NFL Week 18 Picks – Sunday Best Bets

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We had our first down week in a while on our NFL best bets, going 2-3 on our picks last week.

Let's see if we can get back to the winning column with 5 more picks to make this Sunday. This week, we've got 2 games on Saturday and 14 games on Sunday.

Below you’ll find our picks for the best NFL bets to make on Sunday (1/7) for Week 18 of the 2023 NFL season. Remember, you can always compare NFL lines and odds by sportsbooks here.

Best NFL Week 18 Betting Picks

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals Under 38 – 1 pm ET

Kyler Wolff
Kyler Wolff

Kyler Wolff is a sports writer with a passion for football & statistical analysis. He uses his knowledge of the game and ability to break down stats to make the best picks.

The Browns have secured the 5th seed in the AFC Playoff Picture. They are looking towards Wild Card week, and this game will serve mostly as a chance for their second stringers to get live snaps in a real game.

I see it as a pseudo-preseason game. For the Browns, it doesn't matter whether they win or lose, they just want to stay healthy and prepare for the games that matter. We won't see any of the defense stars that helped the Browns get to this point or the resurrected presence of Joe Flacco we've been graced with over the last month or so.

Expect the Browns offense to start the likes of Jeff Driskel, David Bell, Cedric Tillman, and Pierre Strong Jr. on offense. Their defensive performance will likely suffer far less than their offense due to their great coaching and depth on that side of the ball. Their team is built to play a field position game with little scoring, and that's what I think they will try to do.

For the Bengals, this game is more about pride than anything else. They've had an up-and-down year and would love nothing more than to close out the season with a victory over their division rivals.

Joe Burrow took their playoff hopes with them when he went down in Week 11 with a wrist injury. Their offense has been hot and cold since then, mirroring the play of backup QB Jake Browning who's had a bit of a roller coaster of the past few months. His passer rating in his first start was 96.2, followed by 115.5, then topping out at 122.7 before falling back down to 97.7 and then to an abysmal 69.0 before climbing up slightly to 85.0 last week against the Chiefs in a game where he threw for 19 of 33 and less than 200 yards.

The Bengals have only scored 28 points in their last two games with Browning at QB, and I don't see it getting much better in this last week of the regular season. I don't know if either team is going to score much in this one; the under looks like a great pick here.

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New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles Under 42 – 4:25 pm ET

Rob O'Connor
Rob O'Connor

Rob O’Connor is a veteran sports handicapper. He broke into the industry in 2002 and has continued to provide high quality sports handicapping advice ever since.

The Philadelphia Eagles enter this game off a shocking loss to Arizona that pretty much ended any realistic hopes of the Eagles winning the division or getting the #2 seed in the NFC. Instead, it looks like a road game against the NFC South champion will await them in the Wild Card round.

It does appear the Eagles will play their regular starters on Sunday in hopes of finding some momentum heading into the playoffs. However, passing and kicking will likely be a challenge on Sunday in the Meadowlands, as a storm system exits the area and brings with it wind gusts of up to 30 mph.

The Eagles' defense will look to improve upon a poor performance against Arizona last week. And they should be able to as they go against the Giants’ 30th-ranked offense, which puts up just 271.6 yards per game.

When these teams met Christmas Day the Giants did put up 25 points, but one touchdown came on a 14-yard drive set up by a turnover and another touchdown came on a pick 6. Don’t look for the Giants' defense to put up those kinds of points again Sunday.

The Cardinals laid out a blueprint to beat the Eagles—run the ball and keep it away from the Eagles’ offense. Look for the Giants to try and follow that formula given the weather and the fact they have RB Saquon Barkley on their roster. The Eagles will probably look to control the clock more than they have recently to give their struggling defense more time to rest.

The Eagles have been a different team on the road than at home. On the road, they average just 22 points per game, compared to at home where they average nearly 31 points per game. The Eagles have gone under in 7 of their last 10 road games. The Giants have gone under in 6 of their last 10 home games.

Look for this one to stay UNDER 42 on Sunday afternoon.

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Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants Over 41.5 – 4:25 pm ET

Kyler Wolff
Kyler Wolff

Kyler Wolff is a sports writer with a passion for football & statistical analysis. He uses his knowledge of the game and ability to break down stats to make the best picks.

It was only two weeks ago on Christmas when the Eagles and Giants last saw each other. That game had a final score of 33-25 in favor of the Eagles as Jalen Hurts broke out of his slump and threw for over 300 yards and had 2 total touchdowns.

The Giants’ offense was also able to adjust mid-game with a QB change, and Tyrod Taylor led them to a near comeback in a fairly exciting Christmas Day matchup.

There is no question that the Eagles have been struggling recently. They are 1-4 over their last 5 games, including last week when the Cardinals shocked them in a 35-31 win for Arizona at the Linc.

Despite their struggles, they've still scored 64 points in their last 2 games and have the firepower to run up the score at any moment. The Eagles should want to put up huge numbers and score a lot of points in this game as a confidence boost to their offense heading into the playoffs.

I expect to see their starters in the majority of the game because they have a legitimate chance to claw back the division title from the Cowboys and, with it, a home playoff game next week.

As for the Giants, they're already looking towards next year. I expect them to play fast and loose to put on a show for the home fans, who've had to endure an excruciating season for the sixth time in seven years.

Expect some deep passes, trick plays, Tommy Cutlets coming in late in the game, and perhaps a lot of throws to Sterling Shepard who's likely playing his last game as a Giant. I expect this game to be a high-scoring and exciting spectacle.

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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Under 35.5 – 4:25 pm ET

Rob O'Connor
Rob O'Connor

Rob O’Connor is a veteran sports handicapper. He broke into the industry in 2002 and has continued to provide high quality sports handicapping advice ever since.

This is one of the few games of the weekend that has absolutely no impact on the NFL playoff picture. The Chargers have long been eliminated from playoff contention and the Chiefs are locked into the 3 seed in the AFC.

That should lead to a pretty basic game plan from Kansas City as they utilize a lot of their backup players and don’t want to put anything new on film for other teams to prepare for come playoff time. Chiefs’ star QB Patrick Mahomes will sit this one out and it seems unlikely Chiefs TE Travis Kelce will play either.

Neither team has done much on offense in recent weeks, but both teams have been playing strong defense.

The Chiefs' defense ranks 2nd in the NFL giving up just 285.8 yards per game. The Chargers defense has struggled at times this year, but has played well at home recently against strong competition, including holding Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to 20 points and Josh Allen and the Bills to 24 points.

Playing against a 2nd-string offense should not prove to be a challenge for the Chargers defense.

Offensively the Chargers have put up just 12.5 points per game over their last 6 games.

The Chargers would never admit they are not trying to win a game, but they have no incentive to win as they try and lock up a better draft position, so look for a very basic game plan from them as well.

 Play UNDER 35.5 in this one Sunday afternoon.

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Los Angeles Rams Moneyline (+180) @ San Francisco 49ers – 4:25 pm ET

Kyler Wolff
Kyler Wolff

Kyler Wolff is a sports writer with a passion for football & statistical analysis. He uses his knowledge of the game and ability to break down stats to make the best picks.

San Francisco has clinched the #1 seed in the NFC and the bye week that comes with it. They have no reason to play their starters other than to prevent rust, but it doesn't seem like they are all too worried about that.

They are by far the most dominant team in the NFC right now, only trailing the Ravens in the entire NFL, and they don't want to jeopardize that with an injury to Purdy, Aiyuk, Kittle, Trent Williams, Warner, Bosa, Chase Young, or any other stars.

The Rams are also in a spot where they may rest people, and at the time of writing this, they have announced 5 players who will sit this game out: Matthew Stafford, Kyren Williams, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, and Ernest Jones. This may seem like a lot, but you have to remember they will still have all their other starters, including Puka Nacua, and the 49ers will have few to none of theirs.

With all the players sitting out, we have a game with the 49ers starting Sam Darnold and a litany of backups against the Rams starting Carson Wentz and the majority of their 1st-string team.

The Rams' other starters may not be the biggest names or the most talented players individually, but they have a whole season (where they went 9-7) of experience playing with each other in real games.

That is more than you can say about the 49ers’ backups.

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