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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Cleveland Browns (11-5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)

Sunday, January 7, 1:00 PM ET

There are few stories as crazy as Joe Flacco becoming a star late this season for the Cleveland Browns. Flacco was signed to Cleveland's practice squad as they cycled through Deshaun Watson, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and PJ Walker at the quarterback position.

Among other major injuries to guys like Nick Chubb and Jack Conklin, the way the Browns endured through the amount of adversity they've faced should be studied. Kevin Stefanski deserves to win NFL Coach of the Year in my book.

And I think the Browns are going to close out the season in style. They have a road trip to take on the 8-8 Cincinnati Bengals, who were just beaten on the road last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Cleveland has a chance to seize the 5th seed in the AFC playoff race, which will get them a matchup in the first week of the postseason against the AFC South champion.

And with all due respect to the teams competing in the AFC South this season, that seems like a pretty nice Wild Card matchup for the Browns (or anyone).

Shockingly, the Bengals open up this week as 4.5-point favorites at home here. I don't know where FanDuel is coming up with that one unless they think the Browns and Joe Flacco are about to see the clock strike midnight.

I personally think Cleveland wins this one rather handily.

Prediction: Browns win 30-20