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Sunday Shockers – Our Week 18 Long Odds NFL Sunday Picks

Meh. 0/2 last week means that I am now 16/28 on the season and rather like the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, I seem to be hanging on to a Wildcard spot by my fingertips at the moment.

I’d like to finish the season with a bang and with this being the final week of the regular season, I would like to see 18/30 successful bets on the year by this time next week.

The schedule for Week 18 has been finalised and the action begins on Saturday with the Broncos facing the Chiefs and then this is followed by the Eagles facing the Cowboys in what is going to be a very interesting matchup in the NFC East.

Then we have the final round of games all taking place on Sunday and of course, all are divisional games and there are plenty of matches with plenty to play for across both days.

The Chiefs need to win to keep their hopes of finishing as the top seed in the AFC alive, while the Eagles and Cowboys don’t have much on the line, other than divisional pride, but given that they could also face each other in the Wildcard games, will either team be ready to go all out for the win here?

I’m not so sure.

There are a few of these games where I am going to have to weigh up whether teams will be playing a full-strength roster for the majority of the game, or even any of it, which does make this set of picks somewhat tricky.

As with last week’s tips, this week’s offering comes courtesy of PointsBet Sportsbook.

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NFL Week 18 Fixtures

Saturday January 8th

  • Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
  • Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday January 9th

  • Washington Football Team @ New York Giants
  • Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
  • Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
  • Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
  • Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals
  • New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
  • Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
  • San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
  • Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders

Sunday Shocker Picks For Week Eighteen

By my reckoning, there are still plenty of teams with lots to play for this week. While some may be tempted to dial it in and try and improve their draft position, I can’t see too many games where that is going to be the case, especially given these are all divisional rivalry games.

In fact, looking at the games this week, I can only count one (Washington @ Giants) that doesn’t have something impacting on it, even if it is just a team trying to improve their Wildcard spot, or even qualify for a Wildcard spot in their division.

Add to that a couple of games where an entire season is riding on the outcome (49ers @ Rams, Chargers @ Raiders, Steelers @ Ravens).

Other games could see teams clinch divisional titles, or a wildcard spot or even top seeding in the playoffs, and the advantage of home field throughout the playoffs and a Bye Week on Wildcard weekend.

So with this very much in mind, I have decided to pick the following for my longer odds wins on the final weekend of the NFL regular season.

Sunday Shocker 1 – Atlanta Falcons to beat the New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are desperate to land the win to give themselves a

“Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks” by Thomson20192 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

chance of a Wildcard spot in the NFC, but I think they could struggle against the Falcons here.

The Saints offense is not firing and although they have had a number of players come back from the Covid-19/Injury list, there is still no doubt in my mind that this offensive unit is a pale shadow of the team that were regular Super Bowl contenders with Drew Brees under center.

That always means I struggle to see them scoring too many points in games, especially later in the season where they have scored 30 points or more just once in their last nine games.

They can point to a shut out of the Bucs on Week 15 and a victory over the Panthers last week, but when the two teams met earlier in the season, the Falcons dominated the game and won by two, thanks only to the Saints scoring 22 of their 25 points in the final quarter.

Cordarrelle Patterson was the main threat against the Saints for the Falcons and I think will be again, especially with Kyle Pitts absent.

If the Falcons can stop Alvin Kamara again, then I think they stand a chance of ending the Saints Wildcard hopes here with a narrow victory.

The Falcons are +175 on the moneyline for the win here and I’d take them there as well as on the +4.5 spread and go for just over the 40 points on offer for the Total Points bet.

Sunday Shocker 2 – Las Vegas Raiders to beat the Los Angeles Chargers

My second shock here is for the Raiders to upset the Chargers and pip them to a playoff spot.

Now why would I go for this when I have said for most of the season that the Chargers look a playoff-bound team to me, while the Raiders, especially after the players they have lost, look anything but?

Well, if you look at the two teams performances this season, it is fair to say they mirror each other in being so erratic as being almost impossible to predict.  Both teams can go from brilliant one week to abysmal the next.

Their records are close and in the game at the SoFi Stadium back in October, the Chargers went 21-0 up before the Raiders mounted a comeback in the third quarter, only for the Chargers to pull away at the end to win 28-14.

With this game in Las Vegas, I think the Raiders will have a vociferous home support behind them and knowing it is an all-or-nothing game, I can see them being inspired by this and if the Chargers have shown anything this season, it is that when teams can get at them, it is when they are most vulnerable.

I do think this will be very close indeed and the +3 on the Raiders as underdogs does feel about right, but I just have a sneaky feeling with how the AFC has gone this season, there may yet be a sting in the tail in this final game so back the Raiders to win, Over 49.5 points and the Raiders are +135 on the moneyline.


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