NFL Week 18 Betting Lines
The final weekend of the regular season is one Sunday afternoon of football. There is no Thursday night, Sunday night, or Monday night action. The last weekend of the regular season has the strange hybrid of all-or-nothing games in which teams must win to make the 2021 NFL Playoffs. On the other side of the spectrum are matchups that are meaningless as far as the standings or postseason aspirations. One of the biggest topics of conversation will be "Black Monday," January 10, where head coaches, coordinators, and assistants face the possibility of a date with the firing squad. Position for the 2022 NFL Draft will also be a factor to take into consideration. Gamblers will confront the strange final card of the regular season that mixes high stakes games for playoff spots and virtual exhibition games where good teams will bench players for the playoffs, and the bad teams will play with nothing to lose.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will play at the Baltimore Ravens in either a Battle Royale or a January game that resembles an August exhibition. Another possibility is that one of these two teams may desperately need a win in this matchup while the other club is already set for the postseason. It's also possible that this game could be for the AFC North title.
The Atlanta Falcons will host the New Orleans Saints in an NFC South matchup that could have major postseason implications. Do gamblers believe that Jameis Winston will have the Saints on the cusp of the playoffs? Some gamblers believe that Saints coach Sean Payton can make anyone into a championship quarterback. This is the year we discover if that's a myth or a fact. Meanwhile, the new-look Falcons will be gunning for a return to the playoffs after a steady decline.
The Detroit Lions will close their first regular season with Jared Goff under center as they host the Green Bay Packers. Most gamblers have already written off Detroit as a lost cause.
Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will be at the Miami Dolphins in a game that the Hoodie hopes will be for a playoff spot. There will be a strong Alabama flavor to this game, with Mac Jones likely starring as a rookie QB for the Patriots going up against Tua Tagovailoa. This Miami quarterback starred for Crimson Tide before Jones took over when he was injured. Miami is a hot pick for the 2021 NFL Playoffs. And even after last season's flop without Tom Brady, Belichick still commands faith from the masses.
The Dallas Cowboys may be fighting for their playoff lives at the Philadelphia Eagles. The question is if Jalen Hurts and the Eagles will still be in the hunt. Dallas owner Jerry Jones takes a lot of justifiable heat for having never produced a Super Bowl since the Jimmy Johnson built roster of the 1990s depleted. But the Cowboys should be improved for 2021 and the beneficiaries of a weak NFC East Division.
The Arizona Cardinals could have a potentially huge home game for a playoff spot against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle is considered a near fait accompli for the playoffs, but the Seahawks have become too dependent upon Russell Wilson, often resembling a one-man team. Will Arizona continue its improvement that began in 2020?
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