Football betting: Top five contest picks of the weekend

·6 min read

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: 44-26

BYU (-7) vs. UAB

The Cougars finished in the top 15 of the final CFP rankings. They should roll.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5)

Yep, I’m going with the post-Urban Meyer bump.

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions (+13.5)

I don’t think Detroit comes close to actually winning this game, but the Cardinals traveling East on a short week feels like a 7-10 point win and not a blowout.

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (+1)

I think Pittsburgh bounces back and somehow stays on the periphery of the playoff race.

Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens (Over 43.5)

Going to try my luck with a Ravens over for the second straight week.

Frank Schwab

Season record: 37-32-1

Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) over Tennessee Titans

It's not a confident play on Pittsburgh really, but one against the Titans, who despite their record shouldn't be a road favorite over a good team.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) over Denver Broncos

I just don't want to give up the idea of Cincinnati being a good team. At their best, the Bengals are really good. Hopefully I'm not holding on too tight to those great performances.

Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) over New England Patriots

I wanted to get Indianapolis as an underdog, but it appears many understand the Colts are a quality team with a middling record.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5) over Houston Texans

On Wednesday, I liked the Texans. But if there was ever a spot for a team to play well after an unlikable coach got fired…

Minnesota Vikings (-4.5) over Chicago Bears

Removing any COVID complications, the Vikings are the far better team. No need to make this harder than it should be

Sam Cooper

Season record: 34-35-1

Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo (-10)

MTSU forces a lot of turnovers, but Toledo has the fewest turnovers in the nation. The Rockets are much better offensively and have won four of their last five games.

Appalachian State (-3) vs. Western Kentucky

WKU has an explosive offense but I think App State can cause a turnover or two. Couple that with the fact that WKU can’t stop the run and I like the Mountaineers to take care of business here.

UTEP vs. Fresno State (Over 51)

UTEP is going to be fired up to play in a bowl. Fresno State can find ways to score even if Jake Haener doesn’t play.

New England Patriots (+2.5) at Indianapolis Colts

This line seems fishy but I’ll take my chances with this Patriots defense defending Jonathan Taylor and the Colts run game well enough to put the game in Carson Wentz’s hands.

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5)

The Falcons have been an underdog of at least seven points four times this season. They are 0-4 ATS and lost those games by an average margin of 25.3 points.

Joe Garza

Season record: 36-34

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)

The Pats D is awesome and dominant, right? Let’s look at their last five opponents: Panthers (gross), Browns (incompetent), Falcons (Cordarrelle Patterson out), Titans (broke down), and Bills (unbelievable weather). This is the first time the Pats have faced a real offense since October.

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (+1)

Man, Big Ben suddenly doesn’t look that dusty, and the Steelers actually have the better skill players. Wild times are here.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5)

I’m betting the Jags hate Urban Meyer like I hate salads, exercise and late-era Quentin Tarantino movies.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) at Denver Broncos

If this is a trap, I am running into it head-first and at full speed.

Green Bay Packers (-5.5) at Baltimore Ravens

Healthy Lamar Jackson hasn’t been good for a while, and now we may get a hobbled one? Sign me up.

Greg Brainos

Season record: 30-40

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles (-9.5)

My new betting system: when a team loses more than 35% of their players for a game, I bet against them. Washington is down to their fifth-string center, who’s a plus-size model.

Seattle Seahawks (+3.5) at Los Angeles Rams

I don’t love that Tyler Lockett is out for Seattle, but the system is telling me I have to fade the Rams.

Las Vegas Raiders (-4.5) at Cleveland Browns

Can Alabama volunteer as tribute?

Green Bay Packers (-5.5) at Baltimore Ravens

I’m feeling pretty good about Lamar Jackson’s chances of missing this one. Safety Chuck Clark has already been ruled out. Aaron Rodgers is about to pop off against a Ravens secondary surrendering the most deep passes in the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys (-10.5) at New York Giants

The Cowboys are on the verge of finding their groove again on offense and their defense is a giant mismatch against New York.

Pete Truszkowski

Season record: 27-42-1

Cleveland Browns (+3.5) vs Las Vegas Raiders

Nick Chubb can keep this game close alone. I hope.

Dallas Cowboys (-10.5) vs. New York Giants

I’m going to keep fading Mike Glennon making NFL starts in 2021.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) vs. Denver Broncos

This line has caught my interest all week, and now I’m getting a full three points.

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (Over 45.5)

For some reason, I think the Colts offense has success on Saturday night.

New Orleans Saints (+10.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady has had issues with the Saints in the regular season as a member of Tampa Bay.

Cody Brunner

Season record: 33-35-2

Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo (-10)

Both teams have above-average defenses, but Toledo should be able to put up points.

New England Patriots (+2.5) at Indianapolis Colts

Another one of those lines where it feels like Vegas knows something, but I'll still roll with Billy B.

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles (-9.5)

With the rash of COVID cases on WFT’s side, this game is going to be extremely ugly.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5)

It’s gonna be really funny when Trevor Lawrence throws for 350 and James Robinson racks up like four touchdowns this week.

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (Over 37.5)

I know I’m going to regret saying this with all the cases decimating the Browns roster, but this total is too low for an NFL game.

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