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: 55-30

Washington Football Team (-7) at New York Giants

I was surprised by the fight that WFT showed against the Eagles. And man, the Giants are really bad.

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (+15.5)

I certainly don’t think that Jacksonville is going to continue the home win streak against Indianapolis, but this is way too many points.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (Over 41)

It’s tempting to take the Jets at +16.5, but instead I’ll go with the over here.

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders (+3)

Let’s all root for an extremely close game to end the regular season.

Alabama vs. Georgia (Over 51.5)

Three of the four matchups between Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have easily gone over this number. I think it’s four out of five.

Frank Schwab

Season record: 49-35-1

Pittsburgh Steelers (+4.5) over Baltimore Ravens

The Steelers have played ugly ball all season, and they’ve won plenty of games with it. Why would the Ravens be favored by this much after what we’ve seen from them lately?

San Francisco 49ers (+4.5) over Los Angeles Rams

It might sneak up on you that the 49ers could miss the playoffs with a loss and a Saints win. We’re getting a playoff-level effort from San Francisco.

Falcons (+4.5) over Saints

When you hear teams have “nothing to play for,” that might not be true. For the Falcons, finishing off their rival’s playoff chances in their last game is enough motivation.

Washington Football Team (-7) over New York Giants

If you’ve seen the Giants play lately, this pick won’t surprise you.

Arizona Cardinals (-6.5) over Seattle Seahawks

The Cardinals still have hopes of winning the NFC West. Meanwhile, it has been a long time since Seattle played well against a good team.

Sam Cooper

Season record: 42-40-2

Chicago Bears (+5.5) at Minnesota Vikings

I don’t have a compelling schematic football reason for this pick. The Bears keep playing hard, and I think the Vikings are cooked. I’ll take the points.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5)

I like to bet on Tom Brady in a bounce-back spot. The Bucs are 7-2 ATS over the last two seasons after a loss. Barely beating the Jets is pretty much a loss.

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (Under 44.5)

I got some vindication for my “Matt Stafford is overrated” take last week. Let’s keep that rolling and go with the under with the expectation that the 49ers might have some struggles with a banged-up Jimmy G or young Trey Lance.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-4.5)

I know the Ravens have lost five straight, but four of those games were decided by two points or fewer. The Ravens are due for a win.

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders (+3)

I feel like the whole world is going to be on the Chargers. I’ll go the other way and take the home dog.

Greg Brainos

Season record: 36-49

Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5) at Denver Broncos

This is like the old UFC when there were no weight classes.

Chicago Bears (+5.5) at Minnesota Vikings

You just know Matt Nagy is gonna be giving the “inch by inch” speech from “Any Given Sunday.”

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (+10.5)

I find it endlessly amusing that Tennessee is ranked 19th in overall DVOA and it’s about to clinch the top seed in the AFC.

New Orleans Saints (-3.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Sean Payton is the kind of guy that squeezes every atom out of his toothpaste tubes.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5)

The Panthers have failed to cover in 11 of their last 13 games. They’re bad!

Pete Truszkowski

Season record: 37-48-1

Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5) at Denver Broncos

Drew Lock can’t hang.

Philadelphia Eagles (+4.5) at Dallas Cowboys

I hope this game turns into Gardner Minshew vs. Cooper Rush.

Washington Football Team at N.Y. Giants (Under 37.5)

Is Jake Fromm an upgrade from Mike Glennon?

San Francisco 49ers (+4.5) at Los Angeles Rams

I’ll go with the slightly more desperate team.

Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Las Vegas Raiders

I think the Chargers are simply the better team.

Joe Garza

Season record: 44-41

Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders falling flat at home in Week 18 would be peak modern-day Raider Nation.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Under 40)

Kyle Pitts likely won’t play for Atlanta, the Falcons’ advance metrics paint them as the worst team in the league, and the Saints’ offense is worse than leftover fries.

Washington Football Team (-7) at New York Giants

“I can tell you we’ve got more people who are going to be betting, all right, who are in my office every day begging me to max bet against the Giants. Or people that we hung out with last year that still call me twice a week talking about how much they wish they were still here betting against the Giants.”

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-4.5)

I would bet the Steelers if they were once again facing a small, inaccurate, weak-armed QB with a busted left shoulder.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-16.5)

The Jets played their best last week; the Bills and Josh Allen were largely horrible. The world corrects itself this week.

Cody Brunner

Season record: 38-44-3

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (+4.5)

With only pride (and seeding) on the line, I’ll ride with Philly at home.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (Under 44.5)

The Packers will come out swinging but should pull their starters by half. As long as they haven’t scored 20+ at that point, I like this number. Jordan Love time baby.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Under 40)

These two offenses are not very good!

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (+10.5)

The Texans waffle between a team that can beat you and one that looks like stool sample. The former beat the Titans in Tennessee earlier this season. Here’s to hoping that team shows up.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5)

The Bucs beat the Panthers by 26 (in Carolina) just two weeks ago. I'm not sure what's changed since then but I'm taking the Bucs. 

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