FRIDAY AFTERNOON QUARTERACK: WEEK 18

BY ADAM GREENE

We’ve come to the end if the line. This is our last Friday Afternoon Quarterback of the season and a better slate of games, even with the stinkers, it would be hard to imagine.

Such is the brilliance of the NFL schedulers’ choice to make every season finale a division game. As such, they always take on extra significance. Whether it’s a chance to secure a division title, tune up for the playoffs or knock a hated team out of the bracket completely, it keeps interest high and gives us all something exciting to wager our money on.

While there’s no Thursday night or Monday night game this week, we do have two Saturday contests, so that keeps our full FAQ slate at lucky 13.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS (+4, O/U: 44.5)

In a game that means absolutely nothing, the Packers apparently plan to play Aaron Rodgers and the rest of their starters. I can’t see that stretching into the second half. There’s no excuse to get anyone hurt, or let a defender step on Rodgers’ injured toe for a nothing victory over Detroit. Jared Goff should be back at the helm for the Lions and do just enough to give that fanbase some hope heading into the offseason before he dashes it to bits next September. Packers 23, Lions 21

CHICAGO BEARS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-5.5, O/U: 44.5)

Matt Nagy and Mike Zimmer are both probably head coaching their final games in the NFL to no one’s surprise or lament. I have to feel like Zimmer is looking as forward to that pinkslip as anyone. Neither guy should stay unemployed long. Zimmer will be snatched up as a defensive coordinator if wants to remain in the league. Nagy will end up on an Andy Reid or Andy Reid adjacent staff in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Philadelphia or wherever Doug Pederson gets hired as head coach. The Bears have yet to name a starter for this one and if I knew it was Nick Foles instead of Justin Fields or Andy Dalton, I’d probably go with Chicago. As it is, I’ll reluctantly cast my lot with Kirk Covid Cousins at home it what should really be his last game in Minnesota too. Vikings 24, Bears 20

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+16, O/U: 44.5)

Carson Wentz all but cost his team the game last week thanks to his personal battle with Covid after losing his personal battle with science and common sense. Now, Indy must win this one to make it into the playoffs. It doesn’t seem like it should be that tough, but here’s the thing — The Colts haven’t beaten the Jags on the road since 2014, regardless of who is playing quarterback or coaching for either team. Indianapolis is still the safer play, even with Wentz wheezing his way through. Colts 23, Jaguars 16

TENNESSEE TITANS AT HOUSTON TEXANS (+10, O/U: 42.5)

All the Titans have to do to lock down the No. 1 seed in the AFC is hold off a Houston Texans squad that has, at times, played like a real NFL football team. Tennessee really needs the bye. Derrick Henry has been back at practice this week, but with an extra seven days off, he could be full go for the divisional round and make the Titans a formidable monster in the AFC bracket. Titans 24, Texans 13

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT NEW YORK GIANTS (+7, O/U: 38)

The WFT just have to be happy to play in a stadium with a functioning toilet to end the season. As for New York, I’m sitting here just wondering how many former players are going to call Joe Judge after the Giants lose this game begging to be back on his team next year. That team? The best Fudrucker’s Grillmasters in the country! WFT 31, Giants 10

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (-6, O/U: 41.5)

Alright, here’s the scenario where the Steelers can make the playoffs and Ben Roethlisberger gets the chance to lose one more postseason game before he rides off into the sunset. First, they have to beat Baltimore, who is a touchdown favorite. Then, they need the Jaguars to beat the Colts in Jacksonville. I’m not sure if Part 2 is possible, but I do think Pittsburgh gets it done against the Ravens and TJ Watt sets the sack record in the process. Steelers 23, Ravens 17

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (-6, O/U: 38)

Joe Burrow is sitting this one out, as is Baker Mayfield so we’re getting another classic Brandon Allen vs Case Keenum quarterback duel. I feel at this point Keenum is a solid upgrade over Mayfield. Mayfield has apparently got the message as he’s “considering” requesting a trade this offseason. I’m sure Cleveland is “considering” it too, especially if they can get anything of value out of him. Cincy has hit sim button and couldn’t care less about this one. I feel much the same way. Browns 27, Bengals 16

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (+6.5, O/U: 40)

The Patriots are still playing for an NFC East title. The only problem is, they lost a lot of these games at Miami even when Tom Brady was there. While the Dolphins’ season ends after Sunday, they once again have the chance to finish with a winning record and Bill Belichick always finds a way to fumble it up against his former coaches. After getting so close to the postseason again and having it slip away just a week ago, Brian Flores deserves to take this one into the barn. Dolphins 23, Patriots 20

NEW YORK JETS AT BUFFALO BILLS (-16, O/U: 41)

Buffalo is in the driver’s seat in the AFC and all they have to do is knock off the Jets to secure their second consecutive title. The last team to win two straight AFC East titles that wasn’t the Patriots was the 1990 and 1991 Bills. They went to the Super Bowl both seasons. New York has done all it can this year. Won its four allotted games and enters the offseason with a chance to really build up its team. It’s year two where head coach Robert Saleh will really be judged with this crew. This year, though? They’re pretty outclassed here. Bills 34, Jets 16

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-8.5, O/U: 41.5)

This will be the weakest the Buccaneers have taken the field at wide receiver in two seasons. It won’t matter against Carolina, but it’ll be interesting to see how it looks Sunday. I don’t see Tom Brady or Mike Evans playing much in the second half, so this spread is worrisome, but they’re at home and the Panthers are garbage and probably starting Sam Darnold again. That should be worth 10 points alone. Buccaneers 26, Panthers 16

NEW ORLEANS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (+4, O/U: 40)

The Saints can secure a playoff berth by beating Atlanta and then watching the Los Angeles Rams knock off the 49ers in the 4:30 p.m. EST block. You hate to count on Taysom Hill in this situation, but what you can always put your faith in is the Falcons’ ability to lose when it matters most. Saints 17, Falcons 16

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (-6.5, O/U: 48)

Seattle put up 51 points in what could be Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll’s Lumen Field swan song. Now they get the chance to screw up Arizona’s mojo on the way to the postseason. The Cards got a big win last week thanks to some coaching ineptitude on the other sideline. They won’t need it this week and should keep the pressure on the Rams down to the wire. Cardinals 24, Seahawks 20

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (+4, O/U: 44.5)

By the time this game kicks off, San Francisco should know if it’s an elimination game. If it’s not and LA wins, then it sets up a rematch next week in the same venue. The Niners are in the playoffs with a victory and will likely earn a date with Tampa Bay in that scenario. There are no easy roads to the Super Bowl, but if the Rams are going to be serious contenders in the playoffs, they have to punch the 49ers in the face Sunday and put a halt to their five game losing streak. And here’s a fun fact: Not only is this the first time Matthew Stafford has led a team to 12 wins, if Los Angeles wins Sunday, it will be the first time he’s ever been a division champion in the NFL. Rams 33, 49ers 20

Last Week

Straight up: 14-2

Against the spread: 8-8

Season

Straight up: 159-96-1

Against the spread: 183-123

Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.

The NFL season is rolling along and the Week 18 Schedule is up and taking bets at BetOnline.AG.

Connect with us our socials on Twitter and Instagram for the latest sports news, viral moments, betting odds and the occasional memes.

LATEST PROMOTIONS

50% Welcome Bonus

Get an extra 50% added onto your sports betting bankroll on your first-ever deposit at BetOnline.ag. Simply use promo code BOL1000 while making your initial deposit and your 50% bonus will be added onto your balance within seconds.

Read More

25% Weekly Reload

Each week you’ll get to score a 25% Reload Bonus up to $250 on a qualifying deposit of $100 or more. Head on over to the Promos section of the site to get your weekly Reload promo code.

Read More

100% Welcome Bonus

Get a 100% Welcome Bonus when you make your first-ever deposit at BetOnline using Cryptocurrency. Double your money when you use Cryptocurrency on your first-ever deposit by entering promo code CRYPTO100.

Want more BetOnline News ?

Sign up to receive our weekly email newsletter and never miss an update!