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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 17 if you are a New Orleans Saints fan

Week 17 is here and the New Orleans Saints are barely alive in the NFC playoff picture. Who should Saints fans root for to help their chances?

An avid Saints fan employs signage to volunteer to play during the football game between the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints at the Caesar’s Superdome on December 27, 2021 in New Orleans, LA. Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Results: The Saints beat the Panthers to improve to 8-8. The Falcons lost while the Eagles and 49ers won. The Saints can still earn a playoff berth in Week 18 with a win and a 49ers loss.

The New Orleans Saints find themselves in a tough position. A five-game losing streak dropped them out of the NFC South race. They won two straight to climb firmly into the wild card race and then they were thumped by Miami after resorting to their third-string quarterback due to COVID-19 issues.

The Saints are 7-8 and DraftKings Sportsbook have them installed at +150 to make the playoffs. That provides an implied probability of 40%. They face the Panthers and while technically can stay alive with a loss, they badly need a win.

They are tied with the Vikings and Falcons a game back of the 49ers and Eagles for the final two playoff berths. However, the Saints are behind the Falcons due to their Week 9 loss, which also puts them back of the Vikings for the time being. New Orleans and Atlanta face off in Week 18.

In the meantime, they could use some help in Week 17. If you are a Saints fan, you’ll have a few games you’ll be paying attention to as they look to improve their chances of a playoff berth.

Falcons vs. Bills

It’s easy for Saints fans to root against Atlanta, but realistically this game doesn’t actually mean much. Whether or not New Orleans wins on Sunday, they’ll likely need a win over Atlanta in Week 18 to have a chance at a wild card berth. So, Saints fans can root against Atlanta just for kicks.

The Falcons are 14-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Vikings vs. Packers

Minnesota is still around the playoff picture, but they’ll be playing in Green Bay without quarterback Kirk Cousins due to COVID-19. The Saints don’t absolutely need the Vikings to lose, but it will help. Go Packers.

The Vikings are 13.5-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Eagles vs. Washington
Texans vs. 49ers

Philadelphia and San Francisco hold the final two wild card berths. The Eagles hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints while the 49ers/Saints tiebreakers are still up in the air. Saints fans can easily root for Washington and Houston.

The Eagles are 4.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook and the 49ers are 12-point favorites.