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Week 18 Guessing The Lines
I went 3-2 last week to put my final Circa Millions record at 46-38-1 (54.8%.) It’s not terrible, but also not going to earn you any money in a large-field contest. I’ll run it back next year if I’m in Vegas again in the summer.
Even though the Circa contest is over, I figured I’d still post my initial lines for Week 18 for the hell of it. I tried to consider the various motivations of teams obviously, though we’ll learn more as the week goes on. I’ve typically done well on the season’s feel week — I think the market tends to undervalue teams that have been eliminated from contention. Yes, they have nothing for which to play, but unlike the teams that have locked up their playoff seeding and get to run it back in two weeks, these teams have all offseason to contemplate how they finished. And their stats and film will be considered for purposes of job security and future contracts. I treat eliminated teams roughly the same as those fighting for their playoff lives, motivation-wise. How often we see eliminated teams spoil it for those who needed to win to get in.
In any event, here are my early numbers:
At first glance, I really like the Jets (against what I presume will be a third-string QB). The market is overvaluing the Dolphins’ motivational advantage here. Ignore the outlier Chargers line I made — this might move quite a bit, but I’m assuming they’ll pull starters. Same with the Vikings — I imagine they might half-ass it with the 49ers, Cowboys and Eagles all ahead of them for No. 1 seed purposes. In other words, even if the Vikings win, they’d need all three heavily favored teams to lose, which won’t happen.
The Eagles (with Jalen Hurts likely back) should face a Giants squad full of backups. Tyrod Taylor is a good backup QB, but they don’t benefit from a win, so there’s no reason to risk important players.
Some of the other motivations could change based on the result of Bengals-Bills tonight too.
I think I’d be on the Raiders too (Jarrett Stidham looked like a player) and the Chiefs haven’t impressed of late, and the Team if Taylor Heinicke is starting. But I might even go Dallas if it’s Carson Wentz.
I’ve rooted for the Jaguars all year due to my fantasy interests, and they’d be a much more exciting playoff team than the Titans. But something tells me Mike Vrabel will get his team to show up and make this a game.