NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Packers-Lions Under and 49ers To Cover Spread vs. Rams Are Expert’s Biggest Edges
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
- What are the biggest betting edges for Week 18? Our expert compared the latest NFL odds to his own projections in order to find value.
- He breaks down why you should bet the Packers-Lions under and the 49ers to cover the spread against the Rams below.
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
|Packers-Lions Under 44.5|
|49ers +3.5 at Rams|
Our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, reveals the biggest edges based on his NFL Power Ratings for Week 18. These ratings power his model, which is one of six that powers our NFL PRO Projections. He has a 709-576-10 (55%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action App, where you can follow all of his picks.
1 p.m. ET on Sunday
The Packers have clinched the NFC’s No. 1 seed, which means they have nothing to play for this Sunday. Aaron Rodgers and their other starters will likely play one to two series before getting pulled, which is why the line for this game is only Packers -3 — they would be closer to 13.5-point favorites if this game was meaningful (check real-time NFL odds here).
However, the total is only two points lower than what it would likely be if this were a meaningful game, which is why I love the value on the under.
The Lions have the highest early-down rush rate in neutral game environments. Considering this should be a close game in which the Lions may even play with the lead at times, we could see them operate a run-heavy conservative offense.
I’m projecting this total closer to 41.5 and would bet down to 43.5 points.
4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday
At the time of writing, it’s still unclear who will be starting under center for the 49ers.
Jimmy Garoppolo (questionable) could try to play through his thumb injury, but if he’s unable to suit up or is ineffective, the 49ers can turn to rookie Trey Lance. The uncertainty make things more difficult for the Rams. Either way, the 49ers will have Elijah Mitchell, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle ready to go — their offense should be fine no matter who is under center.
Motivation is a huge factor when handicapping games in Week 18. Both teams will be motivated this week, but the 49ers need to win in order to make the playoffs, while the Rams need to win in order to secure the NFC’s No. 2 seed. Obviously seeding is important, but the 49ers have a playoff berth to play for, which gives them the edge.
The 49ers also had late injury luck, getting back key players in the secondary: K’Waun Williams, Emmanuel Moseley and Jimmie Ward were activated in time to play. If Trent Williams is able to suit up, it will be all hands on deck, and I will like the 49ers even more.
The most likely outcome(s) for this game is one of these teams wins by three points, so getting +3.5 means we win in either scenario, but that also means I wouldn’t bet this any further.