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NFL Week 18 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

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It's been a long journey, but it is the final week of the NFL season. Appreciate you all who came along with us for the ride. The Big Lead enters Week 18 with a 118-107 record for the year after stumbling to a 7-8 record last week in what was perhaps the best slate of football games of the year. Liam and Kyle will try to finish out the year strong and with a positive record, which is not yet clinched.

Here are our Week 18 predictions and picks against the spread (all odds via WynnBet).

CHIEFS (-9.5) over BRONCOS

The Broncos have nothing to play for and probably won't risk starting Teddy Bridgewater after he's spent the last two weeks in concussion protocol, which means it's Drew Lock's turn to lead the offense to a couple of field goals again. Or maybe somebody else after Lock got a DUI on Monday night. Either way, the Chiefs could secure the top seed depending on what happens in Tennessee and thus will be playing to win. More relevant to the big line, KC will be exercising some demons after what was surely a very frustrating loss to the Bengals this week. Chiefs 38, Broncos 10

COWBOYS (-3.0) over EAGLES

Neither team has a lot to play for here. In most scenarios, they end up locked into the same playoff seed they currently hold. But since the game is on Saturday, before the rest of the schedule unfolds, both teams will likely play their starters and do their best to win, just in case things go perfectly on Sunday and they can jump a seed or two-- in which case the Cowboys are a better team and will come away with a victory. Cowboys 24, Eagles 20

BENGALS (+3.0) over BROWNS

Whether or not the Bengals can get to the two-seed will be determined before they kick off on Sunday afternoon, but even if it's out of the question, it's in Cincy's best interest to win this game. A victory guarantees a three-seed and a matchup with a six-seed, whereas a loss opens the door for Buffalo to jump them. This appears to be an opportunity for some easy money given how much better the Bengals are than the Browns and their underdog status. Bengals 31, Browns 21

LIONS (+2.5) over PACKERS

The Packers have both the division and the top seed locked up already, so they will almost certainly rest their key players. The Lions' calling card all season has been playing hard despite the circumstances and you can bet Dan Campbell has a big-time motivational speech ready for the last game of a forgettable season. These Lions do not care about draft position. They're playing to win, and against the Packers' second-stringers, win they will. Lions 23, Packers 20

VIKINGS (-3.0) over BEARS

Kirk Cousins should be back in time for this game, which gives the Vikings the best QB available for the matchup. Neither team has anything to play for other than draft positions but both have coaches looking to prove they deserve one more year. We'll take the belief that Mike Zimmer is better than Matt Nagy and pick the home team to come away with the comfortable victory. Vikings 27, Bears 17

GIANTS (+6.5) over WFT

Ron Rivera has already stated that Washington will use this game to experiment with the lesser-known guys on the roster and Joe Judge is already publicly arguing that he deserves more time to install his program. It feels right that New York will come away with a victory to make the decision slightly more difficult for those in charge of the coaching staff. Or, at the very least, a closer game than the line would suggest. Either way, doctors everywhere suggest you skip this game. For your health. Giants 15, WFT 12

COLTS (-15.5) over JAGUARS

The Jaguars have no hope and everyone in the building is just running out the clock, trying to make it out of the season without any serious injuries. The Colts need to win to lock in a playoff berth officially. This is over quickly. Colts 34, Jaguars 13

RAVENS (-4.0) over STEELERS

The Ravens would love absolutely nothing more than to give Ben Roethlisberger a loss in what could be his last NFL game. They were also surprisingly feisty against a playoff-caliber Rams team. There will be no ride off into the sunset for Big Ben as John Harbaugh gets the last laugh. Ravens 13, Steelers 7

TEXANS (+10.5) over TITANS

Tennessee is playing to secure the one and only bye in the AFC. Mike Vrabel can solidify himself as the coach of the year, having done a tremendous job of surviving the loss of Derrick Henry. One would expect the Titans to be prepared. One might also expect them to press a bit, knowing all that's on the line. Houston came back to reality this past Sunday yet continues to play hard and prove more problematic in practice than on paper. They've also beaten Tennessee this year on the road and will be brimming with confidence. When the smoke clears the No. 1 seed should be in tow, but it won't come without a dragged-out fight. Titans 27, Titans 17

FALCONS (+4) over SAINTS

It's likely not lost on you that New Orleans is fiercely committed to playing unwatchable and boring football games. Atlanta isn't much better. As with the above blurb, the Saints are playing for something against a team that isn't. They're also doing it with Taysom Hill under center a week after needing to move heaven and Earth to get by the lowly Jaguars. Saints 17, Falcons 16

BUFFALO (-17) over Jets

Buffalo needs simply to win in order to secure a home playoff game and shouldn't have any difficulty breezing past a cold and disinterested New York side playing mostly to improve its draft position. Look for Zach Wilson to struggle mightily and for the Bills' starters to get plenty of rest down the stretch. Bills 31, Jets 6

NINERS (+5.5) over RAMS

Both teams have played themselves into form and this one means a hell of a lot to both sides. With that mind, let's anticipate a four-quarter battle decided in the final minutes by a field goal. Matthew Stafford is wobbling a bit and needs to enter the postseason on the right foot. We believe in you, Matthew. Rams 24, Niners 21

PATRIOTS (-5.5) over DOLPHINS

A triumphant winning streak ended and resulted in elimination. Mac Jones is looking a lot like a rookie quarterback and Bill Belichick needs to make some adjustments. We have decades of evidence to suggest he will. Patriots 25, Dolphins 17

SEAHAWKS (+6.5) over CARDINALS

If Russell Wilson is playing his last stretch of ball for his beloved Seahawks, then he's leaving it all on the field. He'll want to send a strong message that he still has it and a 51-point performance against the Lions suggests he's still locked in. Meanwhile, the Cardinals could have a Dallas-sized hangover early. Cardinals 38, Seahawks 34

BUCCANEERS (-9.5) over PANTHERS

Honestly, it's shocking the line is this low. Yes, the stink of Antonio Brown lingers in the air. No, Tom Brady isn't about to be derailed by it. Carolina has looked like a team that's been mentally checked out since Halloween and there's no reason to think they'll bring full effort. Buccaneers 29, Panthers 10

RAIDERS (+3) over CHARGERS

Say what you want about Las Vegas — and we've all said a lot — the way Derek Carr has led this team through an almost impossible season and to the cusp of the postseason is incredibly admirable. It's too good of a story to root against and we've been burned by Justin Herbert too many times to ever trust him again. Raiders 27, Chargers 23

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