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Prisco’s NFL Week 18 picks: Packers, Jaguars punch tickets to playoffs, Dolphins also get in behind backup QB


I just can’t stand prosperity.

One week after killing it with my picks, it was back in the dumpster for me in Week 17. I went 6-9 with my expert picks against the spread, 10-5 straight up and a disappointing 2-3 with my best bets as part of the Pick-Six Podcast.

That drops my record to 120-126-9 ATS, 159-95-1 straight up and 54-40-5 with my best bets. PS: The Panthers were one of my best bets. That’s a bad loss with Sam Darnold’s late fumble causing the spread loser.

Week 18 is tough, but let’s hope I can end the regular season on a little heater and carry it on into the playoffs.

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN)

Featured Game | Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have a chance to get the top seed in the conference if they win, while the Raiders have nothing to play for other than pride. The Raiders showed well against the 49ers last week, especially quarterback Jarrett Stidham. But now he’s on the road, which is tougher. Even so, I think he will hit some big plays to hang around in a high-scoring game. 

Pick: Chiefs 37, Raiders 27

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN)

Featured Game | Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans

The winner here wins the AFC South. The Jaguars have played well down the stretch, while the Titans have lost five straight games. Tennessee is beat up and will start Josh Dobbs at quarterback here. Unless Derrick Henry can run for 250, I don’t see the Titans hanging around. Jaguars win it. 

Pick: Jaguars 30, Titans 21

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This game is meaningless for these two. I would imagine the Bucs would sit a lot of players, even if Todd Bowles said they won’t, which plays into the hands of the Falcons. They are playing to build something for next year. Look for the Falcons to play hard and find a way to beat the Tampa Bay backups. 

Pick: Falcons 23, Bucs 17

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

This is an important game for both teams. The Bills are playing for seeding, while the Patriots need to win to get into the playoffs. That won’t be easy. The Bills are coming off the suspended game Monday night and have had to handle the mental part of having a fallen teammate in Damar Hamlin. Getting past that will be tough. But I expect the Bills to play well here and end New England’s playoff chances. 

Pick: Bills 33, Patriots 21

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings aren’t playing very well, but they still have 12 victories and can lock up the second seed by winning this one. The Bears looked awful last week in losing to the Lions. The Bears will play better here, but I think Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson light them up. 

Pick: Vikings 31, Bears 19

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens

The winner of this one wins the AFC North. The Bengals had their game suspended Monday night against the Bills, which could impact their preparation here. The Ravens could have Lamar Jackson back, which would help an ailing offense in a big way. Even so, I think the Bengals will come out and light up the Ravens defense. Bengals win it. 

Pick: Bengals 29, Ravens 21

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans

The Texans are playing for the first pick in the draft here, so they should be playing to lose. They won’t be. That’s not the nature of this league. The Colts will start Sam Ehlinger at quarterback, but does it matter? The offense is horrible. But I think they will play well enough to win Jeff Saturday’s last game as interim coach. 

Pick: Colts 20, Texans 13

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets

The Jets are eliminated, while Miami has to win to get in and hope New England loses. The Dolphins will almost certainly be starting seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson at quarterback. That’s tough duty against a good Jets defense. Even so, I think the Dolphins will do enough on offense to win against a team with little motivation. 

Pick: Dolphins 21, Jets 17

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

These two are done in terms of the playoffs, but the Saints have played well the past two weeks. The defense has really played well. That will show here as Carolina plays a second-consecutive road game with little to play for after being eliminated last week. The Saints win it easily. 

Pick: Saints 26, Panthers 13

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns

The Steelers still have an outside shot to make the playoffs, but they have to win here and get help. The Browns are playing consecutive road games, but you know they would love to close out their season beating their rivals. I think they do. It’s an ugly game, but Cleveland will end Pittsburgh’s playoff chances. 

Pick: Browns 21, Steelers 20

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants

The Eagles can lock up the top seed if they win this game. The Giants are locked into the sixth seed, but coach Brian Daboll has said he will play his starters. How much is to be determined. The Eagles offense should have Jalen Hurts back here, which will be big. They need the game more and they will get it. 

Pick: Eagles 30, Giants 20

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Commanders have been eliminated, so they are playing for nothing. The Cowboys are pushing to win the division if the Eagles lose. Dallas is rested after playing last Thursday, which will help. Washington struggles on offense no matter who plays quarterback, and that will hold true here as the Cowboys win it. 

Pick: Cowboys 30, Commanders 21

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Featured Game | Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are trying to get the fifth seed in the AFC, which they will do with a victory. Denver is playing for nothing. The Broncos played better last week against the Chiefs after firing Nathaniel Hackett, and I think they will show more of that here. The Broncos will hang around and possibly pull off the upset in this one. 

Pick: Chargers 28, Broncos 27

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Seahawks need to win this and hope the Lions beat the Packers to get into the playoffs. The Seattle defense played well last week against the Jets, which I think that will carry over here against a Rams offense that struggled against the Chargers. Geno Smith will also have a good day. 

Pick: Seahawks 27, Rams 20

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)

Featured Game | San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have been done for a long time, so they are looking toward Cabo. The 49ers need this to possibly have a chance for the top seed in the NFC. The 49ers defense was bad last week against the Raiders, but that will change against a bad Cardinals offense. The 49ers get back on track. 

Pick: 49ers 27, Cardinals 10

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-4.5)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, FuboTV)

Featured Game | Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions

If the Packers win, they are in. It’s that simple. The Lions need to win and have Seattle lose. The Packers have won four straight to get into this position. The Lions are coming off an impressive victory over Chicago, but this is a big step up in completion. The Packers are playing well and they will continue that here. 

Pick: Packers 31, Lions 24





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