Back to even on a very odd weekend of NFL football. Somehow, the San Francisco 49ers were not able to dominate the Las Vegas Raiders. Sam Darnold kept the Carolina Panthers close but a last-minute long drive by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sealed a loss.
Going into the last week of the season, the weekly best bets are sitting completely even but there is nothing like the end to make a push. Thanks to our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook for the following lines. These are the best bets for Week 18 of the NFL regular season.
NFL Week 18 best bets
Season tally: 22-22-3
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins(-3)
The Miami Dolphins are still fighting for the playoffs while the New York Jets are making vacation plans. Both teams will have backups to the backup quarterbacks starting. Skylar Thompson versus Joe Flacco was not on anyone’s NFL bingo card this year. In week 18, these two quarterbacks will help decide the last playoff spot in the AFC. If the Dolphins win and Patriots lose to the Bills, the Dolphins earn a spot. Mike McDaniel will surely have his team ready to play. The Dolphins have enough veterans on the team to stabilize the team until either Teddy Bridgewater or Tua Tagovailoa is ready to return. Take the team with something to play for, the Dolphins.
Los Angeles Rams(+6) at Seattle Seahawks
The Rams have been out of playoff contention, but the team has played hard recently. Baker Mayfield is playing to prove that he deserves a shot at being an NFL starter. The Rams as a whole would love to knock the Seahawks out of the playoffs as well. These two divisional rivals share no love, and the Rams would relish sending the Seahawks home. Even if the Seahawks do pull out the win, six points is a big number for a divisional game. Expect a close game and take the Rams and the points in Seattle.
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Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals(-9.5)
After Monday night’s tragic incident with Damar Hamlin, the Bengals are going to be ready to show that they deserve a shot at the number one overall AFC seed. It is not a good week to be the Ravens, especially without Lamar Jackson once again. The coin toss rule that the NFL approved if the Ravens win this week slighted the Bengals sideline and fanbase. The Bengals will not want to leave their fate in the hands of a coin toss. After not playing a full game last week either, the Bengals almost got a physical bye week, even if it was not a mental or spiritual one. Expect the Bengals to dominate the game and prove they are a force in the upcoming playoffs. The Bengals win by more than 10 against the divisional rival Ravens this week.
Wild card pick of the week
Season tally: 9-7-0
41 points for the Green Bay Packers last week but only one passing touchdown from Aaron Rodgers. The Packers defense dominated the game, leading to Rodgers not having to do much. This stopped the streak of winning for the wild card pick of the week. One last ride, let’s finish strong. The Carolina Panthers are missing their top two corners, while the New Orleans Saints usually let the Panthers stick around in every divisional game. Panthers players are fighting to keep their head coach while the Saints play for pride and contracts. Both teams are likely to play hard, especially on offense this week. A total of just 42 points seems very low in what could be a shootout. Take the over on the Saints and Panthers this week and enjoy the fireworks.
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