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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates his run for a first down in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates his run for a first down in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)|Associated Press
NFL

NFL Week 5: Mike Kern picks Packers at Cowboys, Bucs at Saints and teasers with Pats at Redskins, Jets at Eagles, Vikings at Giants, more

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

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And now the picks for the games where they play for pay. Because somebody has to, even if I’m not thrilled with the card. There are times when you need to mostly stay away and be judicious about which spots you jump in on.

(Home team in CAPS)

COWBOYS (-3) over Packers

Yes, the Dallas offense in particular did not look very good last week in New Orleans. Now they’re back in Big D, against a team that will have had three more days to get ready. But Green Bay hasn’t been very good on the road of late, and the Eagles showed that you can run on that defense. With Ezekiel Elliott coming off a poor performance, I expect the Boys to be able to have success handing off to him. Which should in turn open things up for Mr. Prescott. And I don’t think even Aaron Rodgers can win this one mostly by himself, which he might be asked to do.

SAINTS (-3) over Buccaneers

I know the Bucs are playing better, and maybe Bruce Arians really is making a difference with Jameis Winston. And the Saints still don’t have Drew Brees. But you have to like what you’ve seen them do so far without him. Yes, their guy can coach too. Even if he can be an arrogant whatever. I think the defense comes up big once again, and New Orleans get another win. Maybe not by a lot, but by enough. And that’s all that matters.

Since I’m borderline stupid, I’m also going to throw out a teaser. Or even two.

First, we’ll go with a three-teamer.

CHIEFS (-2) over Colts, Patriots (-6.5) over REDSKINS and EAGLES (-5.5) over Jets.

Hey, don’t go crazy. Just something to give you an interest in more games. And who doesn’t need that? Kansas City is at home, coming off a close call at Detroit. And Indy didn’t look all that great last week at home against Oakland. I like what Frank Reich has done, without his big-time quarterback, but I don’t see a close one here. Just not sure about the 11. And remember, in teasers ties lose. The Pats and Birds are more about the quality of the opponent. Don’t know if either will necessarily cover, but I feel OK about laying a TD, even on the road. Pats usually don’t play two tight ones in a row, and Birds have had extra time off. Jets, with their third-string QB, shouldn’t be able to take advantage of the wounded secondary. Again, don’t get carried away. A taste should be sufficient.

And here’s a two-teamer, just in case you really want to have a little something riding on just about every game.

CHARGERS (-.5) over Broncos, and Vikings (+.5) over GIANTS

I just think the Chargers really need to win this to stay sort of close to KC in the AFC West, and they are home. It’s a divisional game, against a team that’s played OK yet doesn’t have much to show for it. And while I respect the fact that the Giants have found some new life with their rookie QB, and they are at home, the Vikes can’t afford another loss, particularly in this spot, coming off a pedestrian showing for which their suspect QB even apologized for. Might not be pretty, but it should be a victory. Fingers crossed.

So let’s go cash some tickets. Thanks for letting us into your world. We appreciate the continued audience. And never forget to have fun out there.