Entering the final week of the NFL season, it’s imperative that NFL bettors are aware of the NFL playoff picture before they place any Week 18 NFL bets. So far, 11 of the 14 playoff spots have been clinched, but seeding is still largely up for grabs and 14 teams have been eliminated from contention. That means you’ll have to keep motivation in mind, particularly in games between teams with nothing to play for and teams with something to play for like Colts vs. Jaguars on Sunday.
Indianapolis can clinch a wild card spot with a win and the Jaguars can clinch the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft with a loss. But is that enough to justify the 15.5 points the Colts are laying in the latest Week 18 NFL odds at Caesars Sportsbook? Meanwhile, the Chargers are three-point road favorites over the Raiders in the latest Week 18 NFL lines in a game where the winner gets in. All of the Week 18 NFL lines are listed below and SportsLine’s advanced computer model has all the NFL betting advice and predictions you need to make the best Week 18 NFL picks now.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up over $7,200 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six-plus years ago. The model enters Week 18 of the 2021 season on an incredible 135-96 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
The model also ranked in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past five years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94 percent of CBS Sports Football Pick’em players four times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Top Week 18 NFL predictions
One of the model’s strongest Week 18 NFL picks is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cover as eight-point favorites at home over Carolina on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. The Panthers have tried everything in their power to disrupt the NFC South and make a playoff push, but it simply hasn’t worked. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule heads into Week 18 with the same 5-11 record he finished with last season, stirring speculation about his longevity in the role.
When the teams played just two weeks ago, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady needed just 232 passing yards on 18 completions to keep the offense on track en route to a 32-6 win. Bucs running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn proved an unlikely star, and he turned seven carries into 70 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Panthers haven’t covered the spread in any of their last six games.
The model projects Tampa Bay as one of the top NFL picks in Week 18, and has the Bucs covering the spread in well over 50 percent of all simulations. Tampa Bay has also scored at least 30 points in five of its last seven games, supporting the case for the over to also hit 70 percent of the time.
Another one of its Week 18 NFL predictions: The Seahawks (+5.5) stay within the spread against the Cardinals on the road in another 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday. Arizona has locked up a playoff spot but can win the NFC West and earn a home playoff game with a win and a Rams loss against the 49ers. But this is a much different roster than the one we saw race out to a 7-0 start on the season.
The Cardinals suffered three straight losses last month, with the low point coming in a 30-12 loss against a Lions squad that is now 2-13-1 on the year. And even though they got some momentum in a 25-22 win over the Cowboys last week, there are still some kinks to be worked out before playoff time. Given the injuries that Kyler Murray has encountered this season, Kliff Kingsbury may lean to the side of caution.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks are coming off an offensive outburst last week where it hung 51 points on that same Lions squad that recently bested the Cardinals. Arizona’s primary weakness has been run defense, as Arizona ranks 21st in the NFL in yards allowed per carry. Seattle is coming off a 265-yard rushing day and the model predicts that the Seahawks pile up nearly 150 rushing yards to help cover in well over 50 percent of its simulations.
How to make Week 18 NFL picks
The model has also made the call on who wins and covers in every other game on the Week 18 NFL schedule, and it’s calling for a Super Bowl contender to go down hard. You can only get every pick for every game at SportsLine.
So which NFL picks can you make with confidence, and which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Check out the latest NFL odds below, then visit SportsLine to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $7,200 since its inception, and find out.
Week 18 NFL odds, spreads, lines
Saturday, Jan. 8
Featured Game | Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Featured Game | Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, Jan. 9
Featured Game | Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Featured Game | Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears
Featured Game | Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
Featured Game | Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans
Featured Game | New York Giants vs. Washington Football Team
Featured Game | Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Featured Game | Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Featured Game | Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
Featured Game | Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets
Panthers at Buccaneers (-8, 42.5)
Featured Game | Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers
Featured Game | Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Seahawks at Cardinals (-5.5, 48)
Featured Game | Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Featured Game | Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
Featured Game | Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers