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Week 18 NFL Picks, Sleepers, Best Bets and Odds
As the new year begins we head into our final week of regular season football and we begin to prepare for the playoffs. This has been a season filled with ups and downs: of course, you had your normal injuries and personnel changes, but the biggest challenge NFL teams faced this season was the impact COVID-19 had on the league.
We must commend the league, teams, players and fans for working together to complete this season and adjusting on the fly to whatever the recommendations and guidelines are. But COVID-19 wasn’t the only change NFL teams had to deal with this season: for the first time in its history, the NFL has added an extra week (18) onto the schedule–and with Week 18 now just days away, its time to take a look at who are some of my best bets.
BUT, before we get into this week's picks please remember that you can get an exclusive BetMGM Promo Code here.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (+10.5)
When: Saturday 4:30 p.m. ET Where: ESPN
The Chiefs come into their final game of the season with their eyes on one thing and one thing only: the #1 seed in the AFC. In order to do so, they’ll have to win on the road against Denver, and they’ll need the Titans to lose on the road against the Texans. But before the Chiefs even have to worry about what the Titans are doing, they’ll have to get by the Broncos–who have been consistently losing with Drew Lock wasting his weapons and the running game going cold. Patrick Mahomes has never lost to the Broncos and the Chiefs have won 12 straight games against Denver, so this shouldn’t be a complicated task for Kansas City– even on the road.
Prediction: Chiefs 30-17 over Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders (+3)
When: Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET Where: NBC
This is poised to be one of the biggest games of the season, as both the Chargers and the Raiders need a win to clinch a playoff spot. That is, unless, the Jaguars upset the Colts. If that happens, a tie between the Chargers and Raiders would send both teams into the postseason.
The Chargers seem to be back on track on both sides of the ball, after their week 16 loss to the Texans. Los Angeles will have to lean on their offensive strengths and versatility in order to exploit the strong Raiders defense. On the other hand, the Raiders are playing with a great rhythm and are on a three-game winning streak.
Offensively, this could turn into a breakout game for them. Not only should they be able to run all over the Chargers, but they'll also likely be getting Darren Waller back–and that will give them the extra arsenal to run up the scoreboard
Prediction: Raiders 27-24 over Chargers.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (+15.5)
When: Sunday 1 p.m. ET Where: CBS
The Colts are only one win away from making it into the playoffs and they’ve been having a great run with MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor putting the team on his back. But the question remains: can he reach 2000 yards? Week 18 presents a great opportunity to do so, seeing as the Jacksonville run defense has allowed 227 rushing yards per game in its last two losses. I think this will be a simple task for Indianapolis as long as they keep giving Jonathan Taylor the ball.
If Taylor manages to secure the 2000 yard season--or even ends the year with a bang--he may be worth a look if you're interested in placing some NFL MVP Future bets. Right now as per BetMGM, he is at +1400 to win the MVP.
Prediction: Colts win 30-10
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (+4.5)
When: Sunday 1 p.m. ET Where: FOX
The Saints are looking for a win and a 49ers loss in order to be able to enter into the playoffs through the backdoor. Taysom Hill went hard against the Panthers to get the much-needed victory, but will he be able to outplay the future HOF Candidate Matt Ryan? The Falcons are definitely out of the playoff picture, but they will still be looking to make sure they can go out with a bang and end the season with an upset. They do have a good chance to play spoiler considering they are playing at home and the fact that this is a high-stakes game for the Saints. This will go down to the wire but the Falcons will win with a late in the fourth.
Prediction: Falcons win 23-20
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)
When: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. Where: FOX
Arizona has definitely been one of the best teams in the NFL this year, but have had a surprising amount of difficulty winning at home. The Seahawks have not had a great run this season, and this could possibly be Russell Wilson’s final game of his career. Their offense got a boost last week against the Lions where you could clearly see a glimpse of their explosive running and passing game, but in general, they haven't played well. Arizona has won three of the last four meetings between the two teams, and have a strong chance of winning the NFC West to get home-field advantage in round one of the postseason.
Prediction: Cardinals 28, Seahawks 24