Injury-Based Predictions For Saturday’s Chiefs-Raiders, Titans-Jags NFL Matchups

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Now that our initial cautious optimism on Damar Hamlin has come true, it allows us to focus back on football.

After cancelling the Bills at Bengals Week 17 game, the NFL made unprecedented changes to the AFC playoff system.

We are poised to reach our goal of +18 for the 18-week regular season with one more winning week. The health analysis-based five weekly picks sit at 49-32-4 (+17 ATS) at just over 60%. Here are our first two picks of the final week

KC -8.5 @ LVR

The Chiefs lock up the AFC #1 seed with a win and the Raiders have nothing to play for. Even with the new rule changes — which do not automatically award Kansas City with hosting the championship game if they get there — the reward of a first-round bye is enough to make this game meaningful. The Chiefs continue to be among the healthiest squads and have a 13+ SIC score advantage over the Raiders.

Defensively, Las Vegas will be without their entire starting linebacker core and top corner. Offensively, no Derek Carr and likely no Josh Jacobs. Plus they had to play a tough OT game against the 49ers last week. We’ll take KC to win and cover in the season finale.

TEN @ JAC -6

Derrick Henry is 100% but that may not be enough. The Jaguars have a 24-point SIC score health advantage over a Titans team that has lost six in a row. Tennessee continues with OL and LB problems with Josh Dobbs now at QB. Other than new issues on the left side of the offensive line, Jacksonville is healthy. Winner clinches the AFC South and hosts a wild-card game. That team is set up to the Jaguars who have won four in a row and five of their last six.

Coming Sunday: A full slate of games for the final day of the regular season and the final injury-based picks of the season. Let’s finish strong.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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