Beware of dogs.
That sign should be hanging in plain view at all the sports books in Las Vegas. Before any would-be NFL bettor steps up to the ticket writer, it’s only fair that he should have a chance to heed this special warning. And that’s because the dogs have been mailing in their effort over the last four weeks. The dawgs have barked out a mere 32 percent wins over that span.
When in doubt, bet the faves! You can place that sign just below the beware of dogs sign. I didn’t even need all the fingers on one hand to count the underdogs covering the point spread this weekend. It’s getting brutal for the true dog lovers like myself to find winners. They’re spending plenty of time hiding this season. So we have to be extremely careful while hunting them down.
Broncos +1 at Texans: The NFL is still investigating whether or not Denver’s rout over the Chiefs can be counted as a true NFL win. Denver looked like a playoff team at home versus Kansas City. But don’t get sucked into Denver’s world on the road. It’s a nightmare. Sage is the rage in Houston after dismantling Bucs. The Texans’ defensive play over the last few weeks cannot be ignored here. TEXANS.
Bengals -8Â½ at 49ers: Home field advantage started to come into play last weekend as the homies won the money 70 percent of the time. I can really sympathize with Trent Dilfer’s concussion versus the Vikes. The entire Niners team has been giving San Francisco backers headaches this season. But at some point, you have to play for pride. I think the Niners will do precisely that this Saturday in front of the home crowd. You may see Hill behind center and that wouldn’t be all bad either. 49ERS.
Cards +3Â½ at Saints: I will take the home team again in a matchup of two teams going no place but home for the holidays. Warner beginning to show his age and the season isn’t getting younger either. SAINTS.
Falcons +8 at Bucs: Feeling here is Falcons used up what’s left of their energy this season in emotional game with the Saints at home last Monday night. Tampa Bay has been able to pound the rock with Graham until running into Houston last week. Bucs should get their running game back here as well as Jeff Garcia’s arm and scrambling ability. BUCS.
Ravens -3Â½ at Dolphins: Both clubs are literally unplayable so I really don’t know what to tell you in this sad affair. Baltimore has lost seven straight games. The only team that has lost more consecutive games is Miami, which hasn’t won all year! If the Fish are going to swim into the win column, it has to be this week. DOLPHINS.
Bills +5 at Browns: Big wild card showdown. Anderson has a little more experience at QB than Edwards. I like the home field advantage late in the season. I’m sticking to that theme here. BROWNS.
Packers -10 at Rams: I’m not sure of the QB situation in St. Louis. The thought of Brock Berlin scares me a little away from the home field advantage theme I’ve been promoting. The Pack is so good I think they’re starting to scare some opponents. I know they’ve scared me away from betting against them! The emergence of Grant and a reliable rushing attack should be good enough to scare the host Rams. PACKERS.
Jaguars +4 at Steelers: Pittsburgh will attempt to go undefeated at home this season with a win over Jacksonville. But easier said than done. The Jags should keep this game very interesting. Garrard is playing mistake-free football and Taylor has run over 100 yards for three straight games. JAGS.
Jets +26 at Patriots: Biggest number in the history of the NFL. Jets can make their season by just staying within 10 points! I don’t think I could lay this many points with so much animosity between the two coaches. I know Belichick would love to run it up and shove some Spygate pie in Mangini’s face. But I don’t think the Pats will win by more than 14 or 15. Mangini should go all out in this spot. I draw the line with ridiculous lines and this one is totally absurd. JETS.
Seahawks -7 at Panthers: I would love to find a reason to bet the dog here, but I think it’s a lost cause. Vinny Testaverde, Matt Moore and DeShaun Foster: Old QB, no QB and no rushing attack. No reason to take any points! SEAHAWKS.
Titans -3Â½ at Chiefs: Larry Johnson has been out and Chiefs QBs are down and out. Croyle is struggling with a bad back. Huard has a bad arm and Thigpen has a bad knee. Kansas City has a bad team, period. TITANS.
Colts -12 at Raiders: I’m going to give the Raiders one more chance. I really thought they might play tougher up in Green Bay. What was I smoking? Raiders have won two of their last three games. Maybe a team playing with a little heart (take a hint Baltimore!) will give the Colts a run for their money. RAIDERS.
Lions +11 at Chargers: Winning 10 games is no longer a possibility for the Lions. Kitna’s prediction is up in smoke, but I don’t think the team will quit. Jones ran hard and Kitna was on target most of the day against Dallas. No reason to think the Lions will have any quit in them here. Bolts have been too inconsistent to lay double digits. LIONS.
Eagles +11 at Cowboys: As much as I love betting the dog, I can’t find the desire in this game. McNabb is a mediocre 14-16 since his Super Bowl appearance. Brian Westbrook is about the only positive force in Philly right now and he can’t do the job alone. Tony Romo, super Cowboy, is not riding solo. COWBOYS.
Skins +6 at Giants: The Giants are 5-0 in games decided by 7 points or less. Here’s another game I think will be decided by less than a touchdown. If the G-men aren’t careful they could be on the short end of the scoreboard. The new drink in Washington is the Todd Collins. SKINS.
Bears +7 at Vikings: Vikings are playing mistake-free football. I’m not playing against them. Peterson has been awesome and when he can’t go, Chester Taylor jumps in and they don’t miss a beat. Jackson not terrific, but he’s improving every week and interceptions are a rarity with him. VIKINGS.