Upset Watch appears every Thursday this season for ESPN Insider, as Football Outsiders uses a proprietary formula to forecast the expected point spread of each game based on current DVOA ratings (explained here) and, early in the season, our DVOA projections. Each week we highlight the most likely upset on a game with a line over three points plus an additional game where a significant underdog has a strong chance to cover.
It's tough to find a team with a strong chance for an upset in Week 8 because there are a number of huge mismatches like Seattle-St. Louis and San Francisco-Jacksonville plus six teams on bye. Add on two games with lines that fall just below our three-point minimum, and we end up with this limited slate of possible upsets:
• Dallas (+3) at Detroit
• Miami (+6.5) at New England
• Tampa Bay (+6) vs. Carolina
The game we've chosen as this week's Upset Watch will seem awfully familiar to regular readers of this column, because we're forecasting the same loser we did a week ago. Last week, Detroit was favored at home by the standard home-field advantage of three points but lost to Cincinnati, a team that was superior in the Football Outsiders ratings. This week, Detroit is favored at home by the standard home-field advantage of three points, against another team that is superior in the Football Outsiders ratings.