Nov 13, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) makes a throw against the Denver Broncos in the first half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
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The NFL picks are getting tougher and tougher by the week, with so many team desperately fighting for playoff positioning.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-4)
This is a desperate game for both teams. The Saints (4-5) and Panthers (3-6) are both alive in the weak NFC, but a loss here might spell the end. Carolina is the better team, though, and should win at home.
Pick: Carolina 23, New Orleans 17
Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions (-6.5)
How is this line so low? Has Vegas seen Jacksonville (2-7)? The Jaguars look like they’re on the take. They are all kinds of awful. Detroit (5-4) is quietly in first place of the NFC North, and that won’t change this weekend.
Pick: Detroit 34, Jacksonville 14
Baltimore Ravens at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
The Cowboys (8-1) are arguably the best team in football. Conversely, Baltimore (5-4) is pretty mediocre and somehow winning the AFC North. That isn’t going to last much longer.
Pick: Dallas 30, Baltimore 16
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals (NO LINE)
Another desperation game on both sides. The Bengals (X-X-1) have to go on a run to win the North. Meanwhile, Buffalo (4-5) has to almost win out for a wild card spot. Good luck.
Nov 13, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters (22) on the sidelines with strong safety Eric Berry (29) after recovering a fumble with 29 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs defeated the Panthers 20-17 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
Of all the teams in the NFL, the Chiefs (7-2) are the most underappreciated. Kansas City is damn good, and getting Justin Houston back this week. Tampa Bay (4-5) will try to win in Arrowhead, something an opponent hasn’t done in 10 games.
Pick: Kansas City 27, Tampa Bay 16
Pittsburgh Steelers (-9) at Cleveland Browns
It’s the Browns (0-10) against a team with professional athletes. Pittsburgh (4-5) rolls in a must-win. Frankly, don’t let the kids watch. This could do far more damage to them long-term than the Trump election.
Pick: Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 20
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-3)
This is somehow an important game. Tennessee (5-5) is quietly dangerous and a win could push the Titans toward the AFC South penthouse. Still, Indianapolis (4-5) has to win this one, or its time to think about golf.
Pick: Indianapolis 28, Tennessee 24
Chicago Bears at New York Giants (NO LINE)
New York is a much better team (X-X) and gets the game at MetLife Stadium. Chicago (2-7) gave up a long time ago and with so many players injured, it’s really tough seeing a win here.
Pick: New York 26, Chicago 13
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings (EVEN)
This is the battle of two faux contenders. Arizona (4-4-1) is the better team, but can it win on the road against a Custer’s Last Stand Vikings (5-4) team? Probably, because Minnesota is in the tank.
Nov 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) runs the ball during the fourth quarter as San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget (94) and free safety Dwight Lowery (20) defend at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Rams (EVEN)
The Dolphins (5-4) are rolling since Jay Ajayi and the rebuilt offensive line got into commission. Los Angeles (4-5) is brutal to watch, and therefore none of you should.
Pick: Miami 17, Los Angeles 12
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)
This comes down to one thing. Do you believe Philadelphia (5-4) can win against Seattle (6-2-1) and its Legion of Boom with rookie Carson Wentz throwing the ball? Me neither.
Pick: Seattle 24, Philadelphia 13
New England Patriots (-14) at San Francisco 49ers
The Patriots (7-2) are going to do things to the 49ers (1-8) that prisoners in Sing Sing would deem excessive.
Pick: New England 33, San Francisco 16
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins (-2.5)
How are the Redskins (5-3-1) not favored by a touchdown in this game? Have you seen the Packers (4-5)? Speaking of which, has anybody seen the Packers? Dear God, send out an All Points Bulletin!
Pick: Washington 28, Green Bay 20
Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders (-5)
This game is in Mexico, so throw home field out the window. Oakland (7-2) is coming off a bye and Houston (6-3) is an inferior team. Still, this has the feel of a toss-up that’s going to the wire.