There are some high-quality games on the Week 8 NFL schedule. The New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs game is not among them. But it’s one of the most intriguing.
The Chiefs (6-1) are 19.5-point favorites over the Jets (0-7). Just how rare is that? According to Stathead.com, there have been only nine games since 2000 in which one team was a favorite by at least 19 points.
Crushing Chiefs and Crashing Jets
The reason for the big point spread is obvious. After winning the Super Bowl last season, Kansas City is the favorite to win the championship again this season. The Jets, meanwhile, have been outscored by 16.9 points per game – more than a touchdown worse than any other team.
The game opened at 20.5, but has dipped by a point.
That’s not because the Jets are a good team,” said Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, to Casino.org. “That’s because 20.5 is almost three touchdowns. The Chiefs figure to win this game easily, though the Jets played better last week defensively [in an 18-10 loss to Buffalo].
“Let’s just say the Chiefs are up 27-0 and the Jets have the ball last, there’s always a chance to cover. I’ve seen a lot of 20-point spreads in my career. But it’s usually a game that the bettors don’t bet as heavily as they do others, because the spread is too high and too many things can happen late in the game.”
While the Chiefs are overwhelming favorites to win the game, they aren’t collecting an overwhelming amount of the public’s money. On the money line as of Saturday morning, the Chiefs are -2000 and the Jets are +1,150 at DraftKings. It’s even more one-sided at Westgate SuperBook, where the Chiefs are -5,000 and the Jets are +1,500.
If you want to bet the Chiefs on the moneyline, you can lay 20 to win 1. I don’t think anybody’s going to be interested in doing that,” Avello said. “When you put a line up like that, you’re only going to draw one-sided action, and that’s the Jets. People are going to take a shot at 12/1 and they’re not laying 1/20. They just won’t do it.”
It’s worth noting that of those nine aforementioned 19-plus-point favorites over the last two decades, the favorite is 9-0 overall and 7-2 against the spread.
Steelers at Ravens Showdown
The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0) and Baltimore Ravens (5-1) might be the best rivalry in the NFL. Usually, it’s a rock-’em, sock-’em sort of defensive battle. Not anymore. The Steelers are sixth in the NFL with 30.5 points per game, while the Ravens are eighth with 29.8 points per game.
While Pittsburgh is the last undefeated team in the NFL, Baltimore’s a 4-point favorite. The Ravens are coming off a bye week in which it acquired pass-rushing defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
Most of the money’s on the Steelers, and I can’t blame the general public for betting the Steelers,” Avello said. “Normally, when these teams meet, the spread’s not more than 3, 3.5. The Ravens cannot afford to fall behind two games in the division, so they’re certainly going to give their best effort here.”
Another AFC North team, the surprising Cleveland Browns (5-2), is hosting the Las Vegas Raiders (3-3). Cleveland is a 2.5-point favorite, but the public is backing Las Vegas.
“The Raiders have 90 percent of the money so far, both on the spread and the money line,” Avello said. “The bettors don’t seem to care that Baker Mayfield had probably the best game of his life last week against the Bengals, with 21 straight completions and five touchdown passes. It’s true, they don’t have (injured receiver Odell) Beckham. But they face a Raiders team that’s at the bottom of the NFL against the pass.”
According to NumberFire.com, the most-lopsided game from a money perspective is Minnesota at Green Bay. As 6-point favorites, the Packers (5-1) were receiving 94 percent of the bets and 91 percent of the money.
Week 8 Schedule
Here is this week’s schedule, with betting lines from DraftKings as of Saturday morning. All times are Eastern.
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-4), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-4), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (+6.5), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-2.5), 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
- Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions (+3), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-6), 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
- New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs (-19.5), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins (+3.5), 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
- Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (+3.5), 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
- New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (+5), 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
- San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3), 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
- Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-10.5), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (+12), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)