NFL Betting Week 18: Rolling with the Steelers, plus four underdogs

Yahoo fantasy football analyst Scott Pianowski reveals his weekly NFL betting ticket in his Throwing Darts column. Check out where he's putting his jelly beans for Week 18. All lines courtesy of our friends at BetMGM.

We went 3-1-1 last week and wrapped up a winning season a long time ago. We’ll take it. Picking the NFL is humbling for everyone.

Our full 2022 pick log and historical record are linked at the bottom. As the fresh week starts, we’re sitting at 50-30-5 ATS.

[Week 17 and 18 fantasy football status updates]

Here’s how we’ll finish the season:

Steelers -2 vs. Browns

So much of Week 18 handicapping is guessing on motivations and who will show up. The Steelers are sure to show up, needing the game and helmed by Mike Tomlin. And although Deshaun Watson did some good things in Washington last week, he also took five sacks against just 23 dropbacks. He still doesn’t look like a quarterback worth that absurd contract. Kenny Pickett is starting to improve for Pittsburgh, too. I can only take the home guys here.

Titans +6.5 at Jaguars

The Jags are a fun team, a hot team, a fresh team. Trevor Lawrence looks like a likely star. But at least Joshua Dobbs offered some hope for the Titans passing game last week, and Derrick Henry returns after a much-needed game off. Tennessee can find a way to make this an ugly game, a competitive matchup for three hours.

Lions +4.5 at Packers

Detroit might be eliminated before kickoff if the Seahawks take care of business against the Rams. But Dan Campbell has emotionally connected with his team, and I expect the Lions to take this game seriously no matter what’s at stake. And although the Packers have played better in recent weeks, the schedule and some unusual circumstances have played into that. I suspect this line might be even higher by kickoff; I can’t blame you if you wait around for that. Jared Goff doesn’t have great road numbers, but the Packers don’t feel like a better team to me, even if the line suggests that.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) could make the NFL playoffs this season
Will Jared Goff lead the Lions to the NFL playoffs? (Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Raiders +9.5 vs. Chiefs

It’s terrifying to pick against the Chiefs. I realize Patrick Mahomes has never lost an AFC West road game in his career. But this is an awful lot of liability to spot on the road, especially for a team that’s a piddly 1-8-1 ATS in its last ten games. Give Josh McDaniels credit, he had Jarrett Stidham ready to go last week.

Panthers +3.5 at Saints

These teams strike me as close to even, so the hook is appealing. Sam Darnold might have revitalized his NFL career: 8.8 YPA, seven touchdowns, one pick, a QB rating 24 percent above league average. One thing that scares me is New Orleans proactively running packages for Taysom Hill, but often the Saints ignore him for no reason. He’s averaging 6.3 yards per touch this year; Alvin Kamara, for what it’s worth, is at 5.0. I’ll grab the points.

Last week: 3-1-1

Season: 50-30-5

Pianow's historical Throwing Darts record (only two losing seasons in 13 years) and 2022 weekly results are listed here.

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