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Double-digit dog run on Detroit Lions

Oct 28, 2008 4:10 PM
by Andy Iskoe |

At the halfway point of the NFL season, the phenomenal point spread record of double-digit underdogs improved again to 12-1 as Kansas City covered as a two touchdown underdog at the Jets.

Detroit gets a chance to get their third double-digit cover at Chicago this week.

The Lions remain one of two winless teams along with Cincinnati. The NFL’s lone unbeaten team, Tennessee, put its 6-0 record on the line Monday night against Indianapolis.

The NFC is the stronger of the two conferences, going 15-10 in interleague play. All four teams in the NFC East have winning records as do three of the four in the NFC South where last place New Orleans is 4-4.

The success of those two divisions is offset by the poor play in the NFC West where Arizona is the only team with a winning record (4-3) and the other three teams are a combined 6-16.

The East is the strongest division in the AFC where three teams have winning records and last place Miami is 3-4. The weakest AFC division is the West.

Aside from the winless and unbeaten teams the only current streak of note is San Francisco’s five-game losing streak. The Niners changed coaches last week, replacing Mike Nolan with former Chicago Bears great Mike Singletary. That marked the third coaching change of the season, coming just a few weeks after St. Louis and Oakland made changes.

With Carolina, New Orleans, San Diego and San Francisco enjoying byes this week, here’s a look at the 14 games that will be played:

Texans +4½ at Vikings (45): Houston is off its best game of the season by far on both sides of the football and unlikely to play to a similar level this week. The Vikings are off a bye and have the edge in the running game and defense. VIKINGS.

Jaguars -7½ at Bengals (40): Cincinnati is 0-8 and being outscored by 14 points per game. Jacksonville is the more talented team and should be eager to atone for last week’s stinker with Cleveland. JAGUARS.

Bucs -8½ at Chiefs (37½): The Chiefs have lost two of three at Arrowhead this season and have had trouble sustaining momentum against more talented teams. Against weaker teams, the Bucs are content to just run the ball and play conservative. UNDER.

Ravens +1 at Browns (37): A rematch of the Week 3 game dominated by the Ravens 28-10 in Baltimore. Cleveland is improved on defense, but Baltimore has the league’s top-ranked defense and runs the ball exceptionally well. UNDER.

Jets +5½ at Bills (42): Fundamentally, Buffalo is the more complete team in terms of overall balance. The Bills are 3-0 at home while the Jets have dropped their last two road games. Buffalo has won three straight and 5 of 7 in the series. BILLS.

Cards -3 at Rams (NT): Arizona again had their problems on the East Coast in failing to hold a second half lead at Carolina. St. Louis RB Stephen Jackson should be back this week. Former Rams QB Kurt Warner is putting up big numbers. OVER.

Lions +13 at Bears (44): A rematch from a month ago in which Detroit was blasted by the Bears 34-7 and outgained 425-185. Chicago hosts currently unbeaten Tennessee next week and will be satisfied just to get the win here. LIONS.

Packers +4½ at Titans (40½): The Titans have been outstanding on defense all season. The offense is based on a strong running game that chews up clock and wears down defenses. The Packers defense has been vulnerable to the run. TITANS.

Dolphins +3 at Broncos (48): The Broncos have major concerns with their defense that is allowing nearly 400 yards per game. It’s a bad scheduling spot for Miami, off two home games and with three more at home up next. BRONCOS.

Falcons -3 at Raiders (41): The Falcons have done more on offense than has Oakland with both teams putting up similar defensive stats. Atlanta is favored on the road for the first time since 2006, which may be asking too much, too soon. RAIDERS.

Cowboys +8 at Giants (41): This line represents a 15-point turnaround from their last meeting in the playoffs at Dallas. Aside from blowout wins over weaklings Seattle and St Louis, the Giants have not been that dominant. Dallas remains a team loaded with talent. COWBOYS.

Eagles -7 at Seahawks (42½): Don’t be fooled by Seattle’s seemingly blowout 34-13 win at San Francisco last week. Philadelphia is 10-0 after a bye week under Andy Reid. Plus, a healthy Brian Westbrook opened up the offense to the tune of 432 yards. EAGLES.

Patriots +5 at Colts (45): Despite the loss of QB Tom Brady in Week 1, New England has managed to go 5-2. A loss Monday night to the Titans would have the Colts four games behind Tennessee in the AFC South. Both teams are well coached and both offenses are down significantly from last season. UNDER.

Steelers +3 at Redskins (37): This should be a Monday night war. Washington averages less than one giveaway per game. But they’ve been unable to finish drives. Pittsburgh wins with defense. UNDER.