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Old 11-19-2004, 03:01 AM   #5
Anthony
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Last week: 6-8. Season totals: 60-80-4, Pct. .431. Best Bets: 12-17-1, Pct. .417.

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


SUNDAY

N.Y. Jets 17 (+1 1/2), CLEVELAND 14 - While Quincy Carter wasn't quite good enough against the tough Baltimore defense last week, he should come through here taking on a Browns team that appears headed for another 5-11 or similar finish, which could get Butch Davis fired.

Atlanta 20, N.Y. GIANTS 13 (P) - In a way Tom Coughlin has picked the right spot for Eli Manning's first NFL start - at home and against the league's third-worst pass defense. But the home team has lost nine straight in this series - including Atlanta victories at Club Med in both of the last two years without Michael Vick - and none of the teams that have lost to Craig Krenzel have won or covered since: So far their record stands at 0-3 both ways, and don't bet against it doubling to 0-6 this week.

BUFFALO 27 (+1), St. Louis 17 - The winds whipping off Lake Erie are going to kill Martz's offense, and if you missed last Sunday's "wedding" at home against Seattle, you may want to miss the "funeral" in cold weather, in which the Rams have covered only once in their last six games and six times in 18 tries dating back to 1992.

Arizona 20 (+2*), CAROLINA 14 - What's the point in having your quarterback play with a broken thumb when you're 2-7 - and what's the point in betting on the Panthers at home when they're 3-10 against the spread at home in 2003-04, including 0-4 both ways this year, all as favorites?

JACKSONVILLE 17, Tennessee 10 (+3*) - No Byron Leftwich for at least one more week while Steve McNair will be a game-time decision; but the Titans couldn't beat Craig Krenzel at home and this is another one of those games where a team has to visit an opponent they hosted and lost to earlier in the season.

TAMPA BAY 28, San Francisco 6 (+7) - This will make it 0-3 for the week for Krenzel's victims: The home team has won and covered four in a row herein by a count of 109 to 35, and the Niners figure to be looking ahead to next week's home game against Miami which in all likelihood will decide who picks first in the 2005 draft.

Pittsburgh 17, CINCINNATI 13 (+5 1/2) - While home underdogs did cool off a bit last week (going 2-2 against the spread), another trend that applies in this game remains as hot as ever, and that is to bet on the Steelers in every first meeting versus Cincinnati and against Pittsburgh in every second meeting: It's covered in eleven of the last twelve chances, and the Bengals even hung tough at Heinz Field in Week 4 until a late interception that was returned for a touchdown sealed the deal; take it.

BALTIMORE 27, Dallas 7 (+8) - Except for tight end Jason Witten and the offensive line (only one sack allowed against the NFL's co-leaders in sacks) the Cowboys basically didn't show up Monday night - and Dallas hardly ever shows up as a visitor in cold weather, with a 5-12-1 record against the line in that capacity since 1995, most recently a dreadful 26-3 loss at Cincinnati two weeks ago. Best bet.

Indianapolis 20, CHICAGO 17 (+7 1/2) - How's this for deja vu: In November of 2000 (November 5 to be exact), the Colts opened as 7 1/2-point favorites at Soldier Field (the last time these teams met), and lost 27-24. While they should be able to evade the humiliation of losing to Craig Krenzel, can't lay this number on them in this "Triple Witching Hour" game (a scenario that arises when a dome team has to play outdoors, on grass, and in cold weather, all in the same game) when they've covered only three of their last eleven in that challenging situation; they could also be vulnerable to a letdown after maintaining control of a crucial tie-breaker in the AFC South with their big win over Houston.

Denver 31, NEW ORLEANS 24 (+5 1/2) - The Saints seldom play two alike, and if a second-string running back who wasn't even fully healthy could run for 186 yards against them, think of what's in store for them this week facing Shanahan's multi-faceted (and presumably in good shape physically since the Broncos had a bye last week) ground attack.

MINNESOTA 33, Detroit 16 (+8 1/2) - Randy Moss is out once again, but the Vikings haven't exactly been shut down in his absence, scoring 59 points in their last two games and covering in both of them. If they can stop Eddie Drummond's punt returns, they should easily record what would be their seventh straight home win over the freefalling Lions and eleventh against Detroit in the last 13 games overall.

OAKLAND 30 (+4), San Diego 27 - Still think the Chargers will crater in the second half of the season like they always do, and they've dropped five of their last six outright in Oaktown; upset.

SEATTLE 28, Miami 13 (+10*) - Matt Hasselbeck did sustain a bruised thigh in the loss at St. Louis, but if there was any serious chance he wouldn't play this game would be off the board instead of merely being circled; and surely the Dolphins won't ruin the story line of next week's game in San Francisco with an upset, or even a near miss.

PHILADELPHIA 33, Washington 14 (+11) - Joe Gibbs has finally wised up and benched Mark Brunell, and Redskin corners Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs (who T.O. "Sharpied" two years ago) can bring it on their best day, but the Eagles have already devastated two good secondaries (Cleveland and Dallas, both on the road) this season and have beaten Washington five straight times by a combined 83 points. Victories here and next Sunday on the road against the Giants would clinch the NFC East title for Philadelphia with five weeks remaining if both the Giants and Dallas do lose this week.

HOUSTON 28 (+3), Green Bay 27 - Hard to get excited about a team that has been outscored 80-27 the last two weeks, but heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast for the Houston area for several days in either direction from Sunday, making the closure of Reliant Stadium's retractable roof highly likely - and thus dooming the Packers, who are 5-15 against the spread indoors since 1997, to this upset defeat.

MONDAY NIGHT

KANSAS CITY 34 (+1 1/2), New England 31 - Even with Priest Holmes not expected to play this could be a hard day's night for the Patriots, who haven't won in Kansas City since 1964. And do you want to know a secret? The home team has also won the last six meetings and you'll feel fine if you bet on the Chiefs as home underdogs, at which they're 34-10-1 versus the points over the last 21 years. And I love them.

BEST BETS: BUFFALO, TAMPA BAY, BALTIMORE

*Arizona at Carolina is in a circle because Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme is questionable, Tennessee at Jacksonville is in a circle because Titans quarterback Steve McNair is questionable (and Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich remains out), and Miami at Seattle is in a circle because Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is probable.

Last edited by Anthony; 11-19-2004 at 07:42 AM.
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