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 Chris Graythen/Getty Images /

Carolina Panthers (5-10) at New Orleans Saints (7-8)

Sunday, January 2, 1PM ET

If I was going solely off of the New Orleans Saints’ effort on Monday night, I’d give this one to the Carolina Panthers without question. However, that’s not the case, as Ian Book shouldn’t be under center as the Saints should be getting a number of players back from off the COVID list.

As long as Book isn’t under center, New Orleans should be good to go. It’s not like they’ve have to put a ton of points on the board when going against the Panthers, a team that has had one of the worst offenses in the NFL over the last several weeks. Even when Cam Newton joined the party, the offense wasn’t able to get going.

Both teams boast quality defenses, but I have more faith in the Saints to put points on the board. The Panthers will likely score at least a touchdown or two, but they’ve been unable to get consistent production on that side of the ball for at least the second half of the season. No Christian McCaffrey, no reliable scoring.

The Saints desperately need to win if they have any hope of staying alive in the NFC playoff hunt. They manage to get it done in this one — they should just consider themselves lucky to have such a favorable matchup this late in the season.

Prediction: Saints win 19-14 | Spread: N/A