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How can the Steelers clinch a playoff spot in Week 18?

We discuss the scenarios that could see the Pittsburgh Steelers clinching a playoff spot in Week 18.

Head coach Mike Tomlin and Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers talk in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18 and they’ll open Week 18 with a chance to put themselves in position for a playoff berth. The Steelers sit in ninth place with a 9-7 record and trail the Colts and Texans in the tiebreaker.

Steelers-Ravens kicks off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and will air on ABC and ESPN. The Steelers are 3.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. They have their work cut out for them, but they benefit from the Ravens having clinched everything they need. In Week 17, Baltimore clinched the AFC North and the No. 1 seed with home field advantage in the AFC playoffs.

The Steelers can clinch a playoff berth, but need to win and get some help.

Pittsburgh Steelers playoff clinching scenarios - Week 18

  1. PIT win + BUF loss OR
  2. PIT win + JAX loss or tie OR
  3. PIT win + HOU-IND tie OR
  4. PIT tie + JAX loss + HOU-IND doesn’t end in tie OR
  5. JAX loss + DEN win + HOU-IND doesn’t end in tie

Sunday update: The Jaguars beat the Titans 28-20, giving the Steelers a playoff spot. We won’t know who they play until the Bills and Dolphins play tonight.

Saturday update: The Steelers beat the Ravens 17-10. They now need the Bills or Titans to win on Sunday.

We can say right out of the gate that a tie in any of these games is highly unlikely. A Steelers-Ravens tie is getting +6500 odds while a Texans-Colts tie is getting +7500 odds. We can discount scenarios three and four easily enough.

The Bills and Jaguars both play must-win games this week. The Bills travel to face the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football and are field goal favorites. The Jaguars travel to face the Titans and are five-point favorites. The Broncos are a 2.5-point road underdog against the Raiders.