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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Houston Texans (9-7) @ Indianapolis Colts (9-7)

Saturday, January 6, 8:15 PM ET

There is obviously a lot at stake in the AFC South this coming week, and playoff scenarios are all over the place.

The Indianapolis Colts have proven to be one of the most resilient teams in the entire league this year. They lost star rookie Anthony Richardson early in the season, and Jonathan Taylor has been out for quite a chunk of the season, but they've still managed to win nine games up to this point.

The Houston Texans were one of the worst teams in the NFL last season (like the Colts) but have had a dramatic turnaround in 2023 thanks to the coaching job done by DeMeco Ryans as well as the emergence of rookie quarterback CJ Stroud, who has to be the favorite for NFL rookie of the year offensively this season.

With the way both of these teams have played at their best, I think this game is actually a toss-up, and so does FanDuel. FanDuel has the Colts as early 1.5-point favorites, and I can't help but agree with them there. The Colts' offense has gotten plenty of attention, and rightfully so, thanks to the job being done by Shane Steichen and Gardner Minshew. However, the Colts' defense doesn't get nearly the flowers it deserves for getting this team to nine wins.

I think the Colts continue to ride that defense and a strong ground game to 10 wins and potentially an AFC West title.

Prediction: Colts win 24-21