NFL Week 18 Odds & Early Line Moves: Playoff Picture Mucks Up Spreads

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Dak Prescott and the Cowboys are favored on oddsboards over the Eagles in Week 18 (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

The final week of the NFL’s regular season always offers up the wild, wacky, and weird when it comes to opening lines and movement. It’s hard not to do a double-take when you see SuperBook USA opened the Detroit Lions as 2-point favorites in Week 18 over the Green Bay Packers, who were -11 favorites on the look-ahead line.

But after Green Bay locked up the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a 37-10 win over Minnesota on Sunday night, the Packers may decide to rest starters against the Lions in a game that means nothing to them.

The Lions -2 number met immediate resistance, however, as the Packers are -1.5 at Circa Sports on Monday, while several sportsbooks around the betting market took the game off their oddsboards.

The Cowboys-Eagles tilt was flexed from Sunday to Saturday primetime. While both teams have clinched playoff spots but could improve their seeding with a win, there was early pricing variance for this NFC East clash since there’s uncertainty as to how they’ll approach the game.

The SuperBook hung Dallas -1.5 to open, Circa was as high as -4.5, and the line seems to have settled in the -3 to -3.5 (even) range.]

Proceed with caution and anticipate line fluctuations across the industry based on playoff positions, coaching decisions, and potential COVID developments.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Week 18 slate with all lines current as of Monday morning.

Chiefs (-10, 44.5) at Broncos

This is the early Saturday game in Week 18. The Chiefs lost control of the No. 1 seed after a 34-31 loss at Cincinnati. They’ll need to win and for Tennessee to lose to regain it. K.C. is 5-0 ATS in its last five games at Denver.

Bears at Vikings (-3, 44.5)

With the Vikes eliminated from the playoffs, this line has dipped from the look-ahead line of Minnesota -6. This game has no bearing on the postseason picture.

Patriots (-5.5, 40) at Dolphins

The Pats are still battling the Bills for the AFC East crown, while Miami is no longer in contention for a playoff spot. You might want to look at the total here, as New England has gone ‘under’ in their last four road games.

Colts (-15.5, 44) at Jags

Indy can no longer win its division but still controls its destiny for a wildcard spot with a win at Jacksonville, which mailed it in during a 50-10 loss at New England on Sunday. The Colts are 5-0 ATS in their last five road tilts.

Jets at Bills (-17, 45.5)

The Bills clinched their third straight postseason berth with a 29-15 win over the Falcons but will fight for the division title. Another total to look at here, as the Jets have gone ‘over’ in four of their last five games, including Sunday’s heartbreaking 28-24 loss to Tampa Bay.

Panthers at Bucs (-9.5, 42.5)

Tampa Bay could potentially go from third seed to second seed in the NFC, but another trip to Lambeau Field will be required if the Bucs hope to defend their Super Bowl title. Carolina has lost its last six games and failed to cover the spread in all of them.

Titans (-10.5, 43) at Texans

The Titans captured the AFC South title with a 34-3 win over Miami. They are in line to be the No. 1 seed now after K.C.’s loss at Cincinnati. Interesting stat: Houston is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home games against Tennessee. Deshaun Watson, however, had a lot to do with that.

Washington Football Team (-6.5, 38.5) at Giants

WFT is out of playoff contention after its loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. The Giants were eliminated a long time ago. Stay away.

Saints (-4.5, 40.5) at Falcons

The Saints still have a shot at a wildcard spot. The Falcons were eliminated from playoff contention after Sunday’s loss at Buffalo. New Orleans has gone ‘under’ in its last six games.

Steelers at Ravens (-4.5, 42)

Neither team has been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but hopes are dim for both. The Ravens have covered ATS in their last three home games.

Seahawks at Cardinals (-6.5, 48)

After its 25-22 win at Dallas, Arizona has a chance to clinch the NFC West heading into Week 18. The Cardinals are riding a three-game streak to the ‘under’ entering the season finale.

49ers at Rams (-5.5, 44.5)

The Rams jumped into the No. 2 seed after winning at Baltimore. They’ve clinched a playoff spot but not the division. San Francisco still has work to do to get in. The 49ers have won five games outright against the Rams.

Chargers (-3, 48.5) at Raiders

This one was flexed to Sunday night – and for good reason. This is a win-and-get-in game for both teams. The Raiders are playing good football, but they’ve won just once in their last four games at Allegiant Stadium.

Also read: Super Bowl 2022 Odds

About the Author

Kris Johnson

Writer & Contributor
With more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist, Kris Johnson’s work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and more. Kris also wrote a sports-betting novel entitled The Endgame.

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