Bookies Battle, Week 18 Picks: Heavy Underdog Lean As Season Wraps Up

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Zach Wilson and the Jets are on a three-game ATS streak heading into Week 18 (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)

Underdogs dominate the list of top consensus picks in Week 18 of the Bookies Battle, as contestants are taking the points with five of the six most popular plays in the season’s final week.

In fact, the biggest of all dogs – the Jets – are on a contest-high 80.8% of Week 18 sheets. New York is spotted 17 points at the Buffalo, as contestants scrape a half-point of value from the +16.5 that’s on most oddsboards heading into the weekend. While the Jets are long eliminated from playoff contention, the Bills need a win to secure the AFC East title. New York, though, is on a nice ATS run, looking for its fourth straight cash to close the season.

More than 73% of the field is on the Dolphins, another eliminated AFC East facing a division opponent still in contention. Miami is a 7-point dog at home against the Patriots on Sunday.

Bucs -8 (vs. Panthers) interrupts the trend of underdog picks, garnering 69% of our bookmakers’ plays. Tampa Bay has the NFC South clinched but can move from the No. 3 seed to No. 2 with a win coupled with Rams loss to the 49ers.

Saturday night’s Eagles-Cowboys game has been perhaps the most confounding on the final week’s card, always a tough one to figure out. We’ve seen this point spread range from Dallas -1.5 to -7, and it sits -4 on Friday evening. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy has said he’ll play his starters, but the betting market seems unconvinced, the line tightening as the week has progressed. About 65% of our contestants are on Eagles +7, taking advantage of what’s on track to be excellent closing-line value.

Here are the top six consensus plays for Week 18 of Bookies Battle, with contest lines compared to market numbers as of Friday.

TeamPercentage of picksContest line
(Tuesday)
Market line
(Friday)
Jets80.8%


+17
+16.5
Dolphins

73.1%
+7

+6.5
Bucs69.2%
-8

-8
Eagles65.4%
+7
+4
Seahawks65.4%
+7
+6
Admirals 61.5%
+6.5+7

Down To The Wire

Heading into the final week of the regular season, Duane Colucci from Rampart Casino has tallied 146 winners, two games ahead of Max Schmerin (Rivers Pittsburgh) in second place.

While Max put together a contest-best 12-3 record in Week 17, Duane picked 10 games correctly to maintain his lead. Nick Smith (Snoqualmie) is now four games behind the leader.

First place in the regular season pays $3,000, $1,000 goes to second, and the top 10 finishers advance to compete in the NFL Playoff portion of our contest, with $1,000 going to the winner.

Art Heun (Gold Strike) is currently 10th in the standings, with three contestants – Brad Carpenter (DraftKings), Brian Hebert (Harrah’s), and John Lindheimer (Harrah’s) – three games back of the final playoff spot.

Check the standings and all the contestants’ Week 18 picks here.

Also read: 2022 NFL MVP OddsSuper Bowl Odds | Week 18 early line moves

About the Author

Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto is Senior News Editor for Gaming Today. He has been managing editor at SportsBusiness Daily, Sporting News, The Linemakers, and USA Sports Gaming. Marcus earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

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