Image Credit: (Kelley Cox/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
Last week there were a lot of games that I was on the edge of my seat watching. Crazy ending results which resulted in some upsets. So we are back here yet again to make spread picks for week 18. Before we do that, let's take a look at how I did last week.
Spread Picks Record Week 1 (8-8) Week 2 (9-7) Week 3 (9-6-1) Week 4 (6-8-2) Week 5 (4-11-1) Week 6 (8-6) Week 7 (9-5) Week 8 (7-8) Week 9 (7-5-1) Week 10 (7-7) Week 11 (5-9) Week 12 (12-3-1) Week 13 (8-7) Week 14 (6-7) Week 15 (6-10) Week 16 (7-6-3) Week 17 (6-9) *I decided to not count the Bills vs Bengals for my record.*
Superlock Record (8-8) - Week 1: Baltimore Ravens, Week 2: Cleveland Browns, Week 3: Atlanta Falcons, Week 4: Houston Texans, Week 5: Philadelphia Eagles, Week 6: Jacksonville Jaguars, Week 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 8: Tennessee Titans, Week 9: Seattle Seahawks, Week 10 Dallas Cowboys, Week 11: Washington Commanders, Week 12: San Francisco 49ers, Week 13: Houston Texans, Week 14: Miami Dolphins, Week 15: Cincinnati Bengals, Week 16: Arizona Cardinals, Week 17: Dallas Cowboys
That was the most free money superlock game I have made all season. The Titans are terrible and if Dallas cared in the 2nd half they would have won by 20 points.
Now that I looked back on how I did Week 17 let's get to it with my spread picks for Week 18. As a reminder the spreads of each game are on DraftKings.
Just as a heads up to those reading this I will not be talking about the Bills vs Patriots or Bengals vs Baltimore games. There is still no update on whether those games will be played as of the time I am writing this.. Especially with what happened to Damar Hamlin and my thoughts and prayers continue to go out to him and his family.
Also I am going to be linking Damar Hamlin Charity below. Currently at the time of this article the Charity is at 7.3 Million, but you know what lets keep going.
Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders (+9.5)
Look I get the Raiders are a poorly coached team, but this spread is way too high. Especially as most of the season the Chiefs play games really close. I think that the Chiefs are going to rest players as well in this game as I think they will lock the 1st Seed depending on the ruling of the Bills vs Bengals game. No need to get superstar players hurt. 9.5 points is also way too many points for me, so I will take the Las Vegas Raiders here.
My Pick: Las Vegas Raiders (+9.5)
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6)
This to me is the most intriguing and important game in the AFC as whoever wins this game basically gets the AFC South. I got to say I am very concerned with Tennessee long term. Especially in the fact of their future starting QB as I think it is a big concern with Tennessee starting Josh Dobbs over Malik Willis in this game.
When Josh Dobbs, a QB that was a free agent 2 weeks ago, is starting over a rookie 3rd round QB that was projected to be a 1st round pick, then there is a real problem. It is clear Tannehill is not coming back this season and probably may get the Osweiler Effect due to his awful contract. Plus I don’t hate Mike Vrabel, but I can really see the Titans part ways with him if they don’t make the playoffs. They need his game, but the injuries are just way too much for a team to overcome. Although they have extra time to prepare for this game, I still think the Jaguars are the better team and more properly coached team. I would have used the Jaguars as my survivor pick as I think they will win this game. I do think that 6 points is fair, so I will take the Jaguars.
My Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (-6)
Sunday Football (1:00 PM) Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
While this game does not matter playoff wise it still does draft wise. Welcome to the 23rd TANK GAME in the Tournament for the 1st Overall Pick. Two teams who have two goals in mind, to try and audition for jobs next season and secure a high draft pick. I really don’t know what to think of this matchup as both teams are terrible. Yes I know the Saints beat the Eagles, but the Eagles rested a chunk of their starters. I am going to rely on flipping a coin with this one Heads for Carolina and Tails for New Orleans. It landed on heads and I will take the Panthers in this game.
My Pick: Carolina Panthers (+3.5)
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (+5.5)
If you thought the Colts game showed the Vikings as frauds, just look at their performance against the Packers last week. I mean they straight up quit in the second half of that game. No Justin Fields in this game as he is out due to his hip issues. So who is going to start?
Yes, the man, the myth, the legend, the meme himself, Nathan Peterman. My interest level went up in this game. However, I think it is simple, Vikings win this game, secure the 2nd seed, but I kind of want to take the points with the way the Vikings have been playing. If the Vikings loose this game, then there are serious problems because the Bears are not trying anymore and lost their best player. I will take the points with Chicago, but this game is a no bet for me.
My Pick: Chicago Bears (+5.5)
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-1)
It looks like Miami is going to have Skylar Thompson starting in this game. Tua is definitely not playing this week and I would not be shocked if he even plays in the playoffs either. I doubt Teddy Bridgewater will play with his finger issue. Plus they also just signed Mike Glennon too, and it is telling when looking at the status of Bridgewater. Besides that I still like the Dolphins this week. I am still a believer of Skylar Thompson and he has not been fantastic, but he has been dependable with the stars he has.
As a Jets fan, I would love Miami to lose this game. However the Jets looked like they have quit on the season last week against the Seattle Seahawks. Plus I really doubt Mike White is healthy in this game and going back to watch last week, you can tell he was still dealing with that rib issue. I like Miami here and I am going to bet on this game.
My Pick: Miami Dolphins (-1)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-4)
Gosh I really want to make this a tank game as this division is garbage, but unfortunately one team had to win and it was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I really like the Falcons here as it looks like the Buccaneers may be resting their entire team for the playoffs. Tampa already sucks with their starters, imagine how the Buccaneers would perform with their backups. I mean Atlanta is terrible too and may want to lose this game for draft seeding. I am taking the Falcons here.
My Pick: Atlanta Falcons (-4)
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)
Here we go now; this is truly the most important game of the week. Especially as this helps out in seeding the Top 5 Overall picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Welcome to the 24th TANK GAME in the Tournament for the 1st Overall Pick. This to me is the Super Tank Game as whatever happens can really change the Top 5 of the draft. I see a lot of people betting the Colts and I believe it was around 80%. I get why, but I am going to ask this question. Do you really trust the Colts with Jeff Saturday as the coach or with Sam Elingher as the QB? I really can’t and the Texans have been playing hard lately excluding last week. Plus the Colts can be a smart franchise, by pulling a big brain move by playing like garbage on purpose and making the Texans win that game. Think about it, if the Texans win they will likely slide down to the 2nd Overall Pick and the Colts also raise their draft stock as well. It would be a brilliant move for the Colts to screw a division rival and benefit themselves rising draft stock wise. I am taking the Texans here and I might bet on this game.
My Pick: Houston Texans (+2.5)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)
This game matters more on the Steelers side then it does with the Browns side. If the Steelers want to make the playoffs then they got to win this game. You know this kind of seems like a classic Mike Tomlin play down to competition game, however I don’t think that is the case. The Steelers should take care of business as I think the Browns are garbage. Watson played well against the Commanders, but the Commanders did not realize they could get eliminated last week. The Browns defense is poorly coached and I guarantee the Steelers players want to keep Tomlins above .500 record streak going. I will take the Steelers here.
My Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)
Sunday Football (4:25 PM)
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders (+5.5)
After what happened last week with Washington, I would not blame Commander fans if they don’t want to A) Watch this game on TV or B) Go Watch this game at FedEx Field. After the way Ron Rivera botched his gameplay for this game, it would not even shock me if he is gone at Black Monday. He is a respectable coach and I believe he will get rehired, but what he did was a fireable offense. How do you not realize that you would be eliminated from the playoffs in a given week?
As for this game the Commanders are starting Sam Howell in this game, which is the right move. Carson Wentz is pretty much done and I really wonder if he gets signed once the Commanders get out of his awful contract. I don’t think Taylor Henicke is the long term QB. Why not give Howell a chance at QB to see how he does. This game is meaningless for the Commanders, unless they want to beat a division rival. The Cowboys are going to do what they can to win this game as they could steal the 1st seed if the Eagles loose. I am taking the Cowboys here.
My Pick: Dallas Cowboys (-5.5)
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-6.5)
The Seattle Seahawks if they want to make the playoffs have to win this game. They also are going to need the Lions to beat the Green Bay Packers. Luckily the Seahawks are facing the Los Angeles Rams who have had such a disappointing season with all of the injuries that they have had. I do think Seattle will take care of business in winning this game, but 6.5 is a bit much for me to take the Seahawks. Especially as the Rams have nothing to lose in this game and the players are fighting for jobs. I will take the Rams here, but Seattle should win the game.
My Pick: Los Angeles Rams (+6.5)
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (-2)
If you want to know how coaching matters in the NFL, just look at the Denver Broncos. They look like a lot better team without Nathanial Hackett as their head coach. They were competitive against the Kansas City Chiefs which with how talented the Chiefs are is impressive. The Broncos also don’t have much to lose as the Broncos 1st round pick is Seattle Seahawks property. However, the Chargers are the better team excluding coaching (Well Kind of). I still don’t think Brandon Staley is a good coach, but they should take care of business in this game. I won’t bet the game though.
My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers (+2)
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-14)
Oh come on. Look I get the Eagles are going to lock up the 1st Seed, but this is way too many points. The Giants may rest players in this game, but all season they have been disrespected by the spreads given this season. Also the Eagles are really struggling with Lane Johnson being injured. It looks like Jalen Hurts will play which is good for Philadelphia, but I am taking the Giants here as it is way too many points. I was super close to taking the Giants as my superlock, but there is one game that I think is the better choice.
My Pick: New York Giants (+14)
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-14)
This game is an easy one to bet here, Give me the San Francisco 49ers. I don’t care if David Blough is the QB in Arizona this team is garbage. The only reason last game was close is that they faced the Falcons who were tanking for draft picks. Even when Kyler Murray was the QB a few weeks ago the Cardinals struggled against this team and they will do it again. I will say for Arizona it looks like Steve Keim is gone in Arizona and I really believe KIngsbury is going to be gone as well. I am not too confident in Kingsbury 100% going to be fired, but I am more in the 70-80% range. I will take the 49ers and you know what, they will be my superlock this week.
My Pick: San Francisco 49ers (-14) *Superlock Pick of the Week*
Sunday Night Football
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-4.5)
Would you say this is the game of the week? I kind of think this is as it is if the Packers win they get the 7th seed and if they don’t the Lions have the opportunity to make it in if the Seahawks lose. Even though the Packers have been on a hot streak I kind think they are a very overrated team and especially with their head coach. However I kind of like the Packers this week, because the Lions suck playing outdoors. Excluding the Jets game, I am pretty sure they have lost almost every outdoor game. That is not good, but I am taking the Packers this game.
My Pick: Green Bay Packers (-4.5)