NFL Week 18 Odds Preview: Bring Out the Backups?

With Playoffs Clinched for Most, Teams Look to Reserves

Early Games on FOX Tightly Lined Due to Questions

Questions litter the final week of the NFL’s 2022 regular season. With the league still shaken from Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the field, many even wonder if this final week is worth playing. With all but two playoff spots to be decided, not much is on the line in FOX’s early afternoon slate.

The NFL Week 18 Odds are tight and all over the place on the expectation that we will see backups take to the field.

New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins

Records: Jets (7-9), Dolphins (8-8)
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami
Streaming: FOX

Skidding AFC East Teams Play to Spoil or Survive

The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins are both on five-game losing streaks. For the former, the NFL playoff dream is over while the latter needs to win for a chance to get in.

Quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) and Teddy Bridgewater (finger) are still on Miami’s NFL injury report so Skylar Thompson will make his second start. He’s thrown one touchdown versus three interceptions so far this season.

The Miami Dolphins are a one-point underdog at home. The NFL team is 1-1 when facing these types of odds as a host. The Jets, on the other hand, are just 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games.

This team will also struggle to move the chains with a banged-up Mike White taking the reins. The total is set at 38.5  for this game; could still go under as nine of New York’s last 11 NFL games have.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons

Records: Buccaneers (8-8), Falcons (6-10)
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
Streaming: Live Stream Sports

Bucs May Give Brady and Co. Day Off with Meaningless Game

Speaking of backup quarterbacks, we may see “Sunshine” Blaine Gabbert take over Tom Brady in this pointless NFC South tilt. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinched the division by beating Carolina last week. With Brady being 45 and several starters already mending injuries, Tampa Bay may just treat this final game as more of a NFL preseason warmup.

Tampa then heads to the Atlanta Falcons as an underdog (+175) for only the third time this season. It finally covered the spread last week but remains the league’s worst team in that regard at 4-11-1.

But Atlanta is also only just 2-8 ATS and is a shaky favorite on the NFL Week 18 odds. QB Desmond Ridder will look for his second win and his first touchdown as he makes his fourth NFL start.

Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints

Records: Panthers (6-10), Saints (7-9)
Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans
Streaming: Live Stream Sports

Frisky NFC South Outfits Look to Finish Strong

The other also-rans of the NFC South play for nothing but pride and better contracts in 2023. However, on the betting lines, Carolina and New Orleans have been golden lately. The Panthers, 3.5-point underdogs on the NFL Week 18 point spreads, covered in five of their last seven games.

The New Orleans Saints have won three straight and are 3-1 ATS in their last four games. Like most games this week, the total is set at a modest 41.5

These teams share many similarities with defensive-minded coaches and solid albeit limited quarterbacks. New Orleans has beaten Carolina Panthers in seven of their last 10 meetings though it’s the Panthers that covered on seven of these.

The total has also gone under in four of their last five games signifying another defensive struggle is likely here.

Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears

Records: Vikings (12-4), Bears (3-13)
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago
Streaming: Live Stream Sports

Vikings Aim for Top-Two Seed Against Free Falling Bears

The Minnesota Vikings will still be playing for plenty as it looks to clinch the two-seed. To do so, it needs to deliver as a 7.5-point favorite against Chicago Bears and Nathan Peterman. The Vikings are notorious as the only 12-win team in NFL history to have a negative point differential (-19).

This team has won at least eight games by the skin of its teeth. And as a favorite, Minnesota is 5-5-1 ATS. So it’s not as bad as their overall 6-9-1 ATS record.

Chicago Bears, meanwhile, have not won a game since October 24. The nine-game losing streak is the longest in its 100+ year history.

And for the first time as well, it has the worst Football scoring defense in the NFL (27.1 points per game).

Given its current line, Chicago is one of the biggest underdogs on the NFL Week 18 odds. The total, set at 44.5 here, could go over as four of these teams’ last six games have.

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