TheLines.com: NFL Week 18 a challenge for oddsmakers, bettors

By | January 4, 2022

NFL’S FIRST-EVER WEEK 18 WILL PROVIDE CHALLENGES FOR ODDSMAKERS THAT ARE UNIQUE TO THE SEASON’S FINAL WEEK, ACCORDING TO THELINES.COM

(LAS VEGAS) — The majority of playoff berths are clinched ahead of NFL’s first-ever Week 18, which can make games more unpredictable than a typical slate of games, according to TheLines.com, which tracks odds in the U.S. regulated sports betting market.

Week 18 games with playoff ramifications, though, can be more dependable for oddsmakers. The Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos, the San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams, and the win-or-go-home Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders are among those featuring teams fighting for their playoff lives or have significant seeding implications. Three of those games offer a spread of 5.5 points or less, according to a consensus of that nation’s largest legal online sportsbooks — including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, and PointsBet.

“The final week, in particular, brings a level of uncertainty not seen in any other week because the motivation for teams out of the playoff race is uncertain, and the top teams often rest their best players,” said Brett Collson, lead analyst for TheLines.com. “Games with playoff implications tend to be more dependable, but even then you never quite know how teams respond to playing for their postseason lives. It’s uniquely challenging — and fun — for oddsmakers and bettors.”

The consensus point spreads for Week 18 games, as of Monday, Jan. 3:

  • Kansas City Chiefs (-10) at Denver Broncos; over/under 44.5
  • Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Philadelphia Eagles; over/under 41.5
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-2.5); over/under 44
  • Green Bay Packers (-11) at Detroit Lions; over/under 46.5
  • Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5); over/under 44.5
  • Washington Football Team (-6.5) at New York Giants; over/under 38.5
  • Indianapolis Colts (-15.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars; over/under 44
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-4.5); over/under 42
  • Tennessee Titans (-10.5) at Houston Texans; over/under 43
  • New Orleans Saints (-4.5) at Atlanta Falcons; over/under 40
  • New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-16.5); over/under 45
  • New England Patriots (-5.5) at Miami Dolphins; over/under 40
  • Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9.5); over/under 42.5
  • San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-5.5); over/under 44.5
  • Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5); over/under 48
  • Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Las Vegas Raiders; over/under 48.5

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