We’re close, folks. As we enter the final week of the regular season, DPJ is absolutely crushing the game (8-3 since Week 14) and I’m slowly but surely pulling myself out of the prop bet induced slump I’ve been battling since Week 15. Usually the last week of the regular season is somewhat lackluster due to elite teams benching their starters in preparation for the postseason… but not this year. With the exception of the Packers, most teams still have something to play for rolling into Week 18 (playoff berths, seeding, byes, etc). This is when good teams play their best… trust the process and always remember to bet smarter, not harder.
Q’s Best Bets (22-22 Overall)
Colts @ Jaguars/49ers @ Rams/Seahawks @ Cardinals
Pick: 10 Point Super Teaser: Cardinals +3.5, 49ers +15, Colts -4.5 (-120 odds)
Different playoff implications across these three games but they all have a common factor, win and you’re in. The Colts will clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the Jags (although they’ll probably get in regardless of the outcome), the 49ers need to win to steal a wildcard spot and the Cardinals have an outside shot at winning the NFC West with a victory over the Seahawks but those efforts could be squashed by a Rams victory over the 49ers (both teams have clinched playoff berths but the division title is still very much so up for grabs).
The Colts were embarrassed by the Jags earlier this season in London, but, I highly doubt Indy doesn’t put a beating on them this go around and solidify their postseason fate. The Jags defense is horrid, Jonathan Taylor is the best RB in the league and the Jags offense should put up less than ideal numbers against a stingy Colts defense. Throwing this into the teaser to be safe but don’t be surprised if the Colts win this one by double digits.
Sean McVay is great, but Shanahan has had his number as of late. Add to the mix the fact that Jimmy G has never lost to the Rams (assuming he plays) and the 49ers are simply just trying to make the playoffs vs the Rams fighting for a seeding position… it feels like one team will want this more than the other. Or at least enough to keep it within two TDs.
I’m nervous to proclaim this but I feel like the Cardinals turned a corner last week with their victory over Dallas. They’ve struggled breaking through that playoff berth ceiling over the past few years but they were able to hold it together against a solid Cowboys team last week and even have a shot at stealing the NFC West title despite a three game skid recently. This is a bullish prediction but I think the Cardinals win this one handily and probably pull off at least one playoff victory as well.
Titans @ Texans/Jets @ Bills/Chargers @ Raiders
Pick: 10 Point Super Teaser: Titans EVEN, Bills -6, Chargers +7.5 (-120 odds)
The Titans are gunning for the top spot in the AFC and the Bills are still trying to lock up the AFC East. The Chargers have to win to make the playoffs in general… Queue the drama.
The Texans are in a race for top draft position and the Titans (astonishingly) are in position to steal the #1 overall spot in the AFC. I’m not super bullish on the Titans in general currently but I do like them enough to at least pull out the victory. Keep in mind… they’re 10 point favorites currently and this will be the first chance they’ve had to snag the top spot in over a decade.
The Bills are in playoff mode now and the Jets suck/have a solid shot at the #1 pick in the draft this year. Enough said.
If the Chargers win, they’re in. I’m nervous trusting them enough to actually win outright so I’m throwing them a TD to be safe but they should play this close (I mean they should win) and I think Herbert takes a big step forward in regards to the “clutch factor” this week.
Panthers @ Buccaneers/Chiefs @ Broncos
Pick: 7 Point Teaser: Buccaneers -0.5, Chiefs -2.5 (-130 odds)
A win for the Bucs could claim them the #2 overall seed in the NFC and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Chiefs are still taking aim at the #1 overall spot in the AFC.
The Panthers have basically thrown in the towel on this season, they can’t move the ball on offense and the Bucs out match them on every side of the ball. The Bucs will be looking to polish things up before the post season and move on from all the AB drama as of late. Expect the Bucs to get out ahead early and stay there.
Despite all the struggles this season, the Chiefs still have a real chance at the #1 overall seed in the AFC. The Broncos have already been eliminated from the playoffs and their QB situation is a mess. Expect the Chiefs electric offense to turn on the lights and for Drew Lock to struggle mightily all game against an improved Chiefs defense.
DPJ’s Best Bets (26-19 Overall)
LA Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders – Sunday, 1/9 (8:20 PM EST)
Pick: Chargers -3
This should be the best game of the weekend and thank god the NFL flexed it to Sunday night. What would have been peak entertainment is if the Colts lose and these two teams both take turns kneeling for four quarters as a tie + an Indy loss would result in both of them being in the playoffs. Sadly, the teams have acknowledged they will not be giving us a kneel-off so we are blessed with a real high stakes game. When the Chargers are fully healthy they are just down right better than the Raiders. I am a little surprised LAC’s defense hasn’t been better this year but they seem to be stout enough when they need to be. I can look beyond a MASSIVE loss to Houston in week 16 with a many players injured and I feel pretty strongly that they will come into Vegas and manhandle the Raiders. This line should be closer to -5 or -6 based on my elaborate algorithm (aka my brain) so we will ride the Charges to a cover and a playoff berth.
Colts @ Jaguars/49ers @ Rams
Pick: 7 Point Teaser: 49ers +12, Colts -7.5 (-130 odds)
There are really only a couple straight bets to be made this week, and I took one of them in the Chargers, so back to Teaser Land we go. If you haven’t kept up with me all season I am a fan of the Los Angeles Rams. I know them well enough to understand that Shanahan owns Sean McVay’s brain. Why exactly that is the case, I am not entirely sure, but the Rams never look the same when they play a Shanahan coached Niner team. I feel decently confident the Rams can win this game…but winning it by double digits feels damn near impossible. Both of these teams have a lot to play for and this should be a fun, hard fought, close game (aka SF covering the +12). Indy is a no brainer. Tough loss for them last week at home vs. the Raiders. Now they get a cupcake against the worst team in football and a W can send them to the playoffs. I would expect a two or even three score lead at halftime and cruise control on a -7.5 line.
Chiefs @ Broncos/Titans @ Texans/Seahawks @ Cardinals
Pick: Chiefs Money Line, Titans Money Line, Cardinals Money Line (-110 odds)
Another one that feels like a no brainer. The two top seeds in the AFC, who both need to win (Chiefs and TItans). Along with the Cardinals who can jump up to the 2 or 3 seed with a win. I am not the slightest bit worried here about KC or TEN. It also works out perfectly that KC plays first on Saturday, once they win it forces TEN to try and win. The threat here is if the Rams go up BIG on the Niners and look like a sure W, the Cardinals are essentially locked into 5 seed, so they might sit the whole offense. I am going to bank on the Rams going up big early not happening (I also took the Niners teased) and will ride Kyler and Co. to what should be a win vs. Seattle. Getting this parlay at even money feels like more thievery. Let’s ride.
Best of the Best Bets – DPJ & Q approved (14-19 Overall)
Chiefs @ Broncos/Titans @ Texans/Colts @ Jaguars/Jets @ Bills
Pick: 4 Team Parlay: Chiefs Money Line, Titans Money Line, Colts Money Line, Bills Money Line (-140 odds)
We’ve already touched on every one of these teams in our individual best bet write ups so I’ll keep this one brief. The Titans and Chiefs are both looking for victories this week to tie up the almighty #1 overall seed in the AFC, the Colts need a win to secure a playoff spot in general and the Bills would clinch the AFC East with a win over the lowly Jets. All of these teams have something to play for and all of their opponents are in a race for position in the 2022 NFL Draft. Expect all of these teams to give you a sneak preview into what they have up their sleeves for the post season this week. – Q
Risky Business (23-42 Overall)
Cowboys @ Eagles: Eagles Money Line (+160 odds)
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