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Bets Dressed - Week 18 - Saturday Showdown Uniform Matchups and Player Props

Week 18. The regular season finale is upon us. No Thursday Night Football this week, but the league did deliver two Saturday games with no shortage of playoff implications.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Saturday Showdowns!

A quick note on methodology.

As always, I’m analyzing every NFL uniform matchup and picking a winner against the spread based on who dresses best. And just because a team is ranked higher in the Uniform Wardrobe Power Rankings doesn’t mean it will automatically win the uniform matchup. It’s what you wear in the instant matchup that counts.

Looking back at Week 17.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a down week, but can’t avoid them forever. 6-10 on the week. 132-116-8 on the year. Let’s get the arrow pointed up in Week 18 and build momentum for the playoffs.

Saturday Showdown Uniform Matchups.

Uniform Graphics by The Gridiron Uniform Database

Steelers at Ravens - in addition to being one of the best rivalries in football - is always a sharp uniform matchup. The yellow pants from Pittsburgh consistently play well off the purple jerseys of the Ravens. And there’s nothing like ending the regular season with a Triple Mismatch Club extravaganza. I’m calling this a tie, and the tiebreaker goes to the higher ranked Steelers.*

With the Ravens having nothing to play for, the Steelers have no excuse for dropping the last game of the season. But just because Lamar and some other starters will be taking it easy does not mean that this will be easy for Pittsburgh. Snoop Huntley is a legitimately good backup quarterback, and the Ravens will still be motivated to slam the door on their bitter rival. With that being said, the Steelers offense is reborn with Mason Rudolph at the helm. And I think they do their part to sneak into the dance (and hopefully cover the number).

*At least for now. Look for the Ravens to be potential risers in the 2024 Uniform Wardrobe Power Rankings.

The Pick: Steelers -3.5

Uniform Graphics by The Gridiron Uniform Database

Texans at Colts has the potential to go down in NFL uniform history. Not because it is a particularly memorable matchup. But because this may be the last time we see these Houston uniforms. With the redesign now confirmed for April 2024, we know that the Texans uniform wardrobe is a-changin’ after this season.* So if Houston is left on the outside looking in at the postseason, that’s curtains for this generic look desperately in need of something different.** The Colts would’ve been the pick regardless. But closing this chapter of Texans aesthetic history is all the more reason to get behind Indy.

Texans-Colts is one of the games of the weekend - a true win and in situation. DeMeco Ryans and Shane Steichen should be equally commended for jobs well done in their first seasons as head coaches. I expect this one to be close throughout. The Colts won the first meeting all the way back in Week 2, which featured Anthony Richardson under center before he left the game with a concussion. Gardner Minshew stepped in and took care of business as he has done all season for this scrappy Colts team, and I think the NFL’s renaissance man has a few more tricks up his sleeve to secure his first start in a playoff game.

*Shoutout Bob Dylan.

**Recent reports confirmed that the current logo is staying and that light blue will not be a primary color (but will be featured in some capacity). I continue to be bullish on the redesign and would be shocked if it does not feature a primary red helmet.

The Pick: Colts +1.5

NOTE - The Colts have yet to reveal their choice of pants.

Club SDR - Week 18 Player Props.

Down week against the spread, but the Single Digit Revolution keeps chugging along. 3-0 on the week. 34-17 on the year.

Mason Rudolph - Over 195.5 Passing Yards

Mason Rudolph has injected some much needed life into the Steelers offense (with a healthy dose of backfield help from Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren last week). Since taking over as starter, Rudolph is averaging 282 passing yards per game. The Ravens defense certainly is a step up from the Bengals and Seahawks (even when resting players). But I like Rudolph to clear the number in a gotta-have-it spot.

CJ Stroud - Over 253.5 Passing Yards

CJ Stroud has been a revelation in his first season (and still the betting favorite in a two-horse race with Puka Nacua for Offensive Rookie of the Year). Before his injury against the Jets, Stroud was on an absolute tear - averaging 348 passing yards per game from Weeks 8 through 12. He didn’t have to do much in his return last week where the Texans whooped the Titans. But Houston is going to need Stroud to air it out to punch their ticket to the playoffs (and don’t forget Stroud threw for 384 yards in his first meeting against the Colts).

Ken Walker - Over 62.5 Rushing Yards

Not much to overthink here. The Cardinals are giving up the most yards in the league to opposing running backs. Walker went for 105 rushing yards against the Cardinals earlier this season (right in line with his career average against Arizona of 104 yards). And I think he does it again to round out his sophomore campaign.

The Gridiron Uniform Database.

The uniform graphics you see here are courtesy of The Gridiron Uniform Database. If you’ve never paid their site a visit, stop what you’re doing right now and check it out. Best site on the Internet and an invaluable resource to uniform nerds and casuals alike.

Coming Attractions.

Keep an eye out for the Week 18 full slate breakdown to drop Sunday morning. Because we live in a world without an NFL uniform scheduling czar, we’re at the mercy of the teams deciding and announcing their uniform combos each week. Where it’s not 100% clear before posting, I’ll make a best guess and update after the fact for posterity.

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