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 week’s slate. And much like those contests, these lines locked as of Wednesday night because of the holiday, so they won’t reflect subsequent movement.

All lines from BetMGM.

Nick Bromberg

Season record: 35-20

Kansas State at Texas (Under 52.5)

If Skylar Thompson plays for K-State, he’s not going to be 100%. Texas is also dealing with QB issues. My hunch is that this one is low scoring.

Iowa (-1.5) at Nebraska

I’d like the Hawkeyes even more if they were still getting points. While a Nebraska win wouldn’t shock me, I think this is a better Iowa team that closes out the season at 10-2.

BYU (-7) at USC

It’s hard to see USC keeping this within a score after it got drubbed the way it did against UCLA. I’ll go with the top-15 team favored by so little.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts (Under 51.5)

This game has the highest total of the weekend so why not go under? I think Tampa’s defense will do a much better job of keeping Jonathan Taylor in check.

Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Denver Broncos

I don’t trust the Broncos at all. I don’t really trust the Chargers either, but I think they’re a significantly better team.

Frank Schwab

Season record: 27-27-1

Green Bay Packers (-1) over L.A. Rams

The Packers are somehow underrated a bit, in terms of being a reliable contender. The loss to the VIkings wasn’t bad. The Rams getting absolutely blasted by the 49ers two weeks ago was pretty bad.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+4.5) over Cincinnati Bengals

The Steelers are battling every week. The Bengals are a bit up and down, which is the sign of a young team, and this will be a battle.

Atlanta Falcons (-1) over Jacksonville Jaguars

This game will test the adage that any game is interesting if you have some action on it.

Minnesota Vikings (+3) over San Francisco 49ers

I’m going to die on “the Vikings are a secretly good team” hill, especially if I’m getting points.

Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) over Cleveland Browns

I don’t love taking the Ravens as favorites because every game is right down to the end, but I don’t love what I’m seeing from the Browns lately.

Sam Cooper

Season record: 26-28-1

Kansas State (+3) at Texas

If there’s one thing I can count on in this game, it’s the Kansas State defense. Texas is banged up and has lost six straight. K-State has lost four straight to the Longhorns and would love to get a W in Austin.

Utah State (-15.5) at New Mexico

Utah State can still win its division. New Mexico might start an ex-graduate manager at quarterback and is 1-10 ATS this season. Lay the points.

Navy (-12.5) at Temple

Another double-digit road favorite. I don’t care. Temple has quit and won’t want to defend the triple option for four quarters. Navy wants a win before it plays Army.

Penn State at Michigan State (Under 51.5)

The under is 9-2 in Penn State games. That’s what happens when you have an overrated offense and a very good defense. MSU is dealing with a ton of injuries, and I expect a game where both teams score in the 20s.

Notre Dame (-18.5) at Stanford

A third double-digit road favorite! Stanford has given up more than 1,000 rushing yards over the last three weeks. Notre Dame is in the CFP picture and will go for style points.

Pete Truszkowski

Season record: 20-34-1

Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at New Orleans Saints

A ton of injuries for New Orleans and this offense is putrid to begin with.

Ohio State (-8.5) at Michigan

Ryan Day loves beating Michigan, and Jim Harbaugh loves losing to Ohio State.

Wake Forest at Boston College (Over 64.5)

Phil Jurkovec and Ryan Hartman are two of the most underrated players in the country.

Maryland at Rutgers (+1.5)

I need to hit my quota on Rutgers bets for the season.

Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) vs. Cleveland Browns

As a Browns fan, just trust me. Baker Mayfield has a torn labrum, another shoulder injury, a knee injury and a foot injury. I see a 38-6 type of game.

Joe Garza

Season record: 28-27

Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at New Orleans Saints

The Saints will be without QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1, RT, LG, two DEs and perhaps LT and RB2. They will also be without a prayer.

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (Under 44.5)

Only the Saints are more busted up on offense than the Titans.

L.A. Rams (+1) at Green Bay Packers

“You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me.” — Walter Sobchak

Minnesota Vikings (+3) at San Francisco 49ers

These teams are weird, underachieving mirror images. So take the points.

New York Jets (+2.5) at Houston Texans

Repeat after me: The Texans shouldn’t be favored against ANYONE.

Cody Brunner

Season record: 21-32-2

Ole Miss (+2) at Mississippi State

Can I offer you an Egg Bowl during these trying times?

Washington State (-1) at Washington

Both of these programs are a mess coaching-wise. I’m gonna bank on the mess that still has something to play for beyond pride.

Ohio State (-8.5) at Michigan

Jim Harbaugh has the Wolverines punching above their weight this season, but they’re one-dimensional and not on the Buckeyes’ level. This should be a two-score game at least.

Oklahoma (+4.5) at Oklahoma State

I know the Sooners are having a down year, but they still own this rivalry — six straight and 16 of the last 18.

Cal at UCLA (-6.5)

These two teams are very similar stat-wise, but the Bruins have been rolling the past couple weeks and I’m not sure Cal will have much motivation.

Greg Brainos

Season record: 22-33

Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at New Orleans Saints

New Orleans is lowkey trotting out one of this week’s worst starting lineups.

Los Angeles Rams (+1) at Green Bay Packers

They’ve had time to recalibrate and gel. The Packers have a huge weakness at left tackle without David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins.

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-6.5)

Who on this Titans offense is going to threaten New England? Dontrell Hilliard? Dez Fitzpatrick?

Pittsburgh Steelers (+4.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow has been shakier than a busted washing machine lately.

Carolina Panthers (-1.5) at Miami Dolphins

Second time’s the charm. Miami is one of the most solvable teams in the NFL because they don’t do much. Big CMC day incoming for the Panthers.

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