245.5 yards allowed per game). It also could be a good matchup for Stroud going against a defense that is down at least five key players due to injuries. — David Newton
Bold prediction: The Texans will get at least four sacks on Sunday. They have the fewest sacks in the NFL (nine) but are tied for the second-highest pressure rate (41.9%). The Panthers are tied for the 10th most sacks allowed (19), and Young has the 12th-longest time to throw (2.90 seconds on average). This is the game where the sacks come for the Texans. — DJ Bien-Aime
Matchup X factor: Texans wide receiver Tank Dell. Incredibly, the rookie receiver is tied with Keenan Allen for second in open score (behind Brandon Aiyuk). He could have a big impact in his return to the lineup. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: The Panthers’ defense gives up the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs. In this instance, the Texans’ offensive line, which ranks 28th in run block win rate, has an advantage, which bodes well for Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Panthers are 0-5-1 ATS this season, the only NFL team without a single cover this season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Texans 23, Panthers 21
Walder’s pick: Texans 30, Panthers 16
FPI prediction: HOU, 62.8% (by an average of 4.5 points)
4:05 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: SEA -3.5 (38)
Storyline to watch: With Deshaun Watson back on the sideline because of his shoulder injury, PJ Walker will make his second start of the year. Walker has three interceptions, zero touchdowns and a 50% completion rate while filling in for Watson this season, but he did quarterback the Browns to a 19-17 win over the then-unbeaten 49ers in Week 6. Geno Smith, meanwhile, ranks 11th in Total QBR but has thrown a red zone interception in each of the past two games. — Brady Henderson
Bold prediction: Whoever wins the play-action matchup will win the game. The Seahawks own the best play-action passing offense in the NFL, with Smith completing a league-best 80% of his play-action throws. The Browns boast the best play-action passing defense in the NFL (53.8% completion rate allowed). — Jake Trotter
Stat to know: Running back Kenneth Walker III has six rushing touchdowns this season. The last Seahawks player to record at least seven rushing TDs in the team’s first seven games of a season was Shaun Alexander (12 rushing TDs) in 2005.
Matchup X factor: Browns cornerback Denzel Ward. With a minus-19 EPA allowed and just 0.9 yards allowed per coverage snap (the average is 1.4 for outside corners), Ward is having a great season. He and the Browns’ defense could make life rough for Seattle’s offense. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: Six running backs have scored at least 10 fantasy points against the Seahawks’ defense, which bodes well for Kareem Hunt on Sunday. Hunt has consecutive games with 10 or more touches and 15 or more fantasy points. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Seahawks have covered four of their past five games, including going 3-0 ATS as a favorite in that span. Three straight Seahawks games have gone under the total. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Seahawks 23, Browns 17
Walder’s pick: Seahawks 19, Browns 17
FPI prediction: SEA, 56.7% (by an average of 2.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: Watson drama overshadows Garrett heroics, Browns win … Seahawks can rely on two rookie receivers to step up when needed … Walker to start for Browns as Watson rehabs … Seahawks to sign ex-Broncos pass-rusher Clark
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4:25 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: KC -7 (45.5)
Storyline to watch: Despite the Broncos having spectacular metrics in the run game last week vs. the Packers, they have yet to lean on that part of their offense. A team whose most reliable feature on offense has been its running game is 23rd in carries (154). Denver’s running backs have had 15, 19 and 23 carries in the past three games, respectively. The 23-carry game was the team’s first win since Week 4, and the total will likely have to be higher to snag the upset in this one. Denver is going against a Chiefs run defense that ranks 18th in rush yards allowed (740) and 26th in allowed yards per rush (4.6). — Jeff Legwold
Bold prediction: This will be a one-score game that will be decided in the fourth quarter. That might sound unusual given that the Chiefs are on a six-game winning streak and have beaten the Broncos 16 consecutive times, while Denver is 2-5. But the Chiefs took four of their past six wins over the Broncos by six points or fewer. Even this season’s 19-8 victory over the Broncos in Week 6 was a one-score game until the Chiefs kicked a field goal with less than two minutes remaining. — Adam Teicher
Stat to know: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a perfect 16-0 record on the road against the AFC West, which is the best record by any quarterback in road division games since the 1970 merger (min. 10 starts). The only QB with a longer win streak in road division games is Joe Montana, who won 20 straight from 1984 to ’93.
Matchup X factor: The Broncos’ secondary. Denver has the worst EPA per dropback on defense of any team in the league. The Broncos need to have the game of their season to have a chance against Kansas City. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: No other defense has given up more fantasy points to running backs or rushing yards per game than the Broncos. Isiah Pacheco, who has scored 13 or more fantasy points in five consecutive games, including one with 25 points, is a must-start on Sunday. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Chiefs are 11-5 ATS vs. the Broncos in their head-to-head winning streak. The Broncos have covered three of the past four meetings, with the exception coming in Week 6 when the Chiefs won by 11 as 10.5-point favorites. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Chiefs 42, Broncos 20
Walder’s pick: Chiefs 38, Broncos 20
FPI prediction: KC, 82.6% (by an average of 12.7 points)
4:25 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: BAL -9.5 (44.5)
Storyline to watch: Heading into Sunday, the Cardinals’ top three rushers are either injured (James Conner, 364 yards) or are non-running backs in quarterback (Joshua Dobbs, 232) and receiver (Rondale Moore, 136). The Ravens’ defense is ranked second in yards allowed per game (271.7) and first in yards allowed per play but has given up 670 rushing yards — 303 fewer than the Cardinals have rushed for this season. — Josh Weinfuss
Bold prediction: The Ravens will record their first shutout in five years. While all the talk has been about quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore defense has been dominant, allowing the fewest points in the NFL (13.9 points per game). The Cardinals have been struggling to find the end zone, scoring one touchdown in their past nine quarters, and will be without starting quarterback Kyler Murray (ACL), No. 1 back Conner (knee) and top tight end Zach Ertz (quad). — Jamison Hensley
Stat to know: The Ravens are 5-2 all-time against the Cardinals, with Jackson winning his only start against Arizona 23-17 in 2019. Jackson had 272 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and 16 rushes for 120 yards in that game.
Matchup X factor: Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith. The Cardinals’ designed run rate isn’t that high because they are often losing and forced to pass. But when the win probability is between 15% and 85%, they’re the run-heaviest team in the league. As long as Smith and the Ravens’ run-stopping unit do their job, Baltimore should be fine. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: Arizona gives up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. This season, the Cardinals’ defense ranks among the top five in its use of zone coverage. Nearly 88% of Zay Flowers‘ receiving yards this season have come against zone coverage. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Cardinals are 0-4 ATS in their past four games after starting 3-0 ATS. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Ravens 30, Cardinals 13
Walder’s pick: Ravens 24, Cardinals 13
FPI prediction: BAL, 85.3% (by an average of 14.2 points)
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4:25 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: SF -3.5 (43.5)
Storyline to watch: After a dominant 5-0 start, the 49ers have dropped two in a row on the road, and things don’t get any easier here as they return home to face a Bengals team that is trending in the right direction and coming off its bye. Plus, San Francisco might be without quarterback Brock Purdy (concussion). Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, meanwhile, is going against a Niners pass defense that just gave up 378 yards and two touchdowns to the Vikings’ Kirk Cousins. — Nick Wagoner
Bold prediction: Cincinnati’s offense will hit 30 points against the 49ers. During San Francisco’s two-game skid, the 49ers are allowing 5.8 yards per play. This is a bad trend to have right now considering Burrow is the healthiest he has been all season. — Ben Baby
Stat to know: Burrow is 12-3 in his career against teams that are at least three games over .500, including the playoffs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the best winning percentage (.800) by any starting QB with a minimum of 10 such starts since at least 1950.
Matchup X factor: The Bengals’ running game. The 49ers are better stopping the pass (EPA/P ranks sixth) than the run (17th), and Cincinnati has faced a light box on dropbacks 86% of the time this season, the third most. Burrow needs the threat of a running game to help him out. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: The Bengals have had eight plays of 20-plus yards, the fewest in the league. It’s bold to expect anyone on the offense to be better in this area against the 49ers. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Bengals have covered five straight games as underdogs. Burrow is 16-8 ATS in his career as an underdog including the playoffs (12-7 ATS in regular season). This is their first game as an underdog this season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bengals 26, 49ers 21
Walder’s pick: 49ers 27, Bengals 23
FPI prediction: SF, 69.7% (by an average of 7 points)
8:20 p.m. ET | NBC | Spread: LAC -8.5 (46.5)
Storyline to watch: All but one of the Chargers’ games have been decided by seven points or fewer. But the last time they played a team starting a rookie quarterback (the Raiders in Week 4), linebacker Khalil Mack had six sacks. Still, the Chargers have won only won three of their past 10 matchups against the Bears, and even with Chicago starting Tyson Bagent, this game will likely come down to the final minutes. Bagent, who is starting in place of an injured Justin Fields (thumb), went 21-for-29 for 162 yards and one score in his first start of the season last week against the Raiders. — Kris Rhim
Bold prediction: The Bears’ defense will hold Austin Ekeler to under 70 scrimmage yards and zero touchdowns in Week 8, the lowest marks for the running back in a three-game stretch since 2018. Chicago’s run defense has evolved from 31st in 2022 to a top-five unit through seven games while averaging 38 rushing yards allowed over the past three weeks. That doesn’t bode well for Ekeler, who has struggled to generate much in his return from an ankle injury. — Courtney Cronin
Stat to know: Justin Herbert has 15,681 career passing yards. He needs 98 passing yards to pass Prescott (15,778) for the third most in a player’s first four seasons.
Matchup X factor: Bagent. Last week he posted a surprising QBR of 70.3. How real was that performance? Chicago’s chances hinge on the answer to that question. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: No other team is as generous as the Chargers at surrendering fantasy points per game to wide receivers, which sets up a promising scenario for DJ Moore. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Bears are 7-15-2 ATS under Matt Eberflus, tied with the Buccaneers for the worst record in the NFL in that span. Overs are 16-8 under Eberflus, the highest over percentage in the NFL in that span. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Chargers 33, Bears 20
Walder’s pick: Chargers 34, Bears 16
FPI prediction: LAC, 74.2% (by an average of 8.8 points)
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Storyline to watch: This is a dangerous test for both teams as they face off on the prime-time stage of “Monday Night Football.” After a 38-6 blowout loss at Baltimore, the Lions are looking to bounce back from an uncharacteristic road performance in which QB Jared Goff failed to throw a TD for the first time all season. Las Vegas is also looking to shake a 30-12 loss to the Bears with the likely return of starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who missed the last game with a back injury. Detroit hasn’t hosted a Monday night game since Sept. 10, 2018, when the Lions lost 48-17 to the Jets at Ford Field. — Eric Woodyard
Bold prediction: Raiders running back Josh Jacobs will have his first 100-yard rushing game since Dec. 4, 2022, a stretch of 12 games. Yes, he’ll do it against the Lions’ No. 3-ranked run defense, which has given up just 534 yards on the ground in seven games. Jacobs has been getting close to breaking out in recent weeks, and the Raiders will need to establish the run game if they don’t want to get blown out. — Paul Gutierrez
Stat to know: Goff has 22 passing touchdowns (the most in the NFL), an 85 QBR (second) and a 73% completion percentage (sixth) off play-action since the start of 2022. The Raiders’ defense has allowed a 71% completion percentage on play-action since 2022, 30th in the NFL.
Matchup X factor: Lions right tackle Penei Sewell. It’s strength-on-strength with Maxx Crosby against Sewell, but the young tackle has hit another level this season. He currently ranks second in pass block win rate among starting tackles. — Walder
What to know for fantasy: Goff has averaged 19.7 fantasy points per game as a starter for the Lions at home. Fantasy managers will want to start him at Ford Field against the Raiders. See Week 8 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Raiders are 5-0 ATS with extra rest under Josh McDaniels. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Lions 31, Raiders 21
Walder’s pick: Lions 27, Raiders 13
FPI prediction: DET, 76.5% (by an average of 9.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: Raiders offense looking for answers after listless start … Lions ‘probably needed’ blowout loss to Ravens … Garoppolo (back) on track to start vs. Lions … Lions’ Ibrahim walking after emergency surgery