It's a weird week in the NFL this week, there's a lot of teams in the mix for the post-season and thankfully for us they seem to be playing each other for the most part but there are also a lot of dead rubbers and the bookies are running scared with most of them offering very few selections for the final week of the season. I've gone through every game to the best of my knowledge on TDtips.com.
I'll try and blitz through it all here…
The top of the conferences are sorted, the 49ers and Ravens are the 1 seeds. The Ravens rested players last night and the 49ers are resting at least Brock Purdy tonight but it looks like they'll have other players active and hopefully not seeing the field.
The 2 seed is up for grabs in both, the winner of the late game gets the AFC East and that spot. The Lions, Eagles and Cowboys are competing for it in the NFC, the Cowboys should win and secure that spot, meaning the Eagles will be the 5th seed, with the Lions as 3rd seed – If the Eagles and Cowboys both lose then the Lions move up… The 3rd seed in the AFC is the Chiefs. Easy, right?
The 4th seed in the AFC will be Jags if they win, the Texans if they lose. The NFC will be the Bucs if they win, the winner of the Saints and Falcons game if they lose.
5th seed downwards is a lot more complicated… I won't get into all that! The Dolphins, Browns and Texans are all in regardless of results… The Jaguars and Steelers are competing for that final playoff spot in the AFC. The NFC is very complicated with 5 or 6 looking to sneak into the wildcard spot.
Best Spread; Bills -3 @ Dolphins
I'm looking at the final game of the NFL season to finish off the year with a winner on spreads. It's the game with most on the line as the winner gets the 2 seed and a chance to play the 7th seed at home. The Dolphins get the 5th seed with a loss, the Bills could be out of it completely!
This is a relatively easy one for me, despite being at home the Dolphins struggle to beat good teams and with Raheem Mostert and Jaylen Waddle both expected to miss out once more they're depleted on offense and will struggle to put up more than 20 points even against a poor Bills defense.
The Bills are the form team of the league with Josh Allen overcoming interceptions to lead the league in total TDs and set records of throwing and rushing TDs in the same game in a season. They have moved to a run-heavy script now with James Cook, Ty Johnson, Latavius Murray and now Leonard Fournette all getting involved there as well as Josh Allen proving unstoppable from 5 yards out. The passing game hasn't been great but the easy way to slow Allen interceptions is not passing the ball as much.
I think the Bills are a much better team at the moment and they'll win by 7+
Best Total; Browns @ Bengals o19.5 1st half points.
This isn't an easy one. Logically it's under in Jets v Pats as the weather there is supposed to be horrible but I can't take u30 in a meaningless game at the end of the year, I'm actually leaning over there as chaos ensues.
It may be sensible to look at 1st half lines in a lot of games this week, if the bigger teams get ahead and have a chance to rest players they would be stupid not to. Cowboys total was the one I was looking at, but 24 is too high for me to go for.
The Browns are resting players but still go up against a poor Bengals defense while the Bengals elite pass-catchers get to go up against 3rd or 4th string cornerbacks. Jeff Driskel is in at QB for the Browns, he can do it with his legs so I think they'll be able to move the ball still. I can see a Browns TD and 2 for the Bengals in the first half of the game, so I'll go for the over on this one.
Best TD Scorer; Mike Evans 6/5 (Bet365)
A rough week for props with bookies being VERY restrictive on what they're offering on games, so I'll go to a game with things on the line and take Baker Mayfield and the Bucs to bounce back in what could be Mike Evans final game for the team as he's a free agent this summer.
He's leading the league in receiving TDs this week and despite a down week still had 70 yards last weekend, while I do respect the Falcons pass defense (especially Jessie Bates who is a bona fide stud) I like Evans to score in this one at plus-money.
A very random long-shot is Craig Reynolds LAST TD scorer for the Lions, at 66/1 – It looks like Dan Campbell will be going all out for a win but he'd be stupid to not rest his guys towards the end of the game and give Gibbs and Montgomery a rest to close out the game.
Best Player Prop; Darius Slayton o42.5 rec yards (PaddyPower)
I've been keeping an eye on the incentives available to players this week as teams out of the running could look to get their guys a little extra cash to finish off the season with a positive. Deandre Hopkins could be a big earner with 50 yards but his line is 62.5 against a Jags team who NEED the win.
Trey Hendrickson needs 2 sacks to share the lead in sacks on the year, if you can get o1.5 sacks for him anywhere then that's a good bet.
But with so few props on offer tonight with the bookies being cowards I'm plumping for a guy I've liked in recent years and going for Darius Slayton who needs 5 receptions for $100k and 42 yards for another $100k – He is the deep threat for them and had a 69 (nice) yarder against them just a couple of weeks ago, as well as 106 yards and a TD last week with Tyrod playing the full game.
With that we close out the NFL regular season. I will, of course, be back for the playoffs and the Super Bowl as the road to Vegas continues next week.