Variables are constantly changing, usually because of injuries but also because of weather and other trends. Many in NFL pick ’em pools don’t pay enough attention, though, instead focusing on overall records or the eye test from recent prime-time games. That’s how you end up joining the pack and making the same picks as everyone else. It’s not always smart to go out on a limb with a big upset prediction, but knowing win odds, line movements, and pick popularity can give you the strategy insight you need to make the sharpest choices. Fortunately, the experts from TeamRankings are here to help with tips and advice for your Week 8 NFL picks.
Picks that are being underrated by the public can yield weekly gains that make the difference between winning and losing a season-long NFL pool, while smart upset picks can drive success in weekly pools. TeamRankings is the only site that provides customized picks that maximize your edge in NFL pick ’em pools. Check out TeamRankings’ Football Pick ’em Picks, NFL Survivor Picks, and NFL Betting Picks. For a limited time, you can also get a free three-day trial of all their premium football picks.
Week 8 NFL Pick ’em Pool Picks: Tips, strategy
How We Identify NFL Week 8 Value Picks
This article is written on Wednesday, but if the win odds and pick popularity numbers hold, the teams below all provide compelling risk-vs.-reward trade-offs to differentiate your Week 8 picks from your pool opponents.
It’s important to note that we’re not necessarily saying you should make all of these picks. In particular, some upset picks may be unnecessarily risky for your pool, even if they are technically undervalued. You need to take an overall level of risk with your picks that’s appropriate for your pool size and rules. Season-long pools typically call for more conservative picks than single-week pools. If you want our game-by-game pick recommendations for all of your specific pools, use our Football Pick ’em Picks product.
Note: Win odds and estimated pick popularity data below may change between publication time and kickoff time. If you want the latest numbers, our product updates multiple times per day.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans
Point Spread: +1.0
Pick Popularity: 18%
Category: Unpopular Toss-Up
The Titans are coming off consecutive impressive wins versus the Bills and Chiefs. They already beat the Colts this year, too. So, while the objective win odds have this closer to an even game, the public is going heavily on Tennessee here.
By picking the Colts, you’re getting plenty of pot-odds value in weekly contests and some diversity from your opponents in season-long pools in what is basically a toss-up.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks
Point Spread: +3.0
Pick Popularity: 12%
Category: Value Gamble in Weekly Contests
The Jaguars are only a three-point underdog at Seattle, but the public is picking this one like Russell Wilson is at quarterback. News flash: He is not.
Geno Smith and the Seattle offense have struggled since Wilson’s injury, and this one is closer as a result. Jacksonville has a decent chance to spring the upset, but few entries are picking that outcome.
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears
Point Spread: -3.5
Pick Popularity: 59%
Category: Value Favorite
It feels like open season in the media on San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers fell to 2-4 with their loss to the Colts on Sunday Night Football and have now lost four straight games.
Chicago also looked terrible last week, but its loss to Tampa Bay didn’t happen in prime time. You’re getting the better team as a favorite here while the public is more evenly split. That makes San Francisco a solid value play this week.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers
Point Spread: -6.5
Pick Popularity: 75%
Category: Larger Favorite at a Reasonable Price
This game’s line has moved due to COVID-19 news, as Packers star WR Davante Adams is among those on the Green Bay roster who could be sidelined. This game opened with Arizona favored by 3.5 points but has since jumped three more points. If the public catches on, this popularity number may rise, but that’s no guarantee by Thursday.
There have been 17 teams favored by between 5.5 and 6.5 points in the first seven weeks, and the average pick popularity for that group is 91 percent. New Orleans last week against Seattle was the only other one with a pick popularity under 83 percent.
As another example of the value on Arizona here, the two teams closest in spread to this one are the Chargers (89 percent popularity) and the Bucs (93 percent popularity). Both of those teams are slightly under the Cardinals in win odds right now. Stick with Arizona in the prime-time matchup Thursday.
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
Point Spread: -3.5
Pick Popularity: 58%
Category: Value Favorite
The Eagles are coming off a disappointing performance at Las Vegas, while the Lions again kept it close against a good team as a big underdog. But right now, you are getting enough value here — and the Eagles are a big enough favorite — that sticking with them is the sharp move.
As another indication, three teams favored by less than the Eagles are currently all getting around 80 percent pick popularity (Dallas, Atlanta, and Tennessee).
MORE TEAMRANKINGS: Week 8 survivor pool advice (link coming soon)
Get All Our Week 8 NFL Picks
Football Pick ’em Picks from TeamRankings is the only product that gives you the picks, tools, and analysis you need to maximize your edge in NFL pick ’em pools. It uses algorithms to identify the calculated risks that give you the best chance to win your straight-up, point spread, or confidence pool.
From a strategy perspective, game theory is a foundational aspect of winning pick ’em pools. In short, to win a pick ’em pool, you have to score points that your opponents miss. That means you need to identify unpopular picks that are worth a calculated gamble and avoid trendy upset picks not worth the risk. Our product does all that number crunching for you, 71 percent of our subscribers report winning a prize in football picks contests.
If you want to learn more about football pick ’em pool strategy, you can also check out our free articles about strategy for winning football pick ’em pools.
Good luck in your pools this week!