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Picks, odds for Sunday matches

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Welcome to Week 18, the craziest of them all to try and pick winners against the spread in the NFL.

There are all sorts of things to consider. There are…

Good teams that need to win to make the playoffs.

– Good teams that could improve their standings with a win but need to weigh the risk-reward of exposing their best players to injury.

Intermediate teams in ascending or descending phase.

Bad teams that are still a bit dangerous or totally lost.

Add to this landscape the fact that although NFL schedulers group affected teams into the same time slot, the results on the scoreboard can change teams’ motivation in real time.

The thing is, a lot of these factors are reflected in point spreads, and the biggest one that jumps out at you is the Eagles being a 14-point favorite against the Giants on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

That number may be justified by the Eagles’ desire to clinch the NFC’s first seed and coveted bye, Jalen Hurts’ return from injury and the team’s 48-22 landslide victory at MetLife Stadium on December 21. 11.

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This massive spread, however, assumes that giants won’t come out all the way because they’re locked into the No. 6 seed. Brian Daboll has no prior history with this decision, but if he limits Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley and sits down initially with injury issues, it could spiral out of control.

Eagles vs. Giants Choose: Eagles -14

Nick Sirianni
Nick Sirianni
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It was strange to see the Jets favored against a team that can still make the playoffs. That line flip was whether Teddy Bridgewater can play with his dislocated finger or if it will be Skylar Thompson, who the Jets beat easily in October. But on Thursday night, the favorite announced that Mike White may not be able to play.

While I expect Jets cornering to put down Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, speculation on White might not be ready to force that lean. I don’t think I could get behind Joe Flacco, who seems to have left the inn a long time ago.

Obviously, the linemakers aren’t buying Todd Bowles’ claim that he’ll play starters after already clinching the NFC South. I doubt Bowles is stupid enough to let Tom Brady get hurt behind a battered offensive line in a meaningless game. This should be one of those mails.

CHICAGO BEAR (+7.5) over the Minnesota Vikings

I never thought I would support Nathan Peterman this season, but the alternative is to lay more than a road touchdown with a Vikings team that has a minus-19 differential and little motivation to move to the NFC. No. 2 seeds. I think Kevin O’Connell is trying to get in and out of Soldier Field with a healthy team.

BUFFALO BILLS (-7) against the New England Patriots

The emotions that emerge from the chilling Damar Hamlin incident could play out either way, but I imagine if Hamlin’s condition continues to improve, it will serve as impetus for the Bills to hammer again. the Patriots.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (-7) against the Baltimore Ravens

He wouldn’t normally give the Ravens so many points as they head to the playoffs, but the team seems to be in a bit of purgatory as they try to get Lamar Jackson healthy for next week. It will be difficult for the Ravens to rob the rolling Bengals of the AFC North title.

Joe Terrier
Joe Terrier
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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-2.5) vs. Houston Texans

OK, so I’m taking a team that’s been outscored 97-16 in their last 2 ¹/₂ games. That’s because the alternative is the Texans, who are just 60 minutes away from getting the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3.5) vs. Carolina Panthers

The Saints end the season strong, posting three straight wins and a five-game streak in which they gave up an average of 13.6 points per game.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-2.5) vs. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland is 3-2 in Deshaun Watson’s five starts, but the offensive results aren’t much different than Jacoby Brissett’s. I don’t expect him to click now against a Steelers team that has allowed 17 points or less in each of the last six games.

DENVER BRONCOS (-2.5) against the Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers would be locked into the No. 5 seed in the AFC if the Ravens lose to the Bengals earlier on Sunday. If that happened, I don’t see Justin Herbert (shoulder) and his best friends being put in danger here. Hence the odd line that I believe the punters were right.

Arizona Cardinals (+14) vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Niners could still reach the NFC 1 or 2 seed with help, but those storylines could fade as the day progresses. Again, remember, the favorite’s goal here is any win, not necessarily by more than two touchdowns.

Brock Purdy
Brock Purdy
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We saw last week that the 12th Man can still be driven into a frenzy by good Geno Smith-Kenneth Walker football. The Baker Mayfield magic wore off last week, and Lumen Field is not a place a bad team wants to play rope.

WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (+7) vs. Dallas Cowboys

Another game in which the scoreboard could serve as a deterrent, in this case to the Cowboys’ hopes of winning the NFC East. With Carson Wentz back in mothballs, hoping rookie QB Sam Howell will give the Cowboys a shot.

The final 17% of the Lions’ playoff chances will likely be wiped out by kickoff at 20-degree Lambeau Field, but I doubt Dan Campbell will let that bring them down. This team had a resurgent season, finished strong and should leave one last forget-me-not.

Best betsCommanders, Titans, Saints
Lock of the week: Commanders (locks 8-9 in 2022)
Last week: 7-8 on aggregate, 1-2 Best bets.

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