More Sports:

October 26, 2023

Week 8 NFL picks

Who's Jimmy Kempski taking this week in the NFL?

Eagles NFL
102623JalenHurts Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles are a lot better than the Commanders.

For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 8 NFL picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.


Buccaneers at Bills (-8.5): The Bucs had a chance to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the NFC South with a win over the Falcons Week 7, but they blew it, and now they have a tough stretch in their next four games:

  1. At Bills on a short week
  2. At Texans
  3. Titans
  4. At 49ers

Obviously, the Bills are one of the most talented teams in the NFL, despite having dropped three games already. They need this one to keep pace in the AFC East. Feels like a Bills blowout.


Eagles (-6.5) at Commanders: A lot of oddball, unlucky plays went against the Eagles in this matchup Week 4, and the Eagles came away with a win anyway.

The Commanders are 27th in point differential (-50), 27th in DVOA, 28th in pass defense (248 passing yards allowed per game), and they are on pace to give up the second-most sacks in NFL history (they have already allowed 40 sacks). They have bad matchups across the board against this Eagles roster, most notably their offensive line against the Eagles' pass rush, and their secondary against the Eagles' receivers.

Yes, the Commanders tend to give the Eagles fits, but we probably don't need to overthink it. The Eagles are really good, and the Commanders are really bad.


Jaguars (-2.5) at Steelers: The Steelers are 4-2, with a -24 point differential. In their two losses they got blown the eff out. 

  1. Week 1, 49ers: 7-30
  2. Week 4 at Texans: 6-30

In three of their four wins, their opponent was kinda like, "Feeling good... feeling good... feeling good... OH GOD WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?"


They remind me a lot of the way the 2022 Giants were winning games. They just hang around and eventually their opponent makes a big mistake or two. I certainly get that Mike Tomlin is a great coach who somehow finds a way to at least get to 0.500 every season without fail, but the way they are winning these games does not feel sustainable to me against good, well-coached teams, which I believe the Jaguars are.


Patriots at Dolphins (-9.5): When the Dolphins got punched in the mouth earlier this season against the Bills, they responded with a comfortable win against a bad team (the Giants) at home the following week. I imagine they'll do the same this week after their offense was shut down on Sunday Night Football in Philly. 


Vikings (PK) at Packers: I suppose the Vikings aren't outright favored in this game because they have a road game on short rest, and teams that play the 49ers tend to lose the next week? Those aren't compelling enough intangibles to scare me away. The Vikings are a competent football team. The Packers are a bad football team. Give me the Vikings all day.


Jets (-3) at Giants: The Giants are playing better of late. They nearly beat the Bills in primetime Week 6, and they handled their business on the road against the Commanders Week 7. I like the Jets' defensive front against the Giants' bad offensive line, but I don't think the Giants are the embarrassing train wreck they were earlier in the season. Give me the Jets, but in a tight, boring game.


Rams at Cowboys (-6.5): The Rams will be a very interesting team to watch if they are sellers at the trade deadline, which I believe they will be if they lose this game. And, you know, they will probably lose this game.


Saints (-1) at Colts: The Saints have lost four of five, and as noted in the Hierarchy this week, Derek Carr is not on the same page as his receivers. Meanwhile, the Colts don't look like much on paper, but they are playing above expectations.


Texans (-3) at Panthers: The Texans might actually be a decent football team with C.J. Stroud at quarterback and DeMeco Ryans leading a rejuvenated defense, while the Panthers might be the worst team in the NFL. This of course is a matchup between the top two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, Bryce Young and Stroud.


Falcons (-2.5) at Titans: Ugh. I don't like the Falcons even a little bit, but it's hard to roll with a Titans team that essentially just told its players that they are punting on the 2023 season by selling at the trade deadline.


Browns at Seahawks (-3.5): One the one hand, the Browns have an elite defense with the best defensive player in the game in Myles Garrett. On the other hand, they're starting PJ Walker at quarterback. Yes, the Browns beat the 49ers with Walker a couple weeks ago, but I would still categorize this as a "Don't overthink it" matchup.


Chiefs (-7) at Broncos: These two teams just played in Week 6, with the Chiefs winning a 19-8 game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate. The Chiefs have now beaten the Broncos in 16 (!) straight matchups. How is this line only 7? It's not as if the Broncos have some kind of home field advantage over the Chiefs, seeing as they can't beat them anywhere. That line feels like a trap. Eh, screw it, I'll bite.


Bengals at 49ers (-3.5): On Monday Night Football, the 49ers ran a version of the tush push that failed.


Yes, I know... it doesn't look like the way the Eagles run it, but the design here is clearly for Christian McCaffrey to run in and push Purdy from behind.

On that play, the overhead view showed that old friend Jordan Hicks (58) landed a helmet-helmet shot on Purdy.


Purdy is now in the concussion protocol, and there will no doubt be morons who will argue in bad faith that the tush push is a dangerous play, even though Purdy got his bell rung before any pushing of the tush occurred.

Anyway, with Purdy now unlikely to play on Sunday, this line moved from 49ers (-5.5) to 49ers (-3.5), which really isn't that big of a drop. If Purdy indeed cannot go, Sam Darnold will get the start. I loved the Bengals at (+5.5), but now I think I'm just staying away.


Ravens (-8.5) at Cardinals: The Cardinals are 31st in defensive DVOA, and the only team that is worse gave up 70 points and allowed 726 yards against them in one game. The Ravens had been struggling to put touchdowns on the board in the red zone, but then they exploded with touchdowns on each of their first four drives against the Lions Week 7. The Cardinals have lost four straight games, all by at least two scores.


Bears at Chargers (-8.5): Tyson Bagent played above expectations last week for the Bears, completing 21 of 29 passes for 162 yards, a TD, and no INTs, and the Bears' offense ran over the Raiders' defense, racking up 173 yards on the ground. I'll still take the Chargers to win this game, but, you know, never bet on them.


Raiders at Lions (-8): The Lions got boat raced Week 7, and while I don't love Dan Campbell as an in-game coach I do think players buy into his messaging behind the scenes and he'll have them ready to play Week 8. Also, the Raiders suck. #Analysis.

BYE: None.

• Picks against the spread: Bills (-8.5), Eagles (-6.5), Jaguars (-2.5), Vikings (Pk), Texans (-3), Chiefs (-7).

• Eagles picks (straight up): 6-1
• Eagles picks (ATS): 2-4-1

• 2023 season, straight up: 66-42 (0.611)
• 2023 season, ATS: 16-17-3 (0.486) 😨
• 2022 season, straight up: 176-107-2 (0.621)
• 2022 season, ATS: 50-50 (0.500) 
• 2021 season, straight up: 179-105-1 (0.630)
• 2021 season, ATS: 46-40-1 (0.534)
• 2020 season, straight up: 169-81-1 (0.675)
• 2020 season, ATS: 45-37-3 (0.547)
• 2019 season, straight up: 160-107-1 (0.601)
• 2019 season, ATS: 42-35-3 (0.544)
• 2018 season, straight up: 173-94-2 (0.647)
• 2018 season, ATS: 41-36-2 (0.532)
• 2017 season, straight up: 181-86 (0.678)
• 2017 season, ATS: 36-32-2 (0.529)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS:  41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)

• Last 9 years, ATS: 361-308-16 (0.539)

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader