It’s week 18 of the regular season, which is the final one in case you weren’t aware. And this season hasn’t been great to me. I need to get 11 of the 16 games right this week just to break even on the season. And with the way things have been going for me, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Especially in a week where half the teams aren’t even trying, either because they’ve been too good this season or too bad. So, just like those teams, I’m going to take it easy this week and give a one-sentence explanation for each of my picks (mainly because I don’t want to spend precious time explaining a game that is going to be full of backups and end up not going at all like anyone expected). Here are my picks for this week, for the last time in the regular season.
Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) over Las Vegas Raiders
The Chiefs are fighting for the one seed while Patrick Mahomes has the single-season passing record in his sights, and the Raiders are starting Jarrett Stidham.
Jacksonville Jaguars over Tennessee Titans (+6.5)
I need the Jaguars to make the playoffs so I can feel good about at least one team I believed in this year, but the Titans are scrappy enough to keep this thing close in an ugly way.
New York Jets (+3) over Miami Dolphins
If Skylar Thompson wasn’t playing then this would be different, but somehow the Jets may end up being good this year.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns
The Steelers could still make the playoffs for some shocking reason and I don’t think they’re going to trip over this Browns team right at the finish line.
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) over Houston Texans
I’m done believing that the Texans are good enough to win more than two games, so the Colts could win this by just not being as bad as their opponent.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4.5) over Atlanta Falcons
Despite this not mattering for their playoff seeding at all, I can’t imagine the Bucs heading into the postseason following a loss to the Falcons, so they have to win this one.
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) over Carolina Panthers
The Panthers surprisingly didn’t give up a while ago but now is the time, and somehow the Saints will manage to be as average of a team as possible with this win.
Buffalo Bills (-7) over New England Patriots
A Bills team with something to play for (like playoff seeding) is very dangerous, especially when the team they are up against has not been looking great recently.
Chicago Bears (+5.5) over Minnesota Vikings
The façade surrounding the Vikings came down last week when they got destroyed by the Packers so they can definitely be beaten, plus it would be fitting for the Bears to win this game and make their pick a few spots worse in the draft.
Cincinnati Bengals over Baltimore Ravens (+9.5)
If the Ravens were healthy (mainly Lamar Jackson) then I would feel more comfortable about them winning, but I do think their defense should be good enough to keep this within nine points.
Philadelphia Eagles over New York Giants (+14)
There is no way the Giants lose this game with the one seed hanging in the balance but if the Giants even try at all in this game then they should be able to keep it closer than 14 points.
Seattle Seahawks (-6) over Los Angeles Rams
The Seahawks need this win while the Rams need this season to be over as fast as possible, that should add up to a particularly easy win for Seattle.
Los Angeles Chargers (+3) over Denver Broncos
Even if the Chargers barely try in this game, they should be able to beat this disappointing Broncos team and put them out of their misery.
San Francisco 49ers (-14) over Arizona Cardinals
This game has no business being close at all, and with the 49ers needing a win to maintain their playoff seed, this could get ugly.
Dallas Cowboys (-7) over Washington Commanders
The Cowboys need to go out and play their best ball if they want any chance to potentially win the division while the Commanders are already giving up by playing rookie Sam Howell at quarterback.
Green Bay Packers (-4.5) over Detroit Lions
The Packers control their postseason destiny in this game and it would be incredibly fitting for Aaron Rodgers to deliver a giant middle finger to all his haters this year by still ending up in the playoffs.