NFL Straight Up Picks for Every Game in Week 18 (Bet Texans, Bucs to Earn Playoff Spots)

BetSided's Peter Dewey picks the winner of every NFL game in Week 18.

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) jogs off the field.
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) jogs off the field. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 of the NFL season is upon us, and the motivation factor will be key with several teams either eliminated from the playoffs or potentially vying for a better draft pick. 

In Week 17, we had one of the best weeks of the season in our straight up picks, getting 12 of the 16 games correct. 

Can we keep that rolling into the final week of the regular season? 

  • Week 17 Record: 12-4
  • Season Long Record: 153-103

For more Week 18 picks, check out our NFL betting analyst Iain MacMillan’s best bet for every game on the slate here!

Whether you decide to tail or fade these moneyline picks, you can come out a winner at FanDuel Sportsbook in Week 18. 

New users that sign up with the link below will instantly receive $150 in bonus bets if they deposit and wager $5 on any game.

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Here are my favorite picks for each game in Week 18

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Steelers -198

This is the ultimate motivation spot, whether you like that analysis or not. 

The Ravens have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and this is a short week for them. Pittsburgh on the other hand, needs a win and some help to get into the playoffs. The Steelers will take this game. 

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Texans -105

Indianapolis and Houston are essentially battling for a playoff spot in this game, but I’m worried about an Indy offense that relies on the run against a Texans defense that allows just 3.3 yards per carry this season – the second best mark in the NFL. 

I’ll take CJ Stroud and company on the road, where they are 4-3 ATS. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Buccaneers -245

Tampa Bay needs a win against the league’s worst team to win the NFC South. 

I don’t see this Carolina team playing spoiler after getting shut out in Week 17. 

Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Browns +180

There is no motivation factor for the Bengals, who were eliminated in Week 17. While the Browns are locked into the No. 5 seed, the team’s defense has been elite all season and could slow this Cincy team down even if players sit. 

Not only that, but the Bengals have Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase banged up. Why play them in a game that doesn’t matter?

Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Lions -250

I can’t back this Minnesota team after it was blown out by the Green Bay Packers at home in Week 17. The Vikings simply don’t have a quarterback. I like Detroit in this one. 

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Patriots -142

In theory, New England should want to lose this game for a better (top three, potentially) draft pick. 

I just don’t know if the Jets are good enough to win this, especially on the road. This should be a defensive battle, I lean with the Pats.

Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Saints -185

The Falcons are just 2-6 on the road, and the team lost to the Chicago Bears last week with a chance to improve its chances for the playoffs. 

New Orleans, on the other hand, beat the Bucs to stay alive in the NFC South. Both teams need a win, but the home team gets it in my eyes. 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Jaguars -218

It’s simple for Jacksonville – win and win the AFC South. 

That’s the ultimate motivation, and the Titans’ season is over after losing to the Texans in Week 17 and Will Levis went down with an injury. 

Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Seahawks -155

Arizona played spoiler in Week 17, upsetting the Philadelphia Eagles, but I don’t know if it can again with the Seahawks in town. 

Seattle needs a win – and some help – to earn the final wild card spot in the NFC. Seattle won by 10 in the first meeting between these teams this season. 

Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Broncos +124

This is a meaningless game, but Sean Payton seems to like Jarrett Stidham at quarterback for Denver. 

Don’t be surprised if the Denver defense – which forces a ton of turnovers – makes things tough on Aidan O’Connell. The Raiders have 24 turnovers this season, and came up short in Indy last week. 

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Eagles -250

This game means a ton for Philly, as a win and a Dallas loss would give the team the No. 2 seed in the NFC. 

Philly beat the Giants in their first meeting, and while the team has struggled this month, this is a meaningless game for New York. I lean with the Eagles to grab the win. 

Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Packers -166

Green Bay gets into the playoffs with a win, while the Bears were eliminated in Week 17. 

Justin Fields has been playing at a high level, and the Bears could knock a division rival out of the postseason, but Green Bay has played back-to-back games where it has scored 33 points. I’m not sure Chicago’s offense will be able to match Green Bay – if it plays like it did on Sunday night.  

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Chiefs +102

Nobody cares in this game!

The Chiefs are locked into the No. 3 seed, and the Chargers’ season is over. Maybe Kansas City’s backups get the win? It’s worth a shot in a pick’em scenario. 

Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Rams +170

The 49ers already clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but the Rams need a win to earn the No. 6 seed. 

I wouldn't be shocked to see the 49ers pull some players in this game with nothing to gain with a win. 

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Cowboys -800

Dallas can lock up the No. 2 seed in the NFC against a team that has allowed the most points in the NFL and has lost seven straight. 

Give me the Cowboys. 

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins Moneyline Pick

  • Pick: Bills -162

The Dolphins are 1-4 against teams that are above .500 this season and were dismantled by the Baltimore Ravens last week. 

Plus, they lost by 28 in their first meeting with the Bills, and Bradley Chubb (torn ACL) is done for the year. 

I love Buffalo to win the AFC East and beat Miami this week.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.