NFL Week 17 Picks: San Francisco Looking To Play Spoiler

Colin Kaepernick

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-4)*

Let’s strip out the fact that these two teams will be playing for a division title and simply look at the body of work over the course of the season – whichever way it is sliced, it’s bad.

Where most division-deciding showdowns included at least one team making a run to force such a game, that’s not the case between the Falcons and Panthers. Instead, it was parallel losses that forced neither team to pull away from the other. In that regard, this is more of a ‘second chance’ to make the season worthwhile than it is battle featuring two clashing sides.

While neither team has been impressive, the Panthers’ three most recent wins that forced this matchup were against the Buccaneers, Saints, and Browns. Although the Falcons are not playing any world-beaters, themselves, they had, at least sustained a nice stretch of football – 4-3 over their last seven games – as compared to the Panthers surviving on the heels of only a three-game winning streak.

The edge, in this game, goes to the team that had been playing for this goal for over a month – as compared to a team rejuvenated by winning said games – and includes a home game in a stadium extremely friendly to its home team.

Atlanta wins by six and beats the spread.

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola

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