Welcome to NFL Week 18!
The Action Network’s Chief Content Officer Chad Millman has his picks and analysis for the NFL Week 18 slate, including a Bills-Dolphins preview, Money Line Parlay, and a Best Bet for the weekend.
Jump ahead to each segment:
Let’s dive in!
I thought it would be interesting to re-trace the steps of how we got to this spot.
In Week 4, the Bills beat the Dolphins, 48-20. After that game, the odds for Buffalo to win the AFC East were -140, the Dolphins were +138.
Two months later, Miami is riding high, they are dominating, and they are running away with the AFC East while the Bills were struggling. On December 2, the odds for the Bills to win the AFC East were +1500, the Dolphins -4000.
Here we are in Week 18 – the odds for the Bills to win the division are the shortest they’ve been all season. They are -165 to win the AFC East. The Dolphins are +140.
What about the game itself? Right now, the Bills are 3-point favorites on the road. It’s a fascinating matchup.
Since the end of October when Buffalo traded for cornerback Rasul Douglas, the Buffalo defense has continuously improved. Douglas has been one of the top-graded cornerbacks since he joined the Bills, according to PFF, including a pair of picks against the Patriots in Week 17.
The Dolphins’ surprisingly good defense, according to PFF, is the third-ranked defense behind the 49ers and Ravens. But Xavien Howard and Bradley Chubb went down with injuries against the Ravens last weekend.
How powerful and effective can this Dolphins defense be against a Bills offense that is becoming increasingly run-heavy since Joe Brady took over as offensive coordinator after Week 10? We have been seeing less and less from Josh Allen and the passing game.
The professional bettors like the home underdog in this spot. They will be on Miami, Tua, and what remains of that defense to stop Allen and the Bills.
We have a lot of division matchups in Week 18.
The truth is, division matchups over the last several years tend to favor the road team.
This week, I like the Eagles visiting the Giants, the Bears visiting the Packers, and the Seahawks visiting the Cardinals. I like them all to win outright.
Chad’s Money Line Parlay: Eagles ML, Bears ML, Seahawks ML >> +550
It’s time for the Bears to get a chance to play spoiler against their most-hated rival. Not only that, but I like the matchup on the field in this one.
The Packers are inflated right now because of their massive win over the Vikings and how good Jordan Love looked on Sunday night. Don’t forget, Love has dominated against the blitz all season long. That’s what the Vikings did, but the Bears are not a blitzing team.
The Chicago defense has gotten consistently better both against the rush and against the pass since Montez Sweat joined the team in that Halloween trade with the Commanders.
On top of that, the Green Bay defense has been dreadful. Don’t be fooled by what happened against the Vikings, who didn’t really have a quarterback playing for them. Justin Fields is a very good quarterback and has been getting better as the season has gone on since returning from injury.
The Bears are 7-5 in their last 12 games. Fields will have the opportunity to run against a really bad Packers defense.
Chad’s Best Bet: Bears +3
Odds in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.