Steelers continue New York state of mind this week

Dec 14, 2004 7:25 AM

Wow, it just seems like the football season just got underway. The college bowl games are upon us, only three more regular season NFL games remain, and I still haven’t done any Christmas shopping.

Before we look at the first bowl game, let’s see what the big boys did Sunday.

Thanks to the defense, the Pittsburgh Steelers downed the Jets 17-6 for their straight win. The game was much closer than the final score, but Jets QB Chad Pennington kept mistaking Steelers defensive backs for his wide receivers.

The Patriots won their game against a tough Bengals team, but did not get the cover. The Eagles got locked into a defensive battle and just got the win, 17-14. However, the books were saved with Philly not covering.

The Chargers won their seventh straight game and are now 10-1-2 ATS this season. I could have done a lot of Christmas shopping if I were on San Diego all year.

Carolina has won and covered five straight and Buffalo enjoys a four-game run. All four Bills games have gone "over" the total with Buffalo averaging 38½ points during that span.

The Colts offense wasn’t up to snuff, scoring only 23 against the Texans in a nine-point victory. No cover, but Peyton Manning is now just two shy of Marino’s 48 TD passes.

Here are some matchups we like this week.

Saturday, Dec. 14

Steelers -10 at Giants (34): The Giants were 4-1 on Oct. 3. Since then, 1-7 both SU and ATS. The G-Men look to be playing for contracts with postseason out of the question. What was a very good defense has given up 27, 31 and 37 points in the last three games. Could be a shutout. STEELERS, UNDER.

Panthers +3½ at Falcons (42½): Atlanta beat a down Panthers team at Carolina in the first meeting, 27-10. Falcons are now 9-2-1 ATS against Carolina in the last 12 meetings. Must take the points in a game that looks to come down to a field goal. PANTHERS.

Sunday, Dec. 19

Cowboys -11 at Eagles: The Cows looked to be on a roll, but then lose at home to the Saints. Philly hammered the ’Boys in their first meeting as a seven-point favorite in Dallas, 49-21. EAGLES.

Chargers -7 at Browns: Since win over the Ravens, the Dawg Boys are 0-5 SU and ATS. Must stay with streaking Chargers and lay the number on the road against my better judgment. CHARGERS.

Bills NL at Bengals: Cincy playing everyone tough, taking the Pats down to the line last week. Now comes the red hot Bills offense. Cincy has been scoring a ton of points but the defense has yielded a whopping 36.3 in the last three games. The Bengals are 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS against the Bills in the last four meetings. BILLS, OVER

Ravens +8½ at Colts (49): The books will be rooting big time for the Ravens and under. These guys have met five times since 1994 with Baltimore going 5-0 ATS. I really think the Ravens will give it their all in this game and those points look good. I’m rooting for the bookies here. RAVENS.

Monday, Dec. 20

Patriots -9 at Dolphins (41): In years gone by, this game would be an automatic take and you would have gotten the money. But times change and it may not be so easy. Normally it was play the home dog Monday night. Not so this year, but we like the old school thinking here. Miami has played very well of late and only lost first meeting in New England as a 13 point dog, 24-10. Even though Miami is 0-4 SU and ATS in the last four matchups, I am inclined to take the points and hope for the best. DOLPHINS.

Last week: 2-4

Season: 14-17

College football
New Orleans Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 14

So. Miss -5½ vs N. Texas (53½): North Texas has been in this bowl three straight years, going 1-2. This will be the third loss. Before going into conference play this year, NT faced four non-conference opponents and went 0-4 SU and ATS including a 37-14 loss to Baylor. Southern Miss, coming off a nice win over UAB, beat Nebraska (21-17) and played Cal close in a 26-16 loss. Lay the points. SO. MISS.