2021 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 17

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images
Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images /
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NFL Picks and predictions
NFL Picks and predictions – Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

Los Angeles Rams (11-4) at Baltimore Ravens (8-7)

Sunday, January 2, 4:25PM ET

I know, a bit of a bold prediction here. But with Lamar Jackson likely to return to the lineup and the Los Angeles Rams having been bipolar this season, I’m thinking the Ravens can come up with a surprise win in Week 17 to keep themselves in the playoff hunt.

That, however, is going to take a monumental effort for this squad. Not only does their defense need to step up in a big way to slow down Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Co., but the offense has to avoid turning the ball over. Even when Jackson has been available, he’s been giving the ball away too often. That simply can’t happen if the Ravens plan on winning.

Furthermore, Baltimore has to rely on its top weapons to consistently move the ball. That means a heavy helping of Mark Andrews, who has been nearly unstoppable in the last few weeks. The Rams will do their best to slow him down, but the star tight end should have a big game.

Last week showed us that, despite the win, the Rams are far from perfect at this point in the season. If the Ravens can force a couple of turnovers and capitalize on the opportunities, they should be able to sneak away with a much-needed victory against a playoff-bound opponent.

Prediction: Ravens win 24-22 | Spread:  Rams (-3.5)