Seattle is flying high after a Week 8 win over division rival San Francisco

Stephen Brashear AP

After we saw a handful of upsets in Week 8, teams enter the back half of their schedules some are vying for playoff positions while others are struggling to keep their season alive.

Week 8 saw the Titans, Packers, Browns, and Rams get upset by their opponents. The Seahawks and Steelers picked up impressive victories to keep their foothold among the top teams. Tom Brady and his Buccaneers barely escaped with a Monday Night Football win over the Giants. Dallas' woes continued on Sunday night as they lost to the Eagles and failed to score a touchdown for the second consecutive week.

Let's take a look at the Week 9 power rankings based on what we've seen so far this season.



32. New York Jets (0-8, Last Week 32 +/- 0) - Gross.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6, Last Week 31, +/- 0) - Should have traded Gardner Minshew at the deadline.

30. New York Giants (1-7, Last Week 30, +/- 0) - Looked competitive against Tampa Bay in Week 8, but the outlook for the season still looks bleak.

29. Dallas Cowboys (2-6, Last Week 29, +/- 0) - Should have traded for Gardner Minshew at the deadline.

28. Washington Football Team (2-5, Last Week 28, +/- 0) - Football Team gets the Giants coming off their bye week and will hope to get continued production from Antonio Gibson to put a win streak together.

27. New England Patriots (2-5, Last Week 26, - 1) - The Pats fell just short against Buffalo in a game that could've gotten their season back on track, at least from a record standpoint. Instead they're at the bottom of the division looking up and in unfamiliar territory at this point in the season.

26. Houston Texans (1-6, Last Week 24, - 2) - The Texans come out of their bye week with the Jaguars, Browns, Patriots, and Lions on their schedule. This stretch could put them back in the playoff picture if Deshaun Watson can will them to some wins.

25. Chicago Bears (5-3, Last Week 18, - 7) - The Bears lost in OT to the Saints in Week 8, and they slide down seven spots this week. Although they looked better offensively in this game, we need to see it on a more consistent basis.

24. Carolina Panthers (3-5, Last Week 17, -7) - The potential of Christian McCaffrey this week may reverse the drop the Panthers took in the rankings this week. They managed to go 3-3 while McCaffrey was injured behind good play from Teddy Bridgewater and Mike Davis. Their division is competitive, but they're within arm's length of a wildcard spot once they get CMC back.

23. Los Angeles Chargers (2-5, Last Week 21, - 2) - The Chargers lost a close one in Week 8 to the Broncos 31-30. Justin Herbert continues to impress however, and Mike Williams appears to be getting in sync with the rookie QB.

22. Detroit Lions (3-4, Last Week 14, - 8) - After looking better with Kenny Golladay in the lineup, the Lions got blown out 41-21 by the Colts in Week 8 knocking them down a few spots this week.

21. Denver Broncos (3-4, Last Week 27, + 6) - A good comeback victory against a surging Chargers team behind the play of Justin Herbert caught our attention. Resulting in Denver being a big mover on the list this week in the right direction.

20. Las Vegas Raiders (4-3, Last Week 19, - 1) - The Raiders dominated the Browns offense and really should have won by a lot more. The Raiders lose a spot this week due to their average performance against a flat Cleveland team in Week 8.

19. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1, Last Week 25, + 6) - The Bengals had an impressive win over the Titans last week and resulted in them jumping up six spots this week. They're on a bye this week and have the Steelers in Weeks 10 and 15. But in between those games Cincinnati plays Washington, the Giants, Miami, and Dallas. While the playoffs are probably out of the question in a competitive AFC, what Joe Burrow and the Bengals have done this year at least makes you wonder Who Dey?

18. Atlanta Falcons (2-6, Last Week 23, + 5) - The Falcons seem higher on this list than they should be, but their potential has been close to the surface all season and they seem poised to breakout. Their five spot jump is preemptive to what we expect to see from them the rest of the way out.

17. Minnesota Vikings (2-5, Last Week 20, +3) - It looks like Dalvin Cook is healthy and he has been the most explosive runner in the NFL when healthy. He is leading the league in rushing touchdowns and has been the focal point of that offense that includes a developing Justin Jefferson opening up the passing game. Like Atlanta, the Vikings benefit from the direction we see them going in.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1, Last Week 22, + 6) - Speaking of teams making big jumps we see the Eagles(!) making a six spot jump up our rankings this week. They have won two in a row and appear to be the clear favorites to win the NFC East. Even if they finish under .500 they still project to be a division winner.

15. Cleveland Browns (5-3, Last Week 11, - 4) - After throwing for five touchdowns in Week 7, Baker Mayfield fell flat on his face in an awful loss to the Raiders in Week 8. The Browns are now without Odell Beckham and need Nick Chubb to return from IR to help boost the running game to the level we saw earlier in the season. This is a good spot for them as they're season is teetering and could go either way depending on the next few weeks.

14. Miami Dolphins (4-3, Last Week 15, + 1) - Tua Tagovailoa got his first NFL win in the first start of his professional career but the Dolphins' defense and special teams helped out adding a fumble returned for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown to beat the Rams in Week 8.

13. Los Angeles Rams (5-3, Last Week 13, +/- 0) - The Rams five wins are against the Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins, Giants, and Bears. Their three losses have come against the Dolphins, 49ers, and Bills. Something is askew and we should know who the real Rams are after the next couple weeks.

12. San Francisco 49ers (4-4, Last Week 12, +/- 0) - Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle went down with injuries in Week 8 and it looks like Kittle will be gone for at least eight weeks. Why do they remain at 12 this week in the rankings? Kyle Shanahan has done an extraordinary job with this team through injuries so far, and until he proves unable to keep up, I'm keeping the faith in him.

11. Indianapolis Colts (5-2, Last Week 16, + 5) - The Colts trounced the Lions last week and hope to keep that offensive momentum going as they'll have Baltimore this week.

10. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, Last Week 8, - 2) - This seems like a really low spot for Baltimore and it is. But keep in mind they dropped a few spots the prior week just because they were on a bye and they took a loss in which Lamar Jackson looked pretty bad. They don't drop further though because that bad loss was to the undefeated Steelers and that nasty defense.

9. Arizona Cardinals (5-2, Last Week 7, - 2) - Arizona coming off the bye drops a couple spots, but are riding a three game winning streak into their Week 9 matchup with the Dolphins.

8. New Orleans Saints (5-2, Last Week 10, + 2) - Winners of four straight, the Saints will hope to keep the momentum going against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers this week.

7. Tennessee Titans (5-2, Last Week 4, - 3) - Losers of two straight, the Titans want to avoid a mid season slide after starting out 5-0. The loss to the Steelers wasn't alarming, but dropping a Week 8 game to the Bengals certainly raises a flag.

6. Buffalo Bills (6-2, Last Week 9, +3) - Even though they haven't looked their best the past two weeks in division matchups against the Jets and the Patriots, the Bills have managed to win. They will have the Seahawks, Cardinals, and Chargers over their next three games with a bye scheduled for Week 11.

5. Green Bay Packers (5-2, Last Week 6, + 1) - The Packers dropped their second game in three weeks as they lost to the Vikings in Week 8. They don't lose much ground in the rankings though because of what we've seen out of Aaron Rodgers this season. Once they get healthy we expect the Packers to finish the season as NFC North champions.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2, Last Week 3, - 1) - The Bucs drop a spot here because of the struggle they had closing out the Giants on Monday night. They shouldn't have been in a position where they were needing to come back and it feels like they were overlooking this game and their opponents.

3. Seattle Seahawks (6-1, Last Week 5, + 2) - The Seahawks had an impressive win over division rival, San Francisco last week. Russell Wilson had four touchdown passes while Seattle was without their top two running backs in Week 8.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1, Last Week 2 +/- 0) - KC took care of business against the Jets handling them easily. They have Carolina this week before their bye and they're in the driver's seat to win the AFC West.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0, Last Week 1, +/-0) - The Steelers had an important division win against the Ravens in Week 8 allowing them to remain undefeated. Turnovers made the difference in that game and the Pittsburgh defense continues to be one of the most feared in the league. The Steelers have the Cowboys, Bengals, and Jaguars over their next three games before taking on the Ravens for the second time. The path for them heading into that game 10-0 is pretty clear.


Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Tom Pennington, Getty Images

In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Bam Adebayo's 31-point and 10-rebound double-double led the Miami Heat to a 109-103 victory over the Celtics on the road. That was followed by a dominant second-half performance by Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins who led the Warriors to a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

Tonight, we'll get the first of these two matchups. Boston will look to come back in their second home game against a Heat team that is clearly not at 100% healthy. Tyler Herro has been ruled out for Game 4 while Kyle Lowry remains questionable. Here are some of the best bets for tonight's and tomorrow's big Game 4s.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 3:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

ECF Game 4: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics -7 (MIA Leads 2-1)

In Game 4, the Celtics rallied back from double-digits to make things interesting in the fourth quarter. However, Boston conceded Game 3 to the Miami Heat 109-103. On Sunday, Bam Adebayo was getting everything he wanted down low. He finished with 31 points, 10 boards, six assists, four steals, and one block. Ime Udoka will need to boost the presence of his big men down low, perhaps by extending Daniel Theis’ minutes or having him share the floor more with Al Horford. The major reason for which the Heat are considered the seven-point underdogs for tonight’s game is injuries. Tyler Herro has already been ruled out for Game 4, and the Heat have four or five other players in their lineup currently listed as questionable. This includes Max Struss, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and P.J. Tucker. Butler is dealing with knee inflammation which sidelined him for the second half of Game 3.

Even if all of the players in the Heat’s rotation are good to go tonight (outside of Herro), Boston has not lost back-to-back home games since late October. Plus, Jaylen Brown is shooting much better than he did earlier in the postseason. In fact, he’s elevated his shooting to 50% from the field through the 2021-22 playoffs through 14 games played. Expect Boston to bounce back big in Game 4, with multiple players on the Miami Heat not at full strength.

The Pick: Boston Celtics -7 (-110)

WCF Game 4: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Well, it’s looking like the Golden State Warriors are returning to the NBA Finals. With the emergence of Jordan Poole late this season and into the postseason, Andrew Wiggins’ First-Team All-Star season, and Klay Thompson’s return to basketball, Golden State has been simply phenomenal. Golden State is simply that good this year, with anyone on the team capable of stepping up. Stephen Curry erupted in Game 3, while it was Andrew Wiggins that caught fire in the second half of Game 4. Any given night, the Warriors have one or two guys who they can count on for scoring approximately 25+ points. Considering the Mavericks' struggles this round, particularly behind the three-point line, bettors should go with the Warriors as the slight underdog. Teams get swept sometimes. Just ask the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors will bring out the brooms and sweep the Mavericks as they punch their ticket to the NBA Finals Tuesday night.

The Pick: Golden State Warriors ML -104

NBA Player Props

Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Prop #1: Stephen Curry, Over 27.5 Points

Stephen Curry has scored 31 points and 32 points over the last two games. He’s done so by converting at least 50% from the field in each contest. It makes sense that he would score at least 28 points in a series-clinching victory tomorrow night. Curry is averaging 27.1 PPG on 45.9% this postseason but has certainly put up more points and done so more efficiently over the last few games.

Prop #2: Luka Doncic, Over 3.5 Threes

Luka has drained nine three-pointers over the last two games. He’s knocked down at least four threes in three of his last four contests. Facing elimination and hoping to not let down the home crowd in back-to-back home playoff games, Doncic will convert at least four baskets from downtown in Game 4.

Tyler Herro (Left), Bam Adebayo (Right), Miami Heat

Getty Images

Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and the Miami Heat held their own against the Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Likewise, Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a 112-87 blowout over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Tonight, the Celtics play their second game on the road against the Heat. On Friday night, the Mavericks will look to bounce back after shooting horrifically in Game 1.

Let’s take a look at the best bets for the two NBA Conference Final Game 2 matchups set for 8:30 PM EST. tonight and 9:00 PM EST. tomorrow night.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 4:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -2 (MIA Leads 1-0)

After a nail-biting series with the Milwaukee Bucks that the Celtics won in grandiose fashion, Boston conceded Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat. Tonight, they play Game 2 of the series at the FTX Arena and hope to bounce back from Tuesday’s 11-point loss. One of the principal reasons for their defeat in Game 1 was the absence of Marcus Smart (foot sprain) and Al Horford (health & safety protocols). It remained a relatively close game until the third quarter in which the Celtics were outscored 14-3 to begin the second half. Derrick White filled in for Marcus Smart and was terribly inefficient from the field. He scored three points (1-4 FG) and had four assists in 29 minutes filling in for the Defensive Player of the Year. In contrast, Max Struss and Gabe Vincent did a terrific job of filling in for Kyle Lowry, combining for 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting. In addition, Tyler Herro had a good night with a pivotal 18 points (7-15 FG) off the bench. Fortunately for the Celtics, both Smart and Horford are expected to return tonight.

Head Coach Ime Udoka indicated to reporters today that Smart was probable to play this evening. Horford was cleared of health and safety protocols today making him available for tonight’s contest. For those of you who have watched the Celtics this postseason, Horford and Smart have upped their play and have been absolutely integral to the team’s success. Tonight, let’s take the Boston Celtics to take a game on the road in the same fashion that they took two road games from the Bucks in the last series.

The Pick: Boston Celtics ML +108

Tonight's Best NBA Player Props

Game: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -2 (MIA Leads 1-0)

Prop#1: Gabe Vincent Over 9.5 Points
In Game 1 without Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent scored 17 points in 34 minutes on 50% shooting from the field. As Kyle Lowry is out again for Game 2 tonight, expect Vincent to score at least 10 points. Vincent has performed admirably while filling in for the veteran. Even when Lowry returns, it's quite possible that Erik Spoelstra will give some of Lowry's minutes to Vincent.
Prop#2: Al Horford Over 9.5 Points
After five straight double-digit scoring performances, Al Horford scored eight points or fewer in the last three games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Bucks. He missed Game 1 of the Celtics' series against the Miami Heat after entering Health & Safety protocols. Since he was only out for one game, he shouldn't face any minute restrictions tonight. Horford should score at least 10 points in 30+ minutes on the floor.

Tomorrow Night's Best NBA Bet

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State -6 (GSW Leads 1-0)

Dallas was annihilated by Golden State in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. This comes after the Mavs blew out the Phoenix Suns on the road in impressive fashion, punching their ticket to the next round of the playoffs for a series against the Warriors. Golden State shot an impressive 56.1% from the field in the opening game and finished with 112 points. Just as important as the offensive production, Golden State clamped down on defense. The Warriors contained Luka Doncic, who converted just six of his 18 field goals on his way to 20 points. Andrew Wiggins did an excellent job guarding the young playmaker. Luka's teammates didn't help out much either as the Mavericks shot 36% from the field in Game 1, and 22.9% from downtown (11-48 3PT FG) for just 87 points on the night.

While I think the Warriors will win again on Friday night, expect the Mavericks to keep things more interesting after such an abysmal night shooting from the field. Dallas will make the adjustments needed to make this a competitive Game 2 in the Bay area.

The Pick: Dallas Mavericks +6 (-110)

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Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Klay Thompson is coming off one of his signature Game 6 performances. Thompson dropped his second-highest point total of the postseason, punching Golden State's ticket to the Western Conference Finals after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. In the elimination game, Thompson led the team with 30 points (11-22 from the field and 8-14 from beyond the arc), eight boards, two assists, and three blocks. Considering the multitude of injuries he has fought back from and the adversity he has faced, it's quite amazing that the five-time All-Star has converted at least 50% of his three-point shots in three of his last four outings. He seems to be in great form entering this pivotal series with the Mavericks.

Dallas stunned the top-seeded Phoenix Suns and reigning Western Conference champs on the road in Game 7, 123-90, and earned a trip to the Western Conference Finals. Let's see if Thompson can remain scorching hot as Stephen Curry and the Dubs host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals tonight. Now, let's take a look at some of the best bets and player props to consider for tonight’s big matchup!

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 3:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Bet #1: Golden State Warriors -5 (-110)

Following a tough loss in Game 5 to the Grizzlies despite Ja Morant’s absence from the lineup, the Warriors bounced back and closed the series at home in Game 6. They take on the Dallas Mavericks, who’ve been absolutely unbelievable on defense. Changes made to the Mavs’ rotation by Jason Kidd worked flawlessly against Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and the Suns in the previous round. One surprise for Dallas this postseason has been former New York Knicks lottery pick, Frank Ntilikina. He's a player who has stepped up immensely this postseason, especially on defense. Throughout the series, Ntilikina held Chris Paul and Devin Booker to a combined 3-of-40 shooting from the field when he guarded them.

It will be interesting to see if Jason Kidd keeps his minutes up, or perhaps increases them after what was truly an astonishing defensive performance against the Suns. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors have four efficient scorers who will need to be contained. The Warriors will cover the spread tonight and win by more than five points on their home floor.

Bet #2: Over 214.5 Total Points (-110)

Dallas scored an impressive 123 points in Game 7, and they did so on the road. I expect them to reach at least 110 points in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors shot on and off throughout their series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Nonetheless, they averaged 111 PPG in their series against Memphis (666 total points scored by the Warriors over six games). Both teams play a style of basketball that stresses ball movement to find an open man beyond the arc. When Dallas or Golden State shoot 40%-45% from the field, they can score in the hundreds because of the high volume of shots they take. Dallas started taking more shots and playing at a faster pace in the second half of their series against Phoenix. By the half in Game 7, Dallas was up 57-27. In the game, the Mavericks went 19-of-39 from downtown (48.9%). Even more impressive was Dallas’ 56.8% shooting from the field. Although the Warriors are one of the best defensive teams in the league, a 214.5-point Over / Under for tonight’s game is quite low. Smash the Over.

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NBA Player Props of the Night

Prop #1: Jordan Poole Over 1.5 Threes (-174)

Jordan Poole has finally cooled down after a stretch of three 20-point games against the Grizzlies. Over the last three contests, Poole has only hit two or more three-pointers in one contest. Over those last three games, he shot a combined 3-of-17 from downtown. While Poole has been highly inefficient over the last few games, he’ll hit at least two three-pointers in Game 1 tonight. The odds of this prop reflect how likely it is to happen. Although Poole isn't seeing as high a usage rate as when Curry and Thompson were injured during the regular season, Poole should still see plenty of open looks in the 25+ minutes he should log tonight. Given that Dallas will most likely try to stop Curry and Thompson from beating them, Poole should see a few wide-open looks. He will knock down at least two from deep range tonight.

Prop #2: Klay Thompson Over 20.5 Points (-112)

Klay Thompson has averaged just about 20.5 points since he came back this regular season. Throughout the postseason, he’s played strong and for the most part, been efficient from the field. Through 11 games in this postseason, Thompson is averaging 20.4 PPG on 45% shooting from the field. I like him to hit the over here in his first Western Conference Final matchup in three years. After getting his swagger back and dropping 30 points to eliminate the Grizzlies last round, Thompson should have all. the confidence in the world heading into Game 1 in the bay.

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