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Saints to clip Cardinals’ wings? Get NFL Week 8 tips for Sunday

Leigh Copson 25 Oct 2019
Cam Jordan of New Orleans Saints (credit:Stephen Lew/Zuma Press/PA Images)

NFL predictions for Week 8 of the 2019 NFL season. Can the New Orleans Saints make it six wins on the spin and will the Seattle Seahawks bounce back from a disappointing Week Seven defeat? And what about the San Francisco 49ers – will they maintain their perfect record with a win over a Carolina team still being led by Kyle Allen? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (17:00 GMT)

When New Orleans’ talismanic quarterback Drew Brees went down with injury it was widely expected that the Saints would endure something of a drop-off in results during his absence. That has not been the case. Backup Teddy Bridgewater has done an excellent job of filling the void to lead the team on a five-game win streak that has kept them top of the NFC South heading into Week 8,  and has even found success despite injuries to key offensive players like Alvin Kamara and  Jared Cook. Bridgewater could make way for a returning Brees this weekend if the Saints decided to pull the trigger and bring back the veteran signal-caller, but given Bridgewater’s performances and the fact that this is a home game against Arizona, head coach Sean Payton will be comfortable with whoever starts at the controls on offense. The Cardinals do head to the Superdome on a three-game win streak, but let’s not get carried away with that – they have come up against some truly awful defenses and some poor teams during this run. New Orleans do not fall under that billing. The defense has more than played its part in helping the Saints get to 6-1 despite the absence of Brees and that offense showcased its quality once again last week as it put a beating on a Chicago defense that, despite a couple of poor showings statistically, remains one of the best in the entire league. Kyler Murray may have shown plenty of promise in recent weeks, but the Superdome is never an easy place to visit for a rookie QB and his task is made even tougher by this tough New Orleans defense. Murray will have his moments as his stock continues to build, but ultimately it will be the Saints who come out on top, no matter who is leading the offense.

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (17:00 GMT)

Seattle suffered a setback in their pursuit of NFC West leaders San Francisco last weekend. While the 49ers scrapped to a 9-0 win over Washington at a rain-soaked FedEx Field, the Seahawks were falling to a disappointing 30-16 home defeat at the hands of Baltimore. CenturyLink Field no longer appears to be the fortress it once was for Seattle, but they have been faring well on the road this season and that bodes well for Sunday. Pete Carroll’s team have a perfect 3-0 record on their travels, having beaten Pittsburgh, Arizona and Cleveland, and you have to fancy their chances of making it 4-0 when  they head to Atlanta to face a Falcons team that is already counting down to 2020 and has just traded away receiver Mohamed Sanu. It was only a couple of seasons ago that the Falcons made back-to-back postseason appearances, losing in the Super Bowl at the end of the 2016 season before bowing out in the Divisional Round a year later, but they have endured a major slump over the past year and a half and it is safe to say that their season is already over. Having gone 7-9 in 2018, Atlanta are at 1-6 through the first seven weeks of the 2019 campaign, largely due to a defense that has been getting shredded through the air, gashed on the ground, has managed turnovers in just two games so far, ranks 32nd in points allowed and 29th in yards given up. Oh, and they are set to be without starting quarterback Matt Ryan for this game. Therefore you have to believe that this trip to Atlanta is perfect timing for a Seattle team looking to bounce back. Russell Wilson will take full advantage of the Falcons’ defensive deficiencies to improve to 6-2.

* Odds correct at 14:48 BST on 25/10/2019

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (20:05 GMT)

It was hardly pretty and nowhere near as convincing as the pre-match predictions, but San Francisco were able to keep their 100% record intact when they visited the woeful Washington Redskins last weekend. The horrendous weather conditions at FedEx Field made for a closer game than it would normally have been, but once again that 49ers defense took a stranglehold on a game to ensure that the team were winners. They produced a season-best performance as they shut out Washington and held them to just 154 total yards, took their turnover tally to 13 for the season and kept the opposition below 181 yards passing for the third week running, and although they will face a much tougher test on Sunday, they will be confident of passing it. Carolina are sticking with Kyle Allen at quarterback thanks to a string of good performances in Cam Newton’s absence, and the inexperienced signal-caller is likely to once again rely heavily on talented running back Christian McCaffrey. The third-year running back was held to just 57 total yards by Tampa Bay in London a couple of weeks ago, but he was able to find the endzone twice and he has now hit paydirt nine times through the first seven weeks of the 2019 season. McCaffrey will be vital to the Panthers’ chances of pulling off an upset here and San Francisco will be fully aware of that as they put together a plan to shut him down. They will almost certainly pay close attention to him and force Allen to try to beat them through the air, and that is the last thing that the young quarterback needs to be doing against a tough defense on the road – a unit that boasts one of the best secondarys in the National Football League. San Francisco are unlikely to run away with this and may commit a few turnovers to keep things close, but when all is said and done it will be the 49ers adding to the win column as they go 7-0 and continue to stake their claim to being genuine contenders for Super Bowl glory.

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Saints to clip Cardinals’ wings? Get NFL Week 8 tips for Sunday

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