The NFL always keeps the final week’s schedule open. The teams know games are going to be flexed about in the interest of competitive balance.
Which makes me wonder who was in charge of putting together the Week 18 schedule, because it’s terrible.
In past years, the NFL has gone to great lengths to ensure teams that might impact each other’s postseason scenarios are playing at the same time. This year? Nope.
For starters, they put the Kansas City-Las Vegas game on Saturday. This was done before the horrific events of Monday night, and it made no sense then (nor does it make sense now). If the Chiefs win Saturday, they clinch the No. 1 seed. Even if the Bills-Bengals game had gone the full 60 minutes Monday night, it still would’ve been silly to have the Chiefs on Saturday, because if the Bills won Monday night and the Chiefs lost Saturday … the Bills would’ve clinched the No. 1 seed.
Either way, it’s entirely possible the Bills will only be playing for the potential of a neutral site AFC Championship game on Sunday when they take on the Patriots, which is bad because the Patriots have everything to play for. They win, and they’re in. You’re welcome, Bill Belichick.
The NFL's schedule makers may have done the Patriots a Week 18 favor.
Here's why: https://t.co/cCpZBTpibZ pic.twitter.com/8fQvoird0e
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) January 2, 2023
Meanwhile, Ravens vs. Bengals Sunday has implications beyond the two AFC North teams. In short: If the Bengals win, it locks the Los Angeles Chargers into the all-important five-seed in the AFC (they’d play the winner of Jaguars-Titans instead of the Bills, Chiefs, or Bengals).
Of course, the Chargers are playing the late game, so they’ll know if they have to play their starters or not before they kick off.
The most egregious scheduling error, however, is in the NFC, where the Packers get in with a win over the Lions, the Lions get in with a win over the Packers and a Seahawks loss to the Rams, and the Seahawks get in with a win and a Packers loss. You’d think they’d have both of these games going at the same time. You’d be wrong, as the Lions-Packers game is Sunday night, meaning the Lions may already know their fate before they take the field.
The entire reason the NFL doesn't schedule the times of the Week 18 games is to avoid the situation it just created by putting Lions/Packers on SNF.
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) January 2, 2023
In short: You’re welcome, Aaron Rodgers.
Oh, and lastly: The Jaguars-Titans game on Saturday night should’ve been on Sunday night, because the Titans have the extra rest from playing last Thursday and the Jaguars are now on a short week.
Terrible job, NFL. But honestly, with the season I’ve had betting, taking some of these games basically off the board for me is probably a blessing in disguise.
Let’s limp on over to the finish, then …
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
No need to go through how terrible last week, and the entire season, has been. I’ve just been gifting America’s sportsbooks money. This week, instead of trying to get back to even, I’m just going with a +1200 wager I placed early in the week on DraftKings: Packers -4.5 over the Lions, Cowboys -5.5 over the Commanders, Dolphins -2.5 over the Jets, and Seahawks -6.5 over the Rams. Yep. Four favorites, four teams that need wins, done, finished, over. By the way, I bet this early because I wanted to beat closing line odds. The Dolphins are now 1.5-point underdogs (d’oh!), but the Cowboys are now 7-point favorites (ahhh). I’ll call it a wash.
The on-paper, no doubt, three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Lost again as, incredibly, my seven-team teaser failed to cash. Who could’ve guessed?
Let’s wrap up this nonsense with a simple +160 teaser at Caesars. Give me the Jaguars pick’em over the Titans, the Cowboys giving the Commanders a point, and the Packers getting 1.5 points at home against the Lions.
So basically, Lions RB Jamaal Williams says Green Bay is the ex-girlfriend who didn't want him anymore, but Detroit is the rebound chick who picked him up & is feeding him good & taking him to dinners. "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
This is gold @jswaggdaddy @Lions pic.twitter.com/c8oOfDQxUx
— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) September 17, 2021
By the way, I really want the Lions to win the game, but I don’t see it happening on the frozen tundra. Translation: Bet the farm on the Lions.
This one is looking a little fishy to me
Record down to 5-11-1, as I thought the Vikings were actually going to field a team against the Packers. Oh well.
This week’s fishy line is the Colts giving 2.5 points to the Texans. Come on. How could this game be anything but a pick ‘em? I’m taking the points here.
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
If you even have to ask …
DraftKings play(s) of the week
Who knows. Eat Arby’s.
everything in life is irrelevant, if you think about it, and nothing matters and no one will remember you, eat arbys https://t.co/PcDpd0hHvK
— Danny Kelly (@DannyBKelly) October 14, 2020
But really: If you’re not 100% invested this week in following the news, it’s best to sit out. Too many variables. Of course, if you’re me, you’ll probably put in more money than you should in an effort to see if you can win a tournament while leaving $15K in fantasy salary on the table.
Oh my goodness I am ready to stop gambling on the NFL this season.
My mortal lock five star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the week
Jags over the Titans, giving the points. Good night and good luck.