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Football betting: Top five contest picks of the weekend

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With the rise in popularity of football betting contests, the Yahoo Sportsbook staff is offering its top football picks for this weekend’s slate. And much like those contests, these lines are locked as of Thursday night, so they won’t reflect subsequent movement.

All lines from BetMGM.

Nick Bromberg

Season record: 47-28

Georgia State vs. Ball State (Over 51)

Georgia State can put up the points and each team gives up over 25 per game.

Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers (Over 45.5)

With Baker Mayfield back, I think Cleveland’s offense will look functional. But Green Bay should win and easily push this over.

Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Minnesota Vikings

With Dalvin Cook on the COVID-19 list, it’s hard to see the Vikings winning this one.

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (Over 43.5)

This is not going to be a low-scoring repeat of the first windy game between the two teams.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (Under 45)

I don’t like this matchup at all for Pittsburgh’s offense, and KC’s offense could be without one or both of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.

Frank Schwab

Season record: 41-33-1

Detroit Lions (+5.5) over Atlanta Falcons

The Lions are still playing hard, and better. They have some COVID issues but who doesn't?

Los Angeles Rams (-3) over Minnesota Vikings

I want to trust the Vikings. I just can't.

Cincinnati Bengals (-3) over Baltimore Ravens

The Bengals already blew out the Ravens once. And the Ravens are even more banged up now.

Philadelphia Eagles (-10) over New York Giants

The Giants have checked out this season.

Cleveland Browns (+7.5) over Green Bay Packers

I like how Cleveland battled through adversity last week. Now they're desperate.

Sam Cooper

Season record: 36-38-1

Georgia State (-4.5) vs. Ball State

Georgia State has won six of its last seven games and that lone loss came to Louisiana, the top team in the Sun Belt. Ball State’s offense won’t be able to keep up.

East Carolina vs. Boston College (-3)

BC dealt with a lot of injuries and didn’t win as many games as expected but there are some good vibes around the program with QB Phil Jurkovec and WR Zay Flowers both announcing they will be back in 2022. I think Jeff Hafley and the Eagles take care of business vs. ECU.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (Over 45)

I really like Tyler Huntley, but the Ravens have too many absences on defense for me to feel comfortable taking the points. I’ll go with the over instead.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10) at Carolina Panthers

Tom Brady got embarrassed last week. I expect the Bucs to bounce back in a big way against a bad Panthers team that is apparently going to play both Cam Newton and Sam Darnold.

Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks (Under 42.5)

Both of these offenses stink. If this was spread was 7, I’d probably take the Bears. I’m more comfortable with the under.

Greg Brainos

Season record: 32-43

Indianapolis Colts (+1) at Arizona Cardinals

Arizona is playing .500 ball at home. I wonder if the Colts have anyone who can take advantage of their run funnel defense.

Detroit Lions (+5.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Any time the Falcons give a number that exceeds Jermaine Dupri’s height, I’m jumping on the dog.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

Joe Burrow threw for a career-high 416 yards when they met in Week 7. Baltimore’s secondary is even worse now.

Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota inspires about as much confidence as an electorate would have in a governor who used to be a professional wrestler.

Los Angeles Chargers (-10) at Houston Texans

This one is worth taking an alternate higher line on the Chargers now in case a majority of the Texans starters don’t test off of the COVID-19 list.

Pete Truszkowski

Season record: 31-43-1

Cleveland Browns (+7.5) vs. Green Bay Packers

These two teams play at a very slow pace, which makes 7.5 points for a desperate team feel like a lot.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals (Over 49)

Arizona ranks 27th in yards per rush allowed, which is a problem against Jonathan Taylor.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets (Over 41.5)

The top two picks of last year’s draft give us an old-fashioned shootout. You heard it here first.

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Under 40.5)

I don’t expect many points at all from the Giants and I don’t think the Eagles offense is good enough to carry this total.

Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks (Under 42.5)

I’ve seen enough of these two offenses.

Joe Garza

Season record: 39-36

Miami Dolphins (-1.5) at New Orleans Saints

The Saints had their Super Bowl last week and now get back to reality … with Ian Book.

Denver Broncos (+1.5) at Las Vegas Raiders

This is by no means a Lock …

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10) at Carolina Panthers

Tom Brady is really mad after getting embarrassed in prime time.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (Over 45)

Oddly, I like this bet more if Lamar Jackson doesn’t play. QB controversy in Baltimore?

Jacksonville Jaguars (+1) at N.Y. Jets

Listen, they make us pick five games.

Cody Brunner

Season record: 34-39-2

Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings (+3.5)

The Vikings love their one-score games and this one feels like a coin flip. I’ll take the home team, even sans Dalvin Cook.

Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals

Tyler Huntley has proven himself more than capable if Lamar Jackson isn’t able to suit up.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+8.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

The Steelers don’t play particularly well on the road, but their playoff hopes are basically shot with a loss here. They should keep it close. I don’t know who’s left to make plays for the Chiefs offense.

Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals (-1)

The Cards are going to be desperate for a bounce-back after the egg they laid in Detroit. Kyler takeover time.

Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks (Under 42.5)

These two offenses are trash.