NFL 2023 – Week 18 Sunday Early Games Tips and Betting Preview

The final Sunday of the NFL 2023 regular season is one where a number of spots in the playoffs are to be finalised while division titles are also on the line on what should be a fantastic day of action packed full of drama.

We might know the number one seeds in both Conferences but we will find out the winners of three divisions and who it is who gets the home advantage that comes with it. Every match is a divisional game so there is plenty to look forward to.

1pm Kick Offs (6pm UK time)

Two of those divisional titles will be decided in the first set of games on Sunday and we have one of the deciders on TV in the UK as the Jacksonville Jaguars look to keep hold of the AFC South title when they make the trip to the Tennessee Titans. Only a win will do for the Jaguars. Over in the NFC South it is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are in control of their own destiny. They head to the Carolina Panthers knowing that if they win they will claim the title. If they lose they will open the door to the New Orleans Saints who will be champions if they beat the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons themselves can win that division with a win and a Tampa Bay loss.

That leaves us with three more matches in the first kick off slot. The biggest of those matches probably comes in the NFC North where the Minnesota Vikings will look to keep their season alive when they head to the Detroit Lions. The Lions will be the number three seed whatever happens here while the Vikings have to win and hope a number of other results go their way. Elsewhere, the Cleveland Browns are locked into the number five seed and finish their regular season away to the Cincinnati Bengals while the two lower ranked teams meet in the AFC East as the New England Patriots host the New York Jets in what is expected to be the last game in charge for Bill Belichick.

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4.25pm Kick Offs (9.25pm UK time)

The second slot of games will determine another division winner and also the final playoff spot in the NFC. It is that playoff spot which will be the focus of the TV coverage as the Green Bay Packers are in a win and in situation for the second season in succession. The Chicago Bears will be hoping to play the role of spoiler. The NFC East will be won in this slot of matches too. The Dallas Cowboys are in control of their own destiny. If they win at the Washington Commanders they will win the NFC East and be at home in the playoffs next week. If the Cowboys lose then the Philadelphia Eagles can claim the title with a win at the New York Giants.

Four other matches take place over the course of the later part of the evening and the one of real interest is the clash between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. If the Packers lose the TV game then Seattle will be the number seven seed with a win. Elsewhere, the Kansas City Chiefs round off their regular season campaign away to the Los Angeles Chargers while the Las Vegas Raiders host the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. Over in the NFC West the San Francisco 49ers will celebrate picking up the number one seed in the Conference when they host the Los Angeles Rams.


We are at that stage of the season where some lines and odds are shorter than they might otherwise be because of the must-win nature for certain teams but one line which I don’t think has been affected by the situation is the one for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They suffered a bad defeat at the wrong time against the New Orleans Saints last week but the Saints had everything to play for whereas the Carolina Panthers, their opposition on Sunday, haven’t been playing for anything for a while.

As such, I think the 3.5 points that the Bucs are being asked to cover might not be high enough. Prior to that loss to the Saints last week, the Bucs had won four on the spin and Carolina go into this match off the back of being nilled by an out of form Jacksonville Jaguars heading into the game and in three of their last four matches they have put up single figures in terms of their own score and they have only scored more than 10 points in two of their last seven games. You would imagine they will need to at least double that to stay close to a Bucs offense which has come alive in recent weeks. I’ll take Tampa Bay to win the NFC South with a bit in hand.


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