The insanity that occurred throughout late Sunday afternoon and night of the NFL’s Week 18 prolonged from the enjoying fields in Los Angeles and Las Vegas to the ultimate standings right here within the Publish’s Bettor’s Information.

I entered the weekend with a five-game lead within the total standings, however approaching 7 p.m., it was wanting as if the very best I might do could be a tie for first place. Then, the Buccaneers pulled away from the Panthers, the Payments received a late masking landing in opposition to the Jets and the 49ers completed an enormous comeback to permit me to clinch the title by a closer-than-it-appears 4 video games over Brian Costello.

There was much more drama within the Finest Wager race. Howie Kussoy wanted a Chargers cowl as three-point favorites on the Raiders. However when Daniel Carlson drilled the time beyond regulation subject aim for Las Vegas, it handed the title to Steve Serby, who completed the season with a extremely worthwhile 61.1 successful share.

On to the playoffs!

Sunday

Philadelphia Eagles (+8.5) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS; Over 45.5

First, I’d wish to pubically thank Nick Sirianni for my favourite cowl of the 2021 season. On Oct. 14 in Philadelphia, the Eagles had been 6.5-point underdogs to the Bucs and had been down 28-14 halfway by means of the fourth quarter. Jalen Hurts scored on a 2-yard run to make it 28-20, after which when each different coach in historical past would have kicked the PAT, Sirianni went for 2 and received ’em … and the quilt!

Tom Brady
USA TODAY Sports activities

This unfold’s a bit lighter than I hoped for, however I’m anticipating this to be considerably of a avenue combat. Earlier than resting many gamers in Week 18, the Eagles had gained 4 video games in a row, and had a streak of permitting 13, 18, 17, 10 and 16 factors. As well as, a powerful inside line of defense is normally the very best protection in opposition to Tom Brady.

Buccaneers, 27-20

San Francisco 49ers (+3) over DALLAS COWBOYS; Underneath 50.5

For a workforce that went 13-4 ATS, the Cowboys have an unusually excessive variety of crimson flags at house this season. They’ve misplaced at Jerry World to the Broncos, Raiders and Cardinals, and their total workforce stats have been inflated by wins of 56-14 in opposition to the decimated WFT and 51-26 in opposition to the resting Eagles.

The comeback final week, from a 17-0 deficit in opposition to the Rams, advised us all the things we have to know concerning the 49ers, who’re 8-3 SU and ATS of their previous 11 video games. Their offense can rating in a variety of other ways — with Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and others — and Kyle Shanahan is aware of how one can use all of them. As for the overall, I’m pondering the 49ers will do sufficient of their harm on the bottom to roll clock, and that Mike McCarthy will mismanage his timeouts and quick circuit one scoring alternative.

49ers, 24-23

George Kittle
George Kittle
EPA

Pittsburgh Steelers (+12.5) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS; Over 46.5

I’m fairly conscious I’m siding with a reasonably unhealthy workforce, and one which misplaced to this opponent, on this stadium, by a 36-10 rating three weeks in the past. I do know Ben Roethlisberger is appropriate when he says, “I’d assume, as a gaggle, you perceive that we most likely aren’t speculated to be right here. We most likely will not be an excellent soccer workforce. Out of 14 groups I feel are in, we’re most likely quantity 14.” However that is the half I like: “We’re double-digit underdogs within the playoffs. So, let’s simply go play, have enjoyable and see what occurs.”

Certainly, the Steelers are enjoying with home cash, and catching a variety of factors from a Chiefs workforce that’s recognized for successful and never masking. They really did cowl 5 in a row as favorites late this season, however turned again round in Week 18. That is additionally the most important unfold Kansas Metropolis has been requested to cowl all season. Lastly there’s the trusty Mike Tomlin underdog angle — 46-23-2 ATS by my unofficial working depend.

Chiefs, 33-21

Monday

LOS ANGELES RAMS (-4) over Arizona Cardinals; Underneath 49.5

Right here’s a matchup of a first-time playoff quarterback, Kyler Murray, in opposition to one who’s 0-3 in his postseason profession, Matthew Stafford. In fact, Stafford now has the Rams surrounding him as an alternative of the Lions. Stafford has been shaky of late, however he has probably the most unstoppable weapon on this sport in Cooper Kupp, and in addition has been making nice use of Tyler Higbee.

Every workforce gained outright on the opposite workforce’s subject within the common season, and the Cardinals are literally 8-1 SU on the highway in 2021. However that one loss was a nasty one, an inexplicable 30-12 rout by the Lions, and up to date losses versus the Colts and Seahawks additionally had been ugly.

Rams, 30-17.

Lock of the week: 49ers (Locks 10-7 in 2021).
Final week: 8-8 total, 1-2 Finest Bets.

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