Best NFL Week 18 Underdog Bets

Best NFL Week 18 Underdog Bets

Ready or not, the final week of the NFL season has arrived in Week 18. For the first time ever, we have Week 18 on the schedule. The extra week of football provides teams on the bubble a chance to get into the playoffs.

It also means that teams that are in the playoffs at the moment could be bumped out. In my view, it just means an extra week of NFL betting. I don’t go crazy this week. Several teams use this as a game to rest and get ready for the postseason.

However, there are usually good spot bets to consider in the final week of the regular season. A brand new “season” will begin with the Wild Card next weekend. Playoff football isn’t my favorite when it comes to betting. I prefer a full slate, but there’s nothing like playoff football.

We had several underdogs win straight up in Week 17. The Bengals, Raiders, and Cardinals all closed as underdogs and won straight up. The New York Jets nearly pulled off one of the biggest shockers of the year against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Jets had the Buccaneers on the ropes at home, but a guy named Tom Brady wasn’t letting that happen in the 4th quarter. Things got so bad for the Buccaneers that Antonio Brown went ballistic and rage quit during the game.

There should be more dogs barking in the last week. Head below for our best NFL Week 18 underdog bets.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens

Date and Time: January 9, 1:00 p.m. EST

The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Pittsburgh Steelers +5.5 (-110) +200 Over 42 (-110)
Baltimore Ravens -5.5 (-110) -240 Under 42 (-110)

The Pittsburgh Steelers need to win and need some help. A lot of help. They are not statistically dead for the playoffs yet, but it’s going to take two upsets.

The Steelers have to beat the Ravens as 5.5-point underdogs, and then the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the Indianapolis Colts as 15.5-point underdogs.

Mathematically it’s going to be tough though crazier things have happened in the NFL before. There have been some unforeseeable upsets this season, along with the Jets just about knocking off the Buccaneers.

The Colts have to win, but all of the pressure is going to be on them. Pittsburgh should feel loose going into Baltimore for what could be Ben Roethlisberger’s final game of his career.

On Sunday night, they are coming off an emotional 26-14 win over the Browns in Roethlisberger’s last start at Heinz Field. Najee Harris carried the load with 188 yards and a touchdown, including a 37-yard touchdown in the final seconds.

The Steelers’ defense made it tough on the Browns for 4 quarters, as they forced Baker Mayfield into 2 interceptions and just 185 yards. They had to stick with Nick Chubb, but got away from him along with the game.

In a divisional rivalry, expect the Steelers to show up with a strong performance for the second consecutive week. The Ravens are stout against the run. This game will likely fall on Roethlisberger, and he should be able to keep them close.

In their last three meetings, there has been an average of 3.3 points of difference. The Steelers edged out the Ravens in their first game this season, 20-19.

In four of their last five, there has been an average of 3.25 points separating the Ravens and Steelers, including an overtime game. There is a chance that Lamar Jackson can start in Week 18, though I still like the points in a close call in Baltimore.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens Betting Trends:

Steelers

  • 6-2 ATS in their eight games versus the AFC
  • 34-15-2 ATS in their previous 51 games as an underdog
  • 15-6-3 ATS in their previous 24 games in January
  • 7-3 overall in their previous ten games versus the Ravens
  • OVER is 4-0 in their previous four games as an underdog on the road

Ravens

  • 1-5 ATS in their previous six games versus a team with a losing record
  • 3-7 ATS in thier previous ten games as a betting favorite
  • 10-4 ATS in their previous 14 games versus the AFC North
  • 1-5 overall in their previous six games versus the AFC
  • UNDER is 5-2 in their previous seven games versus the Steelers at Baltimore
Steelers vs. Ravens Pick
PITTSBURGH STEELERS +5.5

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

Date and Time: January 9, 4:25 p.m. EST

The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
New Orleans Saints -4.5 (-110) -210 Over 40 (-110)
Atlanta Falcons +4.5 (-110) +175 Under 40 (-110)

The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons close out the regular season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon. This is a must-win scenario for the Saints. They will have to win and then get help.

The Saints can clinch the No. 7 seed with a win, and the Rams beat the San Francisco 49ers. They can’t lose. If they lose against the Falcons in Atlanta, then that’s the end of the line. In other words, there is added incentive in Week 18 for the Saints.

However, don’t get it confused: a must-win scenario doesn’t necessarily translate into a win. They have a Falcons team out of contention after a 29-15 loss at Buffalo.

The Falcons looked like they cut the lead to less than a touchdown, but Matt Ryan was down shy of the goal line after he “gave himself up”. That was the end for the Falcons. It was nevertheless a good attempt in the snow and cold in Buffalo.

Despite New Orleans in a must-win spot, I don’t have much confidence in Taysom Hill on the road with the pressure on. Since Jameis Winston’s injury, the Saints have been a pedestrian team.

They have won just three in nine games. The 9-0 win over the Buccaneers was nice, though that was the defense thriving and little offense. Tom Brady has notoriously struggled against the Saints and sure enough.

New Orleans had to win last week, and I wasn’t impressed with 18 points from the Saints versus the Carolina Panthers. Taysom Hill was steady with 222 yards and a touchdown, though I’m not convinced to lay 4 points on the road in this scenario.

I’m going to fade the public and the team that must-win in Week 18 in Atlanta. The Falcons have nothing to lose in their final game of the season. Against a divisional rival, those teams can be dangerous.

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Trends:

Saints

  • 1-7 ATS in their previous eight games after failing to cover the spread
  • 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games after a win
  • 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games versus the Falcons
  • 10-4 ATS in their previous 14 games versus the NFC South
  • 37-14 ATS in their previous 51 games on the road

Falcons

  • 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games after a loss
  • 5-2-1 ATS in their previous eight games after failing to cover the spread
  • 0-4 ATS in their previous four games at Atlanta
  • 1-4 ATS in their previous five games as an underdog at Atlanta
  • UNDER is 7-1 in their previous eight games
Saints vs. Falcons Pick
ATLANTA FALCONS +4.5

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Date and Time: January , 8:20 p.m. EST

The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
LA Chargers -3 (-115) -160 Over 49.5 (-110)
Las Vegas Raiders +3 (-105) +140 Under 49.5 (-110)

The Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders are flexed to Sunday Night Football in a final piece for the playoffs.

If the Colts beat the Jaguars, this is a do-or-die spot at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. However, both the Chargers and Raiders will get into the playoffs with a tie if the Jaguars win.

No, if that happens, we’re not going to see a situation where the Chargers and Raiders play for a tie. The NFL is an entertainment product, and the league will want to see a competitive game.

The Jaguars beating the Colts is unlikely to begin with, so it’s probably going to be a moot point. Las Vegas is coming off a 23-20 win at Indianapolis. After a 17-13 win over the Broncos, it was an impressive showing.

The Raiders’ defense has been in lockdown mode as of late. They are getting pressure on the quarterback and giving offensive lines lots of problems.

The Raiders have allowed 15.6 points per game in their last three attempts. Maxx Crosby and the rushers are getting home.

In a big game at home on Sunday night, expect the Raiders’ defense to be fired up from the opening kick-off.

I would take Justin Herbert over Derek Carr on my team, but Carr should exploit a Chargers team that needs improvement in the offseason.

The Chargers are 23rd in the NFL with 361 yards allowed per game. They can’t stop the run and are one of the worst in the league in that regard.

The Chargers go into Week 18 with 136.7 yards allowed on the ground per game. The defense has conceded 26.5 points a game for 26th.

Playing their most confident football of the season, I have to look at the Raiders for the upset at Allegiant Stadium.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders Betting Trends:

Chargers

  • 2-6 ATS in their previous eight games versus the AFC
  • 1-4 ATS in their previous five games after a win
  • 8-4 ATS in their previous 12 games versus the Raiders
  • 7-2-1 ATS in their previous ten games in January
  • OVER is 5-0 in their previous five games

Raiders

  • 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games at Las Vegas
  • 3-6 ATS in their previous nine games
  • 5-1 ATS in their previous six games after passing for less than 150 yards
  • OVER is 11-2-1 in their previous 14 games as an underdog at Las Vegas
Chargers vs. Raiders Pick
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS +3
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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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