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

All lines from BetMGM.

Nick Bromberg

Season record: 37-23

Utah (-2.5) vs. Oregon

Oregon has been decimated with injuries this year and while I don’t think this game is a blowout like it was a few weeks ago, I think Utah ends up going to the Rose Bowl.

Georgia (-6.5) vs. Alabama

A Nick Saban team hasn’t lost as an underdog since 2008. But the offensive line performance by Alabama in the Iron Bowl makes me wary about this game for the Tide.

Louisiana (+3) vs. Appalachian State

The Ragin’ Cajuns have been the best team in the Sun Belt this year and beat App State by 28 earlier in the season.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (Under 46.5)

I think it could be a slog with Minnesota getting a one-score win.

Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5)

This line feels too small, which probably means WFT wins outright.

Sam Cooper

Season record: 29-30-1

Utah vs. Oregon (Under 58.5)

After Utah dominated its last matchup, Oregon is going to want to match that level of physicality with a Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl trip on the line.

Kent State (-3.5) vs. Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois has allowed 6.86 yards per play during conference games, yet has somehow managed to make the MAC title game via a bunch of close wins. That won’t happen in this one.

Houston (+10.5) at Cincinnati

Cincinnati will win this game, but Houston has a really strong defense that can get after the quarterback. The Cougars can keep this close.

Michigan (-10.5) vs. Iowa

Iowa’s offense stinks. Even if there is a hangover from the Ohio State game, I still think Michigan can win this game comfortably.

49ers at Seahawks (Under 45.5)

The under is 9-1-1 in Seattle games this season, though I bet as soon as I include it in my contest picks it will stop winning.

Pete Truszkowski

Season record: 22-37-1

Western Kentucky vs. UTSA (Over 72.5)

These teams combined to score 98 in their meeting during the regular season. Bailey Zappe is that guy.

Kent State vs. Northern Illinois (Over 73)

Another high total, but it’s well deserved. These teams combined to score 99 in their regular season meeting. Good offenses, poor defenses.

Pittsburgh vs. Wake Forest (Over 71)

Absolutely nothing can go wrong when taking three games to go over 70 points. Life’s too short to bet the under.

Michigan (-10.5) vs. Iowa

How does Iowa score here?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5) vs. Atlanta

The Falcons are an awful matchup for Tampa Bay. In fact, the Falcons are awful, period.

Greg Brainos

Season record: 24-36

Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at Chicago Bears

The Cardinals have won all six of their road games by multiple scores, Kyler should be back, and the Bears’ offense is offensive but not in a good way.

Denver Broncos (+9.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

This is a lot of points to give a decent Broncos team.

Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (Over 50.5)

I believe this is the youngest combo of NFL coaches and their starting quarterbacks. I’m betting on vim, vigor, vitality, and very good offenses. Oh, and a Chargers defense that’s allowing 31.3 points per game since Week 5.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets (+6.5)

The Jets have upset two playoff-caliber teams at home, and it’ll still be two after they beat the Eagles on Sunday.

Indianapolis Colts (-10) at Houston Texans

Jonathan Taylor vs. a Texans defense ranked 31st in rushing yards and touchdowns allowed. Sure, I’ll hitch my wagon to that workhorse.

Joe Garza

Season record: 30-30

Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (Over 50.5)

The Bengals have played a lot of bad offenses, so this defense has much to prove. Just like my picks.

New England Patriots (+3) at Buffalo Bills

Apparently a lot of folks are excited about the Bills beating up on the Saints’ preseason offensive personnel.

San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) at Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are so bad the Saints might be able to beat them.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets (+6.5)

Picks like this are why I eat po’ boys for breakfast.

Georgia (-6.5) vs. Alabama

The Dawgs have a lot of feelings to work out. They are gonna work them out on Bama’s horrible offensive line.

Cody Brunner

Season record: 25-33-2

Georgia vs. Alabama (Under 49.5)

I have a feeling this thing could look a lot like the Iron Bowl. Georgia’s D will put more pressure on Bryce Young than Auburn did, so he’ll have to have a hell of a game to keep it competitive.

Michigan (-10.5) vs. Iowa

There are valid concerns about a letdown here. And a 10.5-point spread on a game with an over/under of 43 is concerning. But the Wolverines are essentially a juiced-up version of what Kirk Ferentz wants his team to be, and I don’t think they’ll let off the gas with their first CFP bid on the line.

Oregon vs. Utah (Under 57.5)

The Ducks got physically embarrassed in Salt Lake City two weeks ago and will be significantly more competitive in this game. I think this one ends up a one-score game in the 20s.

Houston vs. Cincinnati (Over 52.5)

These two teams are both top 10 in scoring, averaging close to 40 points a game. They’ll both likely play a little tight considering the stakes, but this number seems too low not to take advantage of. Cincy needs to put on a show.

Pittsburgh vs. Wake Forest (Over 71)

Neither one of these teams can play a lick of defense. The number’s high, but not high enough.

Frank Schwab

Season record: 30-29-1

Houston (+10.5) over Cincinnati

Cincy's CFP candidacy is a big story, but don't ignore that Houston was really good this season too.

Michigan (-10.5) over Iowa

Michigan didn't come all this way to lose to this limited Iowa team. This could get ugly.

Dolphins (-6) over Giants

The line keeps moving up, in part because people are catching on that Miami isn't the same team that started this season 1-7.

Steelers (+4.5) over Ravens

A scary pick after last week but I'll give the Steelers a pass. They've mostly played hard and the Ravens look off.

Broncos (+9.5) over Chiefs

The line is just too high. Kansas City still isn't in my circle of trust as far as covering big spreads.

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