NFL: Week 18 Picks, Best Bets, and Odds

By Sam Schlesinger   January 6, 2023 

NFL: Week 18 Picks, Best Bets, and Odds

Welcome to the last week of the regular season. Betting odds can be tricky this week with many teams sitting starters to keep them fresh and other teams with nothing to play for. We’ll help you navigate all of that with our picks. Last week we went 8-7 and hit on 2 out of 3 of our best bets.

Chiefs @ Raiders

The Chiefs seem to be massive favorites every week, but they didn’t cover against the Broncos (twice) or the Texans over the last month. They did blow out the Seahawks though. The Chiefs are now the odds on favorites to win the Super Bowl, and with 1st place in the AFC on the line against a bottom-10 defense, this has the making of another dominant win.

The pick: Chiefs -7.5

Titans @ Jaguars

The Titans have failed to cover the spread in their last 6 games. The Jaguars have covered in 5 of their last 6. These teams are on opposite trajectories. When was the last time the team with the worst record in the league one season made the playoffs the next season? That’s on the line for the surging Jaguars.

The pick: Jaguars -6.5

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Vikings @ Bears

Technically, the Vikings can still move up from the 3 seed to the 2 seed, but the 49ers would have to lose to the Cardinals and that just ain’t happening. The Bears have nothing to play for though, and the Vikings are going to want to right the ship after an ugly blowout loss to the Packers in Week 17.

The pick: Vikings -5.5

Browns @ Steelers

Mike Tomlin has never finished below .500 in 16 years as the Steelers' head coach
Mike Tomlin has never finished below .500 in 16 years as the Steelers’ head coach

Every time it looks like the Steelers will finish below .500, Mike Tomlin turns his team around. The Steelers have now won 5 of their last 6 games and covered the spread in all 5 wins. They still have an outside shot at the playoffs while the Browns are out of contention

The pick: Steelers -2.5

Buccaneers @ Falcons

In Tom Brady standards, the Bucs have had an ugly season. This game might not mean anything to the Bucs’ playoff scenario as they’ve locked up the division and can’t move up in the standings, but Brady wants to play. They want to look good going into the playoffs and things finally started to click last week in the second half against the Panthers.

The pick: Bucs +4

Sitting out is not an option for the 45 year old GOAT

Jets @ Dolphins

Both of these teams are riding 5-game losing streaks. The Jets however, have only scored a total of 9 points over their last two games. The Dolphins without Tua Tagovailoa almost pulled off a victory against the Patriots in Foxborough. 

The pick: Dolphins -1

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Texans @ Colts

These are the worst two teams in the AFC. Neither has anything to play for or anything remarkable going on. May as well go with the team that’s giving you points.

The pick: Texans +3

Here is the only thing exciting about this game

Panthers @ Saints 

Both of these teams seem to be playing their best football over the last month. The Saints have won 3 straight and the Panthers 3 of their last 5 with two one score losses. Carolina has covered the spread in 7 of their last 10 games against New Orleans and Sam Darnold might be playing the best football of his career.

The pick: Panthers +3.5

Giants @ Eagles

Is the division as good as locked up if Jalen Hurts takes the field against the Giants?
Is the division as good as locked up if Jalen Hurts takes the field against the Giants?

The Eagles blasted the Giants 48 – 22 last time they played, but things are different now. The Giants are playing good football going into the playoffs and aren’t going to take their feet off the gas. They’ve also covered the spread in 5 of their last 6 games. The Eagles meanwhile are going to be cautious with Jalen Hurts even if he does play. It should be a close game.

The pick: Giants +14

Cowboys @ Commanders

The Commanders have gone into a free fall, and it doesn’t matter who’s starting under center. They’ve also failed to cover the spread in 4 straight games. The Cowboys still have the division title on the line so don’t expect them to play down to their opponent.

The pick: Cowboys -5.5 (BEST BET)

Cardinals @ 49ers 

The 49ers still have a shot at the 1 seed in the NFC and need to minimally lock up the 2 seed with a win. The Cardinals lack of offense doesn’t stand a chance against the 49ers defense.

The pick: 49ers -14

Rams @ Seahawks

The Seahawks finally awoke from their slumber last week and put a beat down on the Jets. Now fighting for their playoff lives, they need to beat the hapless Rams. If they play like they played last week, they should have no problem covering.

The pick: Seahawks -6.5

Chargers @ Broncos

The Chargers are 6-2-1 against the spread in their last 9 games and want to go into the playoffs on the right foot. If they can hold on to the 5 seed they’ll likely play either the Titans or Jaguars in the 1st round of the playoffs, a much more attractive option than the Bills or Bengals.

The pick: Chargers -3.5 (BEST BET)

Lions @ Packers

The Packers were almost completely written off earlier this season but the last month has changed their outlook entirely. They’ve won 4 straight and have had a bunch of outcomes fall in their favor, and now they control their own destiny. Win and they’re in. Are you trusting Aaron Rodgers here?

The pick: Packers -4.5 (BEST BET)

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. The Packers have needed both to have a shot at the playoffs

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