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

Week 17 is here and the Cleveland Browns are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. Who should Browns fans root for to help their chances?

Cleveland Browns fans look on prior to the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 20, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Second update: The Browns are officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Chargers beat the Broncos to eliminate Cleveland.

UPDATE: The Browns remain alive but are rooting for the Broncos. The Browns are eliminated from playoff contention with a Bengals win or tie and a Chargers win or tie. The Bengals won a wild won over the Chiefs to clear up half of that scenario. The Browns will know if Monday means anything early Sunday evening.

The Cleveland Browns have had a roller-coaster of a season in 2021. After a busy offseason of talent acquisition, they opened the season losing a close one to the Chiefs after blowing a 12-point lead. They followed with three straight wins, but things then went south in a hurry. They’ve gone 4-7 over their last 11 and have now lost two straight to the Packers and Raiders.

Cleveland is in last place in the AFC North and yet they remain alive for the division title. They need a ton of help, but it’s possible. DraftKings Sportsbook has them installed at +450 to make the playoffs, which converts to an 18.18% implied probability.

If you are a Browns 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 is of course assuming the Browns beat the Steelers on Monday Night Football to close out Week 17.

Chiefs vs. Bengals

Rams vs. Ravens

We’ll combine the AFC North. The Browns might actually have a better chance at winning the division than a wild card berth just based on how things finish. They travel to play the Steelers in Week 17 and then host the Bengals in Week 18. If the Browns win out, the Bengals lose out, and the Ravens lose one of their final two games, Cleveland will win the AFC North. So, go Chiefs and Rams.

The Ravens are 3.5-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook while the Bengals are 5.5-point underdogs.

Raiders vs. Colts

The Raiders are 8-7 and the Colts are 9-6, so both teams sit ahead of the Browns. Cleveland needs to get past one of them and the Raiders are the closer option, so, go Colts.

The Raiders are seven-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Broncos vs. Chargers

This is an interesting one. Cleveland is tied with Denver and one game back of LA. The Browns hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Broncos while the Chargers have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Browns. Cleveland needs LA to lose out, so, go Broncos.

The Broncos are a 6.5-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Dolphins vs. Titans

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

Jaguars vs. Patriots

Falcons vs. Bills

We’ll combine the AFC East to wrap this up. The Patriots and Bills are both 9-6, sitting two games up on the Browns. New England has the head-to-head tiebreaker while the Bills have the conference record tiebreaker. That means this game has no bearing at this point unless we start getting into strength of victory tiebreakers. Root for whomever you wish.

The Bills are 14-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook while the Patriots are a 16-point favorite.