We’ve reached the final week of the NFL season and, once again, the majority of home teams are underdogs. Heading into Week 18, the nine home dogs include the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, and the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football.
Several teams are in the hunt for a final playoff spot, while a good chunk of the league just wants to get Week 18 over and done with. The NFL added an additional game and week to the schedule this season, so players on losing squads want to end their nightmare season and start their vacations.
|NFL Week 18 Home Dogs
- Philadelphia Eagles +4.5
- Denver Broncos +10
- Detroit Lions +4
- Miami Dolphins +6.5
- Jacksonville Jaguars +15.5
- Houston Texans +10
- New York Giants +7
- Atlanta Falcons +4.5
- Las Vegas Raiders +3
The one NFL team that’s not on the final week’s list of home dogs is the New York Jets, and that’s only because the LOL Jets play a road game against the Buffalo Bills.
Overall this season, home dogs went 48-49 ATS.
Saturday: Eagles +4.5, Broncos +10
There are a pair of Saturday games this week, but neither has postseason implications because the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) and Dallas Cowboys (11-5) won their divisions, and the Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) qualified for an NFC wild-card spot.
The Cowboys locked up the NFC East, so they can rest players against the Eagles. Even so, the Eagles are still +4.5 home dogs in their final home game of the season. Will the fans get a little bit of Gardner Minshew mania in Week 18?
The Broncos (7-9) are +10 home dogs in their final game of the season. They have their eyes on landing Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson in a trade, so this could be the final game with Drew Lock under center. Teddy Bridgewater is a free agent next season.
Sunday Night Football: Raiders +3
The Raiders (9-7) pulled off a huge victory against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17 to put themselves in a position to backdoor an AFC wild-card berth. If they can knock off their division-rival Los Angeles Chargers (9-7), then the Raiders will head to the postseason. The Raiders are +3 home dogs in Las Vegas on Sunday Night Football, which should have a playoff-like atmosphere for a Week 18 game.
Cats, birds, and fish
The Jaguars (2-14) pulled the plug on the Urban Meyer experiment after another disappointing year in Jacksonville. At least they’ll get another #1 pick to help rebuild the roster, right? The Jaguars are the biggest home dog on the board at +15.5 in a must-win game for the Indianapolis Colts (9-7). The Colts will lock up an AFC wild-card berth with a victory against the sleepwalking Jags, so I’m surprised this line isn’t higher.
The Green Bay Packers (13-3) will play their starters in the final game of the season against the Detroit Lions (2-13-1), but you can expect them to sit out the second half after they get a comfortable lead. The Lions were a little better than their 2-13-1 record indicated because they actually played hard in games all season and never phoned it in. The Lions are +4 home dogs in Week 18, but they were 10-6 ATS this season and exceeded market expectations all season.
The Miami Dolphins (8-8) are +6.5 home dogs hosting the New England Patriots (10-6), but the Pats have an outside shot at locking up the AFC East and securing a home game in the first round of the playoffs. Of course, that would require the LOL Jets upsetting the Bills in Orchard Park, which is why FiveThirtyEight gave them only a 5% chance at a division title.
The Atlanta Falcons (7-9) are +4.5 home dogs against the New Orleans Saints (8-8), who smell a postseason berth. The Saints have a 40% chance at securing a wild-card spot, but they have to knock off a tough divisional foe.
The 4 wins club
The Giants (4-12) are lucky that the LOL Jets exist, otherwise they’d be considered the worst sports team in New York City. The franchise needs to clean house and reboot from top to bottom, and fans can’t wait until this final game of the year is over. The Giants are home dogs by a touchdown against the Washington Football Team (6-10).
The Houston Texans (4-12) will finally trade Deshaun Watson in the offseason, but at least they’ll get a top-five pick out of their miserable season. The Texans are also a double-digit home dog this week at +10 against the Tennessee Titans (11-5), who need a win to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs as the #1 seed in the AFC.