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Saturday night football Week 18 expert picks, open thread: Steelers at Ravens, Texans at Colts

POD staff picks for the slate of Saturday matchups between the Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts.

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Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The College Football National Championship is being played on Monday night, and as a result, the ESPN/ABC “Monday Night Football” crew is kicking off the final week of the 2023-24 regular season with two games on Saturday night, both with major AFC playoff implications.

Steelers at Ravens

Date: Saturday, January 6, 2024
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
Announcers: Chris Fowler, Dan Orlovsky, Louis Riddick, and Laura Rutledge
Online Stream/Replay: ESPN+, ESPN APP, NFL+ Premium (Replay)

The Steelers and Ravens have faced off 59 times in their histories, with the Steelers holding a 31-24 regular season advantage, as well as a 3-1 postseason victory edge. The Steelers have won six of the last seven meetings between these two teams, including winning 17-10 earlier this season.

While the Ravens are locked into the AFC’s number one seed, the Steelers need to win and get some help in order to make it into the postseason. Here’s how Pittsburgh can clinch a playoff berth:

  1. Steelers win + Buffalo Bills loss OR
  2. Steelers win + Jacksonville Jaguars loss or tie OR
  3. Steelers win + Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts tie OR
  4. Steelers tie + Jaguars loss + Texans-Colts doesn’t end in tie OR
  5. Jaguars loss + Denver Broncos win + Texans-Colts doesn’t end in tie

Texans at Colts

Date: Saturday, January 6, 2024
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Lisa Salters
Online Stream/Replay: ESPN+, ESPN APP, NFL+ Premium (Replay)

The Texans and Colts have faced off 44 times in their histories with Indianapolis holding a 32-10-1 regular season advantage and a 1-0 postseason record. The Colts have also won five of their last seven matchups, including a 31-20 victory in September.

The winner of this game will clinch a berth in the playoffs, but they will also have a chance to clinch the AFC South pending the result of the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans game on Sunday.

Here’s a look at the Texans postseason scenarios:

  1. Texans win = playoff berth
  2. Texans win and Jaguars lose or tie = AFC South champs

Here’s a look at the Colts postseason scenarios:

  1. Colts win = playoff berth
  2. Colts win and Jaguars lose or tie = AFC South champs
  3. Colts-Texans tie and Jaguars lose = AFC South champs

The folks over at DraftKings Sportsbook are favoring the Steelers and Texans in their matchups and here is a look at who each of our staff is picking for Saturday night’s games:

Enjoy the game and come chat with us in the comments!

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