Now that we’re in Week 14 of the NFL’s 2018 regular season, it’s time to start thinking about the playoffs. If the regular season ended today, in the AFC, Kansas City (10-2) and New England (9-3) would have the byes, while Baltimore (7-5) would play at Houston (9-3) and the Chargers (9-3) would play at Pittsburgh (7-4-1) in the wild card round. In the NFC, the Rams (11-1) and New Orleans (10-2) would have the byes, while Minnesota (6-5-1) would visit Chicago (8-4) and Seattle (7-5) would visit Dallas (7-5) in the wild card round. There’s a lot of football left to go — for example, Philadelphia is just a game behind Dallas and visits the Cowboys this Sunday. In this article, we have some NFL betting thoughts on several contenders’ viability in the 2018 NFL postseason.
NFL Betting Advice for the 2018 Postseason
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Stay away from the Dallas Cowboys
Yes, their defense held New Orleans to 10 points last Thursday, gathering in Drew Brees’ third interception of the year. No, no other defense has befuddled Drew Brees like that in recent memory. Yes, Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylen Smith are the best young linebacker tandem in the league. No, Byron Jones’ quality work at cornerback isn’t a ruse. With that said…the Dallas offense is ridiculously easy to figure out. Did they hang 40 on Jacksonville? Yes. But they could only score one touchdown against New Orleans, in part because Dak Prescott overthrew a wide-open Michael Gallup down the field. Ezekiel Elliott is a beast carrying the ball, but Dallas will have a hard time finding the end zone against playoff-caliber defenses, and they have already lost to Seattle once this year.
Pick the Bears to win their wild card game
Minnesota might keep that wild-card slot despite the fact that their offense is showing signs of struggle. Why? Behind them are the Carolina Panthers, who have lost four straight, the Washington Redskins, who are on their third quarterback of the season, and the Philadelphia Eagles, who aren’t getting the same quality out of Carson Wentz that they got last season. Behind them are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who can’t get a consistent edition of Jameis Winston to show up. So the Bears should be able to hold onto that NFC North title, and then they will face a team with even more problems that emerges from that wild card mess.
New England will win the AFC…again
Aren’t you tired of New England emerging from a group of shoddy AFC teams to play in yet another Super Bowl? I know I am. However, the Patriots have already beaten the Chiefs once — and Andy Reid is the best coach in the league at making poor clock-management decisions late in the game that end up dooming his team. Pittsburgh can’t play defense late in clutch situations. They have been better this season, but those true colors came out against the Chargers, when they gave up two late touchdowns and two-point conversions to let Los Angeles come all the way back…and then they went offsides on three straight field-goal attempts, and the Chargers finally made the third to win. Then there’s Houston, who has lost to New England in each of the past two seasons. As long as Brady is there to lead late drives, he will thrive in the heads of his opponents…and the Patriots will keep winning in the playoffs.
The Rams will win the NFC
Yes, the Rams flamed out in the first round against Atlanta last year…at home. However, the Rams have the experience of that loss that stays with them, as well as the lessons of their defensive meltdown against New Orleans earlier this year. The trio of Jared Goff, Todd Gurley II and Brandin Cooks has the Rams’ offense flying up and down the field, and their pass rush, led by MVP candidate Aaron Donald, will force opposing quarterbacks into mistakes. Given the major flaws in the rest of the NFC — including the issues that emerged for New Orleans in their loss to Dallas — the Rams are the logical choice to come out of this conference.