The Professor’s Week 18 NFL Prop Bets

nfl week 18 prop bets

The NFL came to a screeching halt in Week 17, but thankfully, Bills safety Damar Hamlin had his breathing tube removed and was able to FaceTime his teammates on Friday after his cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football.

Hamlin’s steps toward recovery allow NFL fans everywhere to take a sigh of relief and get excited for a final weekend of the regular season that nearly turned quite somber. With Week 18 coming up and the NFL Playoffs close behind, it’s a great time to sign up for The Oracle’s Picks; after a terrific 2022, The Oracle is rolling into the New Year with the best NFL, NHL, and NBA picks.

Now, on to ten prop bets The Professor’s model likes on the final weekend of the NFL regular season.

Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders

Patrick Mahomes, Over 2.5 Passing TDs, +100 (Model Projection: 2.5)

Jarret Stidham, Over 1.5 Passing TDs, +110 (Model Projection: 1.6)

Darren Waller, TD Scorer, +220 (Model Projection: 0.2)

Given that Jarret Stidham was shipped out of New England without ever earning an extended look as the starter, my expectations were very low entering his start against the 49ers. Instead, Stidham was a pleasant surprise, showing off a live arm, solid mobility, and the mental understanding to execute their game plan.

Whether Stidham becomes a starter remains to be seen, but he got off to a quality start, and that was despite taking several big shots from 49ers star pass rusher Nick Bosa. Granted, Chris Jones may do more of the same, but with Davante Adams rolling and Darren Waller back in the lineup, look for Stidham to put together another solid start against an iffy Chiefs defense. Patrick Mahomes should do more than enough to cancel this out, but look for Stidham to put up numbers in a losing effort. To add some upside, we’ll roll the dice on Waller to get into the endzone at +220: the oft-injured tight end was moving well last week, and Stidham did not hesitate to target Waller deep.

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, Under 1.5 Passing TDs, +125 (Model: 1.5)

Josh Dobbs, Over 0.5 Interceptions, -150 (Model: 0.9)

Trevor Lawrence has not thrown a touchdown in the past two games, games that Jacksonville won 31-3 and 19-3, after he had thrown for seven scores in victories over Dallas and Tennessee. However, that was a different time for the Titans, who still had Ryan Tannehill at the helm, and based on what Josh Dobbs put on film last week, Tennessee is unlikely to push the score even with Derrick Henry set to return.

Dobbs earns some positive marks for having some ability to execute NFL passing concepts, but while that might constitute an upgrade on rookie Malik Willis, it doesn’t mean Dobbs looked comfortable. In Dobbs’ defense, he only recently joined the team, but there was a clear gap between Dobbs’ tape and say, Jarrett Stidham’s or Brock Purdy’s from the past week. The Jaguars’ defense should sell out to take away Henry and force Dobbs to beat them, which could lead to mistakes from Dobbs and another game where there is little need for Lawrence to put up big numbers.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen, Over 1.5 Passing TDs, -135 (Model Projection: 2.0)

Stefon Diggs, Over 71.5 Receiving Yds, -115 (Model Projection: 78.2); TD Scorer, -115 (Model Projection: 0.7)

It’s been an emotional week for the Bills, but with the chance to ensure a neutral site AFC Championship Game on the line, my guess is that Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs bring their best and the Bills continue to “big-brother” the Patriots in what has been a lopsided matchup. Buffalo has struggled to establish consistency out of their star duo; at this point in the season, it might be time to simply lean into what works.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

Ja’Marr Chase, TD Scorer, +105 (Model Projection: 0.7)

Tee Higgins, TD Scorer, +140 (Model Projection: 0.5)

Like the Bills, the Bengals still have some neutral-field scenarios in play, and as the Ravens skid to a chaotic end to the season without Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow and company will be looking to find their rhythm ahead of the NFL Playoffs. Cincinnati lost this game the first time around, but Burrow has hit his stride of late and should be looking for a repeat of last year’s dominant performance against Baltimore. If that happens, there will be plenty of production to spread around, but look for Burrow to hit one or both of his top targets (Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins) for scores in this one.

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Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.