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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) stiff arms New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) stiff arms New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J.|Bill Kostroun | Associated Press
NFL

NFL: Kern picks Raiders vs Bengals, 49ers vs Cardinals, Vikings vs Broncos, Cowboys vs Lions, Texans vs Ravens, Chiefs vs Chargers, and more

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

And now for the pro picks, because the public for whatever reasons insists.

Three-team teaser

Raiders (-2.5) over Bengals, with 49ers (-1.5) over Cardinals and Vikings (-1.5) over Broncos

I know there were a couple of big upsets last week that cost us, and no doubt other folks as well. That’s the risk of the teaser, at least if you move the points down with the favorites. Nonetheless, I think the Raiders will beat the Bengals by at least a field goal at home. Ditto the 49ers, who are coming off a loss, even though the Cards might get a cover. And the Vikes shouldn’t be losing to the Broncs in Minny. Of course if it were that easy we’d all be owning those casinos instead of the other way around.

Two-team teaser

Cowboys (-1) over Lions with Rams (-.5) over Bears

Again, I just think these two teams are going to win, even though the Boys are on the road. I know they’ve been up and down, but they’re coming off a home loss to Minny and can’t afford another so soon with a trip to New England coming up. And the Lions quarterback situation has moved the line up three points. I’m not big on the Rams, but I’m also not big on the Bears. And Chicago is on the road. I’m hoping Trubisky can’t get it done out on the left coast. Both games could be on the ugly side, but we won’t mind as long as our teams come through.

Jets (+2.5) over Redskins

I almost can’t believe I’m doing this, cause I usually stay away when two dumpster fires collide. But the Jets are coming off a win, and Washington is playing a rookie QB making his first start. And the line has gone up. Go figure. I certainly may regret this one, but I guess somebody has to do it.

Dolphins (+6.5) over Bills

Again, I worry about my sanity sometimes. But the Bills, who are on the road, don’t scare you with their offense. And the Fish, who supposedly aren’t trying to win, have actually shown a little bit lately. Not saying they’ll get the W, but I think taking a TD isn’t such an outrageous move.

Texans (+4.5) over Ravens

Battle of two of the best QBs out there. This could be the game of the week. I’ll take a shot that Mr. Watson can do enough to get at least the cover, if not the win, against Mr. Jackson. This one could even help determine who wins the MVP. This will have the feel of a playoff atmosphere. Which means the really smart move might just be to pass and sit back and watch it unfold. But nobody’s ever confused me of being too cerebral.

Chiefs (-3.5) over Chargers

Usually try to tread lightly in divisional matchups, especially when they’re happening in Mexico. And the Chargers do tend to play in a lot of close ones. I just think the Chiefs are due to start winning again, even with their questionable defense. And my gut says Pat Mahomes has a huge performance. Maybe Philip Rivers does too. I think KC wins. Just a matter of winning by at least four.

Two-team teaser

Saints (+1.5) over Buccaneers with Falcons (+10.5) over Panthers

Call this an NFC South special. I’m not in love with it, but sometimes those are the ones that win. It’s hard to see the Saints losing back-to-back, and they are coming off a brutal home loss to Atlanta. I do think the Bucs might find a way to keep it close. But it’s hard to go against Drew Brees just to win, even on the road. And the Falcons hurt me last week. They have played well against Carolina, and it’s a division game and I’m only asking them to stay within a TD and field goal. Of course that could still be asking too much. I wouldn’t go nuts on this one, but I’m guessing this will be close. In that case I don’t have to worry about who wins, right? Still, it’s funny how often the logic doesn’t quite work out the way you want.

So as the powers that be like to warn you, everything in moderation.

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