Who’s playing the Cowboys? Take the Vikings

By Barry Wilner

The Associated Press

For your knockout pool entertainment this weekend, NFL Pro Picks has moved along with its selection of Tampa Bay and now tries someone new.

Minnesota, winners of three in a row, is coming off a Monday night victory on the road in Chicago where the offense did enough against a stout Bears defense. Plus, they are playing the Dallas Cowboys, which Pro Picks likes even more. Take the VIKINGS.

The picks:

No. 17 New England (-2¢) at No. 28 Houston: We’re still not buying the Patriots as a contender, but they should handle the Texans. Best bet: Patriots, 23-16.

No. 1 Pittsburgh (-9) at No. 31 Jacksonville: The Steelers don’t always play their best in Northern Florida. They don’t need their best this time. Steelers, 26-13.

No. 4 Green Bay (+1¢) at No. 11 Indianapolis: If the Colts win, we need to take them seriously as a contender. Colts, 26-24.

No. 2 Kansas City (-6) at No. 10 Las Vegas: If the Raiders win, we need to take them seriously as a contender, too. Chiefs, 30-20.

No. 14 Tennessee (+6¢) at No. 7 Baltimore: These two should be contenders. Should be. Ravens, 20-19.

No. 12 Miami (-3) at No. 25 Denver: Miami is showing impressive consistency, while Denver is the exact opposite. Dolphins, 21-13.

No. 8 Los Angeles Rams (+4) at No. 5 Tampa Bay, Monday night: Bruce Arians is worried about his aged quarterback staying up late to play games. Rams, 26-24.

No. 30 Dallas (+7) at No. 16 Minnesota: Take an NFC Least team against a non-division opponent? No way. Vikings, 24-20.

No. 21 Philadelphia (OFF) at No. 15 Cleveland: Take an NFC Least team against a non-division opponent? No way. Browns, 27-17.

No. 27 Cincinnati (pick-em) at No. 29 Washington: Take an NFC Least team against a non-division opponent? No way. Bengals, 28-23.

No. 32 New York Jets (+9) at No. 26 Los Angeles Chargers: The Jets belong in the NFC Least — where they would be last, too. Chargers, 34-23.

No. 20 Atlanta (OFF) at No. 3 New Orleans: This will be no breeze for the Saints without Drew Brees. Saints, 23-21.

No. 23 Detroit (OFF) at No. 22 Carolina: The Lions actually could reach .500 with a win. So … Lions, 20-16.


Last Week: Straight up: 10-4. Against spread: 5-5-2

Season: Straight up: 98-48-1. Against spread: 75-63-4

Best Bet: Straight up: 9-1. Against spread: 7-3

Upset Special: Straight up: 4-6. Against spread: 4-4-2


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