NFL Week 18 ATS picks: Bucs, Packers among motivated teams to back in final week of season

Focus on motivated teams.

That’s the top task when it comes to betting — and hopefully winning — on NFL games during the final week of the regular season.

It’s one of the most difficult weeks for handicapping, but we’re here to help with the best NFL Week 18 ATS picks. 

Best picks against the spread in NFL Week 18

Here are live NFL betting odds for this week’s slate of games at top-rated sportsbooks.

Let’s start our discussion with games to avoid. A total of 12 teams have officially been eliminated from playoff contention including including these four.  

  • Jets vs. Pats 
  • Broncos vs. Raiders

Toss them from the equation. Focus on the following games to find the top NFL Week 18 ATS picks.

More: Analysis of the latest NFL Week 18 odds

Buccaneers at Panthers

It’s simple for Tampa Bay: Win and you are in the playoffs as NFC South champions. The Panthers, now officially the league’s laughingstock, are guaranteed to have the worst record in the NFL. Enjoy that No. 1 draft pick, Chicago, and D.J. Moore while you’re at it.  

Things devolved further Sunday at Jacksonville. With Carolina in the midst of suffering its first shutout since 2002, owner David Tepper’s momentary lapse of reason ended with a thrown drink at opposing fans.

Money evidently means never having to say you’re sorry, as Tepper did not apologize even after the NFL fined him $300,000.

Bottom Line: Carolina’s done and has been for some time now. The Bucs not only make the playoffs with a win, but cover this too-short number.

Bills at Dolphins

Motivation for both teams here as the winner will become the AFC East champion. Miami’s been solid at home with a 7-1 SU record at Hard Rock Stadium, but most of those wins came against losing teams.

The Dolphins just got eviscerated, 59-16, by the Ravens at Baltimore. That’s the most amount of points Miami has conceded in a game this season. Second most? The Bills went off for 48 points in Week 4 to beat the Dolphins by four touchdowns, 48-20.

Unlike Miami, Buffalo has yet to secure a playoff berth. That’s added motivation for the Bills, who’ve gone 10-1 SU in their last 11 games against the Dolphins.   

Bottom Line: In Josh Allen, we trust. That said, Buffalo was available at -3 at the time of this writing. We’re comfortable laying that number, but less so at -3.5 or -4 should it go there.  

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Packers vs. Bears

The Packers just have to win here to punch their ticket to the playoffs. While Justin Fields has been playing well for the Bears of late, we love this spot for the Packers at home.  

Green Bay opened the season with a 38-20 win at Chicago. Most recently, the Packers put together a solid effort in rolling the Vikings, 33-10. Jordan Love was efficient with 250+ passing yards, three TDs, and no interceptions. Aaron Jones looked like his old self with a team-high 120 rushing yards and six yards per carry.

There are some concerns at wide receiver. Christian Watson has missed the last four games due to a hamstring injury. Rookie WR Jayden Reed was outstanding against the Vikings with six catches, 89 yards and two TDs before suffering a chest injury that forced him to miss most of the second half.

Bo Melton, who was recently signed off the practice squad, came up huge in the win against Minnesota with 105 receiving yards and a TD catch. That marked the first 100-yard receiving game for a Green Bay wide receiver this season.

Bottom Line: The Bears give up the fourth most passing TDs in the NFL at 29. Love should feast after throwing multiple TDs in eight of his last nine games. Love ranks third in the NFL with 30 passing TDs this season.


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