Not too great of a week for #DajaniDimes. We went 10-6 overall ATS, but struggled with the top five locks. The New York Jets kept it close with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we had a bad beat on the Houston Texans, the Dallas Cowboys disappointed again and then the Cleveland Browns lost any kind of motivation they had after being eliminated from playoff contention. I wonder what the future holds for Baker Mayfield.
The final week of the regular season is usually a weird one with some teams resting starters, but if you look at the playoff picture, virtually every team minus the Green Bay Packers have something to play for. Let’s jump into the final week of regular-season picks. Credit to the CBS Sports research team for providing the information found in this column. Peep the season stats below.
Top five picks record: 43-42
Overall ATS record: 124-131-1
Straight up record: 161-94-1
2020 ATS record: 125-120-9 (2 official picks missed due to COVID rescheduling)
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/ABC)
Latest Odds: Kansas City Chiefs -11.5
The Chiefs have something to play for, as a win and a Tennessee Titans loss would give Kansas City the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Patrick Mahomes and Co. will be plenty motivated after their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week, which is unfortunate for the Broncos. They lost by 13 points to Kansas City earlier this year and have lost three straight. Teddy Bridgewater was placed on injured reserve, so it will again be Drew Lock — who is battling through a shoulder injury. Denver lost by 21 to the Los Angeles Chargers last week and is likely looking forward to the offseason.
The pick: Chiefs -10
Projected score: Chiefs 30-17
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Latest Odds: Washington Football Team -7
The Giants are what I like to describe as “down bad.” I believe the last time they covered the spread was on Nov. 28. Ever since Daniel Jones exited the starting lineup, New York is 0-5 and has lost all five by double-digits. I’ve made fading the Giants a best bet four out of the past five weeks and I’m doing it again to wrap up the year.
Jake Fromm is likely to register his second start after Mike Glennon suffered a wrist injury, but as we saw against the Philadelphia Eagles a couple weeks ago, he’s no upgrade. Apart from the Giants not having a quarterback, it appears head coach Joe Judge has lost the locker room. After his weird postgame rant last week, players admitted they had no interest in listening to what he had to say.
Washington is no contender either, but these players will still fight for Ron Rivera. It won’t take much to outscore the Giants. New York has the worst scoring offense in the NFL over the last two seasons (16.6 points per game). The Giants have won two games by double-digits while losing 14 games by double-digits with Judge as head coach. He’s won one more game than Pat Shurmur, who was fired after going 9-23 over his two seasons as New York’s head coach.
The pick: Washington -7
Projected score: Washington 23-10
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Latest Odds: New England Patriots -6
The Dolphins were eliminated from playoff contention this past week and now have nothing to play for. We saw how that affected the Browns on Monday night. The Patriots have a chance to win the AFC East, although I don’t believe they will since the Buffalo Bills play the 4-12 Jets with the division still up in the air. New England is coming off of a 40-point win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and they should defeat Miami by at least a touchdown. At least.
The pick: Patriots -6.5
Projected score: Patriots 24-13
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Latest Odds: New Orleans Saints -3.5
The Saints find themselves in one of the more intriguing playoff situations. They can clinch a spot with a win and a San Francisco 49ers loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Saints have won the last three meetings in Atlanta. The Falcons aren’t playing for anything except pride at this point, and each of their last five losses have come by double-digits.
New Orleans has one of the best defenses in the NFL. Although the Saints’ offense is near the bottom of the league, I have faith this unit will be juiced up enough to pull out a win. Taysom Hill hasn’t dropped games to lesser teams. He defeated the Jets by 21 points and the Carolina Panthers by eight points last week.
The pick: Saints -4.5
Projected score: Saints 26-20
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Latest Odds: Arizona Cardinals -6.5
I got caught sleeping on the Cardinals last week. They were riding a three-game losing streak going up against a hot Cowboys team, but Arizona just straight up outplayed them. Maybe Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray exorcised some demons last week, and they can refocus for the playoffs. The Cards can rebound to win the NFC West with a win and a Rams loss.
The Cardinals have scored 30 points eight times this season. That’s one shy of the most in the NFL, and I think they can make it nine this Sunday. Sure, the Seahawks blew out Tim Boyle and the Detroit Lions last week, but they still allowed 29 points from an offense that averages 18 points per game! Remember when Colt McCoy beat this team by double-digits on the road earlier this season?
The pick: Cardinals -6.5
Projected score: Cardinals 31-24
Other Week 18 picks
Cowboys (-5.5) 28-20 over Eagles
Bills 27-13 over Jets (+16)
Vikings (-5.5) 24-17 over Bears
Titans (-10) 31-20 over Texans
Colts (-15.5) 30-10 over Jaguars
Steelers (+6) 23-21 over Ravens
Browns (-6) 20-13 over Bengals
Buccaneers (-8) 28-16 over Panthers
Packers 23-20 over Lions (+4)
Rams 26-23 over 49ers (+4.5)
Chargers (-3) 27-21 over Raiders