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  • Writer's pictureBlake Millner

NFL Picks Week 18

After a lengthy vacation, I'm back and ready to instill more wisdom upon the betting community. The NFL is entering the final week of the regular season and with playoff berths on the line, you better believe that there is gonna be drama. In week 15, my locks went 3-2 (27-28 YTD) and I went 11-5 overall (84-73-1 YTD). Here are the final picks of the 2021 NFL regular season.

Steelers @ Ravens

The Pick: PIT +3.5

Oh, what a fall from grace for the Ravens this season, after starting out 5-1, the team has collapsed down the stretch with five consecutive losses. Baltimore is still technically in the hunt, but without Lamar Jackson at the helm, this team has little hope. Pain is the name of the game as four of the five losses have come by one or two points. A week 13 loss in Pittsburgh kickstarted the losing streak and now the Steelers have a chance to stamp out the hopes of the Baltimore faithful for good in a week 18 showdown. Barring some good luck, this will be Ben Roethlisberger's final game and he will want to go out in a blaze of glory. Pittsburgh will be missing their top receiving option in Dionte Johnson, but still, have plenty of weapons to keep the ball moving. I believe that this game will be a sweet send-off to Roethlisberger's illustrious career and he will earn his final win.

Titans @ Texans

The Pick: TEX +10.5

What can I say, I just got a feeling about this game. Currently, the Titans hold the top seed in the AFC, with KC right behind them. This is a similar situation to 2019 when the Patriots held the top seed going into the final week with KC hot on their heels. The Miami Dolphins pulled a stunning upset that week in New England and the Chiefs were gifted the #1 seed. I think something similar might happen this weekend. I don't have a lot of faith in the Titans and I have to give the Texans credit for how they have fought this year. We also should not forget that the Texans took down the Titans in Nashville already this season. I love the Texans to stay within single digits and I like Houston to possibly even win this game.

Saints @ Falcons

The Pick: ATL +3.5

If there is one team that should not be in the playoffs, it is the New Orleans Saints. The offense is literal garbage and I have no interest in watching a match that they are a part of. Their only saving grace is a spectacular defense and a penchant for beating up on Tom Brady. Granted, the team is not a lock to make the playoffs if they win this game, but it is better to put them out of their misery in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons are a rather mediocre team, but they are very familiar with this foe. This could be Matt Ryan's final game in a Falcon's uniform, so he will undoubtingly give it his all. Because I despise the Saints' offense, I believe that Atlanta will cover the spread and win the game.

49ers @ Rams

The Pick: SF +4.5

The dominance that the 49ers have exerted over LA is well known over the past three years. Five consecutive victories over the Rams have comprised the crown jewel of Kyle Shanahan's coaching career and he would very much like to add to the legend with another win on Sunday. The task is simple for San Francisco, win and they are in. I feel like the team has enough momentum to steal away a huge win on the road. The only danger is that Jimmy G is questionable, but appears on track to play. The Rams will be fairly healthy overall and expect the return of Cam Ackers for the game. I'm relying on historical trends, but I'm fairly confident the 49ers will win this game and clinch a playoff spot.

Chargers @ Raiders

The Pick: LV +3

Here is the best match of the week, two bitter rivals fighting for a playoff spot. The loser goes home and the winner is in. The Raiders have overcome every off-field issue this season and look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The most recent win in Indianapolis was the best of the year for the club and served as a message to the rest of the NFL that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their best weapon, Darren Waller, remains sidelined, yet the team has rattled off three wins in a row. The Chargers look to return to the postseason for the first time since 2018. Los Angeles has struggled to find consistency this season and recently found themselves on the losing end of a matchup with the lowly Texans. While I believe that Justin Herbert could pull off a major win here in order to get his team to the playoffs, I just like the underdog narrative that the Raiders have too much. Much like the Braves this year, most people wrote off the team after they fell on hard times, yet they just kept persevering all the way to a national title, I see the same fight in these Raiders. Las Vegas will win this game.

The Best of the Rest:

Chiefs @ Broncos: KC -11

Cowboys @ Eagles: DAL -4

Bengals @ Browns: CIN +6

Packers @ Lions: DET +3.5

Colts @ Jaguars: JAX +15

Bears @ Vikings: MIN -5.5

The Football Team @ Giants: WAS -7

Jets @ Bills: BUF -16

Patriots @ Dolphins: MIA +6.5

Panthers @ Buccaneers: TB -8

Seahawks @ Cardinals: ARI -5.5

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