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NFL 2021 Week Eighteen Picks

January 8th, 2022

Kansas City (-10.5) at Denver
There aren’t many instances in which I feel like it’s wise to give double-digit points in a divisional match in which the favorite is on the road (let alone on the road for a second straight week). But, I mean, Kansas City absolutely hast to win this game, not just to hold on to the two seed and a shot at regaining the one, but to put last week’s brutal loss in Cincinnati behind them. I think the visitors take this one by a solid two touchdowns.

Dallas (-4) at Philadelphia
I’m not sure either of these teams has anything meaningful to play for here. The outside chance of improving your seeding? Meh. Eagles by a field goal. Or something.

Cincinnati (+6) at Cleveland
The Bengals have signaled that they’re ready to lose this game. It would be hard to pick a team even to cover under those circumstances. So Browns by nine.

Green Bay (-3) at Detroit
Imagine hosting a divisional opponent that has nothing to play for and every reason to limit or rest starters and still getting three points. This is what it means to be the Detroit Lions. But I suspect the Lions will come to play a full came while the Packers come to play only until halftime. Lions by a field goal.

Chicago (+5.5) at Minnesota
I wonder if anyone cares. Vikings by three.

Washington (-7) at NY Giants
I don’t know. One of these teams is probably going to win. Let’s say Brand X by four.

Indianapolis (-15) at Jacksonville
The reward for beating the stuffing out of the Jaguars (as opposed to just beating them, which is all the Colts technically need to do to qualify for the postseason) would be that you avoid having to go to Kansas City or Nashville for the wild card round. And also, you get to end your season by beating the stuffing out of the Jaguars. Which is nice. Colts by 17.

Pittsburgh (+3.5) at Baltimore
The Steelers wrapped up their season with a win on Monday night. For them, this is just the last stop on the way to a new era. (I mean, sure, technically, the Steelers remain in contention for a wild card spot, but it’s not real.) Baltimore doesn’t have much of a chance at the postseason. But even the ghost of a chance should be enough to keep the Ravens focused. Baltimore by seven.

Tennessee (-10.5) at Houston
The one seed is a big deal. Tennessee by 14.

New Orleans (-3.5) at Atlanta
A win would actually give the Saints a solid chance to make the playoffs. That’s something to play for. Saints by seven.

NY Jets (+16) at Buffalo
If you’re keeping an eye on this game from New England, you’re hoping the Bills take their eyes off the ball. But that’s just not gonna happen. Buffalo by 21.

San Francisco (+4.5) at LA Rams
In which the last tiny bit of hope for a successful 2021 campaign is drained from the 49ers. Rams by six.

New England (-6.5) at Miami
Things pretty much never go smoothly for the Patriots in Miami. But New England does manage a win against their division rivals here and there. Patriots by a field goal.

Seattle (+5.5) at Arizona
A fitting end to an awful season for the Seahawks. Cardinals by seven.

Carolina (+8) at Tampa Bay
The Buccaneers don’t have much to play for. But not much is way more than absolutely nothing. Tampa by 10.

LA Chargers (-3) at Las Vegas
The winner gets to lose in Kansas City next weekend. The loser goes home. Or stays home as the case may be. Chargers by a point.

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