Matchups, predictions, and odds for NFL Week 18 and CFP Championship Game
In this week's Out of the Vault newsletter...
The football season is about to reach fever pitch in the coming days with three upcoming high-stakes matches taking place within the span of 24 hours.
The football frenzy kicks off with a good old NFC East rivalry game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants on Sunday (4:25 PM ET) at Lincoln Financial Field.
Although both teams already secured their spot in the playoffs, the outcome of Monday’s regular-season finale will determine if Philadelphia ends up with the best record in the NFC. 💪
Then, let’s head into a more critical matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at 8:20 PM. With a playoff berth on the line, this match is expected to produce exciting stretches, heroic plays, and back-and-forth drama befitting a late-season Sunday Night Football headliner!
The first biggest sporting event of 2023 will be the much-awaited showdown of the two best teams in college football this season - the undefeated Georgia Bulldogs and the upset-minded TCU Horned Frogs.
These historic football programs have overcome all kinds of obstacles and come through under pressure all season long to get a shot at hoisting the National Championship at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles might be the owner of the best record in the NFC at 13-3 but the majority of football fans are sensing another epic collapse by Philadelphia at the hands of their division rival.
The Giants, who opened as +14 underdogs, have so far earned 67 percent of the public votes to upset the top dog of the NFC in the final week of the regular season.
Philadelphia had been impressive through the first 14 weeks of the season, accumulating 13 wins against one loss. However, that cloak of invincibility the Eagles had most of their campaign seemed to have worn out following their losses to the Dallas Cowboys 40-34 and the New Orleans Saints 20-10.
With the top seed in the NFC hanging in the balance, the Eagles must figure out how to recapture the form that made them the most fearsome team in all football. The Giants, meanwhile, will come right at them with nothing to lose, knowing they have a slot in the playoffs already in the bag.
That cloak of invincibility the Eagles had most of their campaign seemed to have worn out following their losses to the Dallas Cowboys 40-34 and the New Orleans Saints 20-10.
Spread: +14 (-110) / -14 (-110)
Total: o/u 43 (-110)
Moneyline: +650 / -1000
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
On the final day of the 2022-23 NFL Regular Season, the Lions and the Packers are pitted against each other in a make-or-break match Sunday at 8:20 PM ET at Lambeau Field.
Despite a disastrous campaign that saw them dropped five consecutive games, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers somehow and someway found themselves in the mix for a playoff spot after sweeping their last four games, including an impressive 41-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings last week.
Similar to the Packers, the Lions also endured a lackadaisical start with a 1-6 record entering Week 8. Ironically, a close 15-9 win over the Packers appeared to have flipped the switch for Detroit as they went on to rack up 7 of their last 9 games to get themselves in the playoff picture.
It's difficult to go against the Packers in this do-or-die situation, not with Aaron Rodgers still calling doing the signal-calling duties. Green Bay are 4.5-point favorite going into this game. Rodgers has the confidence and expertise to lead his squad. The Lions lost to the Panthers by 14 points just a few weeks ago, demonstrating their vulnerability.
In a crucial game at Lambeau, don't bet against Rodgers. 🧀
Spread: +4.5 (-110) / -4.5 (-110)
Total: o/u 49.5 (-110)
Moneyline: +180 / -225
TCU Horned Frogs vs Georgia Bulldogs
After months of grueling college football campaigns, we are now down to the final two - the Horned Frogs and the Bulldogs – for all the marbles on Monday.
The Horned Frogs punched their ticket to the CFP championship game after outslugging the Michigan Wolverines, 51-45, in a high-scoring contest at the Fiesta Bowl. Max Duggan completed 14 of his 29 passes for 225 yards with two touchdowns while running back Emari Demercado rushed for 150 yards and one TD on 17 carries to lead TCU to their first CFP championship appearance.
The Georgia Bulldogs pulled off a great escape after surviving the Ohio State Buckeyes, 42-41, at Peach Bowl. Quarterback Stetson Bennet covered 398 yards and 3 TDs on 23-34 passing. Georgia trailed 38-24 but put together three frenetic touchdown runs to rally and win. Stetson completed a 10-yard TD pass to Adonai Mitchell to cap an 18-3 comeback run, taking the lead with 54 seconds left in the clock. With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to their CFP championship game appearance and got a crack at a back-to-back title.
The Bulldogs, who have a 72.2 percent chance of winning the game outright based on computer simulations, march into the game with a -12.5 point handicap.
The Horned Frogs have a 27.8 percent advantage to pull off another massive upset. And they have the public backing apparently, getting 78 percent votes. The ferocious Michigan comeback attempt, which saw both teams score a combined 38 points in the third quarter alone, pushed the Frogs to bring out their best game.
Quentin Johnston covered 163 yards receiving and two pick-sixes on defense for TCU to complete the first victory by a Big 12 team in the College Football Playoff.
On the other hand, TCU needs to realize that the Bulldogs possess the weapons to blow this game wide open right from the get-go. According to Team rankings, Georgia is projected to defeat TCU by an estimated score of 37.5 to 23.8, covering the spread in the process.
We are on board with this - Georgia to cover.
Spread: +13.5 (-115) / -13.5 (-105)
Total: o/u 62.5 (-110)
Moneyline: +375 / -500
This is an exciting weekend to be putting some money on football!
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