Last Updated Jan 13, 2023, 4:20 PM

NFL Week 18 Parlay Picks and Predictions

Betting expert Michael Crosson provides his top parlay selections for Week 18 of the NFL season. Odds provided by DraftKings.

ATS Parlay Best Bet

  • Carolina Panthers +3.5 (-110) @ NO
  • Dallas Cowboys -7.5 (-110) @ WAS

Payout: +264

Carolina Panthers +3.5 (-110) @ NO

The Panthers posted a miserable 2-7 start to the season, and they appeared to have nothing left in the tank after firing Matt Rhule and releasing Baker Mayfield in the heat of everything.

However, without any expectations, Carolina is having a surprisingly solid second half of the season with Sam Darnold in the driver’s seat, considering the Panthers entered their previous matchup against Tampa Bay following wins in four of their last six games, and a win in that contest would’ve put Carolina in a win-and-in position this week.

But unfortunately, the Bucs clinched the NFC South with a 30-24 victory over Carolina last Sunday, and now, the Saints and Panthers have nothing left to play for except bragging rights in Week 18.

Bragging rights should be more than enough to motivate these teams, though, as New Orleans and Carolina were both 3-7 at one point this season. And after battling back with strong performances down the stretch, I think we’ll see both squads try to finish strong this Sunday.

The Saints have now won three straight games, despite their offense scoring 21 points or less in all three of those contests. Which is a testament to how well their defense has played recently, however, it’s also a bit worrisome heading into a matchup against a Panthers squad that’s racked up an average of 26 PPG across the last five weeks. So, I’ll take the points with Carolina here.

Dallas Cowboys -7.5 (-110) @ WAS

The Cowboys seem to carry a stigma that they can’t be trusted, and rightfully so, based on the shortcomings of previous campaigns and their nagging turnover issues. 

However, despite all the criticism, this Dallas squad is one of the most resilient bunches in the league, and preventing them from climbing the seeding ladder should be considered a top priority by the other top contenders in the conference.

Since the return of Dak Prescott, the Cowboys have racked up a lofty average of 35.1 PPG across an impressive 8-2 run, with their only losses coming in a pair of back-and-forth shootouts against the Packers (L, 31-28) and Jaguars (L, 40-34).

At the time, the Cowboys’ losses to Green Bay and Jacksonville were a bit stunning. And of course, let’s not forget, they almost lost to Houston as huge home favorites back in Week 14. But really, in hindsight, a pair of highly competitive road losses to the Packers and Jaguars doesn’t look so bad, especially considering that makes up half of the blemishes on their resume.

All things considered, though, the Cowboys’ are one of the most dangerous teams in football, and eventually, I think they’ll clean up their turnover issues. But regardless of their flaws, the fruits of their high-powered offensive attack should allow them to easily overpower this Commanders squad that’s scored 20 points or less in seven of their last nine games.

OU Parlay Best Bet

  • Browns-Steelers Under 40.5 (-110)
  • Rams-Seahawks Over 41.5 (-110)

Payout: +264

Browns-Steelers Under 40.5 (-110)

Heading into Week 12, Mike Tomlin appeared to be destined for his first losing season, as the Steelers owned a lackluster record of 3-7, and they were getting absolutely crushed in the turnover department, highlighted by Pittsburgh giving the ball away at least twice in five-of-ten matchups out of the gate.

However, since their opening skid, the Steelers have refrained from multiple turnovers in all but one contest, which inevitably resulted in a loss to the Ravens. But aside from that, the Steelers have now won five of their last six games.

All the credit goes to this Pittsburgh defensive unit, though, considering the Steelers’ offense is averaging less than 19 PPG across their latest 5-1 stretch. But they still managed to escape with a handful of victories thanks to their defense holding their opponent to 17 points or less in all six of those contests.

And with the Cleveland Browns coming to town this Sunday, I think we might be looking at a similar situation.

The Browns’ offense finally got over the hump with a 24-point outing against Washington last week, however, it wasn’t pretty, as Cleveland managed to take advantage of three Carson Wentz’ turnovers, and turned an otherwise stagnant 301-yard performance into a trio of touchdowns in a 24-10 victory over the Commanders.

This week, though, the Browns probably won’t have the luxury of their opponent’s three turnovers, and there’s a good shot they fall short of the 20-point mark against this red-hot Pittsburgh’ defense. But in the end, that still might be enough to outlast this Steelers squad that’s now scored 16 points or less in three of their last four games.

Rams-Seahawks Over 41.5 (-110)

Seattle’s overwhelming success out of the gate was a heartwarming story in the waking days of the season, as Geno Smith led the Seahawks to wins in six of their first nine contests immediately following the departure of longtime QB Russell Wilson, while racking up a lofty average of 26.5 PPG on the offensive side of the ball during that timeframe.

However, the Seahawks’ offense has come crashing back to reality in the second half of the season, currently averaging just 21 PPG across their last seven games.

Which certainly hasn’t been enough to compensate for the struggles of their 24th ranked scoring defense that’s now allowed 21+ points in six of their last seven outings, surmounting to an average of 24 PPG across their latest 2-5 skid.

While on the other hand, the Rams’ offensive numbers don’t exactly jump off the statsheet since handing the keys to Baker Mayfield back in Week 14. But just in regards to the eye-test, L. A.’s offense has arguably looked better than it has all season the last few weeks. And their 51-point outburst against Denver on Christmas Eve was undeniably impressive.

The Seahawks’ defense played particularly well in their 23-6 victory over the Jets last week. However, prior to that Seattle had surrendered 21+ points in seven straight games, and 23+ points in four of their last five. So, I’ll take the ‘over’ in what very well may turn out to be a shootout between familiar foes in Week 18.

Six-Point Teaser

  • Philadelphia Eagles -8 (-14) vs. NYG
  • Texans-Colts Under 44 (OU 38)

Payout: -120

Philadelphia Eagles -8 (-14) vs. NYG

Philly is favored by two touchdowns in this matchup because, essentially, the Giants have nothing left to play for after clinching a Wild Card spot with a victory over Indy last week, and the Eagles still need a win to lock up the one-seed in the NFC following back-to-back losses to Dallas and New Orleans.

In the first meeting between these teams, the Eagles ran away with a 48-22 road victory, which was a matchup the Giants had all their chips on the table in. And I'm not expecting New York to put its best foot forward this time around in preparation of a third meeting, and of course, rest purposes.

So, I’ll back Philly to handle business at home with relative ease against a Giants squad that has no real reason to get their hands dirty in this matchup.

Texans-Colts Under 44 (OU 38)

The first meeting between these teams resulted in a stunning stalemate, as the Colts opened the season as favorites to win the AFC South, but almost immediately, had their bubble popped in a 20-20 tie with the Texans in Week 1.

However, Indy’s Week 1 performance was pretty much par for the course with what was in store for this squad the rest of the way, as the Colts rank 30th in the league in points scored and 28th in points allowed at 16 PPG and 25 PPG, respectively.

Truth be told, though, the fact that the Colts have found a way to avoid losing five of their matchups should be considered a miracle within itself. But despite teams being able to tie in the NFL, both teams can’t actually lose a game, and Indy has often been the benefactor of the latter part of that notion. 

Which very well could be the case again in a matchup against a Texans squad that’s just as bad as Indy on both sides of the ball, currently ranked 31st in the league in points scored 26th in points allowed this season.

So, I’ll take an adjusted under in Sunday’s matchup between a pair of ailing offenses that have both fallen short of the 20-point mark in eight of their last ten games.

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