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NFL Betting 2022: Week 18 spread picks to bet before lines move

Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

• Bet the Vikings (-1.5) against the Bears: Minnesota is fresh off an embarrassing Week 17 loss, but they are simply a better team on both sides of the ball than Chicago.

• Take the over (50.5) in Chiefs at Raiders: Jarrett Stidham helped the Raiders put up 34 points in Week 17, and the Kansas City Chiefs' offense is, well, the best attack in the NFL.

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Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins

Editor's Note: Betting lines are accurate as of post-Sunday Night Football.

Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) @ Chicago Bears

Why to bet:

Yes, the Vikings are coming off an embarrassing 41-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but they are a better team than the Chicago Bears, and at -1.5, we’re basically picking them to win straight up. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson just endured the worst game of his NFL career in a battle against Jaire Alexander, who is a tremendous cornerback. No Bears cornerback comes close to matching up with a wideout of Jefferson’s caliber. In addition, Chicago has the fourth-worst run defense in the NFL by expected points added allowed per rush allowed while ranking third worst in rushing success rate allowed.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields started strong against the Lions in Week 17, but the entire Bears offense fell apart after that. The Vikings do play the lightest boxes of any defense in the league on early downs, but there is little reason to believe the Bears' offensive line will win in the trenches in this game. The Vikings linebackers, Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks, are also both athletic enough to track Fields in the run game, limiting his strength.

In general, the Vikings are just a better team on both sides of the ball. They rank higher in offensive and defensive EPA per play and are the healthier team. The Bears also just don’t have anything to play for, given that they want to position themselves to pick as early as possible in the 2023 NFL Draft, while the Vikings could potentially improve their seeding if they win (though it’s unlikely given that the 49ers are 13.5-point favorites against the Cardinals).

Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders over 50.5


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