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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 17 if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan

Week 17 is here and the Baltimore Ravens are just outside the playoff picture. Who should Ravens fans root for to help their chances?

Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens high fives with fans after their overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium on November 07, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Results: The Ravens lost a heart-breaker to the Rams and their playoff chances are on life support. The Bengals won to clinch the AFC North. In the wild card race, the Raiders beat the Colts and the Titans beat the Dolphins.

The Baltimore Ravens head into Week 17 in a tailspin. The team has lost four straight games and might be without starting quarterback Lamar Jackson for a third straight start. His sprained ankle has cost the team and while Tyler Huntley should be available after missing last week due to COVID-19, the team’s playoff chances are dwindling.

Baltimore is 8-7 and currently sitting a game back of the Bengals in the AFC North. They’re in eighth place in the overall AFC standings tied with four other teams. The Dolphins are in seventh place with the final wild card berth and have the conference record tiebreaker over the Ravens.

The Ravens current odds to make the playoffs at DraftKings Sportsbook are +180, which translates to an implied probability of 35.71%. They have a realistic chance at a playoff berth, but they will need some help to make it happen.

If you are a Ravens fan, you’ll have a few games you’ll be paying attention to as they look to improve their chances of a playoff berth. This all assumes the Ravens win their game on Sunday against the Rams. The Ravens are 4.5-point underdogs to the Rams at DraftKings Sportsbook. If they lose, they could be eliminated from playoff contention by a variety of combinations involving the Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins, Bills, Giants, and others.

Chiefs vs. Bengals

This is simple. A Bengals loss keeps the door open for the division title. The Bengals are 5.5-point underdogs.

Raiders vs. Colts

The Ravens are tied with the Raiders and a game back of the Colts. Baltimore has the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Colts but not over the Raiders. They’re ahead of the Raiders in the standings because the Chargers have the tiebreaker over Las Vegas and they eliminate multiple teams from the same division first in wild card tiebreakers. If the Chargers lose to the Broncos this week or the Raiders next week, and Baltimore and Las Vegas win out, the Raiders would finish the year ahead of the Ravens. Rooting for the Colts is the more conservative play, rooting for the Raiders is probably better for an aggressive playoff push. The Raiders are seven-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Dolphins vs. Titans

The Dolphins are a half game up and the Titans are 2.5 games up. This one is clear and Steelers fans will be rooting for Tennessee on Sunday. The Titans are 3.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Broncos vs. Chargers

Baltimore is tied with LA but has the head-to-head tiebreaker. They are a game up on Denver and have the head-to-head tiebreaker as well. If the Raiders move ahead of the Chargers, Las Vegas moves ahead of Baltimore due to tiebreakers, so Ravens fans should be rooting for the Chargers. LA is a 6.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Browns vs. Steelers

Cleveland is a game back of Baltimore and Pittsburgh is a half game back. The Ravens host the Steelers in the Week 18 finale and likely will need to win it to get in. If that’s the case, Ravens fans should root for Pittsburgh to end Cleveland’s chances. The Steelers are 3.5-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Jaguars vs. Patriots
Falcons vs. Bills

The Patriots and Bills both have a one-game lead and the tiebreaker over Baltimore. The Ravens would need one or both of them to lose both remaining games to get ahead and that seems unlikely. But, go ahead and root for the Jaguars and Falcons. The Bills are 14-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook while the Patriots are a 16-point favorite.