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USA Today

The picks went deeper into the muck last week. So much for the holiday spirit and good cheer and all that stuff.  

I went 5-9 ATS last week and needed the Sunday and Monday night winners to get to that record. For the year, I am now 80-78-2 after cooling off in a big way the past two weeks. I went 6-8 straight up to bring my season record to 104-55-1. 

As for the best bets, I didn't have a losing week. Or a winning one. I went 3-3 thanks to the Rams' Monday night. That brings my season record to 40-25-1. So I still have that going for me. 

Let's turn it all around so I am not the Brussels sprouts of picking this week -- a stinky, gross, part of the holiday week.

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions 

Latest Odds: Texans -3

The Texans came alive against the Patriots and showed well on offense. I expect that to carry over here with Deshaun Watson having a big day against the bad Lions defense. But look for Matt Stafford to also play well. This will be high scoring, with the Lions winning on Thanksgiving. 

Pick: Lions 31, Texans 29

Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys 

Latest Odds: Cowboys -3

This is for first place in the division. That's crazy. Both teams won last week, and this game will come down to the Washington defense against the Dallas offense. Can that Washington front impact the game? They can, but I think Andy Dalton will play well here. Look for Dallas to take over first place in the division with a victory. 

Pick: Cowboys 27, Washington 21

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Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers 

Latest Odds: Steelers -4

This is a bigger game for the Ravens, who are almost in survival mode now. But the Steelers are pushing forward for an undefeated season and can basically lock up the division with a win here. The Ravens have struggled to throw it, which is not a good thing against the Steelers. The Ravens will fight and keep in this game, but the Steelers will win it late -- just like the last meeting. 

Pick: Steelers 29, Ravens 23

Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars 

Latest Odds: Browns -6.5

The Browns have used their run game to get into the playoff mix, while the Jaguars are playing out the string. Jacksonville has big-time injuries on defense, which will make for a long day against the Cleveland running game. The Jaguars offense is limited, which means they won't be able to keep up. Browns will keep rolling.  

Pick: Browns 25, Jaguars 13

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts 

Latest Odds: Colts -3

This is for first place in the division. The Colts beat the Titans in Tennessee two weeks ago with a dominant second half. Both teams impressed with victories over good teams last week. The Titans defense played better against the Ravens, but I think they will struggle again in this one. The Colts will win and take a stronghold in the division.

Pick: Colts 24, Titans 17

New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals 

Latest Odds: Giants -6

This will be a Giants team coming off the bye and still in the NFC East race against a Bengals team starting Ryan Finley. Without Joe Burrow, the offense will sputter against an improved Giants defense. Look for Daniel Jones to get it going against a bad Cincinnati defense. Giants take it. 

Pick: Giants 27, Bengals 17

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills 

Latest Odds: Bills -5.5

This is a long trip for the Chargers against a team coming off a bye. This should be fun to watch with two good offenses with two big-play quarterbacks. The defenses have struggled, so we should see fireworks if the weather is OK, and it is supposed to be near 50 degrees and sunny. So look for points, with the Bills and Josh Allen getting the best of it. 

Pick: Bills 33, Chargers 30

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Latest Odds: Dolphins -7

The Dolphins are playing a second straight road game and lost to Denver last week. The benching of Tua Tagovailoa wasn't a good thing, and that bad feeling will carry over here. The Jets have played better lately and I think they show up in a division game. Upset special.

Pick: Jets 26, Dolphins 23

Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots

Latest Odds: Cardinals -2.5

The Cardinals are coming off a bad showing at Seattle last week. This will be a long trip to try and get that bad offensive showing out of their system. But the Patriots defense hasn't been good this season, and it won't be here. Kyler Murray gets the better of Cam Newton

Pick: Cardinals 30, Patriots 20

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings

Latest Odds: Vikings -3.5

The Vikings blew a game last week at home to the Cowboys and now need this game badly to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Panthers should have Teddy Bridgewater back to face his former team. Even so, I think the Vikings will find a way to bounce back with a better showing than last week. Dalvin Cook will have another big day.

Pick: Vikings 27, Panthers 21

Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons 

Latest Odds: Raiders -3

This is a tough trip for the Raiders after a tough home loss to the Chiefs. They played well in that game, while the Falcons did not in the loss to the Saints. That will change in this one. The Raiders defense still has big-time issues and I think Matt Ryan will get back on track and pull off the upset in a shootout with Derek Carr

Pick: Falcons 34, Raiders 31

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams 

Latest Odds: Rams -6.5

The Rams impressed while beating Tampa Bay on the road Monday night but now face a division rival coming off a bye on a short week. That's tough, even if the 49ers are banged up. I think the Rams will win the game with a late score, but the 49ers will hang around. It's close. 

Pick: Rams 24, 49ers 21

New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos 

Latest Odds: Saints -6

This will be Taysom Hill making his first road start against a much better defense than what he played against last week in the Falcons. The Denver defense has played much better as of late. The Saints defense has been outstanding the past three games, with the pass rush really impressing. That will be in play here. But it's going to be close. Saints win it, but barely. 

Pick: Saints 23, Broncos 22

Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Latest Odds: Chiefs -3.5

The Bucs have to shake off the poor offensive showing versus the Rams Monday night against a Kansas City team that is cooking on offense. Can Tom Brady keep up with Patrick Mahomes? Jared Goff carved up Tampa Bay's defense. Mahomes will do the same. The Chiefs will win a second straight road game. 

Pick: Chiefs 30, Bucs 24

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers 

Latest Odds: Packers -8.5

The Bears are coming off the bye, but their offense is a mess. You need that to compete with the Packers. Aaron Rodgers will get his against the Bears defense, and Chicago will not keep up. Packers get back on track. 

Pick: Packers 27, Bears 14

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles 

Latest Odds: Seahawks -5

This is a long trip for the Seahawks, but they won at Philadelphia twice last season, including once in the playoffs. They know how to win there. This Eagles team is much different. Seattle can score on offense, and the defense has played much better. Look for Russell Wilson to lead Seattle to a good road victory. 

Pick: Seahawks 31, Eagles 21