Playoff Positioning Paves
Did anyone say playoffs?! That’s right, we are entering arguably the most exciting final week of the NFL season as over a dozen teams are playing to either make or secure an ideal spot in the NFL playoffs. Going by the NFL betting odds, we may see some chaos in the playoff picture as we lock up four bets for our final regular-season parlay.
Bills Clinch AFC East By Smashing Jets
- Point Spread: Bills -16½
- Total: Over 41
Say what you will about the Buffalo Bills. This team may only have two wins against playoff teams, but it does the best job at destroying terrible teams like the New York Jets. Buffalo (10-6) has covered or pushed on its last four games against teams at .500 or worse since being upset by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But the Jets (4-12) have become a bit more formidable lately, pushing the Buccaneers to the brink while covering on its last three spreads. Instead of laying it on the Bills’ points, bet online on the over. Buffalo may easily score 30-plus points on the Jets, who could add to the tally with their improved offense.
Pick: Over 41
Falcons, Saints Keep It Down
- Point Spread: Saints -4½
- Total: Under 40
Thanks to a three-game winning streak, the New Orleans Saints are still in the playoff hunt. All Sean Payton’s boys have to do is beat the Atlanta Falcons and hope the Los Angeles Rams beat the San Francisco 49ers. History is on the first portion of this as the Saints (8-8) have won and covered their last three visits to Atlanta (7-9).
The Saints’ defense has stayed elite despite injuries and are allowing the fourth-fewest points and yards per play. It will be up to the wonky offense to finish the job. But instead of backing the Saints on the online sportsbook, hit the under. A tight Saints D coupled with an impotent Falcons offense can yield another low-scoring game, as each of their last three games have.
Pick: Under 40
49ers Playing for Playoff Lives
- Point Spread: 49ers +4½
- Total: Under 44½
In order to make the postseason, the San Francisco 49ers need to do what they’ve typically done: beat the Los Angeles Rams. Kyle Shanahan has Sean McVay’s number with the 49ers (9-7) having beaten the Rams (12-4) five straight times and four of the last five times in Los Angeles.
However, most of that success came against Jared Goff, not Matthew Stafford. The new quarterback has been inconsistent but has delivered when it counts with a passer rating of 120 in the second half. Coupled with the return of lead back Cam Akers, Los Angeles may just play spoiler against San Francisco. But the 49ers’ physical defense will make this a close one, so lean on them.
Pick: 49ers +4
Chargers to Shut Down Raiders for Playoff Slot
- Point Spread: Chargers -3
- Total: Over 49½
In the feature matchup of the week, the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders must beat each other for a spot in the playoffs. The Chargers (9-7) have gone 5-1 as an NFL pick against the spread (ATS) in their last six games in Raider territory and have won six of their last nine overall.
To do that, the Chargers will need to contain Derek Carr. The Raiders (9-7) are only 3-7 and 2-8 ATS when Carr throws fails to hit 300 yards. Los Angeles only gives up 191.7 passing yards on the road. Even with tight end Darren Waller’s return, the Chargers should edge their desert rivals.