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Picks and Profits: Week 18 Open Thread

How to bet the final week of the regular season

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

So many of the lines for this week are simply wild. It’s a half step above preseason football betting this week. Many teams are out of it and looking to get to the offseason. Some teams are in the post-season and don’t need anything from their last game of the year to help their playoff seeding. In other words, it’s a minefield with big lines and unknown motivations for many of the teams. The Bears game, for example, will have backups all over the place - but the Vikings do still want to win this one on the outside shot they can steal back the 2 seed. Do you feel confident enough in Nathan Peterman to keep this to one score? Do you feel good enough about Minnesota taking advantage of the Bears backups to win convincingly? So many games are like that and I personally will stay away from matchups like that.

One game with some level of purity is the final Sunday Night Football game of the regular season. The Detroit Lions hop Lake Michigan over to Wisconsin to take on the Green Bay Packers. The Lions would be eliminated from the playoffs if the Seahawks beat the Rams earlier in the day. If the Rams pull the upset, this game will determine the final playoff spot. If the Seahawks hold serve at home, the Packers will be in with a win.

With that backdrop, the Packers opened the week as 4.5 point favorites at home. They have played better as of late and can smell a playoff berth despite some of their season-long struggles. The Lions lost a critical game against the Panthers on Christmas Eve that would’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble, but overall have played good offensive football with the defense doing just enough. The Lions won the first matchup in an uncharacteristically ugly fashion 15-9 in early November.

Both offenses can put up points at will, with the Lions in the top five in points per game and the Packers picking up the pace to be within shouting distance of the top ten. The Lions defense normally doesn’t stop anyone as a bottom five unit, with the Packers hovering around average for the year. Every piece of that screams to hit the over in this one.

As far as the line in this one, I think we’ve all seen this movie before with Aaron Rodgers. The Packers will almost certainly find a way to get this done and sneak into the playoffs. However, the Fightin’ Dan Campbells will not go down without a fight. They are tough and would gladly take a winning season and knocking out a division opponent. I think the best play here is Lions +4.5, over 49, and Packers moneyline. However, I don’t always make the best plays and I’ll take the Lions moneyline as well. Knock ‘em out, Detroit!

Check out where the rest of our writers are at this week and hit up the comments below to let us know your picks.

You can find the latest on tonight’s game right here from our partners over at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Find me on Twitter @gridironborn and join me this Sunday morning on 2nd City Gridiron YouTube as we talk lines, props, daily fantasy, and wrap up the regular season.