NFL Best Bets Week 18: Packers punch Bears, Texans tap out Colts, Bills and Dolphins clear 50 points

Week 18 of the NFL season has arrived, which means we must put in some extra research as bettors in order to set ourselves up for success. Many players on teams whose postseason fates have already been decided will be resting this weekend, and it’s possibly the tanking teams will employ unorthodox strategies as well. Our Week 18 best bets will navigate the choppy waters of the final week of the 2023 regular season, and ensure your weekend of wagers will smoothly sail you to success.

Most of you know the deal by now. Every Friday, we run the NFL betting gauntlet and handpick the best value opportunities on Sports Interaction and SuperDraft. We then tell you exactly how and why you should attack the books to make some money. And through 17 weeks — despite some bumps in the road along the way — we have made plenty of money.

Last week, we finished the 2023 calendar year strong. Our best bets against the spread went 5-1 and our top moneyline wagers went 2-1. All said, we finished 10-6 on the week, bumping our best bets record up to 157-124-2 on the season. That/s a .559 winning percentage in a season filled with stunning upsets, surprise developments, myriad injuries, and more backup QBs than ever before. Not too shabby!

Our core objective: Consistency. With the right mindset, proper level of research, and consistent preparedness, we see sports betting as an investment, not a gamble — and we’re loving our return on investment through 17 weeks. 

MORE WEEK 16 BETTING: Against the spread | Moneyline | Top props

Let’s run it back and get to our best moneyline, spread, over/under, and player prop bets for Week 18 of the NFL season. Good luck, have fun, and Happy New Year!

JUMP TO: Spreads | Moneylines | Over/under | Player props

NFL Best Bets Week 18: Against the spread

All odds courtesy of Sports Interaction, Canada’s most trusted sportsbook. Bet on this weekend’s NFL games now!

Packers -2.5 vs. Bears (-140)

Green Bay’s spread in this one sits at -3 (-105), so we took on a little juice to buy a half-point to ensure a field goal cover. Jordan Love has low-key been one of the more dependable QBs in the NFC this season, and the Packers control their own destiny. A win and they’re in — a loss and they drop to a 16 percent probability of making it. 

The Bears have looked like an entirely different team on both sides of the ball since Thanksgiving. They have gone 4-1 in that span, while allowing opponents to average 15.2 points per game. But we must also look at the strength of their opponents during that stretch, which included the Josh Dobbs-led Vikings, the scuffling Lions, and most recently the underwhelming Cardinals and Falcons.

We believe in Love! Over Green Bay’s past eight games, the third-year QB has thrown for 265.4 passing yards per game and a total of 18 touchdowns. He has thrown just one pick over the past seven weeks! And he finally has a running game again, with Aaron Jones healthy and coming off two straight games with 130-plus scrimmage yards. Dating back to Dec. 2018, the Packers have gone 21-1 when Jones gets 20-plus touches in a game. 

SCORE PREDICTION: Packers 26, Bears 23

Saints -0.5 (1Q) vs. Falcons (+105)

We’re getting plus odds on the Saints to start strong against the hapless Falcons, so we’re jumping all over this one. We faded the Dirty Birds last week against the Bears, and Chicago proceeded to stomp Arthur Smith’s squad 37-17. Now they must hit the road again to face a superior Saints team in Who Dat Nation? With Dennis Allen’s squad coming off a big Week 17 W over the division-rival Buccaneers? Sign us up.

Atlanta has gone 3-5-1 against the spread in away games and 2-5 straight up on the road, and the Falcons average an NFL-worst 1.3 points per first quarter on the road. New Orleans finds itself in the playoff bubble with better than 50-50 odds to make the postseason with a win. Smash the Saints to win the first quarter handily at home. 

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Saints 7, Falcons 0 (1Q); Saints 20, Falcons 17 (final)

Other Week 18 spreads we like: Jaguars -3.5 at Titans (-110); Eagles -5.5 at Giants (-110); Lions -3.5 vs. Vikings (-110)

Best NFL moneyline bets Week 18

Texans (-120) at Colts

This should be an awesome game, considering the winner gets a Wild Card spot and the loser goes fishing. As Tony Romo might scream during a broadcast “Hmmmhm the stakes are high, Jim!” 

It’s tough to go against Gardner Minshew and the Colts, huge success stories since stud rookie QB Anthony Richardson went down and the majority of the NFL world had left Indy for dead. Minshew went 7-5 as the Colts’ starter, despite injuries to key skill-position players Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman. 

However, Minshew has yet to face Rookie of the Year frontrunner C.J. Stroud, who has arguably mounted one of the best first-year performances by a QB in NFL history. And as much as we like DeForest Buckner and the Colts’ front-seven, we worry that Stroud and Nico Collins will gash Indy’s secondary this Sunday.

We also think Devin Singletary has a good chance to go off, considering Shane Steichen’s squad has surrendered the third-most rushing TDs and sixth-most rushing yards on the season. Back DeMeco Ryans’ squad to mount a massive road win to get into the postseason. 

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Texans 27, Colts 24

One other Week 18 moneyline we like: Seahawks (-145) at Cardinals 

Best NFL over/under bets Week 18

Bills at Dolphins: OVER 48.5 (-110)

This has the potential to be one of the better games of the 21st century, not just the 2023 NFL season. There’s so much riding on this game that it kind of makes me feel like Riverdancing. Good luck picking a winner in this one — the Dolphins have gone 7-1 at Hard Rock but have stumbled against top-tier opponents all season. The Bills are 3-4 on the road but have won four straight. You’re better off betting on red or black at the Roulette table. 

However, what we do know is that both of these teams are well-equipped to put up a ton of points with everything on the line. The AFC East is at stake! And if Buffalo doesn’t win this game, it could fall out of the playoff picture entirely if other games don’t fall in its favor. Wild.

Over the Bills’ six games since Week 11, they have averaged 28 points per contest. Over the Dolphins’ past six games, they have averaged 29.5 — and that’s despite a knock-down drag-out victory over Dallas two weeks ago and a brutal Week 17 road loss in Baltimore. This should be a firefight of epic proportions, one that we will all remember for a very long time. Bet the OVER and enjoy rooting for the points on Sunday Night Football! 

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Bills 28, Dolphins 27

Other Week 18 over/unders we like: Rams UNDER 20.5 at 49ers (-160); Cowboys OVER 30.5 at Commanders (+100); Chiefs at Chargers: OVER 35 (-110)

Best NFL player prop bets Week 18

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Michael Pittman, WR, Colts vs. Texans — OVER 79.5 receiving yards

This number seems outrageously high — we get it. But the Colts and Texans will be battling for their postseason lives this Sunday and Pittman should be targeted early and often now that effects from his Week 15 concussion are in the rearview mirror. 

Pittman has hit 80-plus yards seven different times this season, and he has finished with 77-plus in nine of his 15 games. The Texans have also surrendered the 12th-most receiving yards per game to wide receivers this season (164.5 per game), and seven different wideouts have racked up 80-plus yards against Houston since Week 9. Let’s head on down to Pitty City!

MORE SUPERDRAFT DFS & FANTASY PROPS: How to play SuperDraft

Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seahawks at Cardinals — OVER 55.5 rushing yards

The Cardinals have earned the distinction of being the worst rushing defense in the NFL, allowing a league-high 1,917 rushing yards to running backs this season (119.8). Things have been really bad over Arizona’s past five games, though. During that stretch, Jonathan Gannon’s squad has surrendered 168.6 rushing yards per game. 

The Seahawks have an outside shot of making the playoffs if they win this week, so look for Walker to rough up this defense on Sunday. The second-year back has averaged 4.3 yards per carry over Seattle’s past three games, so he should be able to hit this targeted total with 14-plus carries. 

Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Lions vs. Vikings — OVER 58.5 rushing yards

Gibbs needs 85 rushing yards to get to 1,000 on the season, while running mate David Montgomery needs 25. If they hit those marks, they will become just the eighth teammate duo to reach the single-season century mark. That might not happen, but we know damn well Gibbs will try his hardest to get it done.

The rookie has been one of the more explosive backs in the NFL since Halloween weekend, averaging 74.2 rushing yards per game in the nine games during that span. Even better, Minnesota has surrendered 133.3 rushing yards per game over the past three weeks, and Aaron Jones just gash the Vikings for 120 yards in Week 17. Gibbs to the moon!

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