Sunday Locks: Week 18

Craig Ebinger
5 min readJan 8, 2023

Vikings (-6) @ Bears, O/U 43

No Justin Fields. The Bears seemingly quit last week in the second half. This team is ready for the offseason. I’ll lay the points with the Vikings who desperately need to get some sort of positive momentum heading into the playoffs. I’ll take the over as well.

Picks: Vikings -6 (Deadbolt), OVER 43 (Deadbolt)

Browns @ Steelers (-2.5), O/U 40.5

This feels way too obvious, which admittedly scares me. The Steelers have a path into the playoffs. They need to win (obviously) and get the Patriots and the Dolphins to both lose. The Browns are awful. Deshaun Watson does not look good. The Steelers are hot. Kenny Pickett looks like the real deal. Normally, this sets up as a perfect buy-low, sell-high, but this spread is less than a field goal! And the Steelers are home! I don’t get it. I’m laying the points with the Steelers here and taking the under.

Picks: Steelers -2.5 (Fort Knox), UNDER 40.5 (Deadbolt)

Jets @ Dolphins (-3), O/U 37

Joe Flacco vs. Skylar Thompson. Potentially with the playoffs on the line for the Dolphins. Remember just a month ago when everyone, including myself, thought the Dolphins were awesome? Things change fast. I don’t have a great feel here, but the Jets have given up. Last week proved that. They didn’t show up. So I’ll lay the points with the team playing for something and take the under.

Picks: Dolphins -3 (Padlock), UNDER 37 (Deadbolt)

Buccaneers @ Falcons (-4), O/U 40.5

This game stinks. It matters zero to either team, explaining why the Falcons are actually more than a field goal favorite here. But I don’t feel good laying that number with them. So I’ll take the points with the Bucs and the over.

Picks: Buccaneers +4 (Padlock), OVER 40.5 (Padlock)

Texans @ Colts (-2.5), O/U 38

Another gross game. Texans are playing for the first overall pick. But, as proven last year, sometimes that doesn’t matter (both the Jags and Lions, the bottom 2 teams at the time, won their meaningless Week 18 games last year). I like the way the Texans have played and can see them covering here, and maybe even winning the game. So I’ll take the Texans with the points and the under.

Picks: Texans +2.5 (Padlock), UNDER 38 (Padlock)

Panthers @ Saints (-3.5), O/U 42

Finally, NFC South teams have been eliminated. I genuinely thought that division would come down to the final week and both of these teams may still be in it. Since it’s meaningless, I just want the points, so give me the Panthers and the under.

Picks: Panthers +3.5 (Padlock), UNDER 42 (Deadbolt)

Patriots @ Bills (-7.5), O/U 43.5

The emotional side of this game is going to determine a lot. It’s been a crazy week for the entire NFL, but even moreso for the Bills. How focused have they been on this game? How much practice did they get in? How’s their gameplan? I don’t care about any of that. The Bills are the significantly better team, playing for something, and I think will use this past week as their fuel, not their anchor. So I’ll lay the points with the Bills and take the under.

Picks: Bills -7.5 (Fort Knox), UNDER 43.5 (Padlock)

Ravens @ Bengals (-9), O/U 39.5

Similar situation as above here with the Bengals. They’re the better team. The Ravens still don’t have Lamar, and have been awful offensively without him. This is a big number, but I expect the Bengals to win this one easily. So I’ll lay the points with the Bengals and take the over.

Picks: Bengals -9 (Padlock), OVER 39.5 (Padlock)

Giants @ Eagles (-14), O/U 43

Big number alert! The Eagles need to shake this little losing streak they’re on, and fortunately for them should have Jalen Hurts back. The Giants have nothing to play for, which explains the big number. I liked the Giants all week at this number, but it’s gotten to the point that it seemed far too easy to take the points with them and feel good about it. So I’m laying the 2 TDs with the Eagles and taking the over.

Picks: Eagles -14 (Padlock), OVER 43 (Padlock)

Cowboys (-7) @ Commanders, O/U 40

The Cowboys have an outside shot at not only winning the NFC East, but at getting 1st place in the NFC. So they’ll be playing for something. The Commanders have nothing to play for, which explains why rookie Sam Howell is starting. I, for one, am thrilled to see Howell play. This game might be sloppy, but I expect the Commanders to rally around him since he’s anyone other than Carson Wentz. So I’ll take the Commanders with the points here and the over here.

Picks: Commanders +7 (Padlock), OVER 40 (Deadbolt)

Cardinals @ 49ers (-14), O/U 39.5

Another big number here. I don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other here, so I’ll just lay the number with the better team that has something to play for. Give me the 49ers and the over.

Picks: 49ers -14 (Padlock), OVER 39.5 (Padlock)

Rams @ Seahawks (-6), O/U 41.5

The Seahawks need to win to have a chance at the playoffs. The Rams have nothing to play for. This screams to me a classic sucker bet where everyone is going to lay the number with the Seahawks. Don’t be a sucker. Give me the points with the Rams and the over. They’ll keep this one close and may even pull off the upset against a Seattle team that, outside of last week, has not been playing very well.

Picks: Rams +6 (Padlock), OVER 41.5 (Deadbolt)

Chargers @ Broncos (-3), O/U 40

By the time this game gets played, the Chargers will likely be locked into their playoff spot, meaning this game won’t matter to either team. That’s why the number is the way it is. I’m just going to keep it going and take the points with the Chargers here along with the under.

Picks: Chargers +3 (Padlock), UNDER 40 (Deadbolt)

Lions @ Packers (-5), O/U 49

The whole NFL world, outside of Seattle, is hoping this game is a win and in situation for both teams. It certainly will be a win and in for the Packers, who have been on fire lately and have somehow kept their season alive when it looked like it was dead multiple times. The Lions need some help from the Rams earlier to make this a win and in for them. They’ve been even hotter than the Packers, as they’ve won 7 of their last 9 games, and outside of their game 2 weeks ago against the Panthers, they’ve looked like one of the best teams in the league.

Regardless of whether this game matters to them, I expect Dan Campbell to have his team ready to go and playing hard. Eliminating the Packers from the playoffs in primetime in Lambeau Field is exactly the type of moment a team could use to truly change culture. Making the playoffs would almost just be a bonus. I expect a tight game, so I’ll gladly take the points with the Lions and the under here.

Picks: Lions +5 (Fort Knox), UNDER 49 (Padlock)



Craig Ebinger

I like sports. I’m very opinionated. I like sharing my opinions and arguing senselessly with anyone who wants to argue.