The NFL is back in action with Week 18 this weekend, and there are a few quality games on the schedule to enjoy. While watching football can be entertaining on its own, I feel like it’s more fun to predict all of them to see how many I can get right. Last week I was 10-6 (after going 10-6 the week before) so you can clearly see that I’m just throwing darts at a dartboard here. At least I’m pretty consistent, eh?
With that being said, let’s take a look at the games on tap for this week, the betting lines and my thoughts on who will win. If you’re up for it, feel free to add your predictions in the comments.
All odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
NFL Week 18 picks
Chiefs (11-5) vs Broncos (7-9) (Sat.)
Point spread: Chiefs -11, Broncos +11
Moneyline: Chiefs -575, Broncos +410
My pick: Chiefs 31 Broncos 10
This should be a pretty easy win for the Chiefs, who are looking for a tune-up game before the playoffs start.
Cowboys (11-5) vs Eagles (9-7) (Sat.)
Point spread: Cowboys -7, Eagles +7
Moneyline: Cowboys -320, Eagles +250
My pick: Cowboys 27 Eagles 21
The Cowboys have more to play for due to playoff seeding, but they should win this game regardless.
Packers (13-3) vs Lions (2-13-1)
Point spread: Packers -2.5, Lions +2.5
Moneyline: Packers -135, Lions +115
My pick: Packers 24 Lions 17
The Packers don’t have anything to play for this week since they’re locked in as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Lions are bad, but they’ll keep this close despite losing to a much better team.
Colts (9-7) vs Jaguars (2-14)
Point spread: Colts -15, Jaguars +15
Moneyline: Colts -1000, Jaguars +650
My pick: Colts 31 Jaguars 17
The Colts need to win this game to clinch a playoff spot, and I think they’ll take care of business because they’re better than the Jaguars.
Washington (6-10) vs Giants (4-12)
Point spread: Washington -7, Giants +7
Moneyline: Washington -320, Giants +250
My pick: Washington 28 Giants 19
Both of these teams are eliminated from the playoffs, so they’re just playing for pride. If you want the Panthers to have the highest draft pick possible, you’re rooting for the Giants in this one.
Bears (6-10) vs Vikings (7-9)
Point spread: Bears +2.5, Vikings -2.5
Moneyline: Bears +120, Vikings -140
My pick: Bears 23 Vikings 20
This is another game where neither team has anything to play for other than pride, so I’ll take the Bears in an upset.
Bengals (10-6) vs Browns (7-9)
Point spread: Bengals -3, Browns +3
Moneyline: Bengals -155, Browns +135
My pick: Bengals 30 Browns 17
The Bengals have already clinched the AFC North title and can clinch the No. 1 seed if they get a lot of help, and the small chance of that happening means they’ll play their starters and try to win this game. It shouldn’t be much trouble for them with Baker Mayfield already confirmed to be out for the Browns.
Titans (11-5) vs Texans (4-12)
Point spread: Titans -10.5, Texans +10.5
Moneyline: Titans -525, Texans +385
My pick: Titans 34 Texans 20
The Titans can clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win, so they’re going to go all out in this game to get the bye week. If you want the Panthers to have the highest draft pick possible, you are rooting for the Texans to pull off the upset.
Steelers (8-7-1) vs Ravens (8-8)
Point spread: Steelers +5, Ravens -5
Moneyline: Steelers +170, Ravens -200
My pick: Ravens 28 Steelers 24
Both teams need to win this game to have a chance to make the playoffs. Both teams need a lot of help, but the team who loses is automatically eliminated, so this should be a good game.
Saints (8-8) vs Falcons (7-9)
Point spread: Saints -4, Falcons +4
Moneyline: Saints -210, Falcons +175
My pick: Saints 31 Falcons 28
The Saints have to win this game and get help from the Rams to clinch a playoff spot. Man, it’d be a shame if the Falcons pulled off the upset and kept the Saints out of the playoffs.
Jets (4-12) vs Bills (10-6)
Point spread: Jets +16.5, Bills -16.5
Moneyline: Jets +800, Bills -1375
My pick: Bills 31 Jets 10
The Bills need to win to clinch the AFC East, so they’ll have plenty to play for. If you want the Panthers to have the highest draft pick possible, you’re rooting for the Jets to pull off a huge upset.
49ers (9-7) vs Rams (12-4)
Point spread: 49ers +4.5, Rams -4.5
Moneyline: 49ers +170, Rams -200
My pick: Rams 28 49ers 23
The Rams clinch the NFC West with a win, and the 49ers clinch a playoff spot (and eliminate the Saints) with a win. This might be the best game of the weekend, to be honest. I like the Rams, but I’ll personally be rooting for the 49ers.
Panthers (5-11) vs Buccaneers (12-4)
Point spread: Panthers +7.5, Buccaneers -7.5
Moneyline: Panthers +280, Buccaneers -365
My pick: Buccaneers 31 Panthers 9
The Panthers are hopeless at this point and probably won’t win another game this season, so it’s not too hard to pick against them. If you want the Panthers to have the highest draft pick possible, then you’re rooting for the Bucs. Don’t worry: The Bucs are trying to clinch the No. 2 seed in the NFC so they’re going to actually try to win the game.
Patriots (10-6) vs Dolphins (8-8)
Point spread: Patriots -6.5, Dolphins +6.5
Moneyline: Patriots -265, Dolphins +215
My pick: Patriots 30 Dolphins 23
The Patriots clinch the AFC East with a win and a Bills loss, so they’re going to go all out to win this game. They’re also mathematically in the hunt for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, so I don’t think the Dolphins have much of a shot against Bill Belichick in this situation.
Seahawks (6-10) vs Cardinals (11-5)
Point spread: Seahawks +7, Cardinals -7
Moneyline: Seahawks +225, Cardinals -280
My pick: Cardinals 34 Seahawks 17
The Cardinals clinch the NFC West with a win and a Rams loss, so they’re going to play their starters in this one. That should give them the edge over the Seahawks who are only playing for pride.
Chargers (9-7) vs Raiders (9-7) (SNF)
Point spread: Chargers -3, Raiders +3
Moneyline: Chargers -160, Raiders +140
My pick: Chargers 28 Raiders 24
The result of this game could depend on what happens in the Colts-Jaguars game. If the Colts lose to the Jaguars, the Chargers and Raiders both clinch a playoff spot with a tie (which would eliminate the Steelers). They could literally kneel down on every play for the entire game and both make the playoffs, so that’s the result everyone has to root for. If the Colts beat the Jaguars, the Chargers get in the playoffs with a win so that’s the most likely result. (But wouldn’t it be fun to see both teams actively trying to tie?)
What are your predictions for Week 18, Panthers fans? Share your thoughts with us!
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
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