We have made it. The final week of the 2021-2022 season is upon us, and there are several games with huge playoff implications in Week 18. However, there are a number of games this week that could be difficult to bet on considering we aren’t quite sure who will be in or out of the lineup.
To get you prepared for the week ahead, here are our best bets and picks for Week 18 of the NFL season.
Please note that all NFL gameday odds and lines are current as of 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 5.
Marcus Mosher’s Best Bets NFL Betting Record: 58-42
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens Prediction
Both the Steelers and the Ravens need help in order to make the playoffs this season. Both teams need the Colts to lose to the Jaguars in order to have any chance of making the postseason. However, with that game happening at the same time as this contest, we can expect a playoff-like atmosphere between the Ravens and the Steelers.
- Read our full Steelers vs Ravens Predictions
But the bigger issue here is that neither of these teams are all that good. The Ravens have been crushed with injuries this season, and it’s not clear if Lamar Jackson will be able to return for the team’s final regular-season game.
Pittsburgh is a much healthier team, but they aren’t really any better. But expect a typical hard-fought game that likely comes down to the final possession, just like every other Ravens-Steelers game.
Steelers vs Ravens Prediction: Steelers 20, Ravens 17
Sportsbook Play of the Day
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Steelers vs Ravens Best Bet: Steelers +5.5 (-108) on TwinSpires
Wager: 1 Unit
Pittsburgh is coming off an emotional win in Week 17 in what was Ben Roethlisberger’s final game at Heinz Field. He did not play well, but the defense stepped up and bailed him out. They sacked Baker Mayfield nine times and shut down their passing attack.
Mike Tomlin‘s defense should be able to do something similar in this game, even if Jackson is under center. We like the Steelers to win outright, so getting them +5.5 points is just too good of a value - even in Baltimore.
Steelers vs Ravens Best Bet: Under 41.5 (-110) on TwinSpires
Wager: 1 Unit
Points are going to come at a premium in this game. While neither defense has been elite all season long, they do have the pass rushers to make life difficult on the opposing quarterback.
Look for each team to lean on their rushing attack to shorten the game. For that reason, take the Under for our NFL bet of the day and expect the winner to score only in the low-20s on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals Prediction
After a big win in Dallas, the Arizona Cardinals still have a chance to win the NFC West. They need a win on Sunday plus a loss by the Rams in Week 18. But the Rams will face the 49ers, who have beaten them in five-straight games.
With the Seahawks having nothing to play for in this game, look for the Cardinals to win outright and clinch their 12th win of the season. They are just the far better team and are looking to continue to add some positive momentum entering the playoffs.
Seahawks vs Cardinals Prediction: Cardinals 27, Seahawks 20
Seahawks vs Cardinals Best Bet: Cardinals -6.5 (-110) on TwinSpires
Wager: 1 Unit
Yes, the Seahawks blew out the Lions in Week 17, but this is still a bad football team. The Cardinals are simply better and proved that earlier in the season when they beat them in Seattle with Colt McCoy under center. But Kyler Murray is back in the lineup, and he finally looks healthy, which should be a terrifying thought for the rest of the NFC.
The Cardinals have too much to gain to lay an egg in Week 18 and you can expect that they are going to want to put some pressure on the Rams on Sunday. Take the Cardinals to win by at least a touchdown in the NFC West matchup.
Seahawks vs Cardinals Best Bet: Under 48 (-110) on TwinSpires
Wager: 1 Unit
Unless the Seahawks are playing a team with fewer than five wins like the Lions, Texans, or Jaguars, this is an offense that has really struggled to score points. They are averaging only 22.3 points per game, and that number is far fewer when they are playing a good team.
Arizona’s defense should be able to create a ton of pressure in this game, helping keep the point total down. For that reason, take the under 48 here and expect Seattle to struggle to score more than 20 points in Week 18.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Las Vegas Raiders Prediction
The final game of the 2021-2022 season will essentially be a playoff game in Las Vegas. The Chargers and Raiders will play in an AFC West matchup where the winner will be in the playoffs.
The Raiders have won their last three games, which has put them in a win-and-in position going into Week 18. However, they just don’t match up well against the Chargers.
In the previous meeting, the Chargers won by two touchdowns and Justin Herbert had a monster day. Expect more of the same in this game as the second-year quarterback should be able to lead his team to the playoffs.
Chargers vs Raiders Prediction: Chargers 31, Raiders 20
Chargers vs Raiders Best Bet: Chargers -3 (-112) on TwinSpires
Wager: 1 Unit
The Chargers are one of the more frustrating teams in the NFL, but they are finally starting to get healthy. They just scored 34 points against the No. 1 ranked scoring defense in the NFL in Week 17 (Broncos) and the defense looked fairly competent.
- Read our full Chargers vs Raiders Predictions
With Derek Carr still struggling to find any rhythm without Henry Ruggs, the offense for the Raiders probably won’t be able to keep up. They have just two games since Week 7 where they have scored more than 17 points.
For that reason, the Chargers -3 is a great bet in the final game of the season.
Chargers vs Raiders Best Bet: Over 49.5 (-110) on TwinSpires
Wager: 1 Unit
The Chargers are one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, and from everything we’ve seen, Herbert dices up divisional opponents. It seems very likely that the Chargers will score at least 30 points in this game, which makes the over an easy bet.
As long as Carr and the Raiders can score close to 20 points, the over should hit here in Las Vegas.
Thanks for reading our NFL Week 18 Best Bets! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 18 Prop Bets and NFL Week 18 Parlays.