NFL Week 18 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Los Angeles Rams v Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Rams v Los Angeles Chargers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages
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Liam McKeone and Kyle Koster lost the war of attrition in Week 17, failing to battle through the fatigue of a full season's worth of picks and stumbling to a 4-11 finish. This puts their season record at 117-129. Which means a .500 season is absolutely still in play with a full slate of games to play this week. The two thank you, readers, for sticking with them all year and look forward to a strong Week 18.

*At the time of posting, there is no line for Bengals-Ravens.

RAIDERS (+9.5) over CHIEFS

The New Quarterback bump is real and should be terrifying to bettors. Jarrett Stidham was a breath of fresh air last Sunday and the Raiders took San Francisco to the limit. Yes, the Chiefs have a lot to play for but too often this year they've played down to the level of competition. Lesson finally learned. Chiefs 31, Raiders 24

JAGUARS (-6.5) over TITANS

Two teams moving in opposite directions with everything on the line. Look for these trends to continue. Tennessee's issue is the offense. We simply cannot trust them to put on a competent display. Meanwhile, Trevor Lawrence has the perfect opportunity for a signature moment. Jaguars 27, Titans 17

BUCCANEERS (+4.5) over FALCONS

Touchdown Tom Brady has nothing to play for and probably won't play at all. But it's not like the Falcons are all that motivated either outside of getting another win to add to Desmond Ridder's ledger. Let's split the difference and bank on another contest in Atlanta full of field goals and devoid of Red Zone cut-ins. Falcons 19, Buccaneers 16

PATRIOTS (+7.5) over BILLS

Ethically it doesn't feel great picking a side here. Buffalo is dealing with an unprecedented challenge and there's no way to know how they'll respond on the field. Hate doing it but that's just an impossible variable to discount. Bills 24, Patriots 20

VIKINGS (-6) over BEARS

At this point we are hoping the Vikings win the Super Bowl with a negative point differential. Dare to dream, folks. Vikings 35, Bears 20

PANTHERS (+3.5) over SAINTS

It feels like all the magic Steve Wilks had in his back pocket evaporated after his team gave up a lead to Tom Brady to lose out on the division. But the running game is still shockingly good in Carolina and it'll be enough to keep this one close. The Saints do not exactly have an electric offense that will pull away quickly, even at home, and nobody is playing for much. Saints 17, Panthers 14

TEXANS (+2.5) over COLTS

The official loser bowl of Week 18 will feature Sam Ehlinger and some unholy combination of Davis Mills, Kyle Allen, and Jeff Driskel. You really should not bet on this game. However, if you do, Jeff Saturday will probably be too mad about Kayvon Thibodeaux to prepare his team properly so let's roll with Houston to finish off the Colts' humiliating season. Texans 23, Colts 12

STEELERS (-3) over BROWNS

The Steelers' playoff chances are slim but will be nonexistent if they lose this game. Good luck betting against Mike Tomlin in a must-win scenario against a divisional rival already knocked out of the playoffs. Steelers 21, Browns 13

DOLPHINS (-2.5) over JETS

Even with the downward spiral from Miami and the fact that they may be starting their third-string QB, sometimes things are simple in football. The Dolphins are playing for the playoffs. The Jets are not. With the game taking place in that South Beach heat New York will tire quickly and motivation will fade enough for Miami to win and cover. Dolphins 22, Jets 16

CHARGERS (-3) over BRONCOS

Justin Herbert will finally play playoff football. Great news for him and all of us who love watching him sling it. The Chargers can secure the No. 5 seed with a win, guaranteeing a first-round trip against either the Jaguars or Titans. Which is far more appealing than ending up with the sixth seed and having to face whoever comes out at the bottom of the Chiefs-Bills-Bengals mess up top. L.A. will play to win and the Broncos are going to limp to the finish line. Chargers 30, Broncos 10

GIANTS (+14) over EAGLES

This is a double-take of a line. One that makes you wonder what Vegas knows. Because while the Giants are not better than the Eagles they certainly aren't bad enough to be a two-touchdown underdog, even if Jalen Hurts returns. Philly will be very motivated to win this game because they still haven't locked up the division but Brian Daboll wants his guys ready to go for Wild Card Weekend and will not rest starters.

CARDINALS (+14) over 49ERS

Frankly, it just seems unlikely the Niners are going to run up the score. The defense will eat Colt McCoy or whoever the hell ends up back there alive. Turnovers will be forced. Short fields will be capitalized upon. San Francisco will be up by three scores by the end of the first half and coast in the second to avoid any injuries. A cover for Arizona and a smooth trip to postseason football for the Niners. 49ers 26, Cardinals 14

RAMS (+6.5) over SEAHAWKS

There is just no chance this game doesn't come down to the wire. The Rams and the Seahawks always play each other close under Sean McVay and Pete Carroll no matter who is on the field. There's nothing more Los Angeles would love than to spoil Seattle's season-- and Baker Mayfield is going to do it. The comeback tale authored by Geno Smith does not have a storybook ending. Rams 27, Seahawks 24

COWBOYS (-4) over COMMANDERS

The Cowboys have a wide range of outcomes going into Week 18 and all are good if they win this game. Impossibly, they could somehow end up atop the division if things break right. They could even earn the top seed and homefield advantage. It isn't terribly likely but they'll be playing like their season is on the line even with a playoff spot clinched. Washington will probably start Carson Wentz again, which says all you need to know. Cowboys 38, Commanders 22

PACKERS (-4.5) over LIONS

It's been a heck of a ride with the Detroit team this year. But if you think the NFL is keeping Aaron Rodgers out of the playoffs, you were born yesterday. Packers 30, Lions 20

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