How Week 8 game time decisions influence point spreads

How Week 8 game time decisions influence point spreads

Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco

Hey, want to talk about an awful football game? The 1-6 San Francisco 49ers are traveling to face the 1-6 Arizona Cardinals, whose only win this season was against the 1-6 49ers, today. Arizona’s offensive line has been so bad that rookie quarterback Josh Rosen has looked like a decent quarterback, despite his 66.0 passer rating, this season.

In the preseason, we couldn’t even get that look from Rosen because the Cardinals’ backup offensive linemen were so bad. The worst news about this game? Both of Arizona’s guards, Justin Pugh and Mike Iupati, are listed as questionable this week. For those of you who are not offensive line inclined, remember that Pugh and Iupati are playing out contracts that are worth a combined $85 million. If they are both out of this game, expect the line to move at least a point.

Chicago Bears vs New York Jets

The New York Jets are riddled with injuries right now, but the “out” and “doubtful” designations mean that their missing players are already baked into the line. On the other hand, Chicago Bears pass-rusher Khalil Mack is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and it appears that wide receiver Allen Robinson is going to miss the game.

It’s a big deal when your newly signed stars, the two players with the highest cap hits on the team in just their first year into their new contracts, are going to miss the game. A loss of Mack should move the line at least a half-point immediately. The loss of Robinson might make up another half point. As Bill Belichick said: Trubisky isn’t going to beat us passing.

With no Robinson and no Mack, the margin of error for the Bears, even at home, gets much tighter.

Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints

Hey, another home NFC team. For whatever reason, the biggest injury narratives on Sunday revolve around them. The Minnesota Vikings, who are looking better by the week after stumbling out of the gate, are going head-to-head with the New Orleans Saints and MVP candidate Drew Brees.

The issue? Linebacker Anthony Barr is already ruled out. Safety Andrew Sendejo is already ruled out. First-round cornerback Mike Hughes just went on injured reserve. Nose tackle Linval Joseph is listed questionable with an ankle injury. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is listed questionable with a foot injury.

The loss of Joseph and Rhodes would be worth a point of value. Keep that in mind when the news on those two rolls out in the morning. The Saints are not a team to miss four defensive starters against.