The Daily Dollar: NFL Best Bets for Week 18 (1/9)by Sam Schneider January 9, 2022 0 comments
Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends. It’s the last regular season edition of the Daily Dollar for today’s Week 18 slate. Yesterday we saw the Kansas City Chiefs escape Denver with a win over the Broncos, followed by the systematic dismantling of the resting Philadelphia Eagles at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. There are plenty more games with heavy postseason implications to drop some money on for a little added excitement.
Gambling on the final week of the regular season can be a tricky proposition. Certainly, some teams (I’m looking at you, Cincinnati) will play very few starters. Additionally, with so much hanging in the balance on some matchups, a few games are likely to end up far closer than you might have expected them to several weeks ago. These are the extra things that need to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb. The homework is done, and the result is a trio of solid gambles to launch you into the playoffs.
You can find past editions of the Daily Dollar here.
Green Bay Packers -3 (-110) at Detroit Lions
All indications are that Green Bay will begin this game with healthy starters on the field. Aaron Rodgers was the impetus for the idea, as he felt it was important for the team to continue some momentum. Aside from Jacksonville, the Lions are the worst team in the NFL, and they have also allowed the third-most points overall league-wide. If Rodgers plays just one quarter, I suspect he’s likely still good for two touchdowns in that scenario. Perhaps Aaron Jones gets the day off, but AJ Dillon is nearly as dangerous and can rip off yards in big chunks. The Packers offensive front is already a bit of patchwork, so there are not a whole lot of options to sub in, lest head coach Matt LaFleur also risk injury to Jordan Love when he enters the game.
It appears Jared Goff is in line to start for the Lions, but aside from a few sparse glimmers of hope, this Detroit team is not one to make a big comeback. D’Andre Swift would be a danger were he healthy, but with a total of six touches last week and likely the same workload for this game, he will be a non-factor. Three points in this game is too few. Even the Packers’ backups can handle pushing around little brother.
Book it: Packers -3 points (-110) over Lions
Chicago Bears +4 (-110) at Minnesota Vikings
This line has moved significantly since it opened at six points, but I still like it. In a division game between two teams with nothing but pride to play for, I always expect the game to finish with the two separated by a field goal. With that said, there is a lot of reason to believe that Chicago can win this game outright. The Bears are looking for their third-straight win, and will hand the ball to Andy Dalton for the second week in a row, as Justin Fields is on the COVID list. On the other side, Kirk Cousins returned from the list after missing Week 17.
Dalton was not efficient with the football last week against the Giants, and Cousins has shown a penchant for errant throws all season. The two teams are likely to lean heavily on their running games. Neither defense is particularly adept at stopping the run, and the quarterbacks will be dealing with a wind chill dipping below zero. All signs point to a low-scoring, ugly affair. The Vikings are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as a home favorite, and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games overall.
Book it: Bears +4 points (-110) to cover Vikings
Washington Football Team -7 (-110) at New York Giants
New York is a complete dumpster fire at this point. They’ve dropped five contests in a row, and are averaging just 15.7 points per game over their 16 matchups this season. Washington has not looked like world-beaters by any stretch, but they are infinitely more talented than the Giants. The line opened with them favored by four points and bettors jumped all over it. Now at seven points, the value still remains. Jake Fromm gets the ball for New York, wanting to show why he should continue to be in their plans for the future. The problem is, he’s just not ready. I guess that’s what happens when you’re trying to pick up tips from the likes of Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon.
On the opposite side, Taylor Heinicke has had his fair share of highs and lows this season, but he currently sits on 3,299 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Not the numbers that strike fear into anyone’s heart, but not as ugly as one might think. Heinicke has more weapons, and coach Ron Rivera will do everything in his power to make sure WFT plays it out until the final whistle. The Giants have been used and abused this season. Washington knows it, and wants to get in on the act and sweep the season series. They will, and in convincing fashion. Lay the points.
Book it: Football Team -7 points (-110) over Giants
Enjoy the final week of the regular season and feed that bankroll. You’ll want some play money for the really exciting stuff in the postseason. The Daily Dollar will be back with playoff bets next weekend. Best of luck on all your gambling ventures today.
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Main Image designed by Jeremy Guerin @jeremycguerin