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Week 18 has already started with two games on Saturday, but there is a loaded slate for Sunday with no Monday Night Football happening. Some teams still have things to play for, and others do not. So we are going to explore what is available to us.
Bengals at Browns
The Bengals are in the playoffs. For some reason, they are resting Burrow and likely Chase. Then Joe Mixon is out with COVID protocols. So now we are missing the three best offensive players on the Bengals. They have already locked up home-field for the first game with winning the division. This is signaling a game that the Bengals do not care about at all. They are going to only focus on keeping everyone healthy. The Browns also will not have Baker Mayfield playing in the game. If he was in, the spread would be higher, of course. I’m assuming that Nick Chubb will play but not much, same with Kareem Hunt. The point of this, though, is that the Browns should win this game with ease. I’m taking the Browns -6 at -114. This is a spot that the Bengals are showing no concern for the game, and the Browns can at least get to 8 wins on the season.
Jets at Bills
The Bills have a playoff spot locked up. They need to just win in order to take the division over the Patriots. Do they come out and do everything they can and then stop playing? Do the Jets have any motivation to play hard and be a spoiler in this one? There are question marks, but one I don’t have a question on is the total. It will be a low scoring game. The Jets struggle on offense – which probably doesn’t need to be stated. I don’t expect Buffalo to let up on defense, even if they let up a bit on the gas offensively. There may be some players that are looking to make a statement in the last game as they enter free agency or to earn a spot on the Jets team next year that could play tougher. Either way, I’m taking the under on the game at 41.5 -114.
Steelers at Ravens
This entire season I feel like I’ve had a good read on the Steelers, so I’d like to close this out with a victory on them. The Ravens cannot really think they can make the playoffs this season. The Steelers, thanks to a tie, cannot do worse than .500 for the season. This will be Ben Roethlisberger’s last game in the NFL in all likelihood. The emotional high of last week was when the team said goodbye though. This week the Ravens should be able to flock and beat the Steelers with ease. I expect them to come out and look for a winning record and try to keep any playoff hopes, as slim and unrealistic as they are, alive with a victory. The line has been bet in favor of the Steelers, which I assume is due to people believing the Ravens are not a good team (they aren’t) and that the Steelers will try and win Ben’s last game (they already won the game they really cared about). The Ravens, at home, and with something to play for, should take care of business. Even if this is a rivalry game. I’ll take the Ravens -4.5 at -110. I expect them to win by a touchdown at least.