NFL Betting: The Three NFL Games We Can’t Wait to Watch in Week 18

Michael Savio pic
By:
Michael Savio
01/02/2024
NFL

Highlights

  • The Colts defense is allowing 24.5 points per game
  • Chicago has held opponents to 20 or fewer points in five straight games
  • Bradley Chubb will miss the remainder of the season for the Dolphins

The final week of the NFL season is upon us, but the playoff race is far from over. This week’s slate of games is loaded with games that will have a big impact on which teams will be playing next week and which will be making plans for the offseason.

Below, we are sharing the three games we are most excited for. We’ll provide the odds and insights you need for each, giving you what you need to bet wisely at NFL betting sites in Week 18.

Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts 

Spread: Texans +1 (-110) | Colts -1 (-110)

Moneyline: Texans -105 | Colts -115

Total: Over 47.5 (-110) | Under 47.5

Odds courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook

Our first game comes from the AFC South as the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts go head-to-head for a playoff spot. Both teams have a record of 9-7, as do the division-leading Jaguars. If the Jags lose, the winner of this matchup will win the division. If the Jags win, then this game will determine who earns the AFC’s final Wild Card spot.

The Colts have been a great story, overcoming injuries to key players across the board. Gardner Minshew has thrived after taking over as the starting quarterback, helping turn their season around. Their defense is bad, allowing 24.5 points per game, but the offense has been good enough to make up for it. 

Conversely, the Texans are a team filled with young stars learning to play in the NFL. Rookie quarterback CJ Stroud has been fantastic, ranking ninth in the league with 3,844 passing yards. Devin Singletary has been a major upgrade in the backfield, giving the offense a major boost. 

The Texans defense is young and talented, but incredibly inconsistent. How they play will likely determine which team moves on which team heads home.

Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers 

Spread: Bears +3 (-110) | Packers -3 (-110) 

Moneyline: Bears +140 | Packers -175 

Total: Over 44 (-109) | Under 44 (-110) 

Odds courtesy of BetRivers Sportsbooks  

While the Bears playoff hopes are over, they will have a great chance to play spoiler for the Packers. Chicago was embarrassed in their opening games of the season at home against the Pack, but they have become a much better team since then. The Packers will need to win to secure an NFC Wild Card spot, giving the NFL’s oldest rivalry some extra excitement this weekend.

This is a not the same Bears team we saw get run over in Week 1. They opened the offense for Justin Fields, who has formed a deadly passing duo with DJ Moore. The Chicago defense has also improved by leaps and bounds, holding opponents to 20 or fewer points in five straight games.

The Packers defense has been all over the board over the last two months, but the key to Sunday’s NFC North battle will be Jordan Love. While the quarterback hit a tough patch early in the season, he has been dialed in over the last two months. That included their 33-10 win against Minnesota on Sunday, keeping their playoff hopes alive.

Love has stepped up in several key games like he did last week, but we’ll see if he can keep that momentum going against a Bears team looking for revenge.

Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins 

Spread: Bills -3 (-110) | Dolphins +3 (-110) 

Moneyline: Bills -162 |Dolphins +136 

Total: Over 49.5 (-110) | Under 49.5 (-110) 

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Week 18’s Sunday Night Football matchup promises to be one of the most exciting of the weekend. The game will determine the winner of the AFC East, giving them a major advantage for the playoffs. Miami is guaranteed to make the postseason regardless, but the Bills will need to win in order to officially secure a playoff spot.

The Bills have won four straight games, but it hasn’t been pretty. They survived upset scares from the Pats and Chargers over the last two weeks, either of which would have cost them a playoff spot. As good as this team is, their ability to hold on to the ball is a major factor, which is a problem when facing a Miami defense with a great secondary.

The key to the game will be how Miami’s defense can handle playing without Bradley Chubb. The linebacker is the team’s top pass rusher but will likely miss the remainder of the season and postseason with an injury. The team had already lost linebacker Jaelen Phillips, which will only be amplified with Chubb out.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.