NFL Week 18 Bets

The final week of the NFL is here, and what a tough couple days it has been for the football world. Watching the Damar Hamlin situation unfold on Monday night was easily the craziest and most tragic sports moment I’ve ever witnessed, and I certainly hope to never see something like that ever again. Sadly, that is the reality of the sport that we all love to watch (and lose money watching) so there is no guarantee we won’t have to relive that moment at some point in the future. I’m grateful that as I write this intro Damar is showing significant positive signs of improvement so hopefully we all get to watch and cheer for his recovery back to full health in the coming weeks, months and years. We turn the page to Week 18 at SHB headquarters but we will certainly keep Damar and his family in our thoughts and prayers through the rest of this season and beyond.

DPJ’s Best Bets (After Week 17: 34-37-1 Overall, -4.30 Units Total)

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers – Sunday, 1/8 (8:20 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Over 49 (-110) (1 unit) & Lions +4.5 (-110) (0.75 units, likely to add another 0.5 units before kickoff)

I’ll start by saying I have a bone to pick with the league office on the timing of this one, as this game should either be in prime time on Saturday night or played at the same time as Seahawks/Rams. If the Seahawks win then this game becomes a little less meaningful as the Lions are eliminated, but the Packers can advance with a win. All that being said, I love the Lions here either way. Even if Seattle wins I think Detroit comes out guns blazing with a chance to send a division rival packing. There is no chance in my mind that Dan Campbell sits his starters. He’ll want to send Aaron Rodgers on vacation, perhaps to South America where he can indulge in more hallucinogens. Also worth noting, the Lions have the Rams pick so they should be too concerned about the draft position of their own pick and I wouldn’t expect them to try and tank at all. The weather is looking manageable on Sunday night in Green Bay as well. No precipitation in the forecast and minimal wind so we should ideally see the best of both of these teams. I’m counting on Goff and Lions to do enough against the Packers to keep this one inside of one score and take the total over 49 points. Score Prediction: Packers 28 – Lions 24

*If Seattle wins on Sunday afternoon, this line could creep up to +6 or +7 in which case I will be adding an additional half unit on the Lions. As written above, I think the Lions will be playing hard whether it means a shot at the playoffs or simply eliminating GB from the playoffs. Stay tuned.*

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars – Saturday, 1/7 (8:15 PM EST)
Pick: Jaguars -6 (-110) (1 unit)

What an awesome year it has been for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Doug Pederson was an incredible hire, Trevor Lawrence looks like QB1 for the next decade plus, and their defense is humming at the right time. This is absolutely a square bet but I don’t see a world where Josh Dobbs does enough to keep the Titans in this game. I hate to bet against underdog Vrabel but this Tennessee team just seems to stink. The only chance they have is creating havoc on defense which could keep Jacksonville at bay but just 6 weeks ago the Jags hung 36 on the Titans on the road in Tennessee. I like putting my chips on a proven winner in Trevor Lawrence in situations like this. I’m also looking ahead to a possible Lawrence vs Herbert wild card weekend matchup. Score Prediction: Jags 27 – Titans 13

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers/LA Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Pick: 6 Point Teaser: Browns +9, Rams +12.5 (-110) (1 unit)

I’m calling this one my spoiler dog 6 point teaser. Both the Browns and the Rams come in with zero chance to make the playoffs but a big chance to eliminate a division rival from playoff contention. I’m certainly not picking either team to win outright, although I think it’s possible, but it’s more than feasible for these teams to keep their games close. 

This Steelers offense is incredibly mediocre and I don’t see a world where they beat anyone by double digits. The Browns have been eliminated for weeks but they’re still trying to figure out what the offense looks like with Deshaun and I’d expect them to keep pushing to the finish line in week 18. The fact that the Steelers are only favored by ~3 points in a huge spot to make the playoffs against the already eliminated Browns says a lot about how Vegas feels about this one too. Should be low scoring but I like Cleveland’s chances. Score Prediction: Steelers 20 – Browns 17. 

The Geno Smith Seahawks need a win in the afternoon on Sunday paired with a Packers loss on SNF to advance to the playoffs. They have the pleasure of playing at home against a generally crappy Rams team, yet they’re only 6 point favorites. Hm. This Seattle team has been unraveling for weeks and have seemingly limped to the finish line in week 18. The Rams have been playing backups for most of the season, as they have been decimated with injuries, so this week is nothing new for them. The Rams don’t own their 2023 draft pick so they also have no reason to really tank here at all. What’s ironic is a Rams loss helps the Lions 2023 draft, but eliminates the Lions from the playoffs. What a conundrum. LAR hung around in week 13 vs. Seattle with John Wolford under center and I’d expect a similar result in week 18. Score Prediction: Seahawks 24 – Rams 23

Q’s Best Bets (After Week 17: 24-34 Overall, -6.783 Units Total)

Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders/NY Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles/Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers
Pick: 3 Team Parlay: Chiefs Moneyline, Eagles -6.5, 49ers -2.5 (-106) (1 unit)

What do these three teams have in common? They all have a shot at the #1 seed in their respective conferences this weekend.

The Chiefs and the Eagles both control their own destiny. Win and they earn the #1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Eagles have a somewhat easier path considering the Giants are expected to sit their starters and Jalen Hurts is finally expected to return. The Chiefs have a slightly more difficult road to the #1 seed against a rebellious Raiders team but I’d take Patrick Mahomes over Jarrett Stidham 366 days out of the year. Prepare for the Eagles to win convincingly and for the Chiefs to pull out the victory one way or another. Score Predictions: Eagles 31 – Giants 13, Chiefs 27 – Raiders 23.

While the 49ers need a little bit of help in order to secure the NFC’s #1 seed (they need the Giants to beat the Eagles), they still need to beat the Cardinals regardless to even have a shot and they kick off at the same time as Philly on Sunday (4:25 PM EST). This means that they’ll be forced to monitor the scoreboard all game if they want to sit starters at any point and they have no choice but to come out firing early in case Philly falters late. They’re also going up against a Cardinals team that was eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago, will be missing star WR Deandre Hopkins again and will be starting David Blough under center for the second week in a row. Expect the Purdy train to keep on rolling and for San Fran to cover a field goal with ease. Score Prediction: 49ers 27 – Cardinals 17.

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars – Saturday, 1/7 (8:15 PM EST)
Pick: Derrick Henry Anytime TD Scorer (-110) (1 unit)

These odds are a little head scratching to be completely honest. Henry has 13 rushing TDs on the year (he honestly should have a receiving TD as well), Tennessee will undoubtedly rely on his talents throughout the entire game and Dobbs actually looked pretty decent under center last week. I thought about taking some King Henry rush props this week but the threat of Jacksonville’s passing game pulling away early and forcing the Titans to play from behind for most of the game have caused me to stray away for now. Regardless of game script, it’s hard to think that the Jags’ terrible run defense keeps Henry out of the end zone all game… especially in a divisional clash for all the marbles. For context, this is the best odds on a Derrick Henry “Anytime TD Scorer” prop bet all season. Say less. Prop Prediction: 1.5 TDs.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills/Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Pick: 2 Team Parlay: Bills Moneyline, Colts Moneyline (+126) (1 unit)

Both of these takes are extremely simple so I’ll keep them brief.

The Bills have more to play for than any team in the NFL right now and I’m not talking about the AFC’s #2 seed. Expect to see a passionate effort out of a Buffalo crew determined to let Damar Hamlin know how much they care about him. Score Prediction: Bills W.

Well, well, well… It looks like Jeff Saturday might luck himself into a victory on his way out the door after all. Houston is primed for the #1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and the only factor that could put their top pick at risk would be beating the Colts on Sunday. I have a sneaky suspicion that Houston won’t be at the “top” of their game in Week 18… tanking is an art, right? Score Prediction: Colts 20 – Texans 17.

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars/Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: 2 Team Parlay: Derrick Henry 70+ Rushing Yards, Browns/Steelers Total Points Under 44.5 (+102) (0.5 units)

Derrick Henry needs 71 rushing yards to crack 1,500 rushing yards on the season and he faces a porous Jags run defense that’s likely to receive a hefty dose of King Henry all game long. There’s a decent chance Henry cashes this leg of the parlay in the first half. Prop Prediction: 92 Rushing Yards.

The Browns have nothing to play for on Sunday and the Steelers have to win in order to have any prayer at the postseason. This Steelers defense is STINGY with TJ Watt back in the mix and Deshaun Watson is still clearly finding his footing in a brand new offense. Kenny Pickett has shown spurts of greatness… but that’s about it. Expect a snooze fest in this matchup that results in only a handful of scores due to solid defenses going up against offenses experiencing significant growing pains. Score Prediction: Steelers 20 – Browns 17.

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers – Sunday, 1/8 (8:20 PM EST)
Pick: End Of Regular Season Parlay: Packers Moneyline, Total Points Over 40.5 (-114) (1 unit)

Last bet of the regular season! Aaron Rodgers vs Jared Goff at Lambeau, in the cold and Detroit has nothing left to play for after Seattle’s win today… Love this spot for the Pack in what should be a Dan Campbell Sunday night shootout. The Packers looked like a completely different team last week and I expect that to carry over to Week 18. Score Prediction: Packers 24 – Lions 20.

Disclaimer: SidehustlebetsMJQ.com is not an online gambling operator or a gambling site of any kind. Our insights about sports/sports betting are purely for entertainment purposes only.

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