Home underdogs finally
breaking through

Dec 5, 2006 6:24 AM

Beware of dog!

You can pick a fight with those junkyard dogs if you’re looking for trouble, but you might not want to bite off more than you can chew if they’re playing at home. If by chance, you’ve messed with the home mutts over the last two months, you’re probably missing a big chunk of your bankroll and well aware.

The Packers were the only home puppy unable to shake the choke collar and cover the point spread. The Browns, Titans, Giants and Bills all won the money and left the home dawgs 4-1 last Sunday. The dogs have an amazing 8-3 record at home over the last two weeks. Over the past two months, the home doggies are 25-12.

Don’t discard those home dogs without a long hard look. Visiting or at home, the NFL dogs have been on fire of late, covering point spreads at a 70 percent clip. Denny The Dog hasn’t been that good, but he’s improving. Let’s hope the dogs keep barking deep into December as we look to Week 14.

Browns +9 at Steelers: The second consecutive Thursday night NFL network showcases the AFC North. No must-win scenario here. Neither team going anywhere, but home for the holidays. Charlie Frye hurt his right wrist, but Derek -Anderson came in and led the Browns to a dramatic comeback win over KC. That will fire Browns up for the short week and close road trip. BROWNS.

Ravens +3 at Chiefs: KC allowed a 4-TD performance by Trent Green to slip away last week in Cleveland. Chiefs, like many NFL teams, are a different animal at home. The extra days for Baltimore to prepare will be just enough extra time for Billick to mess things up. CHIEFS.

Falcons -3 at Bucs: Just when you thought the Falcons were a bunch of dead birds on a four-game slide, Michael Vick flew into Washington and flipped his detractors the dirty bird. I think the road trip helped Atlanta. A trip was needed to get out of Dodge to shake the losing streak. The road helps again this week. FALCONS.

Vikings PK at Lions: Detroit should have notched a double digit upset at New England last Sunday. Lions are on a four-game losing streak and long overdue for a win. Vikes are on thin ice, having lost 5-of-6. LIONS.

Titans +2½ at Texans: Is there anyone happier than Jeff Fisher? Titans have won three consecutive games. Two weeks ago, Titans recorded a 21-point fourth quarter comeback over the Giants. Last Sunday, Vince Young & Co. came from behind to nip the mighty Colts. Titans played the Colts tough both times. TITANS.

Giants +3½ at Panthers: Giants fans don’t know whether to choke Tom Coughlin or go home and kick their dog. I believe the G-men benefit by getting out of New York for this game after dropping their fourth in a row. It hasn’t been a pretty sight, but Giants did win the money for a change versus Dallas. Carolina has been inconsistent all season. GIANTS.

Saints +7 at Cowboys: I’ve heard Tony Romo has reminded people of everyone from Joe Montana, to Dan Marino, to Troy Aikman. Sooner or later he has to become first year starter, Tony Romo. The bump in the road might come this week. Saints have played well all season and they’re especially tough on the road. SAINTS.

Bills +4 at Jets: Both teams have been all over the money the last couple of weeks. Looking back several weeks, the Bills have been more consistent. And the Bills have played tougher competition the last two weeks. BILLS.

Colts -2½ at Jags: If you look at Indy over the last four weeks, you can’t be that impressed. Losses to Dallas and Tennessee and a one point win over Buffalo. The only crushing victory was an unimpressive 24-point win over the McNabb-less Eagles. The only team that can beat Jacksonville at home is Houston! JAGS.

Eagles +1½ at Redskins: The Eagles without McNabb is like Christmas minus the snow or tree. I just can’t get excited about them. SKINS.

Raiders +10½ at Bengals: Since the loss to San Diego, Cincinnati looks like a playoff team on a Super Bowl mission. Raiders on a mission to get Art Shell fired as quickly as possible! BENGALS.

Patriots -3½ at Dolphins: The Pats just don’t appear to be as scary to opponents this season. When you’re struggling to beat the Lions at home and losing to the Jets, how much respect should the Dolphins give them? DOLPHINS.

Packers +5 at 49ers: I’m not jumping off the Niners bandwagon after one lousy game on the road to a pretty good Saints team. Prior to last Sunday, the 49ers had won of 3-of-4 and had cashed winning tickets for their backers in four straight games! Pack doesn’t have what it takes to win. Unfortunately, neither does Brett Favre. 49ERS.

Seahawks -3½ at Cards: Seattle has lost twice in their last three road games. Cards 2-1 in last three outings. Matt Leinart has played well enough for the Cards to have won all three! CARDS.

Broncos +6 at Chargers: Ooops! That’s what Mike Shanahan said after watching Jay Cutler’s performance Sunday night. Cutler does not appear to have the same Tony Romo magic in his arm and doesn’t look ready for the spotlight. Lightening Bolts are on a six-game roll. They don’t seem that interested in covering point spreads, but should cover here by mistake. Right now, pulling Jake looks like a huge mistake! CHARGERS.

Bears -6½ at Rams: Grossman powered the Bears over Minnesota with a negative QB rating! Well, if it wasn’t negative it sure as heck appeared to be. The home underdogs have made me a believer the last two weeks. RAMS.