NFL Week 18 Odds, Picks, and Preview for Sunday’s Slate

by | Jan 8, 2023 | Football, The Cincy Corner

We’ve reached the final week of the pro football season. It feels like it’s been a breeze but it’s been packed full of action, drama, and controversy. We’ll have picks going throughout the playoffs but for now let’s dive into the NFL week 18 odds and our betting picks for the Sunday slate.

Minnesota Vikings (-275) at Chicago Bears (+230) – Sunday 1:00 PM EST

All things were shaping up for the Minnesota Vikings to make a run at the top seed in the NFC, until they hit a cold wall in Lambeau. The Vikings have had a season that may be categorized as up-and-down, winning against tough opponents and losing to others badly.

In Week 18, they will head to Chicago with the chances of being any seed from #1 to #3 on the line. Minnesota will look to right the offensive ship this week after being held to only 3 points against the Packers until the end of the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who fans were hoping might be the first receiver ever with 2,000 receiving yards in one season, was held to only one catch and was visibly frustrated. Jefferson was held under 40 yards on only 2 other occasions this season and he came back with games of 140 receiving yards after each. The defense was stronger than it may seem last week, given the field position they were forced to work with on 4 offensive turnovers, but will also look to sure up against a Chicago offense that scores under 20 points per game.

Minnesota Vikings Notable Injuries: WR Bisi Johnson (IR)

For Chicago, the season was looking promising on early wins but has since slid into being long over thanks to a 9-game losing streak. Some of those losses have been close, including a 5-point loss to Philadelphia and 1-point loss to Detroit, but the ending is the same. This week, backup quarterback Nathan Peterman will get his shot in the final rematch with Minnesota. In the first game in Week 5, the Bears held a fourth quarter lead until allowing a long drive and subsequently fumbling after getting the ball back. Kicker Cairo Santos hit 3 field goals from 40 or more yards but will be facing a rainy forecast this week. The Bears will hope Peterman, who has 3 touchdowns in his career to 13 interceptions, can provide some sort of spark to an offense that was led by a rising Justin Fields.

Chicago Bears Notable Injuries: QB Justin Fields (O)

Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears NFL Week 18 Odds & Picks

Minnesota has not lost two games in a row this season, however all the wins after a loss came on one score victories. This may not be a surprise for a team that won 10 games this season by one score, but they will be looking to bounce back and build some momentum into the playoffs. The struggle for the Vikings all season has been stringing together four good quarters (they are also known for comeback victories) so look for them to stay locked in this game to the unfortunate bashing of the Bears.

Final Score: Minnesota 33 – Chicago 13

Wicked Wager – Minnesota -7 (-110)

Wicked Player Prop – Adam Thielen Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+155)

Cleveland Browns (+120) at Pittsburgh Steelers (-140) – Sunday 1:00 PM EST

Cleveland will wrap up the season in Pittsburgh, looking to spoil the Steelers hopes of a chance for a playoff spot. The Browns won the first matchup in Cleveland, in a game prior to having Deshaun Watson under center. This week, Watson will look to build off a 3-touchdown game in Week 17 against a Steelers defense that has played the pass well, especially recently. Running back Nick Chubb will be critical to Cleveland’s offensive attack; he had over 110 yards last time against the Steelers and is averaging 5.0 yards per carry this season. For the Cleveland defense, they will need to stop the run and make Kenny Pickett create more plays against them.

Cleveland Browns Notable Injuries: T Jack Conklin (Q), RB D’Ernest Johnson (Q), CB Denzel Ward (Q), WR Amari Cooper (Q)

The Steelers sit in Week 18 on the playoff “bubble”, needing a win and some help to get to play again next week. It is no doubt the team is trending the right direction, it might have just been too little too late for a postseason run. The Pittsburgh defense has improved with every week and over the past 6 games has not allowed a team to score more than 17 points or a quarterback to cross 200 yards passing. The return of T.J. Watt to the field helped mightily, with Pittsburgh going 1-6 before his return and now sitting 8-8 at the end of the season. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett has also improved with each week, including passing for the game winning touchdown two weeks in a row. This week, the run game will have to carry Pittsburgh against a Cleveland defense that is better at stopping the passing game. Running back Najee Harris is coming off his first 100-yard game of the season and should be looking for another one.

Pittsburgh Steelers Notable Injuries: WR Diontae Johnson (Q), CB James Pierre (Q), CB William Jackson III (IR)

Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Week 18 Odds & Picks

Two similarly stacked teams, each trying to run on their opponent’s soft run defense and avoid the good pass defense. This matchup should be a fun one to watch, but ultimately it will be Pittsburgh getting the better of the Browns, just to keep their playoff hopes alive at home and avoid the first ever losing season under Mike Tomlin.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 26 – Cleveland 17

Wicked Wager – Pittsburgh -2.5 (-115)

Wicked Player Prop – Deshaun Watson Total Passing Yards Under 208.5 (-115)

New York Jets (+155) at Miami Dolphins (-180) – Sunday 1:00 PM EST

The New York Jets come into Week 18 with only one goal: play spoiler. Officially eliminated from the playoffs, the Jets will look to win in Miami to close out the season on a good note. In the first matchup, New York won easily but coming into this game, they have gone two full games without a touchdown. While the defense has helped win some big games this season in the Meadowlands, the offense is averaging 18 point per game and only 10 points per game since their bye 7 weeks ago. This week they will need to find some sort of offensive production with Joe Flacco taking the reigns this week.

New York Jets Notable Injuries: OL Duane Brown (O), T George Fant (O), QB Mike White (O), TE C.J. Uzomah (Q)

Riding a 5-game losing streak, Miami comes into the final week of the season needing help to get into the playoffs. The Dolphins have been playing with a variety of quarterbacks under center, and not by choice. Last week, backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater started and later was replaced as well after he was injured. It looks like he will be ready to go in Week 18, but will need a better performance than last week in New England. Bridgewater will need to open the field up with receivers Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle, two guys who were held relatively quiet last week. They will face Sauce Gardner and the top-ranked Jets pass defense this week. Look for Miami to use their running backs more than usual this week.

Miami Dolphins Notable Injuries: QB Teddy Bridgewater (Q), OT Terron Armstead (D), LB Bradley Chubb (Q), CB Xavien Howard (Q)

New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins NFL Week 18 Odds & Picks

Backup quarterbacks, a team that can find the end zone but has a top ranked defense, and a pair of 5 game losing streaks coming into this matchup really promises well for a low scoring game. Watch for the Dolphins to pull this game out on a few solid plays (probably runs), which should be all they need.

Final Score: Miami 17 – New York 13

Wicked Wager – Miami -3.5 (+100) / Under 37 (-115)

Wicked Player Prop – Tyreek Hill Total Receiving Yards Under 67.5 (-115)

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Baltimore Ravens (+350) at Cincinnati Bengals (-455) – Sunday, 1 PM EST

With a Ravens win meaning homefield between the two teams could come down to a coin toss Baltimore will still have something to play for this weekend. The Ravens will be looking to regain some team morale. The team is coming off a disappointing defeat to their rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, where they were unable to get their offense going.

Quarterback Tyler Huntley has been limited in practice this week. If he’s unable to play on Sunday, it would mean Anthony Brown would get his first career start. The Ravens are desperately hoping Lamar Jackson can return for the postseason.

How Demarcus Robinson can play is something to keep your eye on. The wide receiver has struggled mightily without Lamar Jackson in the lineup. Mark Andrews has been the only reliable pass catcher on this team and with the playoffs looming it will be critical that the Ravens are able to get Robinson going.

Baltimore Ravens Notable Injuries: QB Tyler Huntley (Q), WR Desean jackson (Q), DE Calais Campbell (Q), CB Marcus Peters (Q)

The Cincinnati Bengals will be playing their first game since the devastating injury to Damar Hamlin on Monday night. The game was postponed and declared a no contest. The Bengals have spent the time since emotionally preparing themselves to get back on the football field.

The no contest means two things for the Bengals. They are AFC North champions, and they are no longer in contention for a first round bye. The Bengals were eyeing that first round bye, having won 7 in a row coming into Monday’s contest. They’ll look to continue their hot streak on Sunday before they head into the postseason.

Ja’Marr Chase has been unable to break out in recent weeks. Him and Burrow haven’t connected on a pass for more than 20 yards in their last 3 games. Against a Ravens secondary that has gotten exposed in the passing game this year, Chase will be looking to put together a few explosive plays.  

Cincinnati Bengals Notable Injuries: CB Eli Apple (Q)

Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals NFL Week 18 Odds & Picks

The Bengals will grab an early lead in this one and won’t look back. Joe Burrow will connect with Tee Higgins for a pair of touchdowns as the chemistry between those two continues to grow. The Ravens show some fight in the second half but a 17-point halftime deficit was ultimately too much.

Final Score: Cincinnati 30 – Baltimore 20

Wicked Wagers – Bengals -9 (-110) / Over 39 (-110) 

Wicked Player Prop – Joe Burrow Longest Completed Pass Over 38.5 Yards (-114)

Dallas Cowboys (-315) at Washington Commanders (+250) – Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

The Cowboys will be looking to cap off an outstanding regular season campaign this Sunday in Washington. Quarterback Dak Prescott has been putting up big numbers lately, but he will need to take better care of the football. In his last six games Prescott has thrown 10 interceptions.

A win and an Eagles loss to the Giants on Sunday would mean that the Cowboys would win the NFC East and host their first playoff game. A 49ers loss on top of that would mean that the Cowboys would get the one seed in the NFC and a first-round bye. Though possible, the Cowboys getting any help this week is unlikely.

CeeDee Lamb will be going up against a young and talented but also banged up Commanders secondary. Kendall Fuller will likely be the guy that gets Lamb’s assignment. Fuller leads his team with 11 pass breakups on the season. The Cowboys like to take deep shots and it will be the talented rookie safety Darrick Forest that will have to protect against that.   

Dallas Cowboys Notable Injuries: LB Leighton Vander Esch (O), C Tyler Biadasz (O)

The Commanders three consecutive losses means they have been eliminated from the playoffs. Ron Rivera’s team will only be able to play for pride this Sunday, as they welcome their division rivals into town. The 7-8-1 Commanders will be looking to move to .500 for the year and end the season on a good note.

Ron Rivera decided to tab rookie quarterback Sam Howell as his team’s starter for this game. After having some success at North Carolina Howell was a 5th round pick for the Commanders in the 2022 draft. Howell has yet to see any game action this year. He’ll have a chance to prove himself as a long term option for the organization. The Cowboys defense is incredibly talented, so Howell is sure to have his work cut out for him.

Sam Howell’s first start is going to be a huge test. The Cowboys defense, led by Micah Parsons, is one of the scariest in the game. They will be looking to bring pressure early, so that the young quarterback is unable to settle down.

Washington Commanders Notable Injuries: RB Brian Robinson (O), OT Cornelius Lucas (O), DT Jonathan Allen (O)

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Commanders NFL Week 18 Odds & Picks

The Cowboys offense is able to take care of business. Prescott, Elliott, and Pollard are all able to go for big games. Sam Howell ends up turning some heads in his debut in Washington. The 22 year old goes for over 250 yards and two touchdowns, while only turning the ball over once. It’s still not enough as his counterpart Dak Prescott is able to outduel him.

Final Score: Dallas 34 – Washington 20

Wicked Wagers – Cowboys -7 (-110) / Over 40 (-110)

Wicked Player Prop – Tony Pollard Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+138) 

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New York Giants (+700) at Philadelphia Eagles (-1050) – Sunday, 4:25pm EST

What Brian Daboll has done with this New York Giants roster this season has been wildly impressive. Daboll is a serious candidate for Coach of the Year and rightfully so. The Giants’ total opened at 6.5 wins this year and they took that personal. New York is 9-6-1 with the 6th seed in the NFC completely solidified. It is unlikely we will see the Giants’ starters on Sunday, but they should be commended as well. Saquon Barkley came back this season and reminded everyone why he was the 2nd overall pick in 2018. Barkley has rushed for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. The G-men have the 4th highest rushing yards per game in the NFL and this is thanks to Barkley. Quarterback Daniel Jones also set a Giants’ rushing record for quarterbacks this season with 708 yards. It is all, but a certainty that New York will be resting their starters against Philadelphia, but don’t be surprised to see this team steal a victory on NFC Wildcard weekend.

The Giants’ defense should be the main focus for the team as they head into the playoffs. They have been brutal against the run this year allowing just over 144 yards per game, which is 28th in the NFL. They enter Philadelphia after allowing 48 points in the first meeting between these 2 teams. With the backups most likely playing, this could be another long day for the Giants’ defensive unit. They are coming off a huge day against Nick Foles and the Indianapolis Colts that saw them allow just 10 points en route to their 1st playoff berth since 2016. New York is going to have their hands full this week as Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts is set to return. The Giants would love nothing more than to spoil Philadelphia’s chance at clinching not only the NFC East but the #1 seed as well.

New York Giants Notable Injuries: CB Adoree’ Jackson (Q)

No one expected this Philadelphia team to be playing a meaningful week 18 football game after the season they had, but here we are. The Eagles have dropped their last 2 games to Dallas and New Orleans in the absence of Jalen Hurts. There is a ton of speculation in Philadelphia as to whether Hurts will be playing Sunday, but all signs are pointing to his return. Hurts sprained his throwing shoulder in week 15 against the Bears. Philadelphia enters Sunday with the 3rd ranked offense in the NFL. They will most likely be facing the Giants’ backups. They have an opportunity to ensure that the NFC road to the Super Bowl runs through Lincoln Financial Field. An extra week off will give not only Hurts, but All-Pro offensive tackle Lane Johnson time to return to 100%. Johnson will be a key piece for a Philadelphia Super Bowl run. The Eagles are a completely different team with Johnson on the field.

Philadelphia’s defense has been incredible all season long. Even after some serious miscues the past 2 weeks, this is still the best defense in the NFL. Prior to the 2022 NFL season, Philadelphia had multiple holes in the defense and General Manager Howie Roseman went out and fixed them in a big way. The biggest offseason acquisition has been outside linebacker Haason Reddick. Reddick has 16 sacks this season, good for 2nd in the NFL just behind Nick Bosa (17.5). He makes a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year after securing a 3rd straight season with 10 sacks. This feat was accomplished on 3 different teams. His teammate, Brandon Graham, has added 11 sacks and should be included in the Comeback Player of the Year after missing majority of last season due to injury. Every personnel on this defense could be shouted out for the season they’ve had.

Philadelphia Eagles Notable Injuries: T Lane Johnson (O)

New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles NFL Week 18 Odds & Picks

The Giants are resting their starters and the Eagles are playing for it all. Realistically, Philadelphia should cover the 14-point spread especially if Jalen Hurts plays. All signs point to Hurts being good to go. Hurts will remind everyone why he should be the MVP front runner and the Eagles will secure home field through the playoffs.

Final Score: Philadelphia 27- New York 10

Wicked Wager – Eagles -16 (-110)

Wicked Player Prop – Dallas Goedert Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+200)

Detroit Lions (+190) at Green Bay Packers (-225) – Sunday, 8:15pm EST

The Detroit Lions are about to play a meaningful week 18 game. Maybe. Detroit enters Sunday night having won 7 of their last 9 putting them in a position to make the postseason since 2016. They will need a win against the Packers along with a Seahawks loss to the Rams. Detroit will know the outcome of this game prior to kickoff. Regardless of a playoff berth or not, spoiling Green Bay’s playoff chances would be a win in itself. A Seahawks’ loss will make this the biggest Lions’ game in the past 5 years. The Lions’ offense has had a massive turnaround this season after going 3-13-1 just a year ago. They rank 4th in the NFL in yards per game (393.4) and 5th in points scored (27.1). This is in large part due to quarterback Jared Goff’s resurgence this season. Goff has thrown for 4,200+ yards and 29 touchdowns this season. Running back Jamaal Williams is just 6 rushing yards away from eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark. Regardless of the Seahawks’ outcome, you can fully expect to see this offense at full strength Sunday night.

Detroit’s defense has been the biggest weak point this season. They rank dead last in yards allowed per game with 414 yards. Luckily, their offense ranks 5th in the NFL in scoring or else they would’ve been looking at another abysmal last place finish. Despite ranking last in nearly every statistical category, Detroit has a +5-turnover differential, good for 6th in the NFL. The Lions will need to steal some possessions from Aaron Rodgers and company if they are going to walk out of Lambeau with a win. They will try and ride their week 17 momentum that saw them allow just 10 points to their other NFC North rival, the Chicago Bears. This defense has an opportunity to deny Aaron Rodgers of the postseason which should come as motivation enough.

Detroit Lion Notable Injuries: DL Michael Brockers (Q)

Aaron Rodgers find himself in unfamiliar territory Sunday night. Packers must win on Sunday in order to qualify for the postseason. Green Bay will be eager to make up for their loss earlier this season to Detroit that saw them go to 3-6. Since then, the Packers have gone 5-2 and have catapulted themselves into a win and in scenario. Rodgers has had a down year following his MVP season last year, throwing for just over 3,400 yards and 25 touchdowns. After losing his WR1 inn Davante Adams, he has managed to perform well with his young receivers. Running back Aaron Jones had his 3rd career 1,000-yard rushing season and he will need a strong finish to the 2022 campaign if the Packers are to make the postseason.

The Green Bay run defense had another abysmal season ranking 26th in the NFL, allowing 141.8 rushing yards per game. This doesn’t bode well as they are set to face a rushing duo of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. With Williams closing in on a 1,000-yard season, Green Bay can expect to get his best game. Since allowing 40 points to Philadelphia in late November, the Packers’ defense has not allowed more than 20 points. Their confidence should be there especially after dominating NFC North division rival, the Minnesota Vikings, last week. The bright spot for this defense has been their pass defense, which ranks 4th in the NFL. They are allowing just over 195 passing yards per game. They will need to bear down on the run and make Jared Goff beat them with his arm.

Green Bay Packers Notable Injuries: T David Bakhtiari (Q)

Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers NFL Week 18 Odds & Picks

Both of these teams come into week 18 hot and both teams are in unfamiliar territory. The Lions didn’t expect to have a chance at the postseason while Green Bay is usually a 1 or 2 seed at this point. The Packers’ run defense has been terrible this year and the Lions possess a solid running duo with Williams and Swift. Green Bay is going to fail to stop the run and Detroit will walk out of Lambeau with a win.

Final Score: Detroit 24- Green Bay 20

Wicked Wager – Detroit +5 (-110)

Wicked Player Prop – Jamaal Williams Total Rushing Yards Over 53.5 (-115)