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Tampa Bay appears to be safest pick this week

By Barry Wilner

The Associated Press

Man, did the Steelers make us sweat against a mediocre (to be kind) Dallas team last week in the knockout pool. But the Steelers came through, and now Pro Picks relies on Tampa Bay this week at Carolina.

The picks:

No. 7 Seattle (+2) at No. 10 Los Angeles Rams: That Seattle defense is way too charitable. And the Rams are rested. Best bet: Rams, 36-30.

No. 5 Buffalo (+2) at No. 13 Arizona: Pro Picks doesn’t see any other likely outright upset, so … Upset special: Bills, 33-31.

No. 19 Philadelphia (-3¢) at No. 28 New York Giants: Were the Eagles not coming off a bye, an upset pick here would be tempting. Eagles, 20-19.

No. 31 Jacksonville (+14) at No. 6 Green Bay: Laying all those points with the Steelers last week has made us gun-shy. Packers, 27-14.

No. 27 Houston (+3) at No. 15 Cleveland: A loss here would drop the Browns from contenders to pretenders. Browns, 26-24.

No. 24 Los Angeles Chargers (+2¢) at No. 12 Miami: We all know how these games end for the Chargers. Kind of ugly. Dolphins, 25-24.

No. 9 Tampa Bay (-6) at No. 20 Carolina: It’s never a good idea to rile up pirates the way the Saints did to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Buccaneers, 27-23.

No. 23 Denver (+4¢) at No. 11 Las Vegas: The Raiders are in the middle of a prove-it three-game string of division games. Raiders, 23-21.

No. 18 San Francisco (+9¢) at No. 3 New Orleans: Are the Saints as good as they looked at Tampa Bay? No, but they’re good enough to cover here. Saints, 30-16.

No. 4 Baltimore (-7) at No. 21 New England: Nothing the Patriots showed in eking past the awful Jets was persuasive. Ravens, 23-13.

No. 17 Minnesota (-2) at No. 16 Chicago, Monday night: The Bears play the run pretty well, but Dalvin Cook will be their biggest 2020 test. Vikings, 20-13.

No. 25 Cincinnati (OFF) at No. 1 Pittsburgh: COVID-19 issues keep this game off the board. The Bengals are getting tougher. Steelers, 27-23.

No. 29 Washington (OFF) at No. 26 Detroit: Nobody cares keeps this game off the board? Lions, 24-19.

2020 RECORD

Last Week: Straight up: 10-4. Against spread: 6-8.

Season: Straight up: 88-44-1. Against spread: 70-58-2

Best Bet: Straight up: 8-1. Against spread: 6-3

Upset Special: Straight up: 4-5. Against spread: 4-4-1

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