NFL 2021 Week 18 Predictions

We have arrived at the final week of the 2021 regular season at and the commish is coming off another 60% week after going 3-2 last week.  The season record is now 42/82 (51.22%).  My biggest regret from last week was underestimating the Cincinnati Bengals.  They have had a great year and I have watched their surge of late and should have known they would stay inside of a field goal against the Chiefs, whose defense is inconsistent.  And to bet on anyone against the Packers in Lambeau is a fools errand, and they will be tough to beat this year in the playoffs if the road to the Super Bowl goes through Green Bay.  With that said, here are my picks for the final week of the NFL 2021 Week 18 predictions.   All lines are from at the time of this posting.

Baltimore Ravens – 3.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers

I’m trying to stick to games this week that involve teams that are mathematically still alive and this is a featured matchup at 1:00 today as both teams in this matchup still have a chance but need help from others (Indy needs to lose to Jacksonville).  The truth is, neither one of these teams is playoff worthy this year, especially Pittsburgh.  Ben has been limping into retirement since the season started and he got his final hurrah last week as I predicted he would, as he walked off Heinz with the final victory of his career.  Money has been coming in steady on the Steelers this week as the opener was 6 and now we have 2.5 points of CLV with the favorite.  Despite dealing with a rash of injuries, the Ravens send the Steelers packing for a rebuild with a convincing win at home.

Jacksonville +15 over Indianapolis Colts

I have not picked the Jags to win or cover a game all year.  Until today.  Getting more than two touchdowns at home in the final game of the year is just too hard to pass up.  Add to the fact that the Colts have not won here since 2014.  The entire country who have not used the Colts in Survivor will use them today.  And to ice the cake everyone at who loves four team teasers will have a wheel bet on the Colts with the “all they have to do is win the game” mentality.  That spells disaster today.  I think the Colts will ultimately get the win here but will make the country sweat it out hard.

San Francisco +3.5 over LA Rams

I missed the good number on this one as earlier in the week this line was 6 and now I’m here getting shitty CLV by having to bet it at 3.5.  This is the opposite of the Ravens situation I find myself in above.   But that doesn’t change the fact that if the 49ers win this game, they are going to the playoffs with the final wildcard of the 2021 season in the NFC.  And the Rams have not beaten the 49ers since 2018!  Trey Lance is a wild card and we’re still not sure if he’s starting or it’s going to be Jimmy G.  Jimmy has the torn ligament in his thumb and likely will get the start here.  But I hope it’s Lance, as the risk / reward provides higher upside if it’s him and coach Shanny will call a conservative game either way.  But Lance has the better athleticism to deal with this Rams pass rush.

LA Chargers – 3 over Las Vegas Raiders

Our final game of the regular season tonight is an AFC West battle which will send the winner to the playoffs in the 7th spot Wildcard.  The Raiders find themselves here with some great Covid luck (Browns, Colts, Denver) and still missing key essential players like Ruggs and Waller.   The Chargers are the healthiest they have been all season, and find themselves needing this win to get in because they are very good at blowing leads.  But when it’s all said and done, there’s just too much offense for the Raiders to handle.  I have the Chargers offense ranked 3rd and the Raiders all the way down at 19.  And in an emotionally charged game like this with the pass rush will be heavy on Carr, the absence of his key weapons will play out in an unfavorable way and the Chargers go to the playoffs.

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