It all comes down to this. The final week of the 2022 regular season is upon us and there is plenty still to be determined as we look forward to the Week 18 slate. We know that two games will be played on Saturday and feature the Chiefs taking on the Raiders, and the Titans and Jaguars clashing for the AFC South title in Jacksonville. Those two matchups will have an impact on the playoff picture in the AFC, and there are some head-to-heads in the NFC that will be worth watching as well. That includes the Packers looking to complete an improbable playoff run as they host the Lions.
While we still have one more game to go in Week 17 between the Bills and Bengals on Monday night, let's take our first glimpse of all the Week 18 matchups and get our impression of the opening lines to see if there is anything they can tell us about who the oddsmakers see coming out on top.
Week 18 early odds
(All lines from Caesars Sportsbook)
Chiefs (13-3) at Raiders (6-10), Saturday
Opening line: Chiefs -9.5
No matter how Monday's game between the Bengals and Bills turns out, the Chiefs will still be playing to possibly leap up to the No. 1 seed in the AFC as they need Buffalo to lose one of its remaining two games to make the move up along with winning out themselves. If Buffalo does fall in the Week 17 finale, however, a win for Kansas City against the Raiders would lock them up as the top seed in the conference, so this game could carry tremendous weight to begin the Week 18 slate. The Chiefs narrowly defeated the Broncos on Sunday, which further put them in a betting slump. Andy Reid's team is 1-7-1 ATS in its last nine games. Meanwhile, the Raiders are playing for pride but did see quite the spark from Jarrett Stidham as he went toe-to-toe with the 49ers in his first career start, despite Las Vegas falling in overtime. Given that this is a division game, it's worth pointing out that K.C. is 0-6 ATS in its last six games against the AFC West.
Titans (7-9) at Jaguars (8-8), Saturday
Opening line: Jaguars -7
This is a winner take all matchup for the AFC South crown. Truth be told, the NFL didn't do Jacksonville any favors by putting this game on Saturday night. Now, the Jaguars are playing for their playoff lives on a short week, while Tennessee rested most of its key players in Week 17 while also playing on Thursday, giving them extended rest. When faced with a rest disadvantage, Jacksonville is 1-2 ATS this season. Still, that didn't stop the oddsmakers from making the Jags a full touchdown favorite. That is likely due to the uncertain quarterback situation with Tennessee. With Ryan Tannehill on IR, the Titans will either be trotting out rookie Malik Willis or Joshua Dobbs, who started last week against Dallas and looked solid. As a home favorite this year, the Jaguars are 0-2 ATS, but they have covered their last four games entering Week 18.
Buccaneers (8-8) at Falcons (6-10)
Opening line: Falcons -8
Atlanta is now a 7.5-point favorite at home as they take on the Bucs. Tampa Bay locked up the NFC South title with their come-from-behind win over the Panthers on Sunday, so they have nothing to play for in this matchup and will likely give their starters rest before the postseason. The line reflects that thought process as well. Meanwhile, the Falcons are still in self-evaluation mode, particularly under center with rookie Desmond Ridder. They continue to see his development in the regular season finale, which should give them a bit more motivation over the Bucs, who will simply be looking to get out of this game as healthy as possible. As a home favorite this season, the Falcons are 1-2 ATS.
Patriots (8-8) at Bills (12-3)
Opening line: Bills -8
Buffalo is now a 7.5-point favorite as they are set to host the Patriots. This line could see a bit more movement following the Bills' matchup with the Bengals. In the event that the Bills win on Monday and Kansas City is upset by the Raiders on Saturday, that would lock Buffalo into the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and they would then not need to play their starters on Sunday against the Patriots. That scenario would likely see this line flip on its head. Meanwhile, New England would clinch a playoff berth with a win. Buffalo has owned this matchup as of late and is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings. However, Buffalo is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games.
Vikings (12-4) at Bears (3-13)
Opening line: Vikings -1
Minnesota already has its spot in the playoffs clinched, but their specific seeding is still to be determined. If they win and the 49ers lose, they'll be the No. 2 seed in the NFC. However, the lowest the Vikings can fall is the No. 3 seed. Despite owning a 12-4 record, Minnesota ranks 28th in DVOA and has hardly looked like a clear-cut playoff contender as they were just blown out by the Packers, 41-17. The Vikings are also 6-9-1 ATS, which includes an 0-4 ATS mark in their last four games. Meanwhile, Chicago has already been eliminated from playoff contention and is coming off its own blowout loss to the Lions. The Bears have failed to cover in six of their last seven games.
Ravens (10-6) at Bengals (11-4)
Opening line: Bengals -7
Cincinnati is now a 6.5-point favorite as of Monday morning, but this line will likely see plenty of movement following the Bengals' matchup with the Bills. The Bengals would clinch the AFC North with a win over Buffalo, while a loss would set up a winner take all matchup with Baltimore in Week 18.
Similar to the Bills and their upcoming matchup with the Patriots, Cincy playing their starters or not in Week 18 could be determined by the outcome of Chiefs-Raiders on Saturday. If the Bengals win this Week 17 finale against the Bills and the Chiefs are upset by Las Vegas, they are suddenly a win away from taking the No. 1 seed. If they win, but Kansas City also wins on Saturday, they'd have nothing to play for on Sunday and could elect for rest.
Of course, the status of Lamar Jackson could also throw this line on its head if the quarterback can play for Baltimore. The Ravens are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against the division while the Bengals entered Week 17 with an NFL-best 12-3 ATS record, which includes a 5-1 ATS mark at home.
Lions (8-8) at Packers (8-8)
Opening line: Packers -4.5
All of a sudden the Green Bay Packers control their own destiny to reach the playoffs. This improbable run -- spearheaded by a Commanders loss on Sunday -- now has Aaron Rodgers and company simply needing to beat the Lions at home to clinch the No. 7 seed in the NFC. Meanwhile, Detroit also has its playoff hopes still alive, albeit with a little less control than the Packers. Their easiest path to the playoffs includes a win in Week 18 along with a Seahawks loss or tie.
Both of these teams dropped 41 points on Sunday en route to a win, so this should be a high-flying affair between two division rivals. The Packers have covered in four straight games coming into Week 18, but the Lions have been the better bet this season. They are 8-1 ATS in their previous nine games and have fared well against Green Bay, owning a 9-2 ATS record in their last 11 meetings.
Texans (2-13-1) at Colts (4-11-1)
Opening line: Colts -3
This game will have more of an impact on the 2023 NFL Draft than it does to wrap up this season. Both of these teams are slated to have top-five picks this coming spring after a forgettable season. The Colts were just handed a 38-10 loss to the Giants, while Houston managed just three points in a blowout loss to Jacksonville. While neither one of these clubs will be mistaken for a juggernaut, Houston is 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against division opponents. Against the AFC South, Indy is 1-5 ATS in its last six games.
Jets (7-9) at Dolphins (8-8)
Opening line: Dolphins -3.5
Miami is now a field goal favorite as they host New York. After losing to the Seahawks on Sunday, the Jets have been eliminated from playoff contention. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are still clinging to playoff hopes but would need a win against New York and a loss by the Patriots to punch their ticket. That task could be made even more difficult as they may be forced to start Skylar Thompson after Teddy Bridgewater broke a finger in his throwing hand on Sunday and with Tua Tagovailoa still in concussion protocol. That said, Hard Rock Stadium has been a solid home-field advantage for Miami as they are 18-8 ATS in their last 26 home games. The Dolphins are also 4-1-1 ATS in the last six games they've hosted the Jets.
Panthers (6-10) at Saints (7-9)
Opening line: Saints -4.5
New Orleans is now a 4-point favorite over Carolina. Had things gone differently in the Panthers' Week 17 loss to the Buccaneers, this matchup could have had serious playoff implications. However, with Tampa Bay locking up the NFC South, both of these teams have been eliminated from postseason contention. Recently, the Panthers have enjoyed the most success in this rivalry. They are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings overall, which includes a 4-1 ATS record in New Orleans.
Giants (9-6-1) at Eagles (13-3)
Opening line: Eagles -13.5
With the Giants playoff position already locked in, the oddsmakers don't expect them to play their starters when they take on the Eagles, as evident in the near two-touchdown spread. Meanwhile, this game is important to Philadelphia as a win would ensure the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Rumblings that Jalen Hurts will be ready for this game after missing two games due to a shoulder injury could boost this spread even higher. All things being equal, the Giants have been among the best bets in the NFL this season as they are 12-4 ATS. That includes a 5-1 ATS record on the road. That said, those figures may not mean much if they are starting backups. As for Philadelphia, they have covered 75% of their home games this season.
Browns (7-9) at Steelers (8-8)
Opening line: Steelers -3
The Steelers head into Week 18 with their playoff hopes still alive. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Browns coupled with losses by the Dolphins and Patriots. They pulled out another fourth-quarter win on Sunday night as they took down the Ravens on the road. That win and cover pushed Pittsburgh to a 9-6-1 ATS record on the season. They'll now take on a Browns team that has been eliminated from the postseason for the past few weeks, but continue to build a foundation around Deshaun Watson. He enjoyed his most productive day since returning from his suspension, throwing for three touchdowns in a win over the Commanders. Cleveland has struggled as of late when facing the Steelers as they are 2-5 ATS in their last seven meetings. In their last five trips to Pittsburgh, the Browns are 1-4 ATS.
Cowboys (12-4) at Commanders (7-8-1)
Opening line: Cowboys -6
Dallas is now a 5.5-point favorite on the road in Washington in what could be a monumental weekend. The Cowboys have scenarios in front of them that could see them winning the NFC East and jolting up to the No. 1 seed in the NFC or falling as low as the No. 5 seed. To clinch the division, they'd need to win and have the Eagles lose to the Giants. To lock up the No. 1 seed, they'd need that scenario to unfold along with a 49ers loss or tie. With that in mind, they'll have plenty to play for as they face a Commanders club that was just eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday. The Cowboys are 10-3-1 ATS against teams with a losing record and are 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings against the Commanders in Washington.
Chargers (10-6) at Broncos (4-12)
Opening line: Chargers -3.5
Los Angeles is now laying three points in the regular season finale and it will be curious to see how they operate with their playoff spot already locked up. They'll either be the No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the AFC, so it may behoove Brandon Staley to opt for rest and have his team prepare for the postseason. Meanwhile, the Broncos are eliminated from playoff contention and don't own their first-round pick this coming draft, so there's no incentive to rest players on that side. They went toe-to-toe with the Chiefs on Sunday as Russell Wilson rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another. The Broncos have also covered four of their last five games coming into Week 18. L.A. has also struggled in this matchup when it shifted to Denver as they are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games at Mile High.
Rams (5-11) at Seahawks (8-8)
Opening line: Seahawks -6.5
Seattle still has its playoff hopes beating as it enters Week 18. The Seahawks need a win over the Rams coupled with a Packers loss to Detroit to make their way into the postseason, so they will certainly be playing all of their starters here. They just took down the Jets at home to eliminate New York's playoff hopes and did so on the back of running back Kenneth Walker III, who rushed for 133 yards. Meanwhile, the Rams have been out of playoff consideration for weeks and just fell to the Chargers in convincing fashion, 31-10. Seattle hasn't been a particularly strong bet as of late as they are 1-6 ATS in the last seven games. The Rams are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings with their NFC West rival.
Cardinals (4-12) at 49ers (12-4)
Opening line: 49ers -13.5
The 49ers have plenty to play for in this matchup as they could ascend to the No. 1 seed in the NFC if the pieces fall the right way. If they are able to beat the Cardinals and Philadelphia falls to the Giants, they'd lock up home field in the conference along with a first-round bye. They could also see themselves slotted as the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. Meanwhile, they take on a Cardinals team that is drastically banged up at the quarterback position and well outside the playoff picture. Arizona is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 road games and 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 meetings with the 49ers, but it's hard to factor that history in with this current roster as it's constructed. San Francisco's 4-0 ATS record in its last four home games and their 7-0 ATS record against the NFC West feels like a little more stable way to lean given where they are.