No matter if it counts or not, Detroit can’t win away

Aug 9, 2005 4:29 AM

NFL PRESEASON: WEEK 1

Thursday, Aug. 11

Chargers +1 at Packers (36): San Diego will be out to prove that last year was no fluke. Marty Ball was 2-0 on the road last year. The Packers are getting older and no great shakes in the preseason of late. CHARGERS.

Friday, Aug. 12

Lions +3½ at Jets (36): Detroit will be better this year with two good QBs, who will battle it out for the top spot in Harrington and Garcia. That should really help their preseason chances. Jets HC Edwards is a perfectionist, which attributes to an 11-6 ATS preseason mark. Detroit is 0-4 SU and ATS on the road the last two years. JETS.

Pats -1½ at Bengals (37): Pats very deep, but just can’t see them getting excited. Cincy gets the champs at home, can put points on the board and will look for the upset in front of a sold out stadium. BENGALS, OVER.

Bears +4 at Rams (37): The Bears come back in just four days for this game and on the road again. HC Martz for the Rams is 2-10 SU and 3-9 ATS last three preseasons, including 2-5 as the chalk. BEARS.

Chiefs +3½ at Vikings (43): Don’t like either side in this one so I will just go with a small play. UNDER.

Bucs +3 at Titans (36½): Both coaches are very good in preseason and each has a good defense. BUCS, UNDER.

Seahawks +1½ at Saints (38): Both HC pretty lousy in preseason, but I do see a lot of scoring. OVER.

Saturday, Aug. 13

Ravens +3 at Falcons (36): Atlanta lit it up against the Colts "D" and has the advantage with a game under its belt. Ravens play great defense and were 3-1 ATS last year in preseason. Atlanta was 2-0 ATS as a favorite last year. I would lay -2½ or take +3½ so watch the line near kickoff. FALCONS -2½ or less; RAVENS +3½ or more.

Dolphins +3 at Jaguars (33): The Fish are back just four days after facing the Bears. Don’t know what to make of the big points shift against them last Monday. Jags are a solid 5-3 ATS under HC Del Rio. JAGS.

Bills +5 at Colts (42½): Buffalo has two good QBs with Holcomb and Losman so a second half wager could be the play, especially if down a couple TDs. Colts are 3-0 in preseason after a SU loss, so lay the five. COLTS (game), BILLS (second half).

Broncos pk at Texans (37): A no brainer, Denver awesome in preseason under perfectionist Mike Shanahan going 8-2 in last 10 road contests. BRONCOS pk to +2½.

Skins +3½ at Panthers (35½): This game should be in Mark Mayer’s "If I Only Knew" section. Panthers 8-0 SU and ATS with HC Fox. Can’t buck that one. PANTHERS.

Giants -2½ at Browns (34): The "Dawg Boys" completely overhauled this year with new GM and HC. We’re taking a wait and see attitude. UNDER.

Raiders -2½ at 49ers (39): I hope this line goes up. Will be all over San Fran with rookie HC Mike Nolan. 49ers +2½ or more. If less, we pass.

Cowboys pk at Cards (35): I Will make a play only if line jumps to +2. UNDERDOG +2 or more.

Monday, Aug. 15

Eagles +3 at Steelers (36): At one time Cowher and the Steelers were a force in preseason, but just 1-5 ATS in last six at "The Burgh." Can’t see that stat continuing. Cowher wants a strong start. Look for Pittsburgh to open off with a preseason win at home in front of a sold out house and no Owens. STEELERS.

Last week: 1-1

Preseason: 1-1