NFL Picks Contest

NBC Sports Boston's Week 8 picks: Are Pats a worthy underdog in Miami?

The Patriots are gaining momentum, but they still don't have the full support of our crew.

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Not a ton of change atop the leaderboard this week, as Amina Smith (14 points) held strong with a 2-1 card for Week 7.

She holds a slim advantage over Ted Johnson (13.5) and John Tomase (12.5). Overall, it was an unkind week to the group with a combined record of 13-17.

Here's a look at the current standings: 

Let's get to this week's picks:

Week 8 Trends

Patriots gaining momentum

Following their upset win over the Bills, the Patriots find themselves +9.5 at Miami this weekend. The preseason line was +4, so it obviously moved quite a bit in the Dolphins' direction. However, the Patriots were somewhere around +13 prior to the Week 7 games.

As it is, +9.5 is the most that Miami has been favored by versus New England since 2001.

Mac Jones is 0-5 ATS against the Dolphins in his career and Tua Tagovailoa is still undefeated against Bill Belichick. Regardless, we've got three bets on the Patriots putting together another competitive game against a division opponent and just one (always Tomase) on Miami.

Eagles, Bengals getting love on the road

The Eagles are -6.5 for their visit to Washington. Philly (4-2-1 ATS) handled its business on SNF vs. the Dolphins last week while the Commanders sputtered on the road against the Giants. But it's worth noting that Jalen Hurts and the Eagles were upset by Washington last season.

Still, we've got three backers on the Eagles and no support for the Commanders.

The Bengals (2-3-1 ATS) are +4 at San Francisco on Sunday. After scuffling out of the gate, Cincy covered its last two games before the Week 7 bye. On the other side, the 49ers have dropped back-to-back games and are dealing with key injuries. Both Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams missed Thursday's practice while Brock Purdy is working his way back from a concussion.

Sam Darnold is expected to get the start if Purdy can't go. And that uncertainty has us with three bets on the Bengals and just one on the 49ers.

Laying a lot of points

We've got two bets each on the Chiefs (-7), the Ravens (-9.5) and the Lions (-8). In other one-sided action, we've got two bets each on the Jets (-3 at Giants) and the Texans (-3 at Panthers).  

In total, we have 21 bets on road teams and just 9 for those at home. 

Games we're too afraid to touch

  • NO -1 at IND
  • CHI +8.5 at LAR
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