Week 18 is always tough when it comes to picking NFL games. There is a lot of uncertainty about who plays and who doesn’t. So I can use that as an excuse for my best bets last week as part of the “Pick Six NFL” podcast.
I went 1-4, my worst week of the season. What a way to close out the regular season. It brought my record down to 55-44-5, which still holds, but the last two weeks have killed me in pursuit of a win over RJ White. Podcast host Will Brinson has been out of the running for a long time.
but for me CBSSports.com Expert picks, ATS went 9-7 and 10-6, respectively. This brings my record to 129-133-9 ATS and 169-101-1 respectively. This means that it will take qualifiers to get more than . 500 ATS, which I plan to do.
Let’s sweep away the wild card games of the week. That’s right, 6-0. Let’s go.
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Featured game | San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers beat the Seahawks twice during the regular season, once with rookie Brock Purdy. He hasn’t lost his start yet, but things are changing in the playoffs. The intensity goes up. I think Kyle Shanahan will find a way to make it easier for Purdy, even in the post-season. The 49ers defense will be all over Geno Smith. This is going to get ugly.
pluck or pluck: 49ers 28, Seahawks 17
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
Featured game | Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Chargers
This is a game featuring two of the best quarterbacks in the league. Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence will be making their first playoffs, but I don’t think that will matter. The Jaguars dominated the Chargers in blowing it up in Week 3, but this would be a lot closer. Both passing matches should have big days, so should the shootout. Look for the Jaguars to make another big game to win as Lawrence wins his first fight with Herbert.
pluck or pluck: Jaguars 34, Chargers 31
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount +)
Featured game | Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins
Do you play Tua Tagovailoa? If not, who does? The quarterback position is volatile for Miami, but I don’t think who plays matters. The Dolphins played well in losing to the Bills late in the season, but that won’t be the case here. Josh Allen and offense will light up the Dolphins defense, while the Bills will limit Miami’s big plays. The bills will go ahead.
pluck or pluck: Bills 34, Dolphins 21
Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Featured game | Minnesota Vikings vs New York Giants
Those two played on Christmas Eve, and the Vikings needed a 61-yard field goal by Greg Joseph to win it. The Giants gained 448 yards of offense that day and probably should have won the game. But they didn’t. Now it’s a road playoff, which is going to be a challenge. However, I think Brian Dabul will take advantage of Minnesota’s poor defense. It should be a high score, as Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson would make some plays, but it’s the Giants who win it with a late field goal this time to take the lead.
pluck or pluck: Giants 30, Vikings 28
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Featured game | Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens
The big issue here is whether Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson can play. I’m going to assume he’s playing here. Sure, he’ll be rusty and miss five weeks, but he’s better than the no-play substitute. The Bengals have an eight-game winning streak, not counting the canceled game, and they’ve looked just as good as the team that went to the Super Bowl last year. They beat the Crows last week, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Joe Borough is having a good day. The Bengals will move on.
pluck or pluck: 26 Bengals, Ravens 19
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN)
Featured game | Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys looked horrible in their final loss to leadersbut really what were they playing the giants players for vs the Eagles? no thing. So clear that game, even if Dak Prescott looks bad. The Bucs entered the playoffs with a losing record, and they have problems. It’s easy to sit here and say Tom Brady will run it in the playoffs. But I don’t see it. Not against that cowboy front. Prescott would play better with the Dallas offense to lead them to the next round.
pluck or pluck: Cowboys 27, Buckeye 21
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