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Top NFL Player-Prop Bets for Week 8 Today

Best Cowboys vs. Rams Player-Prop Bets

Matt Stafford

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matt Stafford has looked very good at times this season -- connecting with a budding receiver duo that appears to be one of the best in the league.

Rookie Puka Nacua, a fifth-rounder, has been the best value pick of the 2023 NFL Draft so far this season, and he hasn’t been slowed down since Cooper Kupp returned from an injury in Week 5.

Together for the first time that week, Nacua and Kupp combined for 189 receiving yards against the Philadelphia Eagles. Kupp posted 118 in his first game back, and Nacua caught seven passes for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Stafford certainly has capable receivers at his disposal, but his passing-yardage line for this week is set at 258.5 against a very talented Dallas Cowboys defense. For me, theis 258.5 number is just too high. Let me explain why.

Stafford hasn’t thrown for more than 230 yards since Week 4. He is consistently over 200 yards, but he hasn’t cleared 258 since an Oct. 1 game against the Indianapolis Colts. The three games in which he managed to exceed 300 passing yards were played against the Colts, Seahawks, and 49ers. In other words, his big passing games came against teams ranked in the NFL’s lower half in terms of passing yards allowed this year.

One would think that Kupp’s return would increase Stafford’s weekly passing-yardage output, but that hasn’t been the case. Why would it suddenly change against Dan Quinn’s defense?

Granted, the Cowboys’ loss of cornerback Trevon Diggs to a season-ending knee injury is a blow to the Dallas secondary, but this team’s defense has guys stepping up all over the field and playing at a high level.

So far this year, Dallas hasn’t allowed a single quarterback to throw for 260 yards. San Francisco’s Brock Purdy had 252, and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert had 227, but the Cowboys have held multiple other quarterbacks to fewer than 200.

The Pick: Matt Stafford Under 258.5 Passing Yards (-110)

Best Steelers vs. Jaguars Player-Prop Bets 

Travis Etienne

Few NFL running backs are performing as impressively as Jacksonville’s Travis Etienne these days. He has been a standout player to watch this year and is single-handedly helping a Jaguars offense that faces significant limitations in its play-calling.

While wide receiver Calvin Ridley suffocates within this offense, Etienne is thriving. Going into this season, I had serious concerns about how many carries Etienne would get, given the team’s addition of running back Tank Bigsby and the fact that head coach Doug Pederson is a disciple of Andy Reid, who has always used running backs by committee.

Etienne is simply playing too well for those concerns to be a factor. He has six touchdowns in his last three games and has carried the football at least 18 times in five of his seven starts this year.

On Sunday, he will face a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that is giving up over 140 rushing yards per game and struggles to contain opposing running backs at the second level.

If the Steelers give Etienne too much space, he’ll be gone -- and I think he breaks a big one this weekend on the road. 

The Pick: Travis Etienne Over 61.5 Rushing Yards (-110)

Best Seahawks vs. Browns Player-Prop Bets

Geno Smith

Seattle quarterback Geno Smith had to be thrilled that DK Metcalf was back at practice this week as a full participant after having missed last weekend's game with injuries to his ribs and hip.

Now that he’s back, Metcalf will need to be at the top of his game to help the Seahawks move the football against what has been the NFL’s best defense for most of this season.

Cleveland allows fewer than 150 passing yards per game, making it the clear frontrunner in this league. Their secondary is outstanding, and with defensive end Myles Garrett leading the charge up front, the Browns’ combination of pressure and tight man-coverage is giving opposition quarterbacks headaches. 

The quarterbacks that at least somewhat managed to find a way around this defense are those who can extend plays and get outside the pocket. The Colts’ Gardner Minshew scrambled for two rushing touchdowns against Cleveland last weekend, and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson had a strong day against the Browns earlier in the year.

Pocket quarterbacks, however, have struggled against Cleveland. Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill looked awful when he faced the Browns, as did the Bengals’ Joe Burrow. Brock Purdy managed only one TD pass when his 49ers lost at Cleveland two weeks ago. 

While Geno Smith can move in space, the Seahawks’ passing offense runs from the pocket. That is going to be an issue this weekend, so I expect to see a lot of work for Seattle running back Kenneth Walker and limited opportunities for Smith in the red zone.

The Pick: Geno Smith Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-175)

Best Panthers vs. Texans Player-Prop Bets

C.J. Stroud

Houston rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has been electric this year. This weekend, he’ll be going up against the only team that passed on him in last spring’s NFL Draft. The Carolina Panthers had the No. 1 overall pick, and they could have drafted Stroud but instead went with QB Bryce Young out of Alabama.

Much has been reported about Carolina head coach Frank Reich and his staff possibly having wanted to get Stroud in the draft even though the team’s ownership was partial to Young. So, this weekend could sting a little for the home team if Stroud goes out and throws for 300 yards.

Despite its faults, Carolina’s defense has allowed fewer than 200 passing yards per game this season. That’s a particularly impressive stat when one considers that the Panthers offense has been struggling and Carolina’s defense has been forced to spend a lot more time on the field than its coaching staff might have expected.

Unfortunately, Panthers star safety Jeremy Chinn was placed on IR last week, and his partner, Vonn Bell, has missed practice this week with a quadriceps injury. Carolina’s banged-up secondary will struggle to contain Stroud, who has thrown for more than 300 yards twice this season and cleared this weekend’s 241.5 line in five of his six starts.

I expect to see the Texans quarterback throw the football a lot in this game, and Stroud will have ample opportunity to put up big numbers against a depleted defense. He is getting the ball out fast and playing at a highly productive level despite the Texans’ issues with their offensive line. If Stroud can continue to play this way under pressure from a talented Panthers defensive front, I think he’ll come close to 300 yards again this weekend.

The Pick: C.J. Stroud Over 241.5 Passing Yards (-115)

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