Our NFL picks against the spread are back for one final time during the regular season with Week 18 approaching.
Multiple teams are battling for both a playoff spot and positioning as the final week of the regular year gets going here soon.
Week 17 saw some surprising outcomes, including the Green Bay Packers absolutely blowing out the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints sending the Philadelphia Eagles to their second consecutive loss.
In this latest edition, we will focus on four games (listed below) that offer up NFL picks against the spread for Week 18 that are worth your while.
|Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders (+9.5)||4:30 PM (Saturday)||ESPN/ABC|
|Carolina Panthers (+3.5) @ New Orleans Saints||1:00 PM||FOX|
|New York Giants (+14.0) @ Philadelphia Eagles||4:25 PM||FOX|
|Detroit Lions (+4.5) @ Green Bay Packers||8:20 PM||NBC|
Las Vegas Raiders hang with the Kansas City Chiefs
It was just this past week that Vegas hosted a red-hot San Francisco 49ers squad that had won eight in a row heading in. Going with Jarett Stidham under center over franchise stalwart Derek Carr, the Raiders played San Francisco tight throughout. That included putting up 500 total yards in what ended up being a 37-34 overtime loss.
Kansas City will have something to play for in Vegas come Saturday afternoon. But we’re expecting a much closer affair than the 9.5-point line right now. The Raiders have not lost a home game by more than one score since back in Week 11 of the 2021 campaign. The expectation here is that Josh McDaniels and a disappointing Raiders squad will close out the 2022 season with a narrow loss in front of their “home crowd.”
Carolina Panthers finish season strong
Despite being eliminated from playoff contention heading into Week 18’s road date with the division-rival New Orleans Saints, Carolina has something to play for in this one. Steve Wilks wants that interim head coach tag removed after leading the team to a surprising 5-6 record. Quarterback Sam Darnold has performed well since taking over as the starter and wants to prove himself as a QB 1 option in Carolina.
New Orleans might have made its season with a Week 17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. But the team is simply now just playing out the string. It is in a different situation than Carolina in that 2022 was a major disappointment after it started with high expectations. With Sean Payton rumors swirling around this team, we’re expecting a dud to close up shop in the Bayou.
NFL picks lock: New York Giants hand Philadelphia Eagles stunning defeat
Having already clinched a spot in the NFL Playoffs, most figured that Brian Daboll would rest his Giants starters Week 18 in prepartion for the wild card round. That’s not happening. Daboll already made it clear that his starters will play against Philadelphia. The question is whether it will be for a full four quarters.
As for Philadelphia, the situation couldn’t be any more different. Star quarterback Jalen Hurts is expected to play against New York after missing the past two games due to a shoulder injury. The Eagles would have liked to rest Hurts. But after losing two consecutive games, they are in danger of ceding the NFC East to the Dallas Cowboys and the No. 1 seed in the conference to the San Francisco 49ers.
We won’t have any idea about just how healthy Hurts is until he throws that first pass in what promises to be frigid weather in Philadelphia. Will Hurts return come in time for the Eagles to avoid late-season disaster and a wild card round matchup with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? We’re not too sure. While we project New York to pull off the massive road upset, feel free to play it more conservative and take the team to cover as 14-point dogs.
Detroit Lions make it interesting against Green Bay Packers
The task is rather simple for Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. If the team comes out on top at home against the division-rival Lions on Sunday Night Football, it will make a surprising trip to the playoffs. Having started the season 4-8, no one really saw this coming.
Prior to blowing out the Vikings last week, Green Bay’s previous three wins came against struggling squads in that of the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins. It’s facing a completely different task with Detroit heading to town.
The Lions still have a shot to play postseason football. It would require the aforementioned Rams beating Seattle earlier on Sunday and Jared Goff’s squad winning in Green Bay. With seven wins in their past nine games and a victory over the Packers earlier this season, we’re going to boldly predict that Detroit comes out on top in upset fasion. Whether it leads to a playoff appearance remains to be seen. But finishing the season 9-8 would be a coup for Dan Campbell’s squad.