One of two Saturday NFL Week 18 games, the favored Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5) hosting the Tennessee Titans, is for the AFC South title.
DraftKings bettors are split down the middle, in terms of spread-bet handle, at that number, according to early betting trends.
Joshua Dobbs has been named the starting quarterback for the Titans. Derrick Henry is expected back. In the unforeseen event of a tie, Jacksonville would prevail.
The other game, featuring the chalk Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) at the Las Vegas Raiders, concerns the Chiefs trying to steal the No. 1 playoff seed. They need a win and Buffalo loss to New England on Sunday.
Las Vegas has 57% of the spread-betting love at +7.5, while a significant majority of spread-bet handle, 82%, supports a track meet and Over 52.5 points.
Onto Sunday’s NFL Week 18 Card…
Eagle at Giants Odds
The Eagles have booted two chances to clinch the No. 1 seed and the NFC East.
That’s why Jalen Hurts is considered all but certain to play against the visiting New York Giants, who are locked into the No. 6 playoff seed. Hurts has missed the last two games with a strained shoulder and Philly lost both.
Here are odds from top sportsbook apps.
While the 40-34 road setback to the Dallas Cowboys was expected, the 20-10 home meltdown against the New Orleans Saints last week was not.
Philly needs to overcome mistakes like Gardner Minshew’s Pick 6, a botched 4th-down quarterback sneak, and an ineligible receiver penalty. That one halted a drive that looked prime to at least tie the game when Philadelphia trailed 13-10.
Besides Hurts, once the MVP chalk, they miss star tackle Lane Johnson, who will be out again this week. Johnson is sitting the rest of the season to nurse a torn adductor and has declined surgery. He intends to go in the playoffs. Winning this game would give the Eagles one more week to rest him.
Will the Eagles be ready against the Giants?
The public says thanks for the 14 points, as 73% of the spread handle is on the G-Men. A larger leap of faith, 79% handle, backs the Giants moneyline at +600. This is high support for a two-touchdown dog. Some suspect that the Eagles, -850 on the moneyline, are folding.
Backers of the Eagles believe the Giants will only use key players like Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley for a quarter or so, if at all.
Giants bettors figure Hurts could be rusty after two weeks off and that the Eagles could be tense. If they lose, they could forfeit the bye open the playoffs on the road.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Bettors backing Green Bay are expecting Detroit to be eliminated before the kickoff, because this has become the Sunday night game.
For Green Bay, it’s simple: win and you’re in the playoffs. Detroit, however, needs the visiting Los Angeles Rams (+6.5) to upset the Seattle Seahawks.
The public backs Seattle on the spread and the moneyline both at 53%. The Rams are at least being respected.
If the Seahawks win, they get in if Detroit beats Green Bay.
Should the Rams deliver the upset, Green Bay-Detroit becomes a playoff winner take all and bettors will chase that spread number down.
The Packers might be more thrilled to enter the 2022 playoffs as the final seed than they did ending the 2021 season as the top seed.
This team was all but buried after a midseason losing streak but has carved a playoff path with four straight victories.
The Pack must win to get in. A tie eliminates them.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders
The shoe is on the other foot.
This was expected to be a must-win for the Commanders, because Dallas was supposed to be relegated to a wild-card spot by now.
But the Eagles’ collapse has kept Dallas alive in the NFC East. And the Washington Commanders’ collapse against the Cleveland Browns last week killed its season.
Dallas had a whopping 94% of the spread handle at -5.5 as Wednesday morning.
Riverboat Ron Rivera, the Commanders coach, helped make this Week 18 game meaningless by starting Carson Wentz over Taylor Heinicke last week. Wentz was slow, plodding, and ineffective. Washington bowed quietly 24-10 in a must-win game.
Riverboat Ron, revered as a gambler, threw craps.
New England Dilemma
The Patriots are in a tough spot. They must either beat the AFC’s top team or get help from three other clubs.
Interestingly, the Patriots would hit their projected Over of 8.5 wins with an unlikely win.
Pittsburgh Steelers Still Battling
Beat the Browns, get a Buffalo win over New England, and hope the eliminated New York Jets can upset the Miami Dolphins on the road. The Dolphins are playing with backup QB. Difficult, not impossible for Pittsburgh.
Miami Still in Good Spot
The Dolphins need to beat the Jets and get a Buffalo win over New England. Do-able.
Super Bowl Considerations at Caesars Sportsbook
The Chiefs are the new chalk at +375 to win the Super Bowl, with the Bills next at +400 on the Caesars oddsboard.
The red-hot 49ers are +500, and the sliding Eagles have become +550.
The book has some significant double-digit prices on the Super Bowl exacta. This requires bettors to plot ahead, think of matchups, and pick a winner over the loser in the big game.
- Buffalo over San Francisco is +1200. San Francisco beating Buffalo is +1600.
- Kansas City beating San Francisco is +1200 and +1400 the other way.
- Buffalo defeating the Eagles is +1400 and flipped to +1600 if Philadelphia topples Buffalo.
The screen lists several possibilities and is worth a look.
With the Bengals suddenly getting play, their numbers would pay even larger. Prices dwindle each week and are attractive now.
Mahomes Tops FanDuel Props
The Kansas City superstar needs 430 pass yards to break the all-time record for pass yards in a season (currently 5,477 by Peyton Manning in 2013). Should he succeed, Mahomes pays +700 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Although that’s a lot of yards, the Raiders can force him to try for it if they keep the game close.
- Can Christian McCaffrey notch 199 scrimmage yards to reach 2,000? That’s +600 if he can do it against the Arizona Cardinals.
- Can Miles Garrett notch a sack and Nick Chubb deliver a TD against the Steelers? That’s +240 for yes.
- Can Aaron Rodgers and Jared Goff each toss two touchdown passes? It’s +260 for the affirmative. Goff may play less than normal if the Seahawks beat the Rams.
- Can Haason Reddick notch two sacks? Yes is +350.
NFL Week 18 Lines
Here are current odds for the entire NFL Week 18 slate from US sportsbooks.