Thursday, January 27, 2022

Prisco’s NFL Week 18 picks: 49ers lose, miss out on postseason; Chargers prevail in win-or-go-home matchup

I did it. I finally did it.

I hit the Triple Crown.

After weeks of coming close, Week 17 proved to be my best overall week picking NFL games, as I was successful in all three areas: ATS, straight up, and with my Best Bets as part of the Pick Six Podcast.

I went 12-4 both ATS and straight up, and I was 6-1 with my Best Bets. That ups my season record ATS to 137-116-3, my straight-up record to 160-95-1 and my Best Bets record to 57-50.

That’s a heck of a week — if I do say so myself.

Now I need to close with a big one. Let’s shoot for Triple Crown again as the season comes to a close and hope we head to the postseason on a hot streak.

Kansas City Chiefs (-10) at Denver Broncos

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

Latest Odds: Denver Broncos +11

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If the Chiefs have any chance to get the top seed, they must win this game. They are coming off a tough loss to the Bengals, one where the defense let them down. That defense will bounce back here, and the Chiefs offense will have another good day. Denver can’t score. Chiefs big.

Pick: Chiefs 33, Broncos 14

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Dallas Cowboys (-7) at Philadelphia Eagles

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

Latest Odds: Philadelphia Eagles +5

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How will these teams play this game? Both are in the playoffs, but seeding is at stake. The Cowboys haven’t looked good on offense in recent weeks, while the Eagles have found life behind their running game. Jerry Jones hinted the Cowboys will play to win. The Eagles have COVID concerns and might rest some players. Dallas will take it.

Pick: Cowboys 27, Eagles 17

Green Bay Packers (-2) at Detroit Lions

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Detroit Lions +3.5

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How will the Packers play this? They could sit guys with the top seed wrapped up. They could play them little and then take them out. But it’s not like the Lions are loaded with top-level talent, either. Detroit looked bad last week, but it could have Jared Goff back this week. I think somehow the Lions hang around.

Pick: Packers 24, Lions 21

Indianapolis Colts (-15.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Latest Odds: Jacksonville Jaguars +14.5

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The Colts need this to get into the playoffs, while the Jaguars are heading for vacation after a horrible season. They traditionally play the Colts tough, but that won’t be the case here. Their offense is terrible. Jonathan Taylor has had big days against the Jaguars and will here too to lead the Colts.

Pick: Colts 27, Jaguars 10

Washington Football Team (-6.5) at New York Giants

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: New York Giants +7

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This is a game featuring two teams that have had disappointing seasons. The Giants will be starting Jake Fromm here as their third-string quarterback. Washington played well last week against the Eagles in coming up short, and I think that will carry over.

Pick: Washington 24, Giants 10

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Minnesota Vikings -5.5

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This could be the last game for both coaches, as both have had bad seasons. The Vikings are the better team and they will have Kirk Cousins back off the COVID list. The Bears played well last week, but that was against the Giants. The Vikings will get the best of this one.

Pick: Vikings 28, Bears 21

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (+10.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Latest Odds: Houston Texans +10

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If the Titans win, they are the top seed in the AFC. That’s because they play a physical style of football. But the Texans beat them in the first meeting. Houston is also playing much better. The Titans will win, but it will be close.

Pick: Titans 25, Texans 20

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Latest Odds: Baltimore Ravens -5

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The Steelers are still alive for a playoff spot, but it’s a long shot. The Ravens are done. But any time these two get together, it’s a physical battle. The don’t like each other. That’s why I think the Ravens will find a way to pull this game out to end the Steelers’ season, especially with the Steelers on a short week.

Pick: Ravens 28, Steelers 21

Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at Cleveland Browns

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Cleveland Browns -6

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This game doesn’t mean anything for Cleveland, but it will impact seeding for the Bengals. Cincinnati is riding high on offense, and there is no reason to think that won’t carry over here. Look for Joe Burrow to keep it going against a team that is ready for vacation.

Pick: Bengals 30, Browns 20

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -8

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Carolina is a mess and it has big-time offensive line issues. That will play out here as a major issue in this game. The Tampa Bay front will dominate this one just like it did the last meeting ta few weeks ago. Tampa Bay wins big as it gets ready for the playoffs.

Pick: Bucs 31, Panthers 13

New England Patriots (-7) at Miami Dolphins

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

Latest Odds: Miami Dolphins +6

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The Patriots are playing for a potential division title, while the Dolphins are done. Miami is coming off a terrible offensive showing last week and it won’t get any better here. New England will limit them again and score enough to avenge its Week 1 loss.

Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 14

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (+4.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Atlanta Falcons +3.5

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The Saints are barely alive in the playoff chase, while the Falcons are done. Motivation is on the side of the Saints, but this is a rivalry with two teams that know each other well. I am going to take the home dog here to stay close in this one as Matt Ryan plays well.

Pick: Saints 23, Falcons 21

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-16.5)

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

Latest Odds: Buffalo Bills -16

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The Bills can lock up the AFC East with a victory, while the Jets are playing out the string. The Bills will be much more focused in trying to lock up the division. Plus, they are the better team. This one should get ugly. Bills big.

Pick: Bills 34, Jets 14

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-4)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Los Angeles Rams -4.5

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The 49ers need this to get into the playoffs, while the Rams need it to win the division. That makes it one of the more interesting games of the week. The 49ers under Kyle Shanahan have gotten the best of the Rams and Sean McVay, including beating them earlier this year. Matt Stafford is struggling some, but he will play well here. Rams get it.

Pick: Rams 27, 49ers 20

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Arizona Cardinals -6.5

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The Cardinals are coming off an impressive road victory over the Cowboys, but they haven’t played as well at home. That will change here. The Cardinals need this game to possibly win the division, while the Seahawks are heading for the beach. That matters. Arizona takes it as the offense gets rolling again.

Pick: Cardinals 31, Seahawks 23

Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Las Vegas Raiders

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Latest Odds: Las Vegas Raiders +3

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This is a playoff game. The winner is in and the loser goes home — unless they tie. The Raiders surprised many by beating the Colts on the road, and they did it with their defense. That unit will be challenged here by Justin Herbert. I think the Chargers play well enough on offense to win this one. They get to the postseason.

Pick: Chargers 31, Raiders 23

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