NFL Picks Against the Spread for Week 18: Let’s Finish in Style!

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Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown. Hannah Foslien/Getty Images/AFP

Each week Swinging Johnson delivers his NFL picks and predicts the score for each game on the NFL slate. Last week he went 9-7 against the number so let’s see what Swinger thinks of this week’s upcoming games.

  • Swinger’s 2021 Pick All Record (69-53 ATS)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Saturday, January 08, 2022 – 04:30 PM EST at Empower Field at Mile High

The Chiefs easily covered the 8½ point impost in their first meeting with the Broncos but the venue switches this week as the teams square off at Mile High.

MORE PICKS: Chiefs vs. Broncos NFL Week 18 Odds, Preview and Pick

However, the result will be the same, as the Chiefs are vying for the No. 1 overall seed and a first-round bye so it is unlikely Kansas City will be mailing this one in, particularly because the team standing in their way, the Tennessee Titans, will play the following day.

Score Prediction: Chiefs 34 – Broncos 16

NFL Pick: Chiefs -10 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Saturday, January 08, 2022 – 08:15 PM EST at Lincoln Financial Field

Like many of these Week 18 contests, this one doesn’t hold much interest for either team, although Dallas has more to gain if the dominos fall just right.

Therefore, we will side with the better team that may feel it is important for them to end on a high note after being defeated last week by the Cardinals. This is not a game to bet but if you must, back the Boyz.

Score Prediction: Cowboys 33 – Eagles 20

NFL Pick: Cowboys -7 (-108) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: Cowboys vs. Eagles NFL Week 18 Best Bets and Odds Analysis

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at FirstEnergy Stadium 

Baker Mayfield won’t be playing this week which is virtually identical to what he did last week. As you may recall, the Browns' “savior” was massacred by a swarming Steelers’ pass rush last week and he has thrown in the towel on the season.

Therefore, Case Keenum will be slinging for Cleveland while Brandon Allen will be replacing the amazing Joe Burrow who has a bit of a dinged-up knee and will be resting for the playoffs.

The NFL odds have jumped from the Browns -1 to where it now stands at Browns -6 but even though the Bengals will be looking to stay healthy on Sunday, this seems like a severe overreaction by the oddsmakers. Grab the six with the Cats and cash a ticket.

Score Prediction: Browns 27 – Bengals 23

NFL Pick: Bengals +6 (-105) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: Bengals vs. Browns Free NFL Picks for Week 18

Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions 

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Ford Field

The final week of the season is always so sketchy to bet because you’re essentially betting on backups who haven’t seen much of the field and now they get their opportunity to shine. Aaron Rodgers will likely be out because the Packers have clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC so Jordan Love will get another chance under center.

MORE PICKS: Packers vs. Lions NFL Week 18 Preview and Best Bet

The line has dropped a whopping seven points on this game to where the Packers are now only 3½ to 4-point favorites. Expect the Lions to seize the moment as their starters beat up the Packers’ subs.

Score Prediction: Lions 21 – Packers 20

NFL Pick: Lions +4 (-115) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at U.S. Bank Stadium

Here is yet another line that has taken a tumble to where the Bears are now getting +3½ down from 6½ at the opener. But look, Chicago has been playing better and trying harder lately. They looked good against a very bad team last week in their 29-3 waxing of the Giants.

The Vikings will be packing it in after getting eliminated last week by the Packers and will likely lose this game outright…or not…it’s the final week of the season so tread lightly.

Score Prediction: Bears 25 – Vikings 18

NFL Pick: Bears +4 (-108) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: Bears vs. Vikings NFL Week 18 Preview and Best Bet

Washington Football Team vs. New York Giants

Sunday, January 9, 2022 – 1:00 PM EST at MetLife Stadium

Washington has averaged just 16.8 points per game over their last six contests, got massacred two weeks ago by the Cowboys, lost last week to the Eagles, are in hostile territory, and yet are laying a full touchdown.

I don’t care that their opponent is the Giants because it’s a WTF moment to bet the WFT and lay seven for the privilege. Back the Blue in this one.

Score Prediction: Washington 17 – Giants 13

NFL Pick: Giants +7 (-108) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: Washington vs. Giants Free NFL Picks for Week 18

Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, January 9, 2022 – 1:00 PM EST at TIAA Bank Field

The Colts need this game so the conventional wisdom is that they will be on point and ready to rumble against the lowly Jacksonville Jags. Okay, but did you know that the Jags are 8-1-1 against the spread versus the Colts in their last 10 meetings! Crazy, right?

Well, the public doesn’t know this but what they do know is that the Jags got throttled last week and the Colts really, really, really need to win on Sunday. This is why the line is so absurd but perfect for guys like us to take advantage of. Grab the points in this one.

Score Prediction: Colts 27 – Jaguars 19

NFL Pick: Jaguars +16 (-115) at Bovada

MORE PICKS: Colts vs. Jaguars NFL Week 18 Picks and Predictions

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at M&T Bank Stadium

The Ravens have averaged a mere 19.1 points per game over their last eight weeks and lost, 20-19, to the Steelers just about a month ago. Lamar Jackson may not play but if he does, he won’t be 100 percent which is just another one of many reasons why this spread is too high.

MORE PICKS: Steelers vs. Ravens Free NFL Picks for Week 18

Oh, did you know this is Ben Roethlisberger’s final regular-season game and they are still contending for a playoff berth? Maybe the top sportsbooks missed the memo. Well, we didn’t, grab the road pups and cash a ticket here.

Score Prediction: Steelers 23 – Ravens 21

NFL Pick: Steelers +6 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at NRG Stadium

The Titans have oodles of reasons to win this game, not the least of which is clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC, getting a first-round bye, and avenging a previous loss to the lowly Texans. Tennessee should be loaded for bear – but Texans will have to do – so lay it and like it with the Titans.

Score Prediction: Titans 29 – Texans 9

NFL Pick: Titans -10 (-108) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: Titans vs. Texans NFL Week 18 Picks and Odds Breakdown

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons 

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Two months ago, the Falcons defeated the Saints down in the bayou and now they are in friendly territory getting a five-point head start.

While the Falcons offense has been inept this season, the Saints don’t have any big guns left except Kamara and have averaged just 10 points per game over their last three contests. New Orleans just doesn’t impress me and shouldn’t be favored by five on the highway over anyone.

Score Prediction: Saints 17 – Falcons 14

NFL Pick: Falcons +4.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: Saints vs. Falcons Free NFL Week 18 Picks and Odds Breakdown

San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams

Sunday, January 9, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at SoFi Stadium

It looks like the kid will get the start for the 49ers and that’s good news if you’re a San Francisco fan. Trey Lance looked as cool as the other side of the pillow last week in the second half of the 49ers' 23-7 win over the Texans and should do well against the Rams' 20th ranked pass defense.

Meanwhile, LA’s Matthew Stafford appears to be having major issues with his back which has manifested in the former Lion tossing six touchdowns and six picks over his last three contests. Stafford’s body is breaking down so it is a good time to grab the 4½ with the visitors and keep cashing those tickets.

Score Prediction: 49ers 27 – Rams 23

NFL Pick: 49ers +4½ (-108) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: 49ers vs. Rams NFL Week 18 Preview and Best Bet

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills 

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at Highmark Stadium

The Jets have injuries to their major skill positions and it won’t help their cause that the Bills will be in their backfield all afternoon long. Don’t let New York’s valiant effort against the Bucs last week fool you. Tampa Bay had injuries dotting their roster and Zach Wilson showed glimpses of why he was such a highly-touted draft pick.

But that will change this week as the Bills will be prepared, unlike last week when they decided to sleep-walk through a 29-15 win over the Falcons, making multiple mental mistakes despite the 14-point margin of victory.

Lay the big number here and watch a similar game to the first time these teams met this season when the Bills destroyed the Jets, 45-17, in their own sandbox.

Score Prediction: Bills 44 – Jets 23

NFL Pick: Bills -16 (-108) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: NFL Week 18 Best Bets: Jets vs. Bills Picks for January 9

New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at Hard Rock Stadium

The Patriots have historically struggled on the road in Miami late in the season but this time will be different. The Dolphins suffered a fatal blow to their playoff hopes last week when they were dominated by the Titans in a 34-3 loss after reeling off seven consecutive victories.

There will be zero enthusiasm in Miami for this game as their opponents will have plenty of reasons to come to play. Chief among them is a higher seed in the playoff rankings that will spur the Patriots to a big win in South Beach on Sunday.

Score Prediction: Patriots 31 – Dolphins 21

NFL Pick: Patriots -6 ½ (-108) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: Patriots vs. Dolphins NFL Week 18 Picks and Predictions

Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

Sunday, January 09, 2022 - 04:25 PM EST at State Farm Stadium

The Cardinals are coming off a huge win over the Cowboys while the Seahawks are fresh off of a 51-29 thrashing of the lowly Lions. Russell Wilson finally looks like Russell Wilson after returning to action prematurely from finger surgery several weeks ago.

Arizona beat Seattle, 23-13, earlier this season but the line seems a bit steep here which is why we will cast our lot with the Seahawks to make this one a game.

Score Prediction: Cardinals 24 – Seahawks 20

NFL Pick: Seahawks +7 (-115) at Bovada

MORE PICKS: Point/Counterpoint: Seahawks vs. Cardinals Free NFL Week 18 Picks

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at Raymond James Stadium

The Bucs could win this game by double-digits and nobody would be surprised but if the Tampa Bay starters take a seat and the backups play the Carolina starters, then we have a game.

I’m not sure Bruce Arians will want to sit his starters considering his team is jockeying for a higher playoff spot which is why we will back Tom Terrific and the Bucs against a woeful Panthers’ defense.

Score Prediction: Buccaneers 34 – Panthers 16

NFL Pick: Buccaneers -8 (-110) at Heritage Sports

MORE PICKS: Panthers vs. Buccaneers NFL Week 18 Picks and Expert Insights

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Sunday, January 9, 2022- 08:20 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium

Justin Herbert torched the Raiders for three touchdowns in the first meeting between these two divisional rivals and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did it again.

Although Las Vegas is expecting to welcome tight end, Darren Waller, back to the huddle, the rust could show as he has not been suited up in nearly six weeks. Let’s lay the field goal with the Bolts and watch them get the win and the cover.

MORE PICKS: NFL Week 18 Best Bets: Chargers vs. Raiders Sunday Night Football Picks

Score Prediction: Chargers 27 –Raiders 18

NFL Pick: Chargers -3 (-110) at Heritage Sports

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.