Football betting: Top five contest picks of the weekend

·7-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 locked as of Thursday night, so they won’t reflect subsequent movement.

All lines from BetMGM.

Nick Bromberg

Season record: 16-9

Ole Miss at Tennessee (Under 83.5)

When you get a total with over 11 touchdowns, the smart thing seems to be an under bet, even after one of these teams scored 52 a week ago and the other has scored over 100 points combined the last two weeks.

Iowa State at Kansas State (Over 51)

Farmaggedon — one of the best rivalry names in college football — has been a high-scoring series lately. The winner of the annual game between the two schools has failed to score at least 27 points just twice since 2000.

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (Over 51.5)

Maybe I’m naive after seeing how the Chargers and Ravens put up points in Week 5, but I think a game that finishes 28-24 or higher is more likely than a low-scoring contest.

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (Over 49)

The Browns are banged up, especially on defense, and the Cardinals have the benefit of traveling East and getting a late kickoff. I think the Oklahoma Heisman QB bowl puts up points.

Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Football Team (Under 55.5)

I’m still convinced the Chiefs defense is due for a strong performance at some point soon. And the offense only stops itself. It doesn’t punt. It either turns the ball over or scores. The Chiefs get back to .500 in a game that’s something like 31-20.

Frank Schwab

Season record: 12-12-1

Los Angeles Chargers (+3) over Baltimore Ravens

Might be my favorite play this season. The Chargers are the better team. I'd take them if they were favored.

Carolina Panthers (+1) over Minnesota Vikings

Why are the Vikings favored on the road against a solid team? Like this even better if Christian McCaffrey can make it back.

Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) over New England Patriots

This feels square. But how does that Patriots offense keep up with the Cowboys? I don't see it.

Detroit Lions (+3.5) over Cincinnati Bengals

I might regret this one. A lot. But I think the Lions are competitive and they're hungry to get a win. They'll play well. Hopefully.

Miami Dolphins (-3) over Jacksonville Jaguars

If you think an Urban Meyer team is going to give a good effort on a Sunday morning in London, best of luck to you.

Sam Cooper

Season record: 13-12

Cal (+14) at Oregon

Oregon has a ton of injuries, including to star RB CJ Verdell, and doesn’t generate explosive plays in the passing game. Cal is 18-8-1 ATS as an underdog with Justin Wilcox as head coach, including an 8-3 ATS mark as a double-digit dog.

Nebraska at Minnesota (Under 48)

I’m worried about a hangover spot for Nebraska after a heartbreaking loss to Michigan. Minnesota has the fewest passing attempts of any non-option team in the country and is down to its third-string running back. This will be low scoring.

Pitt (-5) at Virginia Tech

Pitt’s offense is playing really well and is coming off a bye. Virginia Tech lost a physical game to Notre Dame last week and won’t have the offensive firepower to keep up over 60 minutes.

Ole Miss at Tennessee (Under 83.5)

It’s 83.5 points. I have to take the under. If it goes over, I won’t even be mad because it will be a wildly entertaining game.

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (-3)

The Cardinals are undefeated but are 3-point road underdogs? Vegas is begging you to take the Cardinals, and I won’t fall for that trap. Give me Cleveland.

Greg Brainos

Season record: 11-14

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (-3)

It’s the injured shoulder bowl! Arizona is one of the worst teams in the league against the run, and Cleveland is averaging the most rushing yards per game.

Los Angeles Chargers (+3) at Baltimore Ravens

All these Ravens comebacks are exciting, but it’s also kind of embarrassing that you needed a comeback to beat the Lions. This team has some real problems and the Chargers are legit.

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)

I can’t believe I’m betting on Big Ben. I feel sick to my stomach.

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3.5)

The Raiders have scored three touchdowns in their last 143 minutes and now they have to travel to Denver with an interim head coach.

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (Under 44.5)

Double-dipping on Denver. This has all the makings of a game that ends in the 34-42-point range.

Pete Truszkowski

Season record: 6-18-1

Nebraska at Minnesota (Under 48)

Minnesota has been one of the best teams in the country against the run this season. They also don’t throw the ball on offense.

NC State at Boston College (+3)

Both teams coming off a bye, I’ll take the home team getting a field goal in what should be an even game.

TCU (+13.5) at Oklahoma

Still waiting for Oklahoma to put together a complete effort on both sides of the ball in the same game.

L.A. Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (Over 51.5)

Cleveland just ran all over L.A., and Baltimore should do the same. Justin Herbert is that guy.

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (-3)

Baker Mayfield shows why Kyler Murray was his backup at OU … actually the Browns will probably just run it down the Cardinals’ throat.

Joe Garza

Season record: 17-8

Los Angeles Chargers (+3) at Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens can’t run the ball with their “running backs” and somehow made Carson Wentz look like he actually belongs in the league. We're the only ones not "raven" about that MNF performance.

Miami Dolphins (-3) “at” Jacksonville Jaguars

Urban Meyer couldn’t get the Jags ready for a game in Houston, much less London. He probably doesn’t even know there’s a time change. The highlight will be Urbz going all Austin Powers at the hotel bar.

Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Football Team (Over 54.5)

This will be like Chiefs-Eagles but with more points.

L.A. Rams (9.5) at New York Giants

The Giants were already bad and now they have fewer skill players than a Nickelback cover band. Square Bears unite!

Seattle Seahawks (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

"Well, everyone knows Geno Smith throws soul-crushing, game-ending interceptions. What this bet presupposes is ... maybe he doesn't?"

Cody Brunner

Season record: 9-14-2

Mississippi at Tennessee (Under 83.5)

Ole Miss is fourth in the country in scoring, averaging 46.2 points per game; Tennessee is seventh with 41.5. I still think 82 is too high.

Arizona State at Utah (Over 50.5)

Who knows where this Utah team would be if it’d started Cameron Rising to start the season instead of Charlie Brewer? Both of these Pac-12 South teams are averaging more than 30 points a game and this could turn into a shootout.

Oregon (-13.5) over Cal

Last time we saw the Ducks, they were flailing around in a loss to Stanford. But they had a bye last week to gather themselves and should be able to get back on track against a Cal team that’s only beaten Sacramento State.

Denver Broncos (-3.5) over Las Vegas

I’m banking on Raider tumult more than anything here. It’s not like it’s a situation where a team dumps the head coach and then a plucky interim fires them up for a win. They lost Jon Gruden on Monday in ugly circumstances, and now they have to face the second-best defense in the NFL on the road.

Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) over New England Patriots

Will the Cowboys stay undefeated against the spread? This feels like a trap game, but I’m rolling with the ’Boys anyways. The offense puts up points regardless of who it’s facing and the defense has enough playmakers to force Mac Jones into some mistakes.

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