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 Patrick Smith/Getty Images /

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1) at Baltimore Ravens (8-8)

Sunday, January 9, 1PM ET

It’s been a bummer of a year for both of these clubs despite the fact they’re still technically alive. Both came into the season with high hopes, but injuries, inconsistent play, and all sorts of other hurdles have kept them from realizing the potential they possessed in September.

Right now, the Steelers need a win, a Colts loss, and something other than a tie in the Las Vegas Raiders-Los Angeles Chargers game. Meanwhile, the Ravens need a win, a Colts loss, a Patriots win or tie against the Dolphins, and a Raiders win. Neither situation is looking good, but both teams will do what they can to take care of their end of the deal.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, I don’t see them having enough left in the tank to get it done. They’ve been awful on the road this year, and their offense has limped through the final few weeks. While the Ravens have now lost five straight games and may be without Lamar Jackson again, I see them pulling out the win in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium.

That, however, doesn’t mean the rest of the scenarios will play out as Baltimore would hope. More than likely, both of these clubs are watching the playoffs from the couch. It’s the end of an era with Ben Roethlisberger likely headed for retirement (and Canton).

Prediction: Ravens win 27-26 | Spread: Ravens (-4)