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Big 12 breaks out in NFL, can Saints top Chiefs-Rams totals?

November 21, 2018

Graphic shows NFL team matchups and predicts the winners in Week 12 action; 3c x 4 3/8 inches; 146 mm x 111 mm;

Now that we’ve seen Big 12 football break out in the NFL — Rams 54, Chiefs 51 — can we get a college hoops score out of the Saints?

The Who-Dats will be rocking the Superdome on Thanksgiving night, with New Orleans facing its archrival, the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints are running away with the NFC South and the Falcons have faltered badly, but this is almost always a tense, close affair.

Except that the Saints have manhandled opponents this season, outscoring them 378-239 as Drew Brees, well, breezes through the best year of his superb career.

“Just focus on winning,” Brees says. “And if it takes 20 points to do that or if it takes 50 points to do that, you just focus on winning and everything else takes care of itself. But we’re just trying to stay in the moment right now.”

Coach Dan Quinn says the Falcons can win a high-scoring game against the Saints, who won at Atlanta 43-37 in September.

“We are. We’re equipped,” Quinn said. “Certainly when you’re going against another team that’s high scoring, it was no surprise to see that in the first game, either.”

New Orleans, ranked atop the AP Pro32, is a 13-point favorite. At home, that doesn’t seem too charitable.

SAINTS, 44-28

KNOCKOUT POOL: Arizona flopped like a wanderer in the desert, yet another nasty blow to Pro Picks. If anyone is interested, we’ll try DALLAS this week.

No. 4 New England (minus 9) at No. 29 New York Jets

Angry and rested Patriots are not an opponent the Jets want to face.

BEST BET: PATRIOTS, 37-13

No. 24 Cleveland (plus 3 1-2) at No. 19 Cincinnati

The football power in Ohio is changing area codes — if there really is any football power there.

UPSET SPECIAL: BROWNS, 26-24

No. 6 Chicago (OFF) at No. 23 Detroit, Thursday

Unsettled status of Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky means no line, so two picks here:

With Trubisky: BEARS, 24-17

Without Trubisky, LIONS 17-13

No. 13 Washington (plus 7 1-2) at No. 14 Dallas, Thursday

Don’t underestimate Colt McCoy and don’t overestimate Cowboys. Still ...

COWBOYS, 20-16

No. 11 Seattle (plus 3 1-2) at No. 9 Carolina

Winner here has inside track to wild card.

SEAHAWKS, 27-22

No. 5 Pittsburgh (minus 3 1-2) at No. 18 Denver

Steelers got lucky in Jacksonville despite poor performance.

STEELERS, 30-27

No. 16 Green Bay (plus 3 1-2) at No. 10 Minnesota

Vikings have lost all three prime-timers this season. This won’t be a fourth.

VIKINGS, 31-24

No. 20 Miami (plus 10) at No. 12 Indianapolis

How good has Andrew Luck been in his return from injury?

COLTS, 36-23

No. 32 Arizona (plus 11) at No. 8 Los Angeles Chargers

Two teams coming off ugly collapses. Chargers are better than that.

CHARGERS, 37-20

No. 26 New York Giants (plus 6) at No. 21 (tie) Philadelphia

Eagles are going to get things right eventually, aren’t they?

EAGLES, 27-26

No. 31 Oakland (plus 11) at No. 15 Baltimore

Lamar Jackson might actually throw a bit more this week.

RAVENS, 20-15

No. 25 Jacksonville (minus 3) at No. 28 Buffalo

Biggest question is whether Jags can handle cold temperatures.

JAGUARS, 20-10

No. 30 San Francisco (plus 3 1-2) at No. 27 Tampa Bay

Is it Jameis Fitzpatrick or Ryan Winston at QB for Bucs?

BUCCANEERS, 31-23

No. 17 Tennessee (OFF) at No. 7 Houston, Monday night

Had there been a line, we would have laid the points.

TEXANS, 23-13

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2018 RECORD:

Last Week: Against spread (6-5-1). Straight up (8-5)

Season Totals: Against spread (78-73-6). Straight up: (106-53-2)

Best Bet: 3-8 against spread, 7-4 straight up

Upset special: 7-4 against spread, 6-4-1 straight up

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