With the new year upon us, our focus is on our NFL Week 18 predictions for the 2022 season. This is the final week of the regular season, making it the last opportunity to make NFL picks straight up or NFL picks against the spread before the playoffs.
Obviously, there will be fewer games to choose from during the postseason, making it a good idea to focus on our NFL Week 18 picks.
NFL Week 18 predictions 2022
- Chiefs vs Raiders best bet
- Titans vs Jaguars best bet
- Buccaneers vs Falcons best bet
- Browns vs Steelers best bet
- Cardinals vs 49ers best bet
This season has obviously provided us with plenty of surprises. Fortunately, there is a lot left to play for in Week 18, meaning most games this week are meaningful in some way. That should help us a little with our NFL Week 18 predictions for the 2022 season.
However, we were careful with our NFL picks for today because there are bound to be one or two more big twists or surprises this season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at our NFL Week 18 picks.
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Chiefs vs Raiders
The NFL MVP odds for Patrick Mahomes are off the charts, making him the clear favorite for the award. However, that doesn’t reflect how reliable the Chiefs have been as a favorite this season. In their last four, Kansas City barely beat the Broncos twice and failed to put away the Texans.
They’ve failed to win any of their last four road games by more than six points, so the spread for this week’s game is a little much, especially against a division rival that they beat by exactly one point earlier this season.
As for the Raiders, despite being 6-10, they’re a different team at home. They’re averaging 30 points per game at home with wins over the Chargers and Patriots and a close loss to the 49ers last week. In fact, with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback last week, the Raiders scored 34 points and had 500 yards of offense against the best defense in the league. While it’s tough to envision the Chiefs losing this game, the Raiders should be able to score enough points to beat the spread.
- SU Pick: Chiefs (-450)
- ATS Pick: Raiders +9.5 (-110)
Titans vs Jaguars
We would be remiss if our NFL picks for today didn’t include Saturday’s winner-take-all game in the AFC South. Of course, this is a rather easy pick to make with the Titans in the midst of an epic collapse. Tennessee has lost six in a row, including a 36-22 home loss to the Jaguars. The Titans have scored 16 points or less in every other game during the losing streak and will be relying on the largely untested Josh Dobbs on Saturday.
On the other hand, the Jaguars have won four in a row and six of their last eight games. Defensively, they’ve allowed just three points in back-to-back games.
While those games were against the Jets and Texans, the Tennessee offense isn’t in much better shape right now. With the Titans struggling to score points, the Jags should be able to pull away at some point and cover the spread.
- SU Pick: Jaguars (-275)
- ATS Pick: Jaguars -6.5 (-105)
Buccaneers vs Falcons
Betting on the Bucs has been a bad idea for most of the season. But we’re taking a chance on Tom Brady and the Bucs in our NFL Week 18 predictions for 2022. Brady and Mike Evans seemed to be on the same page last week, which is good news for the Tampa offense.
The Bucs also have a strong defense they can rely on, meaning they won’t need to score too many points.
Despite managing a last-second win in Week 17, the Falcons have averaged just 15.2 points per game over their last five games. Desmond Ridder is still learning and doesn’t exactly have the Atlanta offense firing on all cylinders.
The Falcons also know that they can’t ruin Tampa’s season, so there’s no chance to play spoiler. Meanwhile, the Bucs know that they need to keep building momentum after last week’s win, which should help them to keep their foot on the gas and put Atlanta away.
- SU Pick: Buccaneers (-142)
- ATS Pick: Buccaneers +3 (-105)
Browns vs Steelers
The Steelers know they need help to get into the playoffs, but they should be able to take care of business at home and at least give themselves a chance.
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It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Steelers have won five of their last six games. They are figuring things out with Kenny Pickett at quarterback and remain tough defensively, especially at home.
At the same time, road wins in Pittsburgh have been a rare occurrence for the Browns. They have just one regular-season win in Pittsburgh this century. Also, while Cleveland beat the Steelers at home earlier this season, the Browns haven’t swept the Steelers since 1988. The Browns are also 1-5 coming off a win this season, so we have doubts about them earning a road win this week.
- SU Pick: Steelers (-156)
- ATS Pick: Steelers -2.5 (-118)
Cardinals vs 49ers
The 49ers winning straight up is the best bet of our NFL Week 18 predictions for the 2022 season. They’ve won nine in a row behind a defense that’s led by Nick Bosa, who has a huge lead in the NFL DPOY odds.
But the 49ers have also scored more than 30 points in four of the five games started by Brock Purdy, who has two touchdown passes in all five of those games. That gives the 49ers both a quality defense and enough offensive firepower to cover a double-digit spread.
Perhaps more importantly, the Cardinals are an absolute mess late in the season. They’ve lost six in a row and eight of their last nine games.
While some of those games have been close, Arizona lost 38-10 when hosting the 49ers earlier this season. The Cardinals are averaging just 16.1 points per game during their six-game losing streak, and reaching that mark won’t be easy, setting up San Francisco for a lopsided win.
- SU Pick: 49ers (-850)
- ATS Pick: 49ers -14 (-110)
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