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NFL 2023 Week Eighteen Picks

January 7th, 2023

Kansas City (-9) at Las Vegas
Kansas City should have been able to clinch home field through the playoffs with a win in this game. But the league’s decision to upend the seeding rules to favor Buffalo means Kansas City gets punished for something it had nothing to do with. Oh, well. The billionaire team owner can take the financial hit. And the Kansas City fans are mostly assholes anyhow. Plus, odds are the team chokes in the divisional round anyhow. KC still secures the one seed and a first-round bye with a win. And they’ll get one. By six.

Tennessee (+6.5) at Jacksonville
Neither of these teams truly deserves to be a division champion. But at least the Jaguars have been playing like they want the title. Jacksonville by four.

Tampa Bay (+4) at Atlanta
YepI’m not sure it’s wise for the Buccaneers to take this week off. There’s reason to take it. They’ve got nothing to gain from a win, and there’s something to be said for heading into the postseason knowing you’ve got a brutal wild-card round matchup with Dallas or Philadelphia coming at you. But the uneven Bucs are a team that could stand to hold on to the momentum it’s picked up down the stretch. Even still, it’s hard to imagine we’ll see all of Tampa starters on the field much past the end of the first quarter. Falcons by a touchdown.

New England (+7) at Buffalo
The only way the Patriots were ever going to have a chance at winning this game was if the Bills went in with nothing to play for. It didn’t work out that way. Buffalo by 10.

Minnesota (-7.5) at Chicago
The Bears aren’t even pretending not to be focused on 2023. And, really, who can blame them? Vikings by 13.

Baltimore (+7) at Cincinnati
I still haven’t been able to figure out why the solution to the Buffalo situation needed to involve changing the rules in a way that potentially screws the Bengals. But I’ll admit I haven’t tried much. Cincinnati’s winning this game anyhow. And probably the rematch next weekend as well. Bengals by 10.

Houston (+2.5) at Indianapolis
The Texans are one loss away from clinching the first pick in the 2023 draft. They’ll get it even if it means running the ball backward through their own end zone multiple times. Colts by four.

NY Jets (+2) at Miami
Given the near certainty of a Patriots loss to the Bills, the Dolphins appear only to need a home win to earn the opportunity to be destroyed by in Buffalo next weekend. The Jets are just assholes enough to find a way to destroy the Dolphins’ dreams. New Jersey by three.

Carolina (+3.5) at New Orleans
Who cares? Home team by three.

Cleveland (+2.5) at Pittsburgh
In which the Steelers officially back into the AFC seven seed. That’ll have everyone in Pittsburgh feeling great. For a week. Pittsburgh by four.

LA Chargers (+2.5) at Denver
The Chargers will be thinking about next weekend’s matchup with the Jaguars. And resting starters. The Broncos get the gift of a three-point win.

NY Giants (+14) at Philadelphia
I think under other circumstances, the Giants would have played hard and forced the Eagles to battle their way to the division title, conference one seed, and first-round bye. But the Giants have nothing to gain from a win, and a wild card matchup with the Vikings to get ready for. Eagles by 17.

Arizona (+14) at San Francisco
The Niners have a solid chance of taking this thing all the way. The Cardinals gave up on this season a long time ago. San Francisco by 10.

LA Rams (+6) at Seattle
The Seahawks are trying to play their way into the tournament. The Rams are still trying to get over their Super Bowl hangover. Seattle by four.

Dallas (-7) at Washington
There’s no reason to believe the Cowboys will have anything to play for by the time this game kicks off. So I’m thinking maybe they only win by three.

Detroit (+4.5) at Green Bay
The Lions will have been eliminated before kickoff. If that weren’t the case, I might actually have picked them. The Packers will get the win here that enables them to lose in San Francisco next weekend. Green Bay by six.

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