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PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-2.5) vs Cleveland Browns

The Steelers need to beat their biggest rivals at home to have a chance of making the playoffs following a remarkable turnaround this season.

At 2-6 heading into their Week 9 bye, Pittsburgh looked down and out with one eye potentially on securing a high draft pick in April.

They have gone an impressive 6-2 since then to claw their way back to .500 and an unlikely postseason berth. A win against Cleveland, and losses for the Patriots vs Buffalo, and Miami vs the Jets would hand them a Wild Card spot.

Standing in their way is a Cleveland team which has already played spoiler for one team’s playoff hopes, as they beat Washington in Week 17 to eliminate the Commanders.

Luckily for Pittsburgh, history is on their side. They have won an incredible 18 straight regular season home games against Cleveland, and covered this spread in all but one of those.

Coach Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season in his 15 years at the helm in Pittsburgh, which adds a further dimension to this intriguing divisional clash.

With Kenny Pickett looking extremely poised under pressure in recent weeks, take him and the Steelers to fulfil their side of the playoff bargain here.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (-7.5) vs Baltimore Ravens

While Pittsburgh vies to become the third AFC North team to make the postseason, the two other playoff-bound franchises from that division meet in Cincinnati, with seedings at stake.

The Bengals have already clinched the division title after their game against Buffalo last Monday was cancelled, but a win here could see them climb to the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

For Baltimore, a win in Ohio would secure them the No. 6 seed at least, potentially putting them above the chargers into the five spot.

Unfortunately for the Ravens, their offense has totally stalled since quarterback Lamar Jackson got injured in Week 13, averaging just 11.8 points per game since then.

Their defense has basically won them two of their last four games, but a Cincinnati offense led by a red-hot Joe Burrow will provide a much bigger test than any of their opponents on that run. 

Burrow has been lights out lately, with 11 passing touchdowns in his last four games, while his receiving corps of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd have all enjoyed stellar seasons.

Cincinnati have also been the best team to back against the spread this season at 12-3-0 overall and 5-1-0 at home, so backing them here looks a good bet.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-7.5) @ Chicago Bears

It may seem crazy backing Minnesota after their pasting at the hands of Green Bay last weekend, but Chicago is a very different prospect at this point in the season.

Nathan Peterman will be starting under center for the Bears after Justin Fields was ruled out with a hip injury, and that should severely stunt their offensive production.

Fields has basically been Chicago’s whole offense for much of this year, and he will end the season just 64 yards short of Lamar Jackson’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback (1,206).

With Fields out, the Bears look toothless, and the Vikings should be able to take advantage to head into the postseason with some regained momentum.

Minnesota ranks seventh in the NFL in points per game (24.7), and fifth for passing yards per game (258.9), so Kirk Cousins and his receiving corps should have big games in Chicago.

Add Dalvin Cook into the mix and you have an offense capable of papering over their defensive fragilities and blowing the Bears away.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-5.5) vs Los Angeles Rams

Seattle currently holds the No.7 seed in the NFC playoff picture, but their route to the postseason is not as simple as winning against the Rams.

Due to tiebreakers with the Lions and Packers, the Seahawks need to beat LA and hope the Lions overcome the Packers in their Week 18 showdown.

All they can do is beat the Rams and hope the other game goes their way, and there’s no reason to suspect they won’t get the victory they need.

They beat the Rams 27-23 back in Week 13, with Geno Smith having a big game, throwing for 367 yards and three touchdowns.

He should have his way once more against a Rams defense that ranks in the bottom half for points and passing yards against.

The Seattle defense will need to put in an improved showing to keep Baker Mayfield and the Rams offense off the board, but shipping just six points to the Jets last weekend is a good sign.