The Top 5 OddsTrader NFL Computer Picks for Week 18

Kadarius Toney Justin Watson Joe Thuney KC Chiefs
Kadarius Toney #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Justin Watson #84 and Joe Thuney #62 after Toney’s touchdown during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks. David Eulitt/Getty Images/AFP

The NFL’s Week 18 schedule will determine the final three spots for the postseason, so we’ve used the OddsTrader BetStation app to find the best computer-generated predictions for this week’s games.

Anyone wanting the app will find it available as a free download at your device’s app store. It will show you statistical comparisons of each matchup, information on past meetings as well as spread movement, injury news, and even the weather forecast.

5. A Lack of Touchdowns in Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Steelers can keep their streak of non-losing seasons alive at 19 with a win over the Browns at home. But it may take slightly more than one great touchdown drive from the offense like we’ve seen the last two weeks against the Ravens and Raiders.

The Browns are a 2.5-point road underdog with a total of 40 points.

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, January 8, 2023 – 01:00 PM EST at Acrisure Stadium

The focus is on the under here. The last meeting should have ended 23-17, which would have been a push on 40, but the Browns scored a junk touchdown on a fumble on the final snap to produce a 29-17 final.

This time, the quarterbacks will be Kenny Pickett and Deshaun Watson instead of Mitch Trubisky and Jacoby Brissett. For the Steelers, that is a marginal advantage, but at least Pickett is keeping the turnovers down with one pick since the bye week.

For the Browns, this has definitely been a downgrade, but at least the second half in Washington went well, with Watson leading three touchdown drives, matching the total he led in the first 18 quarters he played this year.

That’s right, the Browns made a risky move to acquire a suspended player so that he could lead three touchdown drives in four games. But the Steelers are not scoring many points all year, ranked 29th in the NFL with 17.5 points per game. Pittsburgh has not reached 20 points in four of the last five games.

But five of the last six Cleveland games have not gone over 40 points either. The Steelers did not have T.J. Watt in the Week 3 matchup, and he looked more like the player we are used to seeing in last week’s win over Baltimore.

The Pick

This is your classic AFC North matchup to finish the season. Neither team may crack 20 points, which is why we love the under here for your NFL picks.

OddsTrader NFL Final Score Prediction: Browns 19 – Steelers 18

OddsTrader NFL Total Pick: Under 40 (-107) at SugarHouse

4. Welcome Back, Jalen Hurts?

The Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) are trying to end their first losing streak of the season so they can clinch the NFC East and No. 1 seed. They just have to beat the New York Giants at home, and they are a 14-point favorite in a game with a total of 42.5 points.

But is Jalen Hurts going to be the quarterback after missing the last two games with a shoulder sprain? We’ll see.

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, January 8, 2023 – 04:25 PM EST at Lincoln Financial Field

This is a tricky game since the Giants may just rest starters with the No. 6 seed locked up. The Eagles may not have Jalen Hurts after he was limited in practice on Wednesday, but this spread sure seems to suggest he is playing as it is huge even for a team that beat the Giants 48-22 in Week 14. The Eagles also beat the Giants 34-10 in their last meeting in Philadelphia.

Hurts was reportedly close to playing against the Saints, so we are going to make the assumption that he gets the start here in a game the Eagles really need to win and one that just isn’t important to the Giants. We’ll trust that if Hurts is cleared, then the shoulder will be fine, and he will be able to run and throw like he has all year in an MVP-caliber season.

The Pick

The Eagles likely do not score 48 points this time to cover the over by themselves, but they should put up a decent number to get it most of the way there.

OddsTrader NFL Final Score Prediction: Eagles 31 – Giants 21

OddsTrader NFL Total Pick: Over 42.5 (-115) at FanDuel

3. Will Denver Under Perform One More Time?

You may note the play on words with “under perform” instead of “underperform” there, because betting the under on Denver games was once the best bet of the season. It has since been going the other way, but that’s what playing Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs twice can do for your scoring totals.

The Broncos remain a terrible offense, but they are a 2.5-point favorite at home with a total of 40 points as there is uncertainty in how much the Chargers want this game with the playoffs clinched.

The under is still a strong 11-5 in Denver games this season and it is also 10-5-1 for the Chargers, who are not playing shootouts anymore with the playoffs approaching.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos

Sunday, January 8, 2023 – 04:25 PM EST at Empower Field at Mile High

We’ll assume the Chargers are playing to win here. Ever since their last loss in Week 13, this has been a different team. The Chargers only broke 23 points for the first time in the last month last week against the Rams in a 31-10 win, but the story has been the defense that has not allowed more than 17 points in four straight games.

This is something Justin Herbert is not used to seeing in his career: a defense. Herbert is used to the Chargers allowing 27-plus points, making it hard to win games. But he is getting the help at the right time and the Chargers are winning every week.

A lot of this is opponent related. The Chargers played the Dolphins and Titans during their losing slumps, and the Colts have been a mess and were an even bigger joke with Nick Foles making his first start in the 20-3 Monday night game.

Now the Chargers just held the Rams to 10 points. However, we are talking about the Broncos, the 32nd-ranked scoring offense in the league at 16 points per game. It was 19-16 in overtime the last time these teams met, a real chore to watch.

The Pick

We like the under to hit again for this one.

OddsTrader NFL Final Score Prediction: Chargers 20 – Broncos 17

OddsTrader NFL Total Pick: Under 40 (-110) at Bet365

2. High-Scoring Cowboys Still Can Win NFC East

The Dallas Cowboys (12-4) will play at the same time as the Eagles in case there is an upset and the Cowboys can win the NFC East, something no one imagined a few weeks ago.

But first, Dallas will have to continue their high-scoring ways in Washington, which is expected to give rookie quarterback Sam Howell his first start.

The Cowboys are a 7-point road favorite with a total of 40.5 points.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders

Sunday, January 8, 2023 – 04:25 PM EST at FedExField

The Cowboys have scored at least 27 points in nine straight games, a streak that only six teams in NFL history have bested. It is the longest streak in Dallas franchise history.

Dallas has turned the ball over 12 times since Thanksgiving, which has been a real problem as of late, but it hasn’t stopped Dak Prescott from still hitting that 27-point threshold every week. The Cowboys did it again in Tennessee in a 27-13 win last week despite three turnovers early in the game.

But those turnovers also can fuel scoring for the opponent, so it helps the over and when the Cowboys are playing inexperienced quarterbacks like they are again here. Joshua Dobbs made his first career start for the Titans and now the Commanders will give rookie Sam Howell his first start.

Howell had a very good preseason, though you can usually take those numbers with a grain of salt. We have no idea how he will perform this week, and a good example of the unpredictability of this is the way Jarrett Stidham lit up San Francisco’s No. 1 defense in his first start for the Raiders last week.

But Howell is a rookie and likely will not put up many points. It was 25-10 when these teams last met, but that was with Cooper Rush at quarterback for Dallas. The last time Prescott faced Washington, the Cowboys won 56-14.

The Pick

Things won’t be that high scoring again, but Prescott has not dipped under 24 points since returning in Week 7. Look for that streak to continue and the over to hit in this Dallas win.

OddsTrader NFL Final Score Prediction: Cowboys 26 – Commanders 19

OddsTrader NFL Total Pick: Over 41.5 (+102) at SBK

1. Raiders Make Chiefs Earn It in Season Finale

Patrick Mahomes can put the finishing touches on his MVP season by getting the Kansas City Chiefs to 14-3 with a sweep of the Las Vegas Raiders this Saturday.

The Chiefs are a 9.5-point road favorite with a total of 52.5 points to get the Week 18 action started.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Saturday, January 7, 2023 – 04:30 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium

One of the most profitable bets this season has been to parlay the Chiefs’ moneyline with their opponent’s spread – this has hit seven times in 16 games. The Chiefs are just 5-10-1 ATS, the second-worst record in the league this year.

Another profitable bet in 2022 would have been to live bet the Raiders to lose any game where they led in the fourth quarter. The Raiders have won six games and blown six more fourth-quarter leads this year, often in the most inexplicable ways of any team this season.

Incredibly, one of the games where the Raiders did not blow a fourth-quarter lead was in Kansas City in Week 5. They just blew a 17-0 lead in the first half and trailed for the entire fourth quarter in a 30-29 finish. Davante Adams just missed a catch that would have put the Raiders in game-winning field goal position. Travis Kelce caught four touchdowns that night despite having 25 receiving yards.

It was a wild game, and the Raiders will hope for another good effort as they start Jarrett Stidham for the second week in a row. He shocked the NFL world with 365 yards and three touchdown passes against San Francisco’s No. 1 defense, taking the game to overtime in a 34-34 tie before a costly interception set up the 49ers’ game-winning field goal. But Stidham played well and made Josh McDaniels look smarter than expected after benching Derek Carr for the final two games.

The Pick

The Chiefs have trailed in the fourth quarter against Houston and Denver in recent weeks, so their games are rarely won with ease anymore. But they do win their share of them.

We’ll trust Stidham to push the Chiefs again in an entertaining, high-scoring game that stays within single digits to get the cover for the Raiders. But they likely have a better chance of blowing their seventh fourth-quarter lead than they do to win their seventh game and deny the Chiefs the No. 1 seed.

OddsTrader NFL Final Score Prediction: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 25

OddsTrader NFL Spread Pick: Raiders +9.5 (-109) at BetRivers

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