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NFL Week 18 picks, best bets: Bills cover in emotional matchup vs. Patriots, Cowboys sweep Commanders

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Welcome to the ultimate week of the regular season. To start with, thanks for following along this yr. Hopefully we won you some money, or on the very least gave you some food for thought in your picks. Gambling pays my web bill, but not my mortgage. It’s more for fun than anything. With that being said, that is the WORST week to throw money on the NFL.

It’s difficult to guess which teams with nothing to realize or lose will show up, and which one’s won’t. Plus, for the teams which can be starting their starters after they don’t need to begin their starters, will those starters play the entire game, or simply the primary half? 

Here’s a take a look at what I’m considering this week. As at all times, credit to the CBS Sports research team for making me sound smart. 

All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Top five picks ATS record: 39-44-1
Overall ATS record: 125-123-7
Straight up record: 166-87-2

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns

It is a must-win game for the Steelers. With a win and losses from the Miami Dolphins and Recent England Patriots, the Steelers could be within the playoffs. The important thing stats listed here are that the Steelers have won 18 straight regular-season home games vs. the Browns, and that Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season. At 8-8, the Steelers need a win to maintain that streak alive.

I believe it’s pretty impressive that the Steelers have overcome seven-point deficits within the fourth quarter in each of their past two games. Kenny Pickett has some more steps he needs to soak up his development, but he’s been clutch late in games. With the number being this low, I’m just going to put it. 

The pick: Steelers -2.5
Projected rating: Steelers 23-17

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

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There are two the reason why I just like the Vikings here: Minnesota will absolutely wish to rebound after that terrible loss to the Green Bay Packers, and Nathan Peterman is starting for the Bears with Justin Fields shut down for the yr. 

Making the Vikings a best bet hasn’t exactly worked out for me this yr, but they’re higher ATS than the Bears, and I mean, c’mon. Fields has been Chicago’s entire offense this season. If Peterman keeps it close with the Vikings this weekend, taking Minnesota to lose in the primary round of the playoffs might be a stylish pick. 

The pick: Vikings -7.5
Projected rating: Vikings 27-16

Recent England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Buffalo Bills vs. Recent England Patriots

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That is in fact going to be an emotional matchup after what the Bills players needed to endure Monday night. Ultimately, I believe they struggle to go win this game for Damar Hamlin, versus falling apart in front of their home fans. The Patriots have all of the motivation on the planet to go earn a victory, but they’re 0-4 against current playoff teams, and have allowed 29 points per game in those matchups. 

The Patriots are 1-5 ATS of their last six games, and have what’s statistically the seventh-worst offense within the NFL. The Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals are racking up more yards per game than Mac Jones. I’ll take Buffalo to cover in a special game. 

The pick: Bills -7
Projected rating: Bills 28-17

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens

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The unlucky circumstances on Monday night gave the Bengals a little bit of overtime off, although the team went through what wasn’t exactly a pleasurable experience. But Joe Burrow and the boys do not have to travel this week, and so they host a Ravens team that hasn’t earned a powerful win in months. 

Since Lamar Jackson left in Week 13, Baltimore has averaged just 11.8 points per game. The defense has been great with Jackson out, nevertheless it’s notable that the Ravens have not scored greater than 17 points since Nov. 27. Possibly Jackson returns this week, but he missed practice yet again on Wednesday. 

The Bengals have won and covered in seven straight games since losing to the Browns in Week 8, and are an incredible 20-3 ATS of their last 23 games played! Why would I bet against them now in a vital divisional matchup at home?

The pick: Bengals -7
Projected rating: Bengals 20-10

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys

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Ron Rivera has successfully rattled everyone. From sabotaging the Commanders’ entire season by starting Carson Wentz in a must-win game, to sarcastically acting like he didn’t know Washington’s postseason hypotheticals, all the things has gone unsuitable for the Commanders. Now, to complete out the season, we are going to get our first take a look at rookie quarterback Sam Howell. 

The UNC product showed within the preseason he has some juice, but he’s still a rookie making his first profession start against a tenacious pass rush. The Cowboys offense has also been on fire, as Dak Prescott and Co. are averaging 35.1 points per game during the last 10 contests. That is 5.7 more points per game than some other team in that span. I get that this game is dangerous if Dallas finally ends up benching its starters late, but betting any game in Week 18 is dangerous in case you have not noticed. 

The pick: Cowboys -7
Projected rating: Cowboys 30-20

Other Week 18 picks

Chiefs 27-21 over Raiders (+9.5)
Jaguars 24-23 over Titans (+6)
Jets (-1) 26-23 over Dolphins
Saints 17-14 over Panthers (+3.5)
Falcons (-4) 26-20 over Buccaneers
Colts (-2.5) 13-10 over Texans
Eagles 27-16 over Giants (+14)
Seahawks (-6.5) 28-21 over Rams
49ers 23-13 over Cardinals (+14.5)
Broncos (-2) 21-16 over Chargers
Packers 28-24 over Lions (+4.5)

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