There’s still a lot to play for in NFL Week 18, including betting wins. We have expert picks on three NFL games with playoff implications on the line the last week of the regular season. Keep reading for our expert advice!
Against The Spread: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
We’re not going to lie, we were taken back by the Eagles-Giants spread set by top NFL betting sites. As seen below, it’s more than two touchdowns, the highest of any game in Week 18. That feels high to us considering both teams are playoff-bound.
|Philadelphia spread (-14.5)||-110||-110|
|NY Giants spread (+14.5)||-110||-110|
One has to believe bookies are under the impression New York is resting starters. No matter what happens, the G-Men are locked into the conference’s sixth seed. But at the same time, Giants head coach Brian Daboll — the very likely Coach of the Year winner — outright said he’s not considering resting players come Week 18.
Well, in that case, perhaps bookmakers really think Philly is that much better than New York. After all, the two division rivals duked it out in December with the Eagles winning handily 48-22 on the road. That was with Jalen Hurts as the starting QB, however. A right shoulder has kept Hurts sidelined two weeks in a row, both defeats for Philadelphia. One more loss and the Eagles could be knocked out of the No. 1 seed and possibly into the wildcard seed (if Dallas wins).
Philly coach Nick Sirianni said Hurts was “close” to playing last weekend, which is a good indicator that Hurts will return in the finale. But in what condition is the bigger question mark? Hurts returning to MVP-level so soon after the injury feels unlikely. It’s why we see the Giants at least hanging around enough to cover the lopsided 14.5-point spread in this game.
Over/Under 39 Points: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
|Over 39 points||-110||-110|
|Under 39 points||-110||-110|
This meeting features two of the coldest teams in the whole league. New York has dropped five games in a row, which has eliminated them from playoff contention. Miami has the same losing streak, but can still get into the postseason with a victory and New England loss. Still, we can’t help but consider momentum when betting the Dolphins-Jets over/under.
Let’s begin with New York. This team has another unfortunate skid outside a five-game losing streak: the offense is touchdown-less in two straight games. The first could be blamed on Zach Wilson, but last Sunday’s effort six-point effort was led by Mike White. Neither signal caller appears to be a long-term solution for the Jets, which leaves them vulnerable to another lackluster offensive outing in Week 18.
The Dolphins might be in an even dicier situation. That is, we have zero idea who will be under center for the falling Phins team. The usual starter Tua Tagovailoa is in concussion protocol. Given the controversy his earlier-season head trauma caused, the optics aren’t good to trot him out on the field again this season. Backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater also broke a finger last weekend. If neither is available, third-stringer rookie Skylar Thompson probably starts at QB for Miami.
Neither offense should be trusted to get back in gear given the losing streaks. Therefore, this game has under written all over it.
Against The Spread: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Both these teams are the antithesis of the Dolphins and Jets in that the Lions and Packers are also trending, but in the opposite direction. Green Bay is the winner of four in a row. Detroit, meanwhile, is 7-2 in their previous nine games. It’s no wonder why the spread betting line is close in this Detroit-Green Bay matchup:
|Green Bay spread (-4.5)||-110||-110|
|Detroit spread (+4.5)||-110||-110|
If the Packers win, they are guaranteed a playoff spot no matter what. Doing so would mean Green Bay would also avenge a 15-9 loss to Detroit earlier this season. On that day, Aaron Rodgers had his lowest rating ever against the Lions (53.5) which included three interceptions. Detroit can earn themselves a playoff spot with a win but need Seattle to lose as well.
This game being at Lambeau Field in what’ll likely be frigid conditions is a huge variable to account for. The Lions had a letdown performance two weeks ago in Carolina on what was described as an ice-cold field (so much that the NFLPA is going to file a grievance for the poor field conditions). Lambeau might not be that bad, but it sure won’t be nice either. And that stadium has been a house of horrors for Detroit historically. Since 1991, the Lions have won a mere three road games against the Packers.
We expect history to play out once again with the Packers taking care of business — by five points or more, at least. Rodgers has been in this must-win situation multiple times. Who remembers, “R-E-L-A-X" or "run the table”? We do, and we expect Rodgers to vault his team into the playoffs convincingly again. Green Bay is the ultimate we-don’t-want-to-play-them-in-January team right now.
How To Bet On NFL Week 18
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