NFL Week 18 Upset Predictions & Picks | Biggest Upsets for Week 18

Week 18 of the NFL season is upon us. Now that the final week is here, teams across the league are scrambling for wins to either improve playoff seeding, avoid elimination, or just end the season with a grain of pride.

With an excellent sample size of games to judge teams on, team-adjusted stats like DVOA have a ton of value. We also have to be aware of how injuries have affected teams to this point.

As always, context is key.

With that in mind, let’s dive into some NFL Week 18 upset predictions and best bets

Please note that all NFL gameday odds and lines are current as of 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday, January 7.

San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams Upset Pick

Kyle Shanahan owns Sean McVay (5-0 since 2019). While that alone is not a good enough reason to prefer the 49ers side, they are pretty healthy despite Jimmy Garoppolo‘s thumb injury.

According to recent reports, Garoppolo is throwing in practice and looking solid, which should indicate that he is going to play despite Trey Lance starting this past week and performing fairly well.

It is possible that the 49ers mix the two QBs in different parts of the field to really throw their division rival off given the limited tape available on Lance.

The health of LT Trent Williams (elbow) was in question, but since this is a must-win game to enter the playoffs, we could see him push to play. Luckily, the 49ers are returning several starters on defense from injuries/COVID including CB Emmanuel Moseley, CB Ambry Thomas, and likely one of LB Dre Greenlaw or LB Azeez Al-Shaair.


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The Rams are the better team in basically every facet except their rushing attack, but they are vulnerable to the 49ers’ style of attacking on offense. With YAC monsters in Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle, the Rams struggle since they are very weak in the middle of the field.

Matthew Stafford has struggled fairly notably over the past month or so and was quite poor in the last matchup with just 243 yards on 41 attempts, a touchdown, and two interceptions. He should be better but will need a great game to hope for a victory.

Upset Prediction: 49ers 27, Rams 24

49ers vs Rams Upset Best Bets

Upset Bet: 49ers Moneyline (+180) at Caesars

Wager: 1 Unit

San Francisco last faced the Rams in Week 10 at home and won by an astounding 21 points. While this game should be much closer than that blowout since Los Angeles has built some continuity, San Francisco is also working with a better-integrated Aiyuk.

All things considered, these teams are not too much different than the last time they met, and unfortunately, LA does not have much of a home-field advantage.

moneyline

+180

49ers Defeat Rams

SF @ LA | 01/09, 4:25 PM ET

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Bet $20, Payout $56

Upset Pick: Over 44.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars

Wager: 2 Units

Both of these teams are healthy on offense and clicking to varying degrees. The 49ers dropped 31 points in the last matchup while holding LA to just 10, but that won’t repeat this weekend.

The Rams are no longer as discombobulated as they were that week with the loss of Robert Woods still fresh and their running game led by Darrell Henderson. Expect points in this one.

over-under

-110

49ers @ Rams: Over 44.5 Points

SF @ LA | 01/09, 4:25 PM ET

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Bet $20, Payout $38

Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers knocked off the Los Angeles Rams once already this season. Can they do it again in Week 18 to secure a playoff spot? (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins Upset Pick

For some reason, the Patriots struggle when they fly down to Miami. Whether it be due to the nightlife or divisional matchup, it is almost a yearly occurrence.

In all but two years since 2013, the Dolphins have beaten the Patriots at home. Miami even won the first of their two matchups this year, yet they are 6.5-point underdogs this week.

These teams are evenly-matched to a degree while coming off of polar opposite Week 17s. New England molly-whopped the Jaguars by 40 points, while the Dolphins were served their own 31-point beating by Tennessee.

Miami’s Week 1 win did come in Mac Jones‘ first NFL start, but as we saw in December, he is performing at a worse level than the first three months. Each team has a healthy offense and is top-10 in defensive DVOA with New England second and Miami 10th.

Miami has added a new ripple with RB Duke Johnson Jr. performing as the best rusher they’ve had all season. This did not help last week, but the rain was possibly the issue for Tua Tagovailoa as multiple fumbles occurred on just four sacks.

The Dolphins’ OL is a disaster that New England will do their best to take advantage of and very well could, but Tagovailoa has mitigated it, for the most part, all season.

Upset Prediction: Dolphins 21, Patriots 17

Patriots vs Dolphins Upset Picks

Upset Pick: Dolphins Moneyline (+230) at Caesars

Wager: 2 Units

It seems insane for any team to beat the Patriots twice in a season, yet here we are. Miami takes a season sweep in a bounce-back game at home which could be a make-or-break for Tagovailoa, making this my NFL bet of the day.

moneyline

+230

Dolphins Defeat Patriots

NE @ MIA | 01/09, 1:00 PM ET

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Bet $20, Payout $66

Upset Pick: Under 40 Total Points (-110) at Caesars

Wager: 1 Unit

Two good defenses that deserve their share of respect face off, while neither team plays fast at all. Even when the Patriots trail, they are just 20th in the NFL in pace.

New England has no true deep threat and will be forced to grind out plays on offense. Miami has the explosive side with guys like Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, and DeVante Parker but they will be held in check thanks to the Patriots’ better defense.

over-under

-110

Patriots @ Dolphins: Under 40 Points

NE @ MIA | 01/09, 1:00 PM ET

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Bet $20, Payout $38

Thanks for reading our NFL Week 18 Upset Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 18 Best Bets and NFL Week 18 Prop Bets.

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Schedule & Odds

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NFL Betting News

  • Early money slightly leaning towards the over in the 49ers-Rams matchup

    DraftKings Sportsbook is reporting good two-way action on the over/under for the NFC Championship Game matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, the over of 46 points has attracted 55% of the bets and 60% of the money thus far. Much moreso than the AFC Championship Game, the betting splits on the point spread and total in this game are much more evenly split, so the sportsbook does not have too much liability on either at the moment. From a moneyline perspective, Los Angeles's -170 moneyline odds have attracted 60% of the bets and 70% of the money.

    SF vs. LAR Game Page

  • Early bettors give slight lean to the Rams over the 49ers

    Based on the betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook, the favored Los Angeles Rams are getting slightly more betting attention in their matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, Los Angeles's -3.5 point spread has received 65% of the bets and 61% of the handle thus far. Bettors are clearly torn in this matchup considering the Rams have arguably been playing better football through the first two playoff games, while the 49ers have won six consecutive games against the Rams, including a thrilling Week 18 overtime victory in Los Angeles.

    SF vs. LAR Game Page

  • Early money more than 4/1 on the over in the Bengals-Chiefs matchup

    DraftKings Sportsbook is reporting one-sided betting action for Sunday's over/under in the matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, the over of 54.5 points has attracted 75% of the bets and 85% of the money thus far. At this point, the sportsbook has big liability to the Chiefs point spread and the over in this matchup, as their most ideal scenario would be a Bengals cover in a low-scoring game at the moment. From a moneyline perspective, Kansas City's -335 moneyline odds have attracted 58% of the bets and 61% of the money.

    CIN vs. KC Game Page

  • Early money 3/1 on the Chiefs over the Bengals

    DraftKings Sportsbook is reporting one-sided betting action for Sunday's matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs, as the majority of the action is backing the favored Chiefs.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, Kansas City's -7 point spread has received 61% of the bets and 76% of the handle thus far. Cincinnati is shaping up to be the biggest need of any side or any total this weekend, as the public seems to be enamored with the Chiefs after their thrilling Divisional Round win over Buffalo.

    CIN vs. KC Game Page

  • 49ers-Rams over/under reaches lowest number of the week

    After another line movement, the over/under for the NFC Championship matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams has reached its lowest total of the week.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, the 49ers-Rams over/under on Sunday night was posted at 47.5 points. It was quickly bet down to 46.5 in less than 24 hours. However, it has once again moved toward the under, and now currently sits at 46 points. Given that there has not yet been buyback on the over, it is extremely unlikely we see the total get back to anywhere close to the 47.5 points it opened at.

    SF vs. LAR Game Page