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NN Week 18 predictions contest: 49ers play for a chance at a playoff bye

The 49ers play the Cardinals to close out the 2022 season, with a playoff bye week on the line

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The 49ers actually have a slim chance to land the top seed in the NFC this week. Can Brock Purdy keep his magic run going?

Due to our sponsorship with Tallysight, we have to pick every game. But, as usual, we’ll narrow it down to six for you at the bottom. Odds for all the games are available on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Kansas City over Raiders: Kansas City is still playing for a bye, so they should take care of business in Las Vegas.

Jaguars over Titans: My expectations that the Titans would surprise folks without Ryan Tannehill has not panned out. The Jags have been up and down this season, but they should have their first above-.500 season in years.

Bucs over Falcons: Neither team has anything to play for, but the Bucs are currently lining up to play Tom Brady and are still decent underdogs. Even if Tampa reverses course and benches their veterans, it’s not like Atlanta is clearly better.

Patriots over Bills: The Bills are dealing with a lot this week, and I don’t think it’s fair to expect them to perform up to their usual standard if this game goes on as scheduled.

Vikings over Bears: Going up against a Bears team that won’t even have Justin Fields, the Vikings better not lose this one.

Bengals over Ravens: I’m tempted to pick the Ravens at +260, but the Bengals are a far healthier team right now.

Texans over Colts: I’m just picking the underdog.

Jets over Dolphins: I’m shocked this game is at even -110 odds with the Dolphins set to start Skylar Thompson at quarterback.

Panthers over Saints: Steve Wilkes has the Panthers playing for a chance to have the interim tag removed.

Steelers over Browns: You know the rules.

Chargers over Broncos: The Chargers appear unlikely to rest their starters AND are underdogs against this terrible Broncos team.

Giants over Eagles: This is a pure odds pick. I think the Eagles will probably win, but the Giants are at +700 (1 in 8), which is just too low with Jalen Hurts’ current status. Philly has dealt with a lot of injuries and they have underperformed over the past three weeks. The Giants probably should rest their starters, but in a game against a division rival that could cost them a buy, I think New York will be tougher competition than expected.

Seahawks over Rams: The Rams just have nothing left in the tank.

49ers over Cardinals: The Niners should be able to correct their mistakes after nearly getting upset by the Raiders last week.

Commanders over Cowboys: Home field and big rivalry. I think the Commanders can pull the upset, especially since Dallas will be more motivated to rest players for the postseason.

Lions over Packers: This was one of the harder picks of the week. There’s a chance the Lions are eliminated before the start of the game, but at +195, the odds were too good to pass up.

Marc’s prediction record:
Week 1: 7-8-1
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 7-9
Week 4: 9-7
Week 5: 8-8
Week 6: 8-6
Week 7: 9-5
Week 8: 10-5
Week 9: 8-5
Week 10: 8-6
Week 11: 10-4
Week 12: 10-6
Week 13: 8-7-1
Week 14: 8-5
Week 15: 8-8
Week 16: 10-6
Week 17: 6-9
Overall: 143-111-2

Here are the six games for this week’s contest (times in Pacific):

Bucs @ Falcons, 10:00 AM

Texans @ Colts, 10:00 AM

Jets @ Dolphins, 10:00 AM

Panthers @ Saints, 10:00 AM

Chargers @ Broncos, 1:25 PM

Cardinals @ 49ers, 1:25 PM