2021 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 18

The Indianapolis Star
The Indianapolis Star /
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NFL picks and predictions
NFL picks and predictions – Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images /

Tennessee Titans (11-5) at Houston Texans (4-12)

Sunday, January 9, 1PM ET

Something tells me the Houston Texans are going to play spoiler and steal the Tennessee Titans’ opportunity to lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Despite that feeling, I’m making my pick based on logic — the Titans are better and will come ready to play in Week 18.

I keep doubting the Titans, and they keep delivering on Sundays. It seemed like the Dolphins had a good chance of taking them down in Week 17, and instead, they throttled Miami to secure their current spot atop the conference. Why can’t they do the same thing this upcoming weekend against a far inferior team in the Texans?

Even without Derrick Henry, the Titans are beginning to hit their stride. They’re getting production in the run game, and Ryan Tannehill is keeping the passing attack moving. The return of A.J. Brown has certainly helped, as the offense is beginning to run like a well-oiled machine. Perfect timing, right?

You can’t completely count out the Texans, who have looked like a different team in recent weeks. Still, even if Davis Mills puts together a strong game, the Titans will find a way to come out on top and ensure themselves a first-round bye.

Prediction: Titans win 24-20 | Spread: Titans (-11)