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Old 12-16-2004, 06:10 AM   #3
Anthony
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Last week: 6-10. Season totals: 94-108-6, Pct. .466. Best Bets: 18-23-1, Pct. .440.

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team.


SATURDAY

Pittsburgh 20, N.Y. GIANTS 7 (+10) - Apparently the Giants have acquired something else from the Chargers besides Eli Manning: San Diego's former losing ways in November and December. And how! The Giants have lost and non-covered 14 consecutive November-December games dating back to November 9 of last year, and while Ben Roethlisberger comes into Club Med with a target on his chest thanks to his comments on David Letterman, with all the injuries the Giants have along their defensive front they won't be able to shoot straight.

Washington 13, SAN FRANCISCO 3 (+4) - After shutting down T.O. twice and holding Pittsburgh to just one touchdown the Redskin defenders should be able to handle the likes of Ken Dorsey (who starts again) and Maurice Hicks.

ATLANTA 24, Carolina 14 (+4) - If Clara Peller were still alive (she died in 1987) she'd be asking "Where's the beef?" about the Panthers, who have yet to beat a team with a winning record this year (0-6 and outscored by 69 points) and are 1-8 straight up in their last nine versus the Falcons (the lone win last year with Michael Vick out) and 2-10-1 against the spread in the last 13 meetings.

SUNDAY

N.Y. JETS 27, Seattle 13 (+6) - If the Seahawks can't avoid dropping passes in their mild climate at home then how can you expect them to do it in North Jersey in December? They are also 2-5-1 versus the points in their last eight against the Jets (1-7 straight up) and 2-16 straight up (7-11 against the line) in their last 18 cold-weather games.

PHILADELPHIA 34, Dallas 10 (+12 1/2) - Andy Reid is 5-0 straight up lifetime at home against Dallas with four covers and one half-point miss while America's Team is hardly All-Temperature Cheer's Team, with a 5-13-1 spread record since 1995 as a visitor in cold weather. The only thing that could go wrong is if Atlanta loses on Saturday night, which would back the Eagles into home field throughout the NFC playoffs, but since we're not picking that ...

San Diego 27, CLEVELAND 7 (+9) - Buffalo does have one of the NFL's better defenses - but 17 total yards? The Chargers cakewalk unless they're looking ahead to next week's game at Indianapolis which figures to decide the third playoff seed in the AFC.

Minnesota 30, DETROIT 23 (+3) - There have been eight games matching up two domed-stadium teams this year, and the visiting team has covered the spread in seven of them; and the Vikings have two of those seven covers, including a near-upset of the Colts in their dome without Randy Moss.

CINCINNATI 24 (+3), Buffalo 20 - Should the Bills be road favorites in here? Probably not, and although they've beaten the Bengals six straight times their five-game covering streak in the series was snapped last season and as 8th Day sang 33 years ago you gotta crawl before you walk; upset.

CHICAGO 30, Houston 10 (+1) - Brian Urlacher is in the sick bay once again (a hamstring this time) but doubt if a Houston running game that has been one of the year's biggest disappointments will be able to take advantage of it - and especially not on the road, where the Texans have been blasted 109-34 in their last three, including two in cold weather by 22 and 18.

Denver 35 (+1), KANSAS CITY 28 - The Broncos haven't exactly been a profile in courage lately, or at any time this year for that matter, but the Chiefs are 1-7 both ways as favorites counting from their loss to the Colts in the playoffs last January and surely anything Drew Bennett can do, Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie can do better.

TAMPA BAY 24, New Orleans 13 (+7 1/2) - You have to go all the way back to Week 5 to find the last time the home team in a game involving the Buccaneers lost either way, and can't see the Saints playing two solid games in a row on defense.

ARIZONA 16 (+1), St. Louis 10 - Marc Bulger's shoulder injury appears to be more serious than originally thought and if he can't go here the Crystal Chandelier might hit the "Pick Six" again. Even if Bulger does make it back the Rams are 3-13 against the line in their last 16 on grass and 6-17 in their last 23 outdoors. Who knows? Maybe Mike Martz will end up at Ole Miss now that they've decided not to hire Dennis Erickson.

GREEN BAY 34, Jacksonville 13 (+4) - Remember when Bud Grant said that the Dolphins were not America's Team but were the league's team? Well the Packers are the league's team now: Back-to-back games at Lambeau in December being moved to the late time slot, one against a dome team and the other against a Florida team? It is better to win one bet than to curse the conspiracy theory.

OAKLAND 24, Tennessee 17 (P) - Since the line is pick'em the fact that the home team has won nine of the last ten in this series is more relevant than ever, and while Billy Volek was able to light it up Monday night, that was at home, and on the road Billy won't be a hero so don't be a fool with your money.

INDIANAPOLIS 27, Baltimore 23 (+9) - The Modell Franchise has covered five in a row against the Colts and Peyton Manning is no lock to get the three touchdowns he needs to break Dan Marino's single-season record facing the nastiest, if not necessarily the most talented, defense in the league. Take the points.

MONDAY NIGHT

New England 20, MIAMI 13 (+9 1/2) - Does the name Chuck Fairbanks bring back any memories? In 1978 he was the head coach of the playoff-bound Patriots who left with one game remaining in the regular season (and that game was at Miami!) to take the head-coaching job at the University of Colorado. True, Notre Dame head-coach-in-waiting Charlie Weis is only New England's offensive coordinator, but that's close enough. It looks increasingly as if the Ed Rendell Trophy will be at stake on February 6 along with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

BEST BETS: PHILADELPHIA, CHICAGO, GREEN BAY

Last edited by Anthony; 12-16-2004 at 06:31 AM.
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