We have reached the end of the NFL regular season. Where did the time go? This weekend is the last full slate of games until September. Savor every moment. Watch every snap. Hell, bet every game (responsibly). After a 1-3 record in Week 17, I’m going out on top in Week 18.
Before you place a bet, check to see if the team is resting any players. Some teams need to win to improve their playoff seeding, and some teams need to lose to receive a better draft pick. Take advantage of these elements.
*Lines as of 1/7 at 12 p.m. ET on FanDuel
NFL Week 18 Best Bets
Vikings -5.5 vs. Bears
After getting their doors blown off by the Packers, the Vikings dropped to the 3-seed in the NFC. If the 49ers defeat the Cardinals, the Vikings will be the 3-seed. If the 49ers lose and the Vikings win, Minnesota is the 2-seed. San Fran is a 14.5-point favorite, so the odds of losing are slim to none. What does this mean? The Vikings are going to rest their starters in the second half. Should I be worried? No, because Nathan Peterman is starting for the Bears, not Justin Fields. Yes, the same Peterman with three touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his career. If the Bears lose and the Texans win, the Bears get the number-one pick. The Bears are tanking, and the Vikings would like to win. It’s the perfect storm.
Steelers -2.5 vs. Browns
Death, taxes, and Mike Tomlin finishing the season over .500. After a disastrous 2-6 start, Pittsburgh has won six of their last eight, including a crucial divisional win over the Ravens a week ago. Is Kenny Pickett knocking my socks off with his three touchdown passes in five games? No, but he’s not turning the ball over (1 INT over that same span), and the Steelers are winning one-score games. For the Steelers to make the playoffs, they need to win, and the Patriots and Dolphins need to lose. That’s not far-fetched. The Browns have nothing to play for, but they also don’t have a first-round pick in 2023, so they will be looking to play the role of spoiler. Give me the Steelers at home by a field goal.
NFL Week 18 Underdog of the Week
Raiders +9.5 vs. Chiefs
The Chiefs are a good team. They have the MVP at quarterback. In all likelihood, Kansas City will make the AFC Championship Game for the fifth straight year. However, Kansas City has a fatal flaw. They don’t cover. The Chiefs’ record ATS is alarmingly bad. The Chiefs are 5-10-1 ATS, second-worst in the NFL. Against AFC opponents, the Chiefs are a league-worse 1-10 ATS. Not good, Mike! Let me lay out the situation. The Chiefs need to win to lock up the one-seed in the playoffs so they will defeat the Raiders. However, the Chiefs are on the road playing a division rival who just scored 34 points on the ‘̶8̶5̶ ̶B̶e̶a̶r̶s̶ 49ers. The chiefs win by a touchdown, but the Raiders cover.
NFL Week 18 Teaser of the Week
7 POINTS: Vikings -6.5>+.5, Bills -7.5>-.5
The entire world will be rooting for the Bills in their first game after the terrifying situation with Damar Hamlin. The medical staff is heroes for saving that young man’s life. It’s a miracle that Hamlin will pull through, and I couldn’t be happier. Emotions will be high in Buffalo as they’re looking to secure the two-seed. Josh Allen owns the Patriots. Since 2020, Allen is 4-1 with ten touchdowns and one interception. The Bills are going to pull this one out.
Bets of the Week: 15-14-1
Underdog of the Week: 8-7
Teaser of the Week: 8-7