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NFL Week 18 Point Spread Picks

Credit: NFL.com

Welcome to my NFL week 18 point spread picks column. Unfortunately I suffered my worst results of the season last week as I went 6-10. I am now 138-118 on the year and currently ranked 430 out of 8598 for the season. You can always view all of my past weekly performances and my results here. There will be some teams that have cemented their spot in the postseason that will be resting their starters this weekend as they prepare for the playoff push because this is the final weekend of the NFL regular season. I will be continuing to make my picks for each week of the NFL playoffs as well. Let’s take a look at my picks for this week!

Saturday, January 8th

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) @ Denver Broncos (7-9) Line: Chiefs by 9 1/2

The Chiefs need a win and a Titans loss to secure the top overall seed and home field advantage in the AFC. The Kansas City defense blew a late lead to the Bengals in their 34-31 defeat in week 17. The Broncos are now officially eliminated from postseason contention. Denver QB Drew Lock will be auditioning for a spot on the roster next season with starting QB Teddy Bridgewater officially placed on IR. Pick: Chiefs

Dallas Cowboys (11-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) Line: Cowboys by 6 1/2

Dallas has already clinched the NFC East and the Eagles have secured a wild card spot as they head into the final week of the season. Philadelphia has now won four straight contests. Dallas is tied for the best against the spread record in the league at 12-4. Pick: Cowboys

Sunday, January 9th

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) @ Cleveland Browns (7-9) Line: Bengals by 2 1/2

The Bengals will be headed to the playoffs as the AFC North champions. The Browns are headed home following this game after having been eliminated by the Steelers last week. Cleveland will be starting Case Keenum at quarterback this week. The Bengals will have a lot to play for as they try to hold on to the number three seed in the AFC playoffs. Pick: Bengals

Green Bay Packers (13-3) @ Detroit Lions (2-13-1) Line: Packers by 2 1/2

The Packers have secured the number one overall seed and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Green Bay is also tied for the best record in the league against the spread. I’m a bit nervous that the Packers will rest many of their starters in the second half of this contest with such little reason to compete. I do think that they will jump out to a large enough lead to hold on for the victory however. Pick: Packers

Chicago Bears (6-10) @ Minnesota Vikings (7-9) Line: Vikings by 2 1/2

Chicago head coach Matt Nagy and Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer will be trying to prove that they deserve to keep their jobs in this game. Both teams had playoff aspirations at the beginning of the season, however, they will each be starting the offseason earlier than they had anticipated. The Bears are the third worst team in the NFL against the spread at 6-10 while the Vikings are a mediocre 8-8. Pick: Vikings

Washington Football Team (6-10) @ New York Giants (4-12) Line: Football Team by 6 1/2

Washington has lost four straight contests while New York has lost five in a row. The Giants have somehow looked even more inept on offense with QB Daniel Jones sidelined by an injury. New York now ranks 31st overall offensively for the season. Pick: Football Team

Indianapolis Colts (9-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14) Line: Colts by 15 1/2

If the Colts win this game then they are in the playoffs. If they lose, however, it will open up a whole slew of possibilities in the AFC. The Colts haven’t won a game in Jacksonville since 2014. The Jaguars will lock up the number one overall pick if they lose this game. That should be enough to end the Colts road losing streak against the Jaguars. Pick: Colts

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (8-8) Line: Ravens by 5 1/2

Both of these teams need to win and to get help to get into the playoffs. The Steelers need to win and to have the Colts lose. The Ravens need the victory and to have the Dolphins, Colts, and Chargers to all lose on Sunday. I think that it will be a tall task for Baltimore as they will be without QB Lamar Jackson once again. I’m actually surprised that the Ravens are favored in what could be Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger’s final game. Pick: Steelers (Pick of the Week)

Tennessee Titans (11-5) @ Houston Texans (4-12) Line: Titans by 10 1/2

If the Titans win this week then they will secure home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Texans have looked better since installing rookie Davis Mills as their starting QB. Titans RB Derrick Henry was activated from IR earlier this week which opens a 21 day window for him to return from breaking the fifth metatarsal in his foot in week 8. Despite this Henry is still sixth in the NFL with 970 yards rushing. I look for the Titans to avenge their loss earlier in the season to the Texans but to fail to cover the spread. Pick: Texans

New Orleans Saints (8-8) @ Atlanta Falcons (7-9) Line: Saints by 4 1/2

The Saints can still make the playoffs by defeating the Falcons and having the Rams defeat the 49ers on Sunday. The Saints defense has kept them in contention and I expect them to do the same on Sunday in what I believe will be a low scoring affair. I expect the Saints to win by 3 but not to cover this spread. Pick: Falcons

New York Jets (4-12) @ Buffalo Bills (10-6) Line: Bills by 16 1/2

The Bills need to win this game to secure a home playoff contest in the opening round of the AFC playoffs. There is a strong possibility that they will be playing the Patriots for the third time this season to begin the postseason. The Jets looked fairly impressive last week before succumbing to the Buccaneers in the final minutes of their game. Pick: Bills

San Francisco 49ers (9-7) @ Los Angeles Rams (12-4) Line: Rams by 4 1/2

The Rams have lost five straight games to the 49ers. They need to end this streak to secure the number two seed in the NFC playoffs. The 49ers have yet to announce whether it will be rookie Trey Lance or Jimmy Garoppolo starting at quarterback in this tilt. San Francisco also would secure their playoff spot with a win over Los Angeles. I think that the Rams offense will be too much to overcome for the Cardinals defense in this one. Pick: Rams

New England Patriots (10-6) @ Miami Dolphins (8-8) Line: Patriots by 6 1/2

With their 34-3 defeat at the hands of the Titans last week the Dolphins were officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Patriots can still win the AFC East title with a win and a Bills loss to the Jets on Sunday afternoon. The Patriots have won all but three AFC East titles since the 2001 season. This will be a huge motivating factor for New England in this game. Pick: Patriots

Seattle Seahawks (6-10) @ Arizona Cardinals (11-5) Line: Cardinals by 6 1/2

Will this be the end of the Russell Wilson era in Seattle? The Cardinals still have a chance to secure the NFC West division with a win and a Rams loss in week 18. Arizona is tied for third best in the NFL at covering the spread at 10-6. Pick: Cardinals

Carolina Panthers (5-11) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4) Line: Buccaneers by 7 1/2

The Buccaneers could still move up from the number three seed to the number two seed on Sunday with a win and a loss by the Rams to the 49ers. The Panthers have no answer at QB and have lost six contests in a row. Look for the Buccaneers to cover as they continue their march towards the playoffs. Pick: Buccaneers

Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) @ Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) Line: Chargers by 2 1/2

This Sunday night game could have one of the most bizarre playoff scenarios in recent memory. An Indianapolis loss to Jacksonville combined with a tie in this contest would lead to both the Chargers and Raiders making the AFC playoffs. This should be a hard fought game regardless of that fact as the winner of this game will secure a spot in the postseason with the loser then having their playoff hopes dashed. I just feel that the Chargers are the more talented of the two teams and that they will punch their ticket.  Pick: Chargers

Written by Jeremy Thomas

Sports and fantasy sports fan, WWE and alternative rock music are some of my interests. Check out my weekly NFL point spread picks.

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