NFL Week 18 Look-Ahead Lines: Implied Prices Before Markets Open

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
Look ahead lines NFL Week 18

NFL Week 18 look-ahead lines would usually have hit the board on Wednesday. However, Week 18 represents a special case because sportsbooks are a bit paranoid about releasing lines without knowing the varying motivations. For example, Dolphins vs. Bills could either decide the AFC East or represent a relatively dead spot for Miami.

With no actual prices to look at, we’ve posted the expected lines based on Inpredictable’s betting market rankings. Adjusting a couple of points for home field, we can come up with expected lines and then see where these games deviate when actual markets open up next week. Then, we can decide whether these moves are justified based on motivation, injuries and other factors.

Every week, usually on Friday, TheLines.com will post look-ahead lines for the following week’s games, pulled from NFL betting sites. These sportsbook odds give an early snapshot of the current market opinions of teams absent the week-to-week bias that can take hold following weekend results. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for info on how to use them.

NFL Week 18 Look-Ahead Lines

Compare NFL Week 18 odds below and click to bet now.

GameEstimated Line
Steelers at RavensRavens -10.5
Rams at 49ers49ers -11
Vikings at LionsLions -7
Bills at DolphinsDolphins -1.5
Seahawks at CardinalsSeahawks -4
Chiefs at ChargersChiefs -8
Broncos at RaidersRaiders -1
Texans at ColtsColts -2
Falcons at SaintsSaints -3
Eagles at GiantsEagles -9.5
Jaguars at TitansJaguars -3
Browns at BengalsBengals pk
Buccaneers at PanthersBuccaneers -2.5
Cowboys at CommandersCowboys -9
Bears at PackersPackers -2.5
Jets at PatriotsPatriots -2.5

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Week 18 NFL Look-Ahead Lines Of Interest

Note: Odds below will populate when markets become available.

Bills At Dolphins

One of the few games with some early markets posted, as it looks exceedingly unlikely this game winds up meaningless for Miami. That would require a Dolphins loss, a Bills loss and a Chiefs loss in Week 17. In that case, the Dolphins would appear to be locked into the No. 2 seed, with a two-game lead on the Bills and Chiefs but a two-game deficit to the Ravens.

Since the Bills and Chiefs are obviously sizable favorites, there should be something at stake here.

Things are complex on the Bills’ end as they have some playoff clinching scenarios that could seal their odds to make NFL playoffs. If they become locked into their seed or close (Bills and Dolphins both win in Week 17), could they actually wind up resting?

Whatever the case, the look-ahead markets match the estimated markets, which makes sense here. Expect Dolphins odds as short favorites, but either team could be a solid favorite if certain results break.

Rams At 49ers

The 49ers find themselves in a tight pack of three 11-4 teams vying for the NFC No. 1 seed. However, with the conference record tiebreaker over the Lions and the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles, they have the edge in the race.

At this point, with the Eagles as massive Week 17 favorites over the Cardinals, it looks like San Francisco will have to win both of its final games in order to secure the bye. An unlikely series of results could change that, but it seems most likely the 49ers will have to play the season out.

On the other side, the Rams are in a similar scenario, except holding the lead for a wild card berth. The key factor that will keep the Rams playing regardless of Week 17 result is that the Vikings and Packers, each a game back of the Rams, play each other. Therefore, one of them will remain a game back at worst, and both teams would have a tiebreak edge on L.A. (Vikings via conference record and Packers via head-to-head).

Expect this game to matter, and the estimated market tracks with the prior meeting between these two, which had 49ers odds -7.5 on the road.

Buccaneers At Panthers

The Buccaneers find themselves improbably far ahead in the NFC South despite being just a game up on the Saints and Falcons. Because the Bucs still have two division games left, they simply need to win one of the final two to win the division.

And because the other division winners will wind up far ahead of the Bucs, they’ll have nothing to play for in Week 18 should they prevail as small favorites over the Saints.

Meanwhile, the Panthers will keep playing hard in an attempt to develop their young players and give Bryce Young meaningful experience. They have absolutely no incentive to tank outside of minor second-round pick positioning, since the Bears own their first-round selection.

If the Bucs win in Week 17, we’ll likely see Panthers odds with a minus sign here. The team has been playing better regardless, so the Bucs didn’t rate to be large favorites anyway. Given how many vets are on the team, they’re more incentivized to rest than most teams.

Browns At Bengals

Similar to the Bucs, the Browns find themselves all but locked into their seed following a Week 17 romp over the Jets. At 11-5, the Browns need to win out and have the Ravens lose out to win the division (conference record tiebreak would boost them). As for teams chasing them, only the Bills could match their record, but Cleveland’s sterling 8-3 AFC record would keep them in the No. 5 seed.

Therefore, this looks very likely to be a rest week for the Browns. Given their slew of QB injuries, they’ll be especially inclined to protect surprise star Joe Flacco. Myles Garrett and other key defenders have also been banged up.

Cincinnati’s poor conference record means that even winning out to wind up 10-7 wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot. They’d be big favorites, but not locks. Even if they lose to the Chiefs, they’ll probably be happy to give Jake Browning meaningful reps in hopes of keeping around a capable backup.

Don’t be surprised to see Bengals odds somewhere around -3.5 next week. PJ Walker won’t represent a free win, but the Browns don’t look likely to be bringing their best, in terms of either players or effort.

HOW TO USE NFL LOOK-AHEAD LINES

The look-ahead lines allow you a sneak peek at the projected lines for the following week’s games. This information from a leading sports betting site will help provide lessons in understanding lines and projections before the current week’s games are played.

Many bettors tend to overreact to the previous week’s scores and results. The NFL Week 18 look-ahead lines provide a sense of stability from the oddsmaker. They sometimes offer a clear, unbiased snapshot of perceived team strength.

Bettors can also gain an edge or find value in the lines once the weekend results take hold. See if you can find any over- or under-reactions by the market.

Of course, always take note of key injuries, travel and scheduling situations, and NFL power rankings. Adjustments are part of the process, along with accounting for teams’ strengths and weaknesses, against-the-spread angles, and personnel matchups.

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