2023 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 18

NFL picks and score predictions for Week 18 of the 2023-24 season.

NFL picks
NFL picks / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages
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Denver Broncos (8-8) @ Las Vegas Raiders (7-9)

Sunday, January 7, 4:25 PM ET

The Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders don’t have anything to play for in Week 18 except for pride, but I think this is going to be one of the most hard-fought games of the week.

The Raiders close out the season at home and you can’t help but wonder if the sand timer is running out on interim head coach Antonio Pierce. For the most part, it feels like Pierce has done a really great job with the Raiders and it seems he deserves a chance to be considered the team’s permanent head coach going forward.

Of course, the Raiders aren’t going to deny themselves an opportunity to make a big splash if the opportunity presents itself, but Pierce could be a major factor for the organization going forward.

How will the team rally around him in Week 18 in what could be his final game as head coach?

What about Sean Payton and the Broncos? They have a chance to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2016. The Broncos have been in the headlines all season from their debacle in Miami, to their impressive winning streak, to benching Russell Wilson last week.

It hasn’t been a seamless first year in Denver for Sean Payton, but with the way things were in Denver last season, nobody should have expected seamless. The Broncos haven’t beaten the Raiders in a while, and I think Sean Payton is going to get this team to a winning record in his first year on the job.

Prediction: Broncos win 27-21