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Old 09-22-2004, 03:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8,377
Anthony is on a distinguished road

Last week: 7-9. Season totals: 12-19-1, Pct. .391. Best Bets: 2-4, Pct. .333.

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


N.Y. GIANTS 16, Cleveland 6 (+3) - Don't expect to see Jeff Garcia in any commercials for Love My Carpet anytime soon: He's 6-15 straight up and 7-13-1 against the spread lifetime on artificial turf after pulling a zero passer rating on it last week at the Hole-in-the-Roof - and he won't have Kellen Winslow Jr. to throw to here, or for at least the next two months for that matter, as the self-styled bleepin' soldier is now a wounded soldier, getting swept up in what appears to be the NFL's latest injury craze - the fractured fibula - in the Dallas debacle, which also claimed five other Cleveland starters, including 2000 top overall draftee DE Courtney Brown for the season. So long as the Giants show up at least five minutes before kickoff time, they should win this.

MIAMI 17, Pittsburgh 10 (P) - Why is it that every time the name Roethlisberger is mentioned the first thing that pops into my head is former Olympic gymnast John Roethlisberger? If the Dolphins can't beat a rookie quarterback from a small-time program making his first NFL start on the road, then an 0-16 finish cannot be ruled out.

Philadelphia 23, DETROIT 14 (+4) - The Lions were outplayed in both of their first two games but are 2-0 thanks to their opponents' blunders and oversights; but the Eagles don't do blunders or oversights in road games on artificial turf, in which they're 11-2 both ways in the new millennium - and it would be 12-1 if Andy Reid hadn't tried that stupid onside kick in Dallas last year (OK - so they have committed one blunder on the carpet recently). Philadelphia has also covered in nine of the last ten games against Detroit, and Jim Johnson's sophisticated defensive package figures to leave Joey Harrington dazed and confused.

ATLANTA 21, Arizona 20 (+9 1/2) - When Detroit won in Chicago on opening day, Arizona inherited the NFL's longest current road losing streak (now at 14) but when the Falcons beat the Rams last week they placed themselves on the wrong end of the Unlucky Seven Theory: The last five times a team snapped a losing streak of seven or more games against a particular opponent, that team then lost and non-covered in its next game; indeed, four of the five didn't even cover a ten-point teaser. Take the points as the Falcons struggle to evade an outright upset, which they will succeed in doing only because the Cardinals are, well, the Cardinals.

Baltimore 23, CINCINNATI 10 (+2 1/2) - The Bengals are also doomed by the Unlucky Seven Theory, having ended their nine-game losing streak to Miami Sunday night, holding the Dolphins to a comical 25 yards rushing on 20 carries; but this week their run defense moves way up in company taking on Jamal Lewis.

TENNESSEE 27, Jacksonville 14 (+6 1/2) - No unlucky sevens in this one, although there are a pair of fives: The Jaguars have lost five straight to the Titans all told, and also five in a row at Tennessee, covering only once in each instance. And refuse to believe that Jacksonville is for real.

MINNESOTA 34, Chicago 13 (+9) - Still another Unlucky Seven play, as the Bears finally knocked off the Packers last week after seven consecutive losses to Green Bay; and in addition to the seven, there's also a "six" in this game (the Bears have lost six straight outdoors) and an "eight" as well (Chicago has dropped eight in a row as a visitor on the carpet).

ST. LOUIS 17, New Orleans 14 (+7 1/2) - At the racetrack, when horses bearing the same number win three races in a row they call it a "Holy Ghost;" well the underachieving Rams have a shot at their own "Holy Ghost" this week: If they score 17 points in this game it will have been the third straight time they have done so. And while that might actually be enough to get by a Saints team that will be without Deuce McAllister for this game and at least three more (the dreaded high ankle sprain), the points are well worth taking in a matchup that has seen the home team cover in only one of the last six.

KANSAS CITY 21, Houston 13 (+9 1/2) - The Texans are 0-2 courtesy of a great deal of carelessness on their part, but how do the Chiefs cover this with their already thin wide receiver ranks further depleted by Eddie Kennison's pulled hamstring and Priest Holmes also questionable with both ankle and knee problems?

INDIANAPOLIS 30, Green Bay 23 (+5 1/2) - The Packers haven't beaten the Colts on the road since 1974, starting with a 1982 tie at Baltimore which was the only game the 0-8-1 Colts didn't lose in that strike-abbreviated season; then came a loss at 5-11 Indy in 1985 and a 1997 upset there to a team that entered the game 0-10. So how can you expect them to go into the RCA Dome and beat this talent-laden edition - or even cover given their 11-30 spread record on the carpet since 1994 and their 4-14 pointwise mark inside NFL domes since 1997? But even with all of the foregoing, the combination of letdown (after the big win at Tennessee) plus looking ahead (another AFC South road game - at Jacksonville, where they were upset last year - is next up) means that Indianapolis is no lockola in this spot after all.

DENVER 34, San Diego 10 (+10 1/2) - Haven't been able to find out how teams do after getting fined and forfeiting a draft choice for salary-cap cheating, but I do know that the Chargers are 1-8 straight up and 3-6 against the line in their last nine at Denver, and the lone win and one of the covers came in the 1999 season finale, which Shanahan no doubt tanked to get a soft schedule for 2000. Yom Kippur falls during this week, and the Broncos will be anxious to atone for the sins they committed last Sunday in Jacksonville.

SEATTLE 28, San Francisco 21 (+10 1/2) - From 1982 to the present, 14 teams have opened a season with two road victories, and nine of them made the playoffs, and three of those won the Super Bowl. But what I saw of Ken Dorsey in his first pro start last week impressed me enough to take a chance on the 49ers completing a "Holy Ghost" of sorts by starting the season with three spread-covering straight-up losses, and in the process handing the home team in this series what would be its fifth consecutive failure to cover.

OAKLAND 16, Tampa Bay 13 (+3 1/2) - There are three Unlucky Sevens this week, so why not three Holy Ghosts too? In this case, three straight games involving the Raiders where the home team has been favored by three and a half and won by three.


Dallas 17 (+1 1/2), WASHINGTON 7 - Mark Brunell or Patrick Ramsey? Who cares! The Cowboys are 10-0-2 versus the points in their last dozen games against the Redskins (and 12-1 straight up in the last 13) and Bill Parcells also has a personal six-game win streak over Joe Gibbs. Amazingly, the Dallas defense has inflicted a zero passer rating on two of its last five regular-season opponents, including doing it to Washington's Tim Hasselbeck (who is still on the roster as the third-stringer) last December.


Houston at Kansas City is in a circle because Chiefs RB Priest Holmes is questionable, Green Bay at Indianapolis is in a circle because Colts RB Edgerrin James is doubtful, and Dallas at Washington is in a circle because Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell is questionable.

Last edited by Anthony; 09-22-2004 at 08:49 AM.
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