Wednesday, January 19, 2022

NFL Week 18 odds, picks: Lookahead lines offering value with Chargers and Lions

The last lookahead lines column of the year! If you’re new, each week we try to identify value on lines a week ahead of time. Last week, we were able to correctly identify value on the Chicago Bears, as we saved you 1.5 points against the New York Giants. We missed on the Arizona Cardinals, however, as my prediction of them defeating the Indianapolis Colts did not pan out. They are a team that is falling apart quickly.

Every Friday, we take a look at the NFL lines a week in advance to determine if we should put money down now in order to get the best bang for our buck. Most of these lines will likely change before we reach Week 18, so we want to go ahead and get our bets in if we see a nice opportunity for an upset, or to jump on a favorite before the line moves even more. Week 18 is tough because some teams will rest their starters, but there are still spots where we can find value.

Before we jump into some early bets to consider, here are the lookahead lines for Week 18. All NFL odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook. 

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Week 18 lookahead lines

Steelers at Ravens (-6)

Panthers at Buccaneers (-16.5)

Colts (-8.5) at Jaguars

Washington (-4) at Giants

Jets at Bills (-17)

Bears at Vikings (-6)

Titans (-9.5) at Texans

Saints (-3.5) at Falcons

Cowboys (-3.5) at Eagles

Patriots (-2.5) at Dolphins

Bengals at Browns (-1.5)

Packers (-11) at Lions

Chiefs (-3) at Broncos

Seahawks at Cardinals (-5)

Chargers (-2.5) at Raiders

49ers at Rams (-6)

Picks to consider

Packers at Lions (+11)

The Packers clinch the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a win this week against the Vikings and a Cowboys loss against the Cardinals. It’s very possible that happens. If it does, Green Bay will likely sit its starters in Week 18. The Lions should be able to keep within double digits against Jordan Love.

If both the Packers and Cowboys win this Sunday, all the Packers will need to do is beat the Lions in the regular-season finale. I would expect a Packers win, but not necessarily a beatdown. The Lions have been playing for pride virtually all season and haven’t lost by double digits in two weeks. With Aaron Rodgers and his aching toe, would he even play the whole game if Green Bay secured a lead?

Chargers (-2.5) at Raiders

The Chargers messed up. They dropped a game to the Texans this past week and are now on the outside looking in on the playoff picture. I believe if Brandon Staley’s team wins out, they will make the postseason. L.A. gets Denver this week, who had to cancel practice on Thursday due to COVID-19 and is starting a backup quarterback. The Chargers should win this game, which would then cause this Week 18 line to increase.

The way I look at it, the Chargers rebound to reclaim their playoff spot from the Dolphins. As for the Raiders, I feel as though you might as well stick a fork in them. Even if Week 18 comes down to a win-and-you’re-in divisional showdown, I’ll take Justin Herbert and Co. 

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