The NFL is closing out the NFL season with several playoff spots still up for grabs. With this being the primary focus of the League right now, they’ve scheduled this weekend's slate of games to make things as exciting as possible.
With the College Football National Championship being played on Monday night, the ESPN/ABC “Monday Night Football” crew is kicking off Week 18 on a Saturday night doubleheader. Starting at 4:30 p.m. ET, the Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens will face off, and that game will be followed by the Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts at 8:15 p.m. ET. While the Ravens have locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Steelers, Texans, and Colts all have scenarios in which they could make or miss the playoffs.
The action continues on Sunday, with the remaining 14 games being played, five of which will be available for the local Detroit audience.
In the Sunday 1 p.m. ET timeslot, FOX will carry the Minnesota Vikings at the Detroit Lions game, while CBS will broadcast the Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints. Both things have very slim odds, but the Vikings will be looking to fight off being eliminated from the postseason, while the Lions will be hoping they can stay in play for the two seed in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently sitting on top of the NFC South, but if they lose to the Panthers, the winner of the Falcons-Saints game would clinch the division.
In the Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET timeslot, FOX will have the Los Angeles Rams at the San Francisco 49ers, while CBS will broadcast the Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers. Both these games should very much interest Lions fans, because if the Lions stay at the three seed in the NFC, they’ll face either the Rams or Packers, depending on the outcome of these contests.
Essentially, if the Lions stay at NFC three seed, then...
- Lions face the Rams if the Rams win -or- the Rams and Packers lose
- Lions face the Packers if the Rams lose and Packers win
The 2023-24 regular season wraps up with a “Sunday Night Football” matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins in a battle for the AFC crown. While the Dolphins have already locked up a spot in the playoffs, the Bills are still fighting for a spot in the postseason. For Miami, a win means they’re the two seed in the AFC, while a loss drops them to the six seed. For the Bills, a win also means they’re the two seed, but a loss could mean they’re the six seed, seven seed, or out of the playoffs altogether—pending the results of the Colts and Jaguars games.
It’s gonna be a fun weekend.
As we have done in past seasons, our staff will be making weekly predictions for every game on the NFL schedule. Each of the Pride of Detroit staff members will pick the moneyline (winner of the game, no spread), but some of the members will also pick against the spread and even the over/under lines—there’s an easy toggle button in the widget below to cycle through the settings. You can also check out all of the odds for this week’s games courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Here is who our staff is picking on the moneyline, spread, and over/under for all 16 games on the NFL Week 18 schedule: