Talk the Line: Early breakdown of NFL Week 18 odds

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Every Sunday night, oddsmakers drop the upcoming week’s NFL betting lines, and if you are wondering if the opening spreads look accurate, we’ve got you covered.

Each week, FOX Sports Betting Analysts Geoff Schwartz, Sam Panayotovich and Jason McIntyre will break down the opening numbers in this space and point out if they think the line is too low, too high or just right.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into their analysis for Week 18.

Bears @ Packers (-3.5)

These hooks won’t last long. Chicago’s defense has done a complete 180 since acquiring Montez Sweat. He looks almost unstoppable for large stretches of games. 

The Bears have won four of their last five games, and the only loss was a heartbreaker at Cleveland. 

Steelers (-3.5) @ Ravens

Sure, the Ravens have locked up the No. 1 seed and a bye, and they’ll probably rest some players. But remember, Tyler Huntley is a more-than-capable backup, and regardless of who is sitting, these games are always close.

Texans @ Colts (-1)

The Texans are slightly better than the Colts, but this game is in Indianapolis, so this line is set well. 

Houston, with C.J. Stroud, looked back to their old selves last weekend, and I can see people wanting some Texans action.

Browns @ Bengals (-5.5)

Be careful with this one. The Browns clinched a playoff spot, and all they should care about is rest and recovery for most of their starters. But are you really going to lay almost six points with the Bengals in a meaningless game? I’m staying far, far away. 

Should teams fear Joe Flacco, Browns heading into the playoffs?

Should teams fear Joe Flacco, Browns heading into the playoffs?

Buccaneers (-5.5) @ Panthers

I love these spots on the last Sunday of the season. Most casual bettors will look to bet on the team with a shot at the playoffs against the team with two wins.

“It’s a must-win game.” 

The truth is, if you’re a .500 team that must win, you’re probably not that good. 

Jets @ Patriots (-2)

Has the Jets defense quit? They got embarrassed by Joe Flacco last week, and now they go to New England, a team they haven’t beaten in forever. 

Do you think Bill Belichick is going out with a loss to a team he owns?

Vikings @ Lions (-5)

The Lions are the No. 3 seed unless both the Eagles and Cowboys lose this weekend. They do not have much to play for, while the Vikings need this win to stay alive for a playoff seed.

Why the Lions Week 17 ‘robbery’ won’t help them in playoffs

Why the Lions Week 17 'robbery' won't help them in playoffs

Jaguars (-3.5) @ Titans

Without knowing if it’s going to be C.J. Beathard or Trevor Lawrence, it’s tough to lay the number, but this feels like a slight overreaction to the lopsided results in Week 17.

Falcons @ Saints (-3.5)

Vegas is throwing the hook out here to let you know that New Orleans is the better squad, but that will also pique the interest of some to take the Falcons at +3.5. This spread will be at 3 before kickoff.

Cowboys (-13) @ Commanders

The 49ers closed around a 14-point favorite against the Commanders on Sunday, so it makes sense Dallas would be at 13 to start this week. The Cowboys will be the No. 2 seed and NFC East champions if they win.

Should the Cowboys feel proud after beating the Lions?

Should the Cowboys feel proud after beating the Lions?

Chiefs @ Chargers (-2)

The Chiefs have literally nothing to play for this weekend. They’re locked into the No. 3 seed with no ability to move up or down. You won’t see Patrick Mahomes or anybody with a pulse on the field. 

All that said, I’m not laying it with the Chargers, either. 

Broncos @ Raiders (-2.5)

It’s time to admit that Antonio Pierce is the motivator this team needed. 

The Raiders are playing as hard as any sub-.500 team down the stretch, and the Broncos season is over. 

Rams @ 49ers (-3.5)

The 49ers have the No. 1 seed locked up, while the Rams are a playoff team and most likely in the sixth slot. 

A win in this game would put them in a rematch with the Lions. I don’t think the 49ers will play their starters, so this number will come down by kickoff.

‘It’s been a blessing’ – Brock Purdy on setting 49ers’ single-season passing record

'It's been a blessing' – Brock Purdy on setting 49ers' single-season passing record

Eagles (-6) @ Giants

The Eagles need a win plus a Cowboys loss to clinch the division. Their head coach said he would watch the scoreboard and possibly pull starters in this game if the Cowboys are up big. 

Seahawks (-3) @ Cardinals

It’s hilarious how Arizona keeps winning games to spoil its chances at a Top-3 pick. And when the Cardinals upset teams like the Eagles, the spreads come too low the following week. 

It’s one thing to be catching 11.5 points, but it’s another to catch under a field goal. 

Bills (-3) @ Dolphins

The Dolphins not only got humiliated by the Ravens Sunday, but they suffered a massive injury, losing their best pass rusher in Bradley Chubb and it looks like Jaylen Waddle won’t play (again). 

Sure, it’s a revenge game, but I expect big-money gamblers to push this past the key number of 3.

Craig calls it: Bills will beat Dolphins for AFC East

Craig calls it: Bills will beat Dolphins for AFC East

Jason McIntyre is the co-host of The Herd and a FOX Sports gambling analyst, and he also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gambling content on the NFL, college football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, “Coming Up Winners,” in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010. You can find him on Twitter @JasonRMcIntyre.

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.

Geoff Schwartz is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

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