Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants have a must-win game against...

Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants have a must-win game against the Dolphins on Monday night. Credit: Mike Stobe

TITANS (3-9) AT JETS (7-5), 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2; Radio: ESPN (98.7)

Jets by 7; O/U: 43

Attention all high school coaches: If you want your players to emulate an NFL star, then show them footage from this week’s “Inside the NFL” that featured a mic’d-up Marcus Mariota. The Titans’ rookie quarterback has to be the most polite player in the game. The humble Hawaiian’s “thank you” and “yes, sir” mentality is a breath of fresh air in a game full of “look at me” players. Am I right, Herm Edwards? Mariota led the Titans to a home win last week, snapping an 11-game skid, and they’ll enter MetLife Stadium feeling good about themselves. The Jets are riding the same wave after last week’s comeback win over the Giants. If the playoffs started today, the Jets would be the No. 6 seed, but they need to keep winning. I think they will on Sunday, but it will be closer than you think. Only one of the Titans’ last five games (2-3) has been decided by more than six points. Take the points as Mariota keeps this game inside the number, and you can thank us later.

The pick: Titans


GIANTS (5-7) AT DOLPHINS (5-7), Monday, 8:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Giants by 1.5; O/U: 46.5

When the Giants board their plane home after Monday night’s game, they’re going be in first place. Alone. That’s right. My crystal ball sees the Eagles, Redskins and Cowboys all losing Sunday, setting up the scene for another big Monday night for Big Blue. Dallas’ win at Washington kept the Giants in a first-place tie, and I believe they’ll make the most of this golden opportunity. They’re a better all-around team than the Dolphins, who needed a wacky pick-6 to beat Matt Schaub and the Ravens at home last week. Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants have more weapons on offense, and I think Jason Pierre-Paul and the defense will get after Ryan Tannehill. With the Panthers and Vikings up next, the Giants can’t afford to lose this game. Tom Coughlin’s seat gets a little cooler as the Giants snap a three-game skid and put together their best win of the season. Giants 27, Dolphins 17.

The pick: Giants



Panthers by 9; O/U: 46.5

Carolina got its biggest scare of the season last week. Now the Panthers are home against an Atlanta team that has lost five in a row and six of seven. Cam Newton has always been the Most Valuable Panther, but this year he’s running away with the NFL’s MVP award, too. I can’t see this game being competitive.

The pick: Panthers

SAINTS (4-8) AT BUCS (6-6)

Bucs by 4; O/U: 51

Give the Saints credit for giving it their all vs. the Panthers last week. After a loss like that, is there anything left in the tank? I thought Jameis Winston was going to be a bust, but he’s been more boom. The Bucs have a shot at a wild card. Take the team that has something to play for.

The pick: Bucs


Seahawks by 10; O/U: 42

This was originally the Sunday night game before the Patriots-Texans matchup was flexed. A silver lining for Ravens fans: You can still make dinner plans after the resurgent Seahawks stay hot with back-to-back big road wins. This one isn’t close.

The pick: Seahawks

BILLS (6-6) AT EAGLES (5-7)

Pick ’em; O/U: 47

Phool me once? Shame on me. Phool me twice? Nope, I won’t phall for it again. When Philly won an overtime thriller at Dallas in Week 9, I thought it would be a season-changing win. Then it lost three in a row, and allowed 45 points in back-to-back losses to the Bucs and Lions. Last week’s win over the Patriots was a phluke. The Eagles scored three touchdowns on a blocked punt, punt return and a pick-6. The Bills are the better team, and last week scored 30 points against the Texans’ solid defense. They should have no trouble scoring in this game. Rex Ryan is the ultimate motivator, so I can just imagine how many times he told LeSean McCoy this week that this is his chance to prove Chip Kelly wrong for trading him away. Not that McCoy needs to be reminded. I see him having a big game in Philly as Buffalo stays in the wild-card hunt. This is one of my most confident picks of the week.

The pick: Bills


Bears by 3; O/U: 43.5

Which team had the more disappointing loss last week: The Bears at home to the 49ers or the Redskins at home to the Cowboys. I’d say the Redskins’ was worse because a win would’ve given them sole possession of first place in the NFC East. This is a toss-up game, but I believe Chicago bounces back against a Washington team that is 0-5 on the road.

The pick: Bears


Bengals by 2.5; O/U: 49.5

This is the best matchup of the week. If the playoffs started today, the Bengals would be the AFC’s top seed and the Steelers would be on the outside looking in. Pittsburgh needs to win to stay on the Jets’ and Chiefs’ heels. The Bengals rallied to win the teams’ earlier meeting, which was Ben Roethlisberger’s first game back from injury. The Steelers only scored 10 points in that Week 8 matchup. Since then, they’ve scored 38, 30, 30 and 45 points. Pittsburgh’s passing game is just too hot right now. The Steelers win a thriller, 34-27.

The pick: Steelers


Chiefs by 10; O/U: 45

This spread is a big number for a division game, but the Chiefs are the hottest team in the NFL, and I’m not picking against them. They’ve won six in a row overall, and are also on a 6-0 against the spread (ATS) run. As an editor on the news desk — a loyal Chiefs fan — pointed out to me, Kansas City’s football team hasn’t lost since Kansas City’s baseball team won the World Series. Last week I correctly predicted that Denver’s defense would score more points than San Diego’s offense, and I can see the Chiefs’ opportunistic “D” doing the same thing this week.

The pick: Chiefs

COLTS (6-6) AT JAGUARS (4-8)

Line: OFF; O/U: OFF (Indy QB)

The Jaguars have had so many chances to make a real move for the AFC South title this year, and they never take advantage of them. One missed opportunity was back in Week 4 at Indy with Matt Hasselbeck making a spot start, but Jacksonville lost in OT. The Jaguars rarely beat the Colts (8-21 all-time, including six straight losses) but I think their offense scores enough points to get it done in one of the week’s highest-scoring games.

The pick: Jaguars

LIONS (4-8) AT RAMS (4-8)

Lions by 2.5; O/U: 41

Only the Lions fan who sits next to me in the office knew they were capable of that Motown meltdown against the Packers. Take away that last play, and the Lions are on a four-game winning streak. I think they’ll bounce back and easily win against a Rams team that just can’t score: 54 points during a five-game skid.

The pick: Lions

49ERS (4-8) AT BROWNS (2-10)

Browns by 2; O/U: 41

Does Johnny Manziel have a future in Cleveland? In the NFL? I say the answer to both questions is no. He’s no longer grounded after his off-field incidents, and gets another start. The 49ers are playing good football, and I’ve learned my lesson from the last few weeks: Stop taking the Browns.

The pick: 49ers



TV: Ch. 5, 4:25 p.m.

Packers by 7; O/U: 42.5

Dallas’ walk-off win at Washington Monday night was its highlight of the year. The Cowboys won’t win another game this season. They return to the site of last year’s controversial playoff loss, aka “The Dez Bryant Game.” Remember? He caught a touchdown but, you know, the NFL said he didn’t because, well, the NFL doesn’t seem to have a clear definition of what a catch is anymore. If Tony Romo was playing, I could totally see him and Bryant winning a revenge game. But with Matt Cassel in there, I think Green Bay cruises and snaps its two-game skid at Lambeau Field.

The pick: Packers


Broncos by 7; O/U: 43.5

Maybe next year the Raiders will be able to beat the Broncos, but they’re just not there yet. Denver’s defense was the difference in the teams’ earlier meeting, and will again lead the way to a win and cover. Brock Osweiler will also star to make it 4-0 overall and ATS as Denver starter.

The pick: Broncos



TV: Ch. 4, 8:20 p.m.

Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Patriots by 3.5; O/U: 44.5

The Patriots haven’t lost three games in a row since the 2002 season. To think it’s a possibility this year after their 10-0 start is hard to believe, but injuries have caught up to them. Their banged-up offensive line won’t be able to contain J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Plus, Texans coach Bill O’Brien (former Pats offensive coordinator and QBs coach) and Brian Hoyer (Tom Brady’s former backup) will be pumped up for this game. Give me the points.

The pick: Texans

Staff picks and standings (All picks against the spread)

*Best bets in bold

Joe Manniello

91-96-5 overall, 7-5-1 Best Bets

Last week: 8-8

Titans Giants Panthers Bucs

Seahawks Bills Bears Steelers

Chiefs Jaguars Lions 49ers

Packers Broncos Texans

Bob Glauber

94-93-5 overall, 6-7 Best Bets

Last week: 9-7

Titans Giants Falcons Saints

Seahawks Eagles Bears Steelers

Chiefs Jaguars Lions Browns

Packers Broncos Patriots

Tom Rock

97-90-5 overall, 7-5-1 Best Bets

Last week: 11-5

Jets Giants Panthers Bucs

Seahawks Bills Bears Steelers

Chargers Colts Lions 49ers

Packers Broncos Patriots

Kimberley A. Martin

88-99-5 overall, 5-8 Best Bets

Last week: 7-9

Titans Giants Panthers Bucs

Seahawks Bills Bears Steelers

Chargers Colts Lions Browns

Packers Broncos Patriots

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