NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 18, 2022

NFL Picks (Preseason 2022): 7-5 (+$645)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2022): 10-6 (+$1,165)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2022): 7-8-1 (+$1,050)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2022): 11-4-1 (+$2,825)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2022): 10-5-1 (+$1,305)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2022): 6-10 (-$2,625)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2022): 7-7 (-$1,620)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2022): 4-10 (-$2,255)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2022): 7-8 (-$640)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2022): 7-4-2 (+$170)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2022): 7-7 (+$1,460)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2022): 5-7-2 (-$350)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2022): 12-4 (+$2,005)
NFL Picks (Week 13, 2022): 6-9 (+$75)
NFL Picks (Week 14, 2022): 8-5 (+$1,075)
NFL Picks (Week 15, 2022): 10-5-1 (+$675)
NFL Picks (Week 16, 2022): 7-9 (+$220)
NFL Picks (Week 17, 2022): 7-8 (+$80)

2022 NFL Picks: 138-121-8 (+$5,260)
2021 NFL Picks: 153-141-2 (+$210)
NFL Picks (2020): 138-124-7 (+$9,350)
NFL Picks (2019): 148-128-9 (+$1,200)
NFL Picks (2018): 140-134-12 (+$845)
NFL Picks (2017): 137-147-10 (-$4,300)
NFL Picks (2016): 148-127-10 (+$780)
NFL Picks (2015): 133-138-10 (-$3,215)
NFL Picks (2014): 143-133-7 (-$1,885)
NFL Picks (2013): 144-131-8 (+$7,825)
NFL Picks (2012): 130-145-8 (-$7,445)
NFL Picks (2011): 137-133-12 (-$1,335)
NFL Picks (2010): 144-131-8 (+$5,880)
NFL Picks (2009): 151-124-9 (+$4,235)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$6,105)
NFL Picks (2007): 162-135-10 (+$3,585)
If you don’t quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Jan. 8, 11:35 a.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 18 NFL Picks – Late Games






NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 18 Early Games


Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) at Las Vegas Raiders (6-10)
Line: Chiefs by 8.5. Total: 52.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 4:30 PM


The Matchup. Edge: None.

Week 17 Analysis: The 4 p.m. window on Sunday was a disaster, but we still came out in the black this past week. I’ll continue to break down all the 3+ unit picks each week:

Saints, 3 units (win): We had two big wins that were never in doubt during the 1 p.m. window, and this was one of them. I thought this spread was too high for a backup quarterback missing his top offensive lineman.

Cardinals, 4 units (win): Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. I locked this in, but then thought I was screwed by the Colt McCoy announcement. We somehow won anyway!

Bears, 4 units (loss): This is the only loss for which I’ll make an excuse this week. It looked like the Bears were going to compete hard with the Lions in a shootout, but Justin Fields got hurt at the end of the first quarter and stopped running. He had 105 rushing yards in the first 10 minutes of the game, and it looked like he’d run for 300 on the Lions!

Broncos, 3 units (win): Another easy one in the early window. I’m ashamed I didn’t bet more on the Broncos.

Jets, 4 units (loss): I’m pissed at the Jets and may send them a $440 invoice. Mike White was clearly not healthy, so why did they list him as full throughout the week? I suppose I should have suspected that he wouldn’t be 100 percent.

Rams, 4 units (loss): This was the dumbest pick I’ve made in a while. I’ve loved fading the Chargers, but I ignored Joey Bosa’s return. Bosa solved a lot of the problems they had, much like T.J. Watt did for the Steelers upon his return. I had it in the back of my mind that I’d be on the Chargers once Bosa came back from injury, but I didn’t follow Past Walt’s advice. Stupid!

Before I begin, I should note that we have some new features, including WalterFootball Premium. We’ve gotten lots of complaints about the ads over the years, but there hasn’t been anything I can do about them because I’ve needed the ad revenue to pay my employees and the hosting. This is an alternative way to view the site. For $7.99 per month, you won’t get any ads. You’ll also have access to a premium chat where I’ll be every day to answer any questions. The chat will be available soon. If you want to support the site, besides telling others about it, signing up for WalterFootball Premium would be a great way to do so!

KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Patrick Mahomes used to routinely blow out the Raiders prior to this season, so it was surprising to most people that the Chiefs nearly lost to the Raiders on a Monday night earlier in the season. There were two reasons for this. First, the Raiders changed their defensive strategy dramatically. They used to blitz frequently, which was a losing strategy against Mahomes because he’s so great versus the blitz. The Raiders don’t do that anymore, as they’re fully capable of getting to the quarterback without blitzing.

Mahomes will definitely feel some pressure in the pocket, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t have success in this matchup. The Raiders have a weak secondary, so Mahomes should be able to target some open receivers, especially when considering how many different weapons he has at his disposal.

The Chiefs should be able to run the ball as well. The Raiders have been much weaker to ground attacks this season when Denzel Perryman has been out of the lineup. Perryman is currently injured, so Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon have bright outlooks.

LAS VEGAS OFFENSE: The second reason why the Raiders were able to nearly defeat the Chiefs was Josh Jacobs’ brilliant running. Jacobs dominated the Chiefs on the ground in the first meeting, and that was absolutely not a fluke. The Chiefs have been weak to the run all year, so Jacobs figures to trample Kansas City once more.

Jacobs’ great running will help Jarrett Stidham in his second start with the Raiders. Stidham was shockingly solid last week. I expected him to flop because he didn’t look good in New England, and some of the comments from the Raider players sounded like they weren’t excited to play without Derek Carr, but Stidham exceeded all expectations. Dare I say that he was better than Carr would have been?

Stidham had great success throwing into the top defense in the NFL, so he shouldn’t have much of an issue against the Chiefs. The one problem I could see is Stidham’s ability to combat Kansas City’s heavy blitz. He was just 5-of-13 versus for 64 yards into the blitz last week, but he didn’t commit a turnover.

RECAP: I think this line is too high. I made this spread Kansas City -5, yet the Chiefs were nearly favored by double digits on the opening line!

Why am I so off? There are two reasons. One, the Raiders are underrated. They’re on my NFL Underrated Teams list. They play nothing but close games; the last time any contest of theirs was decided by more than seven points was the 24-0 loss to the Saints in Week 8, and that’s when a third of the Las Vegas roster had the flu. In fact, that was the only Raider game this year decided by more than a touchdown! The Raiders’ defense is better than people think, and they have so many offensive play-makers. I don’t know why so many people think so lowly of them. They’ve gotten so unlucky this year, so they could have a much better record. I know Stidham is playing quarterback now, but he looked better than Carr last week.

Two, the Chiefs never blow out anyone. They nearly lost to Malik Willis at home. They had trouble putting away the Broncos twice. They beat the Raiders at home by one. Why would they suddenly win by double digits?

The only question I have here is motivation for the Raiders because they’ve officially been eliminated from the playoffs, but that was the case last week, and they fought hard versus the 49ers. I’m sure they would love to make sure the hated Chiefs don’t get the No. 1 seed, so they could treat this game like their Super Bowl. With that in mind, I bet on planning the Raiders accordingly.

Our Week 18 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread has risen to -9.5. I’m not sure why – it may have been because Jarrett Stidham was limited in practice – but there’s still sharp money on the Raiders. Stidham returned to a full practice on Wednesday.

SATURDAY NOTES: The line has dropped back to +9, with sharp money coming in on the Raiders. Josh Jacobs may miss this game, but that doesn’t bother me very much because running backs are easily replaceable.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Josh Jacobs is playing, and the sharps are betting the Raiders. This line has dropped to +8 in some sportsbooks, but you can get +8.5 at FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars.






The Motivation. Edge: None.
No edge found.


The Spread. Edge: Raiders.

WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Chiefs -5.
Westgate Advance Point Spread: Chiefs -8.5.
Computer Model: Chiefs -11.
DVOA Spread: .






The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.

Percentage of money on Las Vegas: 55% (254,000 bets)


The Trends. Edge: Chiefs.
  • History: Chiefs have won 14 of the last 16 meetings.
  • Patrick Mahomes is 68-18 SU, 45-40 ATS (34-28 ATS when not favored by double digits.)
  • Opening Line: Chiefs -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 50.
  • Weather: Dome.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Chiefs 30, Raiders 27
    Raiders +8.5 (4 Units) – FanDuel/BetMGM/Caesars — Incorrect; -$440
    Over 52 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Chiefs 31, Raiders 13




    Tennessee Titans (7-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)
    Line: Jaguars by 6.5. Total: 40.

    Saturday, Jan. 7, 8:20 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    My overrated-underrated feature was posted in this spot the past couple of years. I thought it would be better if there was less clutter on this page, so I set up a new NFL Overrated and Underrated Teams page that will be updated every Monday. I have overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Trevor Lawrence finally exorcised some demons last week, beating the Texans for the first time. He had previously struggled against Lovie Smith’s Cover-2 defense, but he completed all but four passes in a blowout victory that saw him resting on the bench in the fourth quarter.

    Lawrence had no struggles versus the Titans earlier in the year, going 30-of-42 for 368 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-22 victory. However, there are a couple of reasons to believe that this rematch won’t go as well for Lawrence. First, the Titans were missing some key defensive players in that first matchup like Denico Autry and Zach Cunningham. Both will play in this game. Second, Lawrence won’t have his left tackle, Cam Robinson, available to shield him from Tennessee’s pass rush like he did in the first meeting.

    A weakened passing game will keep the Jaguars from approaching anything close to a 36-point output again. The Titans clamp down on the run well, so Travis Etienne won’t go berserk like he did versus Houston last week.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Jaguars also have a strong run defense, but it didn’t look that was the case in the first matchup between these teams. Henry broke the century mark in the first half alone, and it appeared as though he would have an opportunity for a record-setting day. Instead, he lost a fumble and then had a grand total of two rushing yards in the second half.

    Henry is always a threat to dominate a game, but he’ll have to do that without his three top offensive linemen. Taylor Lewan has been out since Week 2, but now the Titans won’t have guard Nate Davis or center Ben Jones to open big running lanes for Henry. Thus, it’s highly unlikely that Henry will enjoy the same sort of half he had back in Week 14.

    That said, the Titans could still succeed in moving the chains. They had a solid game out of Joshua Dobbs last week versus a superior Dallas defense. Dobbs wasn’t great, but he proved to be much better than Malik Willis. He should be able to connect with Treylon Burks, Robert Woods and Chig Okonkwo versus a Jacksonville back seven that doesn’t cover very well.

    RECAP: I think this line is way too high. I know the Jaguars have looked great lately, and I know that the Titans are starting some guy named Dobbs, but this spread is too large when comparing the talent level of these teams. I made this spread Jacksonville -3.5, so we’re getting three points of value, including the key number of six, if I’m correct. Given that the Titans were four-point favorites over Jacksonville just four weeks ago, I’m confident I am.

    Of course, there should be a spread movement when going from Ryan Tannehill to Dobbs, but that plays into a dynamic I love, which is backing good or well-coached teams with backup quarterbacks. The Titans covered the spread twice with Malik Willis earlier in the year, including a game in which they battled the Chiefs into overtime. If they can go to an extra session in Kansas City, they can keep a game close in Jacksonville.

    With the Titans, we’re getting the better running game, stronger defense, and arguably the superior head coach with 6.5 points. This seems like a great betting opportunity to me.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sharp money on Tennessee has brought this line down to +6. I was looking for a +6.5, but I can’t find one.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Early sharp money was on the Titans, but other pro action has come in on the Jaguars, moving this line to -6.5. I think this is because the Titans still have plenty of injuries. I’m going to drop this to three units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps lost the first game. They are on both sides of this one. I like the Titans, as all of their questionable players entering this game will be active. They have the beter running game, defense, and coaching staff, so getting +6.5 seems great. You can get +6.5 -110 at BetMGM.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Titans.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Jaguars -3.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Jaguars -6.5.
    Computer Model: Jaguars -7.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Tennessee: 58% (43,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Titans.
  • History: Titans have won 11 of the past 14 meetings.
  • Mike Vrabel is 21-9 ATS as an underdog of 3+ points.
  • Jaguars are 9-16 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more since 2003.
  • Jaguars are 12-26 ATS as home favorites since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Jaguars -7.
  • Opening Total: 38.5.
  • Weather: Clear, 56 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Jaguars 20, Titans 17
    Titans +6.5 (3 Units) – BetMGM — Correct; +$300
    Under 40 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Jaguars 20, Titans 16




    New York Jets (7-9) at Miami Dolphins (8-8)
    Line: Dolphins by 3. Total: 37.

    Sunday, Jan. 8, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    VEGAS UPDATE: I’ll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot. The highest-bet sides were 34-42 in 2020 and 48-37 in 2021. The highest bet sides are now 26-32-1 this year.

    Here are the teams getting the most bets last week:

  • 49ers -9.5
  • Cowboys -12
  • Giants -6
  • Steelers +2
  • Panthers +3.5


  • The public won for the first time in a while!

    Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:

  • Cowboys -3.5
  • Buccaneers +3
  • 49ers -14
  • Giants +14
  • Chargers -3
  • I don’t think the public has gotten the memo that some of these teams could be resting their starters.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Mike White was clearly not 100 percent last week. This was very frustrating because we had a big play on the Jets after seeing White practicing fully all week. His performance versus the poor Seattle defense told a different story. White’s passes were all over the place, and he had major problems connecting with Garrett Wilson.

    There’s no telling how White will play in this game, though we can only assume that he’ll at least be a bit better than he was with another week to heal. He’ll have another easy matchup, as Miami struggles to get to the quarterback and defend outside receivers.

    The Dolphins are at least stronger when it comes to defending the run. Miami will easily clamp down on the Jets’ sorry running backs, at least when they’re rushing the ball. The Dolphins can allow big gains to receiving backs, so perhaps Ty Johnson and Michael Carter will help move the offense aerially.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Dolphins won’t be feeling sorry for the Jets’ quarterback injury anytime soon because two of their signal-callers are down. Teddy Bridgewater just suffered a finger injury versus the Patriots, so with Tua Tagovailoa still in concussion protocol, Skylar Thompson may have to start this game.

    Thompson gave the Dolphins no chance of winning against the Patriots last week, though he did come through in the clutch with a cover at the very end. Still, it’s a tough matchup for Thompson, as his dynamic receivers will be battling the Jets’ excellent cornerbacks. I’d have faith in Tagovailoa being able to throw Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle open, but Thompson won’t be able to do that.

    That said, there might be a chance the Dolphins will be able to dominate on the ground with Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. I thought the Jets were solid against the run heading into last week’s game, but they showed no ability to stop Kenneth Walker. Perhaps that was a fluke, but there could be some injuries we don’t know about weighing down the Jets’ run defense.

    RECAP: I often like to fade favorites that need wins in the final two weeks of the season. These teams often choke. I’ve been calling this the Aurora Snowmo Effect for nearly 20 years. If you’re over 18, look up who Aurora Snow is, and what she used to do during her job, and then combine her name with Tony Romo, who used to also choke while on the job during the early stages of his career.

    When I initially saw this game on the board, I thought the Dolphins would be under consideration for the Aurora Snowmo Effect, but the Dolphins are not even favored in some sportsbooks anymore. Miami is probably not expected to win by many, given its quarterback situation.

    And that brings me to this: I like good or well-coached teams playing their backup quarterbacks, as the supporting cast play at a 110-percent level. The other 52 Dolphins know they have to step up if they want to win with Thompson at the helm. Thus, I expect the Dolphins to play extremely well against the Jets, who may not have a healthy quarterback themselves. The Jets, meanwhile, may mail in this game because they were eliminated from the playoffs after having such high hopes.

    I’m going to pencil in the Dolphins for a couple of units at the moment, though things could change if we get some news on Tagovailoa or Bridgewater.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Teddy Bridgewater may play. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice. If Bridgewater plays, I’ll switch to the Jets and bet them. I love fading quarterbacks playing hurt, especially when they have throwing hand injuries.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Teddy Bridgewater is out, and yet the Dolphins are now -3 in most places, and even -3.5 at DraftKings! This is because Joe Flacco will start for the Jets, but I like that better than an injured Mike White. The problem is that the Jets will be missing several offensive linemen, including Duane Brown. Then again, Terron Armstead is doubtful for Miami. When it comes down to it, I think the Jets will cover, but I’m not sure if they’ll have the energy to come through after being eliminated last week.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Dolphins posted their inactives late, which is why I skipped the final thoughts. Terron Armstead is out, so I would really like the Jets, except we don’t know if they’ll be quitting after being eliminated last week. The sharps are on the Jets at +3.5.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    The Dolphins could choke. The Jets may be flat after being eliminated.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Dolphins -1.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Pick.
    Computer Model: Dolphins -4.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on New York: 56% (62,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • History: Dolphins have won 8 of the last 10 meetings.
  • Dolphins are 21-8 ATS as a home underdog after two straight losses the previous 28 instances.
  • Dolphins are 26-44 ATS at home against teams with losing records since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -3.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 79 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Dolphins 20, Jets 17
    Jets +3.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 37 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Dolphins 11, Jets 6




    Cleveland Browns (7-9) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
    Line: Steelers by 2.5. Total: 40.

    Sunday, Jan. 8, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. Matt Gregory is back!



    I wrote last week that I was beginning to think that Matt had never placed a bet in his life. He’s criticizing me here for picking the Cardinals, who covered the spread. And if you think this was a fluke, here’s another instance of Matt being a complete moron:



    Again, this is him trolling me for a pick I got right. I don’t understand this at all.

    If you’re wondering about the niece comment, here’s Matt embarrassing himself some more:



    Imagine having a 4-year-old niece who knows more about football than you. Ouch.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Say what you want about Kenny Pickett, but he has come through in the clutch in consecutive weeks. Pickett has looked downright awful at times during the middle portions of the battles against the Raiders and Ravens, and the home crowd was even booing him in the former contest. However, he has engineered a pair of game-winning drives against those opponents.

    Pickett will have his tiny hands full against the Browns. I never thought I’d say this prior to Thanksgiving, but Cleveland’s defense has been terrific in the past month-and-a-half. Since Week 12, they have the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL. I kid you not. They’re getting more pressure on the quarterback than they were earlier in the season, and their defense is forcing plenty of turnovers.

    Pickett is not protected extremely well, so Myles Garrett and company could dominate the trenches and make things difficult for him. That said, Pickett will enjoy handing the ball off to Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. While the Browns have gotten so much better against the pass, their run defense is still a bit suspect. It’s not nearly as bad as it was in September and October, but the Browns are still mediocre at stopping the rush.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: If the Browns maintained the same sort of offense they displayed in the first half of the season with Jacoby Brissett, and paired it with the dominant defensive performances they’ve had since Thanksgiving, they would be recognized as one of the top teams in the NFL. Unfortunately for Cleveland, the offense is still more sluggish than it was earlier in the year, as Deshaun Watson is still trying to adjust to his new home after missing football for two years.

    Watson at least showed signs of life last week with a couple of deep touchdown passes to Amari Cooper. He did this against an injury-ravaged secondary, however, and I don’t expect him to thrive versus the Steelers, who also have maintained a terrific pass defense in the second half of the season. This, of course, is a byproduct of T.J. Watt returning from injury.

    It’ll be difficult for the Browns to move the Steelers in general. Nick Chubb won’t have much of an opportunity on the ground, as Pittsburgh is ranked 10th in adjusted EPA run defense.

    RECAP: I talked about the Aurora Snowmo dynamic in the previous pick preview. While it didn’t apply to the Dolphins because of the falling spread and their injured quarterback, it certainly can be used in this game.

    The Steelers are expected to beat the lowly Browns after upsetting the Ravens, and yet this line is only -3. That should set off the same red flags we had last week when the Redskins were only -2 versus Cleveland. The Steelers are 7-2 with Watt, but most of their wins have been close. Of those seven victories, four have been by exactly three points. The other three wins were against the Saints, Panthers, and Colts. Those are three teams that aren’t very good.

    The Browns aren’t a great team or anything, but they’re a rival, and their defense has been playing much better recently. They were gashed by everyone in the first half of the season, but their stop unit has done a great job of clamping down on the competition in the past month-and-a-half. They even limited the Bengals to only 23 points, so I don’t have much faith in the Steelers scoring many points.

    Given that a favorite of a field goal or more is likely to struggle to score, I’m inclined to take the other side. I’m definitely willing to bet a few units on the Browns as long as we get the +3.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps bet the Browns down to +2.5. I can’t even find any +3s anymore. I’m tilted because I planned to lock in Cleveland as soon as I saw an injury report.

    SATURDAY NOTES: There’s a +3 -128 at Bookmaker. I thought about betting it, but I’ll hold out for something better.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps were on the Browns at +3, but not +2.5. Three is already a very important number, but it’s even more significant in this matchup. I want to bet up to +3. I thought +3 -122 at Bookmaker was a nice price, but BetMGM has +3 -115!





    The Motivation. Edge: Browns.
    Aurora Snowmo for the Steelers.


    The Spread. Edge: Browns.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Steelers -3.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Steelers -1.
    Computer Model: Steelers -4.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    Slight lean on the Steelers.

    Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 61% (89,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • History: Steelers have won 37 of the last 45 meetings excluding a 2018 tie.
  • Steelers are 41-21 ATS in December/January home games since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Steelers -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 32 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Browns 17, Steelers 16
    Browns +3 -115 (4 Units) – BetMGM — Incorrect; -$460
    Under 40 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Steelers 28, Browns 14




    Houston Texans (2-13-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-11-1)
    Line: Colts by 3. Total: 37.5.

    Sunday, Jan. 8, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

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    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: I wrote earlier that Rams +6.5 over the Chargers was one of the dumbest picks I’ve made in a while. Not betting the Giants last week was also a major gaffe. I saw how horrible Nick Foles was on Monday night, with the metrics saying that while under pressure, he completed two passes for seven yards and threw two interceptions. We had a golden opportunity to fade Foles last week, yet we didn’t take it. I apologize for this.

    Unfortunately, we won’t get another gift from the football betting gods this week because Foles has been ruled out by Jeff Saturday. Sam Ehlinger will start instead. Ehlinger is complete garbage, but he can at least scramble and not throw off his back foot every play. Still, he’ll be battling Lovie Smith, who is a defensive mastermind despite being a pedestrian-at-best head coach. Smith may fool Ehlinger into a few turnovers.

    The Colts will obviously try to keep the ball out of Ehlinger’s hands by establishing Zack Moss. The Texans are weak to the run, so Moss may have some nice runs, but I wouldn’t expect a great performance from him because he’s not a good player by any means.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: The Texans’ offensive game plan is predicated on their ability to run the ball. They’ve competed well against teams this year that can’t stop the run, and they’ve been blown out by opponents who clamp down on the rush.

    The Colts cannot stop the run. They’re fifth-worst in the NFL when it comes to adjusted defensive rush EPA, which doesn’t bode well for this game. That said, it’s not like they have to clamp down on a juggernaut ground attack. Royce Freeman won’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of the Indianapolis defenders.

    Still, Freeman will have enough positive runs to give Davis Mills a chance in his final start until either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud takes over in 2023. Mills should have success targeting Chris Moore, as the Colts have been terrible against slot receivers while Kenny Moore has been injured.

    RECAP: I hate to be wishy-washy with my selections, but your guess is as good as mine regarding this game. It seems as though both the Texans and Colts want to lose to help their draft positioning, so I can’t decide which team is going to cover. We’re not even getting a key number with either side. It’s a shame that these teams have to battle each other in the finale.

    I guess I’m going with the Texans. I like the Lovie Smith versus Ehlinger dynamic, and Houston should be able to move the ball versus the Colts’ decaying defense. Besides, wouldn’t it be befitting of the inept Texans’ franchise to screw up and lose the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft?

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still have nothing planned for this game, and I do not plan to bet it. Let’s move on.

    SATURDAY NOTES: It should be no surprise that I have no real update. I am not betting this game.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps haven’t touched this game, which can’t be shocking to anyone. I have no interest, even though the Texans are now +3. Let’s just move on.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    Both teams seem like they’re trying to lose.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Colts -3.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Colts -2.5.
    Computer Model: Colts -3.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Houston: 53% (42,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • History: Colts have won 31 of the 40 meetings, excluding a 2022 tie.
  • Opening Line: Colts -3.
  • Opening Total: 38.5.
  • Weather: Dome.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Texans 16, Colts 13
    Texans +2.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 37.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Texans 32, Colts 31




    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8) at Atlanta Falcons (6-10)
    Line: Falcons by 4. Total: 40.5.

    Sunday, Jan. 8, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Falcons.

    If you missed it, I have an NFL Betting Props page. I’ll be adding to it as the season progresses!

    Also, Confidence Pool Picks will return. They’ll be posted by Wednesday morning each week!

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: Will Tom Brady play in this game? Given that the Falcons are favored by four points, the oddsmakers don’t seem to think so. Todd Bowles has said that his starters will play, but he may change his mind later in the week. He may also play them for a series or two, and then pull them. The sportsbooks believe one of these two scenarios will occur.

    If Brady and his receivers were to take the field for 60 minutes against the Falcons for some reason, they would have an explosive display versus Atlanta’s poor defense. The Falcons have the worst pressure rate in the NFL and can’t stop the pass as a consequence. Brady, who is now better protected in the wake of Donovan Smith’s return to action, would torch Atlanta’s secondary, much like he did versus the Panthers last week.

    That said, I suspect we’ll see some of Blaine Gabbert and/or Kyle Trask in this game. Smith probably won’t play either, so perhaps the Falcons will finally be able to pressure the quarterback and limit a passing attack.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: I suspect some Tampa Bay starters will rest in this game as well. It’s impossible to sit everyone, due to roster restrictions, but the top Buccaneer defenders almost certainly won’t play much, if at all.

    The Buccaneers ordinarily would clamp down on Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson, given that they have a top-10 EPA run defense. We saw this work well last week versus the Panthers, as D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard barely accomplished anything as runners. However, Allgeier and Patterson figure to have success against Tampa’s backups.

    Desmond Ridder, as a consequence, won’t have to operate in too many unfavorable passing situations. He likely won’t have to see the best Tampa pass rushers, and his receivers won’t be covered by the likes of Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean. I wouldn’t like their chances if they were, but again, those guys will probably rest.

    RECAP: If you look below, you might see that the Falcons were -8 to open the week. If you think that’s bizarre, you would be right – except for the fact that it was speculated that Tampa Bay would sit its starters. Bowles, however, told the media that the Buccaneers plan on playing their starters.

    There’s a chance Bowles could be lying or misleading the media. I’ve seen coaches backtrack on their plans for the season finale before, so as I wrote earlier, it shouldn’t shock anyone if Gabbert or Trask open this game as the starting quarterback. There’s also a chance Brady and company will play, but will only do so for a drive or two. This has happened before as well.

    With that in mind, I can’t back the Buccaneers at all. I’ll take the Falcons, but I don’t want to bet them as a favorite until we know more about Tampa Bay’s plans.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We had a great discussion on the podcast where we wondered if the Falcons starters were even better than the Buccaneers backups. Thus, Atlanta isn’t even a slam-dunk play if the Buccaneers announce that they’re going to sit their starters.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Buccaneers will be down several defenders, including Vita Vea and Carlton Davis. It sounds like Tom Brady and his receivers will play, but I would be shocked if they lasted the entire game. It might be worth it to bet the Falcons in the second half, especially if the Buccaneers are winning.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread has risen to -6, as the sharps are pounding the Falcons. Ian Rapoport said to not be surprised if the Buccaneers’ starters have a “quick hook.” The problem is that I’m not convinced the Falcons starters are better than the Buccaneers backups, so I won’t be jumping on the train.





    The Motivation. Edge: Falcons.
    The Buccaneers could sit their starters.


    The Spread. Edge: N/A.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Buccaneers -6.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Buccaneers -8.5.
    Computer Model: Falcons -6.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    People think the Buccaneers will play their starters.

    Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 67% (47,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • History: Buccaneers have won 6 of the last 7 meetings.
  • Falcons are 6-25 ATS at home immediately following a home win the previous 31 instances.
  • Opening Line: Falcons -8.
  • Opening Total: 39.
  • Weather: Dome.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 17
    Falcons -4 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Over 40.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Falcons 30, Buccaneers 17




    Carolina Panthers (6-10) at New Orleans Saints (7-9)
    Line: Saints by 3.5. Total: 42.

    Sunday, Jan. 8, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    If you’d like to support this site outside of buying my books or referring people to it, you can check out the WalterFootball Merch Store as well! I can design shirts rather easily, so if you have any new ideas, let me know in the comments below. In addition to WalterFootball t-shirts, you can also buy AMC and GameStop stock gear as well!

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: It looked like the Panthers would be able to win the NFC South when they were up 14-0 against the Buccaneers last week, but they were limited to just seven points prior to garbage time after that. Sam Darnold just couldn’t come through in the clutch, so Carolina will need to find a new franchise quarterback. Check out our 2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Prospect Rankings page for more.

    Darnold will start one more game versus the Saints, and he’ll have a tougher matchup than many anticipate. A major reason for that is Marshon Lattimore’s return. Lattimore hadn’t played in 10 weeks prior to last week’s contest, but he was back and helped restrict the Eagles to just 10 points. Lattimore will be able to slow down D.J. Moore, which will limit Darnold’s options.

    Of course, the Panthers will attempt to gash the Saints with their power running game. This has worked against some teams, and it could be effective versus New Orleans. The Saints are just 22nd in run defense EPA.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: While the Saints haven’t been very good against the run, the Panthers have thrived against it. They’re 11th in rush defense EPA, which bodes extremely well for this matchup. The Saints played keep-away from the Eagles’ offense last week by constantly pounding the ball with Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill. That formula won’t work as well in this game.

    Andy Dalton will have to throw often to move the chains. This usually isn’t ideal, though Dalton was deadly accurate last week. This is because he had the help of the running game, however.

    That said, there will be an opportunity for Dalton to succeed. This is because of Jaycee Horn’s absence. The talented cornerback was sorely missed last week when Mike Evans came back from the dead and torched the Panthers for three deep touchdowns. Dalton should be able to connect with Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed on deep passes once again.

    RECAP: Something I like to do in the final couple of weeks of the regular season is fade teams that have just been eliminated from the playoffs. The problem concerning this game is that this dynamic applies to both teams!

    Given that both of these teams have had their playoff hopes crushed, it’s tough to determine which squad will muster energy for this game. If I had to choose, I’d think it would be the Panthers because they want Steve Wilks to be their head coach next year, so they may play harder than the Saints, but that’s just speculation.

    If there were no motivational angles involved, I’d bet the Panthers because I think this line is too high. I made this spread New Orleans -1, so we’re getting value, including a key number, with the Panthers. I’ll pick them for that reason, but can’t bet them, given the motivational circumstances.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I thought we might see sharp money come in on the Panthers, but they haven’t taken a side on this game yet.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I still don’t have a strong take on this game, and the injury report hasn’t changed anything.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: No Ryan Ramczyk for the Saints, but no Brian Burns for the Panthers. The sharps jumped on the Panthers on Sunday morning. I’ll bet a unit on Carolina. The best line is +3.5 -105 at Caesars, but the number is +3.5 -110 everywhere else.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Saints -1.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Saints -3.
    Computer Model: Saints -5.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Saints.
    Tons of money on the Panthers.

    Percentage of money on Carolina: 67% (44,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Saints have won 10 of the last 14 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Saints -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: Dome.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Panhers 24, Saints 23
    Panthers +3.5 -105 (1 Unit) – Caesars — Correct; +$100
    Over 42 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Panthers 10, Saints 7




    New England Patriots (8-8) at Buffalo Bills (12-3)
    Line: Bills by 8. Total: 43.5.

    Sunday, Jan. 8, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Bills.

    If you’ve followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. It all started numerous years ago, when a man named Jon Wire from the “United Bank of Africoan” promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a “lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP).” Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.

    I’ve been messing around with spammers ever since, pretending to be Harvey Weinstein, Joe Biden, Ramsay Bolton and Walter White. I have plenty of Spam Mails this year, so check them out if you want to see me screw with spammers. I’ll have new ones every week this year!

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Bill Belichick is obviously one of the greatest coaches of all time. Some would say he’s the very best. However, even he has his flaws. The glaring one is that Belichick’s defenses have struggled against mobile quarterbacks, whether it’s Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields. They all give his defense fits.

    Josh Allen obviously qualifies as a mobile quarterback, so it’s not a surprise that he’s had great success versus Belichick. He has won his previous three matchups against the Patriots, and he was excellent in the most recent one. He went 22-of-33 for 223 yards and two touchdowns in a Thursday night affair.

    The Patriots can usually erase one aspect of an opposing offense under Belichick, but that hasn’t been the case for most of this season. New England is dealing with plenty of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, so Allen’s outlook for this matchup is extremely bright.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: While Allen torched the Patriots in that Week 13 meeting, Mac Jones did anything but the same to Buffalo’s defense. Jones struggled mightily, as he had two interceptions negated by a drop and a replay review, and he took some bad sacks from a pass rush that was already missing Von Miller.

    Buffalo’s pass rush hasn’t quite been the same without Miller, so it’s important to note that Jones wasn’t shielded very well five weeks ago. The Bills will make very difficult for him, and I would be shocked if Jones got away without committing some turnovers this time.

    With Jones set to struggle, it’s difficult to imagine the Patriots having any offensive success. Running the ball will be an issue as well, as Buffalo has the fifth-ranked adjusted EPA ground defense. Rhamondre Stevenson was limited last week, and he figures to have similar problems in this contest.

    RECAP: I’m not sure how I can handicap this game at the moment, given what the Bills just endured. There are two ways this game can go. One, the Bills won’t be able to prepare for the Patriots because they’ll be distraught by Damar Hamlin’s condition. Two, they’ll want to rally around their teammate and win big for him. Either scenario is plausible.

    If Hamlin’s collapse never happened, I would be on board with taking the Bills. The Patriots have lots of problems, and they’ve been crushed whenever they’ve battled an elite team this year. Back when the Ravens were at 100 percent, the Patriots lost to Baltimore, 37-26. The Bills destroyed New England, 24-10, on a Thursday night. And most recently, the Bengals were up 22-0 on the Patriots before taking their foot off the gas. I don’t see why this game would go any differently under normal conditions, especially given New England’s inability to stop mobile quarterbacks.

    These are certainly not normal conditions, however. It’s impossible to know how the Bills players will react, so I’m not going to bet this game.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread hasn’t been on many sportsbooks until Wednesday evening, so we don’t have much data yet. There was speculation that this game wouldn’t be played, but it appears as though it will be.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Bills, who remarkably don’t have an injury designation, will get the No. 1 seed if they win and the Chiefs lose, but they could fall to the No. 3 seed if they lose and the Bengals win. With Damar Hamlin thankfully in much better condition, the Bills could rally around him and win this game. Then again, they may not have prepared very much for the Patriots, so I’m not comfortable betting this game.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are on the Patriots, while the public is on the Bills. I can make the case for New England, but won’t be betting it.





    The Motivation. Edge: Unknown.
    Unclear.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Bills -7.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Bills -10.
    Computer Model: Bills -10.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    Decent lean on the Bills.

    Percentage of money on Buffalo: 65% (81,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • History: Bills have won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Bill Belichick is 17-3 ATS against a team after losing to them by 14+ in the previous matchup.
  • Patriots are 15-4 ATS in the final week of the season since 2001.
  • Bill Belichick is 11-3 ATS in same-season divisional revenge games.
  • Opening Line: Bills -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 30 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Bills 24, Patriots 10
    Bills -8 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Bills 35, Patriots 23




    Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (11-4)
    Line: Bengals by 10. Total: 39.5.

    Sunday, Jan. 8, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    Video of the Week: Wouldn’t you know it, it’s another Steamed Hams clip! This time, Steamed Hams is LOST.



    That’s perfect. The black smoke monster, the flashbacks, the music. I miss that show so much. Reboot time!

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Joe Burrow looked like he was going to have an amazing performance Monday night prior to the game being postponed. Burrow ripped through Buffalo’s defense with ease on the opening drive and then moved past midfield on the play in which Damar Hamlin collapsed.

    Burrow is playing at an extremely high level right now, and I can’t see the Ravens being able to stop him. The Ravens don’t generate a good pass rush and are ranked 28th in adjusted EPA pass defense as a result. If you don’t think Baltimore’s below-average pressure rate will matter much in this matchup, just compare Burrow’s stats when he’s kept clean and under pressure:



    The Ravens tend to play better against the run, but it’s not like the Bengals can’t win without Joe Mixon trampling the opposition. Burrow has all of his weapons available to him for the first time since Week 7 (excluding the Monday night game), and he’ll make great use of them.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: We have no idea if Lamar Jackson is going to play, as of this writing. I expected Jackson back two weeks ago, but he has yet to even practice. It seems unlikely that he’ll be 100 percent if he even makes it back, but we’ll have to see. Not like we can trust any injury report these days after the Mike White debacle!

    The Bengals should have Sam Hubbard back across from Trey Hendrickson, at least, as Hubbard was close to playing Monday night. This will be a huge boost against Tyler Huntley, who looked healthy for the first time in a while last week. He had great success connecting with a rejuvenated Mark Andrews, so that connection should work again.

    What won’t work very well is Baltimore’s rushing attack. The Bengals had a leaky run defense earlier in the season, but that has changed since Cincinnati has gotten both of its massive defensive tackles back from injury.

    RECAP: Burrow has an amazing spread record when he’s not favored by a touchdown or more. He’s 31-11 against the spread in those situations, which is just incredible. However, when we begin talking about larger spreads, Burrow doesn’t cover them as often. When favored by a touchdown or more, Burrow is just 2-4 against the spread.

    We’re at that magical number of seven in this game, which feels like a touch too high in this rivalry. The first meeting was a 19-17 Baltimore victory. Granted, Jackson may not play in this game, but if he’s ruled out, we may see this line creep up to -7.5 or -8, making Baltimore look more appealing. I like betting good or well-coached teams with their backup quarterback, as long as they’re not favored by more than a field goal. The Ravens will play extra hard with Huntley, while the Bengals have less time to prepare for this game, especially after enduring the mental hardship of seeing Hamlin collapse during their brief Monday night game.

    We’ll see what happens with Jackson, but I imagine I’ll have some sort of a bet on Baltimore.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: As with Bills-Patriots, this game wasn’t on the board until Wednesday evening. It will be played. This is an interesting game because there’s a chance this will be a rematch in the first round of the playoffs. Thus, it’s possible that both teams may rest their starters. In that case, Baltimore +7 looks very appealing. I even liked the Ravens before knowing that, so I’m going to lock in the +7 for two units now, and I may bet more later.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Ugh, leave it to the NFL to screw me. It’s only two units, so it’s not a big deal, but with the adjustments the league made to the Bills-Bengals game, this is more meaningful to Cincinnati because it would have to play a road game next week with a loss. The Bengals will try hard, while the Ravens are stuck in the No. 6 seed in all likelihood. Plus, Tyler Huntley is dealing with a shoulder injury and could sit. With a possible rematch next week, I think the Ravens will pack it in and get blown out. I can’t cash out, but I will bet five units on the Bengals to get a net three units on Cincinnati.

    SATURDAY NOTES II: I’m going to lock in the Bengals now because Tyler Huntley could be ruled out. I’m going to pay down to -7.5 -128 because I don’t want to get middled from my previous Baltimore bet.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Tyler Huntley, J.K. Dobbins, and Mark Andrews are all out. The Ravens are sitting their starters, causing this line to balloon to -11. The sharps are on Cincinnati.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Ravens.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Bengals -4.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Bengals -6.
    Computer Model: Bengals -3.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Cincinnati: 59% (81,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • History: Ravens have won 5 of the last 7 meetings.
  • Joe Burrow is 31-11 ATS when not favored by a touchdown or more (2-4 ATS otherwise).
  • Opening Line: Bengals -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 36 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Bengals 31, Ravens 13
    Bengals -7.5 -128 (5 Units) – FanDuel — Correct; +$500
    Ravens +7 -105 (2 Units) – Bookmaker — Incorrect; -$210
    Over 39.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Bengals 27, Ravens 16




    Minnesota Vikings (12-4) at Chicago Bears (3-13)
    Line: Vikings by 6.5. Total: 42.5.

    Sunday, Jan. 8, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Vikings.

    The Adventures of Tom Brady’s Haircuts are complete. They may return in the future, but I had to stop them for now. Besides, I wrote a similar-type book is called How the 2020 MVP Was Stolen:

    How the 2020 MVP Was Stolen

    Oh, and my other book is still available as well:

    A Safety and a Field Goal

    In this book, I talk about the top NFL Draft busts, and what would’ve happened had each team gone a different route. Also, I discuss why Roger Goodell has banned us from the NFL Combine.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: I was so tilted last Sunday about the Bears game. Justin Fields had 105 rushing yards in the first 10 minutes of the contest. I wondered if he would cross 200 rushing yards, with Chicago covering the +6 being a given. And then, he barely ran in the final three quarters because he suffered an injury. To say that the Bears struggled the rest of the way would be an understatement; they were outscored 34-0 following Fields’ injury!

    It’s currently unclear if Fields will even play in the finale. Matt Eberflus initially said that Fields would play, but then later backtracked when he revealed that he spoke to general manager Ryan Poles. It’s a shame that this season would end this way for Fields, especially when considering how great of a matchup he had versus the sorry Minnesota defense in the finale.

    If Fields can’t go, Nathan Peterman will get the start. I don’t need to tell you what will likely happen if Peterman gets the nod. The Vikings have a miserable defense, and yet Peterman will likely throw several interceptions behind his putrid offensive line.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Kirk Cousins will probably play this week, though there’s a chance he won’t. I’ll discuss that later, but if Cousins takes the field, he’ll have an extremely easy matchup against the Bears. Cousins won’t have his Pro Bowl right tackle Brian O’Neill to shield him going forward, but that won’t matter in this contest because the Bears don’t get to the quarterback at all. They have the second-worst pressure rate in the NFL.

    The Bears also have severe problems in their secondary. They’re down their top cornerback, Jaylon Johnson, so they won’t have anyone to stick with Justin Jefferson. We just saw Jaire Alexander eliminate Jefferson, but something like that obviously won’t happen in this matchup because Chicago just doesn’t have the personnel. I imagine Jefferson will want to redeem himself, so this will be a golden opportunity for him to do so.

    Dalvin Cook will also have a chance for a big performance. The Bears are better against the run than the pass, but only by default. Cook should be able to trample Chicago, as the Vikings nurse a healthy second-half lead.

    RECAP: The Vikings sort of have something to play for because if they win, and the 49ers lose, they’ll claim the No. 2 seed. However, all San Francisco needs to do is beat Arizona, so there’s a chance Minnesota may deem this game to be irrelevant. There’s an outside possibility that they’ll sit their starters as a consequence. Then again, we’re talking about a team that had Cousins throwing in a 41-10 deficit last week, so I’m not sure if they’ll rest anyone.

    If the Vikings decide to try hard for the entire game, you have to like their chances if Fields is sidelined. Peterman is a disaster, and I can’t see him succeeding, even against Minnesota’s poor defense. The Vikings are also coming off a completely embarrassing defeat. NFL players are very prideful, so the Vikings will be seeking redemption after getting crushed by Green Bay.

    We’ll have to wait on Fields’ status. Check back later, or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This spread skyrocketed because Justin Fields was ruled out. I thought about locking in the Vikings for a second, but there’s a chance Minnesota will rest its starters. If so, Chicago +7.5 will look great, even with Nathan Peterman starting. However, it sounds like the Vikings will play their starters, based on what Kevin O’Connell said. He pointed out that the No. 2 seed is still available, and that he wanted to right the ship after the ugly 41-17 loss to the Packers.

    “We still have a lot to play for just from a momentum standpoint for a football team that’s kind of had some highs this year, for sure, and then one of our low moments of the season, where you’d like to be able to rely on a lot of things we built here to come back together and make sure we rectify some of the issues,” O’Connell said.

    Cousins was throwing a touchdown to Jalen Nailor when it was 41-10 last week, so perhaps that’s a sign that he’ll play extensively in this game.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Sharp money has come in on the Bears to push this line down to +6 or +5.5. Does someone know something about the Vikings potentially sitting their starters? I’m not going to bet the Vikings for the game, but I like them in the first half because they could pull their starters after halftime.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps were on the Vikings earlier in the week, then it was on Chicago at +7. I imagine the Vikings will pull their starters at some point, but they could still cover. The Vikings are -6.5 at BetMGM and Caesars.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Bears.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Vikings -3.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Vikings -2.5.
    Computer Model: Vikings -3.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    Plenty of money on the Vikings.

    Percentage of money on Minnesota: 71% (71,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • History: Home Team has won 28 of the last 39 meetings.
  • Vikings are 11-29 ATS in their road finale since 1980.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -1.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 31 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 18 NFL Pick: Vikings 24, Bears 10
    Vikings -6.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Vikings 29, Bears 13






    Week 18 NFL Picks – Late Games
    Cowboys at Redskins, Giants at Eagles, Cardinals at 49ers, Rams at Seahawks, Chargers at Broncos, Lions at Packers




    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenever winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.


    Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 18 NFL Picks – Late Games



    2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 16


    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12




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    2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$3,585)
    2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$6,105)
    2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$4,235)
    2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,880)
    2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,335)
    2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$7,445)
    2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$7,825)
    2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885)
    2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$3,215)
    2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$780)
    2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$4,300)
    2018 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 140-134-14, 51.3% (+$845)
    2019 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 149-128-9, 53.6% (+$1,200)
    2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 138-124-7, 52.7% (+$9,350)
    2021 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 153-141-2, 51.9% (+$210)
    2022 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 154-134-8, 53.5% (+$9,860)

    2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
    2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%)
    2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
    2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%)
    2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
    2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
    2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
    2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
    2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180)
    2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
    2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)
    2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890)
    2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820)
    2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475)
    2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395)
    2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-41-2, 55.9% (+$2,670)
    2019 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-36-2, 55.0% (+$655)
    2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-43-3, 52.2% (-$1,965)
    2021 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 50-50, 50.0% (-$1,570)
    2022 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 56-44-2, 56.0% (+$1,860)

    2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
    2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%)
    2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%)
    2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%)
    2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%)
    2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420)
    2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055)
    2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
    2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
    2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)
    2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
    2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120)
    2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465)
    2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595)
    2018 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 27-32-1, 45.8% (-$4,735)
    2019 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-27-2, 57.8% (+$2,185)
    2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-22-1, 62.7% (+$5,515)
    2021 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-32-1, 50.0% (-$725)
    2022 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 41-30-1, 57.8% (+$3,725)

    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
    2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
    2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
    2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
    2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
    2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
    2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
    2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
    2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
    2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
    2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
    2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
    2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0)
    2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95)
    2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640)
    2018 Season Over-Under: 118-128-3, 48.0% (-$225)
    2019 Season Over-Under: 126-133-4, 48.6% (-$50)
    2020 Season Over-Under: 141-122-6, 53.6% ($0)
    2021 Season Over-Under: 132-151-3, 46.6% ($0)
    2022 Season Over-Under: 133-149-2, 47.2% (-$225)

    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
    2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
    2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
    2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
    2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
    2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685
    2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245
    2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855
    2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275
    2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510
    2018 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,495
    2019 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,715
    2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$4,975
    2021 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$3,455
    2022 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$5,720

    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
    2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
    2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
    2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
    2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
    2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
    2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
    2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)
    2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350)
    2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100)
    2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780)
    2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040)
    2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-3, 57.1% (-$640)
    2019 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3-1, 50.0% (-$625)
    2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$665)
    2021 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-3, 40.0% (-$920)
    2022 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-4, 42.9% (-$1,615)

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 3,420-3,152-195, 52.1% (+$21,170)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 1,106-983-56 (52.9%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 549-485-25 (53.1%)
    Career Over-Under: 2,853-2,829-74 (50.3%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 23-16-1 (59.0%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 46-34-1 (57.5t%)



    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

    Cowboys: 8-9
    Bears: 11-4
    Bucs: 6-11
    49ers: 10-7
    Eagles: 7-7
    Lions: 9-8
    Falcons: 8-9
    Cardinals: 8-9
    Giants: 7-9
    Packers: 5-12
    Panthers: 8-9
    Rams: 8-9
    Redskins: 14-3
    Vikings: 6-9
    Saints: 10-7
    Seahawks: 7-9
    Bills: 9-7
    Bengals: 12-5
    Colts: 7-10
    Broncos: 9-6
    Dolphins: 6-11
    Browns: 11-5
    Jaguars: 13-4
    Chargers: 8-9
    Jets: 8-9
    Ravens: 11-6
    Texans: 5-12
    Chiefs: 5-10
    Patriots: 7-9
    Steelers: 11-6
    Titans: 9-8
    Raiders: 6-9
    Divisional: 50-35 (2011-22: 558-526)
    2x Game Edge: 36-24 (2011-22: 363-361)
    2x Motivation Edge: 32-36 (2011-22: 478-405)
    2x Spread Edge: 41-40 (2011-22: 197-168)
    2x Vegas Edge: 41-38 (2011-22: 407-406)
    2x Trend Edge: 15-13 (2011-22: 306-279)
    Double Edge: 17-13 (2011-22: 190-172)
    Triple Edge: 1-1 (2011-22: 32-36)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2012 Season:
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    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2014 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2015 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2016 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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    2017 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2018 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2019 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2020 Season:
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    Super Bowl LV Pick

    2021 Season:
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    2022 Season:
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    2023 Season:
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