CBS NFL Picks Week 18: Prisco Predictions For Final Round (2024)

Ahead of the final round of the regular season, analyst Pete Prisco has offered up his CBS NFL Picks for Week 18. With a bucket load of playoff permutations interwoven into the season’s climax, we put his predictions under the microscope to see who he is banking on for the final postseason spots.

CBS Expert Picks NFL Week 18

CBS Sports commentator and analyst Pete Prisco admitted Week 18’s schedule appears, on the surface, to be a particularly difficult round to decipher.

With so many narratives feeding into the remaining playoff berths, along with teams already with a hole punched in their postseason ticket, the result could be a chaotic climax littered with upsets.

Prisco’s CBS NFL picks against the spread for the season stand at 123-122-11, while his straight up record was bolstered in Week 17 after going 12-4, bring the total tally up to 158-98-0.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (+3.5)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET

First up is a must-win game for Pittsburgh against newly-crowned AFC North champions Baltimore, who will likely rest MVP favorite Lamar Jackson.

“The Steelers need to have this game to have any chance to make the playoffs. But you know these two don’t like each other. Even if guys like Lamar Jackson sit, I think the Ravens will win it.”

Prediction: Ravens 24, Steelers 21

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (+1.5)

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET

The Texans stand on the cusp of making the playoffs, putting an end to three consecutive years of being the first team to fall out of postseason contention.

“The Texans are a different team with C.J. Stroud, who played well last week after missing two games. I think he plays a good game here and the Texans make the playoffs.”

Prediction: Texans 31, Colts 26

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (+5.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Tampa can clinch the NFC South in Carolina, and come up against a 2-14 Panthers side whose confidence has scarcely lifted from the floor this year.

“I think the Bucs will play much better here against a Carolina team that didn’t score last week against Jacksonville. Bucs win and also win the division.”

Prediction: Bucs 24, Panthers 13

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

The Battle of Ohio is simply for bragging rights in this season curtain call, with the Bengals already out of contention and the Browns already on their way to the playoffs.

“The Bengals are eliminated, but they should play here against their rival in the last game of the year. This a tough one to pick, but I will go with the Bengals in a close one as the Browns will be looking ahead to more important things.”

Prediction: Bengals 23, Browns 20

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Both the Vikings and the Lions are vying to win for varying prospects – expect fireworks.

“The Vikings still have an outside chance to make the playoffs, while the Lions have already clinched a spot and could just be playing for a higher seed. The Lions lost a tough one last week at Dallas, but back home they will get right for the playoffs with an impressive showing here against a Vikings team with a mess at quarterback.”

Prediction: Lions 31, Vikings 18

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

The Bears haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 2015, and Prisco is predicting that run to continue.

“It’s simple for the Packers: Win and they are in the playoffs. They are coming off an impressive victory over the Vikings, but this won’t be easy.”

Prediction: Packers 30, Bears 24

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-2.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Will Week 18 see Bill Belichick’s swansong? If so what a damp squib to bow out with.

“The Jets looked lifeless in losing to the Browns last week, and that will show up again here. The Pats aren’t good, but they compete, which will be the difference.”

Prediction: Pats 21, Jets 14

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

This could well turn into the NFC South decide if the Panthers find a way to surprise the Bucs.

“The Saints played well in beating Tampa Bay last week, while the Falcons did not in losing to the Bears. They are also playing consecutive road games, which is a challenge. The Saints win it and still might be able to earn a wild-card spot if they do.”

Prediction: Saints 23, Falcons 14

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (+5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Pete Prisco is confident the Jaguars will have next-to-no trouble finding a way past Tennessee, even if they are Trevor Lawrence-less.

“Even if Trevor Lawrence can’t play, the Jaguars will do enough to find a way to win this game. The defense will come up big, no matter if it’s Will Levis or Ryan Tannehill for the Titans. Jaguars win it and win the division. “

Prediction: Jaguars 23, Titans 16

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers (-3)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

It seems very likely the reigning Super Bowl champs will rest a host of their key starters, with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Isiah Pacheco likely to be coddled in bubble wrap ahead of the playoffs. Prisco still expects them too have too much for the Chargers.

“So who plays this week? Does Patrick Mahomes play? The Chargers are heading to an offseason of change, but with Easton Stick playing here it won’t matter who plays for the Chiefs.”

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Chargers 20

Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Neither of these sides have playoff prospects, and as such Prisco has predicted a fairly low scoring meeting.

“What’s the motivation for Denver with Russell Wilson benched a week ago? Jarrett Stidham will start again. But the Raiders will get the best of him. “

Prediction: Raiders 21, Broncos 17

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (+2.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Arizona claimed the unlikeliest of wins against the Eagles in Week 17, putting up 35 points against one of the most stout defenses in the league. Is there another surprise in store against a team still in the playoff picture? Prisco seems to think so.

“The Cardinals are playing out the string, but as they showed in beating the Eagles last week they are far from thinking about a resort beach. Look for the Cardinals to play hard and win this one to end Seattle’s playoff hopes.”

Prediction:Cardinals 27, Seahawks 23

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (+5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

The Eagles enter the final week in fairly dismal form having lost four of their previous five. That includes the aforementioned slump against the Cardinals, so a win here is needed to lift their spirits ahead of the playoffs slate.

“The Eagles would be locked into the fifth seed if the Cowboys win their game being played at the same time. The Giants lost to the Eagles two weeks ago in a close one, and this will be close as well.”

Prediction: Eagles 26, Giants 24

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

An intriguing one, and potentially one to avoid on your parlays. Both are expected to rest players with a playoff berth locked in, but Prisco is siding with NFL betting sites‘ Super Bowl favorites San Francisco.

“The 49ers are locked in as the top seed, so they will likely rest players. The Rams are in the sixth spot right now, which means they will play next week in the playoffs. The Rams could also opt to rest guys.”

Prediction: 49ers 27, Rams 20

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders (+13)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

The largest spread of any NFL Week 18 game, it would come as a monumental surprise to see the Cowboys give up the NFC East title against the Commanders – Prisco concurs.

“The Cowboys will handle this one easily and move on to the playoffs as division champs as Dak Prescott has a big day.”

Prediction: Cowboys 36, Commanders 21

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (+3)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

This has the potential to be the defining game of Week 18, with both the Bills and the Dolphins able to clinch the AFC East with a win here.

“The Bills and Josh Allen have dominated Miami in Allen’s career, and I don’t see that changing here.”

Prediction: Bills 30, Dolphins 23

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CBS NFL Picks Week 18: Prisco Predictions For Final Round (2024)
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