Isn't it nice to be back to the point where nobody really cares that they can;t watch the Thursday night game? It kinda brings the normalcy back, and the NFL loses any chance to argue how much the world should embrace the ridiculous battle they chiose to fight with cable systems nationwide, where nobody wins. Nice job, guys!
A 9-7 rebound last week somewhat eased the pain of the 5-11 debacle in Week 12. Trying to keep that momentum, we submit the following for Week 14:
Chicago (+3.5) over WASHINGTON
Skins have played juuust well enough to lose last two weeks, and the short week following the Sean Taylor funeral might be togh on them. This one just seems like a field goal game, in whcih case we'll grab the points.
Redskins 20 Bears 17
BUFFALO (-7.5) over Miami
Tough to lay this many poiunts woth the Bills, but the Fins have zero offense. It isn't hard to imagine Buffalo winning a low scoring game and covering this rather easily.
Bills 17 Dolphins 6
Dallas (-10.5) over DETROIT
Lions collapse is a big enough reason, but add in the fact that Jon Kitna provided some bulletin board material after the game last season and you've got a recipe for a blowout.
Cowboys 31 Lions 16
St. Louis (+6.5) over CINCINNATI
Bulger is playing, so this line is a gift against defenseless Bengals. Could be high scoring, but we'll go with the better than their record Rams.
Rams 24 Bengals 20
GREEN BAY (-10.5) over Oakland
Favre is playing, and Pack will not let up against improving Raiders, especially at Lambeau. Let's go with a repeat of the socre from Super Bowl II:
Packers 33 Raiders 14
Tampa Bay (-2.5) over HOUSTON
Bucs focusing on playoff seeding now at 8-4, and should be able to cover the less than field goal line on the road. Texans might hang tough, but talent wins out.
Buccaneers 23 Texans 17
JACKSONVILLE (-10.5) over Carolina
Jags fell behind in Indy last week, and nearly recovered. Their collective anger and frustration can be spent this week against reeling Panthers. Duck, Vinnie!
Jaguars 30 Panthers 13
PHILADELPHIA (-2.5) over NY Giants
This will be a far cry from the 12 sack nightmare Eagles endured in first meeting. Philly has played back to back tough games, getting burned by bad iNT's by AJ Feely. Donovan McNabb returns this week and engineers a close win over the G-Men.
Eagles 20 Giants 17
TENNESSEE (+1.5) over San Diego
Two teams we hate to pick, going head-to-head. Titans at home a slightly better bet than Chargers on the road, so, good job there, Vegas, in setting this line. When in doubt, take the points.
Titans 20 Chargers 17
Minnesota (-8.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
Vikings have come a long way to the point where they can lay this much on the road, eh? Too much Adrian Peterson, plus a defense that gains more confidence each week, spells doom for the pathetic Niners.
Vikings 27 49ers 13
Arizona (+7.5) over SEATTLE
Seahwaks have to be the least convincing "good" team in the NFL. Honestly, these guys are 8-4? Cards have the ability to hang tough with anyone, and should be able to keep this one close, maybe even take it outright.
Seahawks 31 Cardinals 30
Pittsburgh (+13.5) over NEW ENGLAND
Wow, a Pat line below 20! Have to like the fact that the Steelers have an actual runing game, which has shown to be a problem for the Pats to stop recently. Also, Big Ben is a much better quarterback than either A.J. Feely or Kyle Boller, each of whom almost engineered big upsets the past two weeks. Pittsburgh can drain the clock a little and frustrate Brady, Moss and Co. by keeping them on the sidelines, which should result in, at the very least, a cover.
Patriots 24 Steelers 21
Kansas City (+6.5) over DENVER
Even at Mile High (we will never, ever, use the corporate name for any edifice, thank you very much), it's hard to pick the Broncos as being 7 points better than anybody. That, and the fact we hate them, makes it hard to pick against KC. Chiefs break the schnied!
Chiefs 17 Broncos 16
Cleveland (-3.5) over NY JETS
The wheels came off the Browns bandwagon last week, but we still believe. Jets don;t have the firepower to match the Cleveland offense, and we can see a close game for about a half before Cleveland pulls away.
Browns 31 Jets 16
Indianapolis (-9.5) over BALTIMORE
Ravens left it all on the field in upset bid last Monday night, and will not have enough to get fired up to upset Colts. It won't take a self destruct job this time for Baltimore to lose, either.
Colts 24 Ravens 10
New Orleans (-4.5) over ATLANTA
One week after setting a ratings record for cable, it won't be a surprise if this game sets a new mark as well - least amount of total viewers for an NFL game. Saints have to pretty much win out for any kind of shot at the playoffs, and will get a boost of hope here.
Saints 27 Falcons 17
BEST BETS: Packers, Browns, Vikings
Last Week: 9-7
Season Total: 104-88 (54.2%)
Last Week: 1-2
Season Total: 18-15 (54.6%)