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Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1/9, 1:00 pm ET
|NFL WEEK 18|| |
A bit of a nothing game in terms of the final season standings, but both teams want to end as strongly as possible if they can.
Tampa Bay have already secured the division and a spot in the playoffs while Carolina totally underachieved this season and already find themselves eliminated from contention for the post-season.
The Bucs have won six of their last seven games and will hope to continue that momentum as they look to become the first team to win back-to-back SuperBowls since the New England Patriots in 2003/04.
On the other hand, the Panthers have lost each of their last six and 11 of their last 13, but they have the pride to play for and will come up against a Tampa Bay side who are pretty banged up at this stage of the season and may find motivation hard to come by.
Back a big Bucs win
You'd have been lucky to get this line a few weeks ago, but since Antonio Brown decided he wasn't interested in being a football player anymore and the Bucs also lost Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette, the spread makes plenty of sense.
The Panthers have got a decent defensive team, but going forward they're so poor that they basically need to stop their teams from scoring in order to score enough points to win games. These two teams played each other just two weeks ago and the Panthers did well yet still gave up 32 points and were well beaten.
There is always the chance that coach Bruce Arians benches his starters for this game, but if he doesn't then there is every chance this game becomes a blowout. I think he'd prefer to keep momentum good and get them playing, so I'd back the spread of -8 at -110.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8)
to beat Carolina Panthers
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Washington Football Team vs New York Giants - 9/1, 1:00 pm ET
|NFL WEEK 18|| |
With the regular season coming to an end this week, some teams are playing to improve their seeding while others are simply playing for pride and to send their fans home happy before a break. These two teams fall into the latter category this weekend which should make for a highly entertaining game.
Neither team have any chance of progressing to the playoffs this year, with Washington putting together a 6-10 record this season while New York are sitting at an abysmal 4-12 for the campaign.
Both teams lack huge firepower but they're also both poor defensively, so this could go in one of two ways - highly entertaining or ugly and dire.
There were big hopes for Washington when they brought in veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick as their short-term quarterback solution, only for a hip injury to curtail his season prematurely. Since then, Taylor Heinicke has been given the nod and it's made for an increasingly unpredictable offensive line for Washington.
Curtis Samuel's injury didn't help matters, but nobody really stepped up to be the man this season and the offense suffered.
Things are similar on the opposite side of the field as Daniel Jones' neck injury in week 12 gave the Giants problems in offense too. Mike Glennon is out with a wrist injury, which means third-choice quarterback Jake Fromm will start and that is only a positive for Washington.
Washington will have the better quarterback on the day, which is saying something and their defense is decent enough to slow Saquon Barkley down and force Fromm into errors to claim a victory.
Under 38 Total points
Washington vs New York Giants
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Back the Unders!
Neither of these two teams has shown the ability to score large amounts of points this season, so it's unlikely to change in the final game.
It's always risky going for the unders on such a low total, but it's hard to tell where points will come from for either side. With Fromm starting, there is the possibility of Washington earning some short fields for Heinicke and the offense.
Despite that, I'd be shocked if either quarterback led their team to a big points total here with nothing really to play for and with the Under hitting in eight of Washington's last 11 games and eight of the last 10 for the Giants, I think it's a safe bet.