Here we are creeping ever so closely to the midway point of the season and we’re still staring at six teams with zeros in their record. As hard as it is to believe in the so-called parity packed NFL, the Saints, Colts and Broncos do not know what it’s like to lose yet. And only the bitter taste of defeat has reached the mouths of the Rams, Bucs and Titans.
Where did all these undefeated and winless clubs come from? Maybe the same place all the lousy baseball umpiring and NFL officiating came from … out of nowhere!
Okay, it may be sour grapes, I am a backer of the dogs, but what in the world was the official thinking of when he called the Vikings’ offensive lineman for "tripping" after he unleashed a perfectly legal block at a Steelers’ defender.
No sense crying over spilt milk, or in my case moolah, it’s time to pick some winners. Mighty tough to accomplish that feat when you’re looking for underdogs and they’re nowhere to be found.
The favorites have hammered the dawgs three of the last four weeks. Last Sunday the dogs were 4-8, running scared and scarce!
Dolphins +4 at Jets: This should be an ideal game to grab all the points you can and rest at ease, knowing you’re on the right side. These two clubs just met on Monday night 3 weeks ago. The Dolphins won the game by 4 in a high scoring affair. I see this one with the same result only much less scoring. DOLPHINS.
Broncos +3½ at Raven: The loss column goose eggs for the Broncos can’t last forever. This is as good a week as any for the Denver dream streak to end. Both teams well rested, coming off bye weeks. I’m unsure any dawgs have enough points after last week’s disaster. RAVENS.
Texans -3 at Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick has not let the Bills down after taking over for Trent Edwards. He started off with an OT win over the Jets and followed it up with a mistake free performance over the Panthers. Both wins away from the friendly confines of home. So the Bills have won two in a row and keep winning even after the injuries kept piling up. Buffalo lost their safeties two weeks ago and last Sunday lost a defensive lineman. But don’t let that 2 game winning streak fool you. The Jets rushed for over 300 yards two weeks ago and Carolina piled up 425 yards last Sunday. Bills no ball of fire at home. Houston 2-1 on the road this season. Fitzpatrick scheduled to come back to planet earth. Schaub is the better QB and the Texans’ defense hasn’t allowed a rusher over 60 yards in their last 4 games! TEXANS.
Browns +13 at Bears: The Brownies had covered 3 straight before getting blown out by Green Bay. Carson Palmer carved up the Bears and I’m not sure where da Bears lack of effort came from versus Cincy. I will stay on the dawg here for at least one more game and blame Cleveland’s weak showing on the flu bug. BROWNS.
Seahawks +7½ at Cowboys: Tony Romo has been unfairly barbecued by many critics this season. But Romo has still thrown for over 250 yards in 5 of his 6 games this season. Romo has found Miles Austin the last two weeks and he’s another dangerous option the Seahawks will have to account for in their game plan. Seattle is coming off a bye but they might be more beat up than Dallas. COWBOYS.
Rams +3½ at Lions: I like to take the points when both teams look equally terrible. The Rams slightly hungrier for their first win makes this selection a slam dunk. RAMS.
Vikings + 3 at Packers: The Vikings should still be undefeated. I think the officials absolutely "homered" them in Pittsburgh with the phantom tripping call that turned the game around in Pittsburgh’s favor. I like both QBs but feel like the Vikes have a huge edge rushing the football with Peterson. VIKES.
49ers +9½ at Colts: Colts taking no prisoners since the general, Tony Dungy, left town. Looks like Tony left the team in good hands. The Colts have not been defeated this year and I don’t see it happening this week. Niners are a little beat up on the offensive line and now may have a QB controversy on their hands. Peyton Manning has improved from previous season if that’s at all humanly possible. COLTS.
Raiders +15 at Chargers: Tom Cable will not be charged for punching his assistant earlier this year. However, authorities will indict Al Davis for second degree murder in the killing of his Raiders’ franchise! I will still take the defendant plus all those points. Cable should be able to get his team and any Raiders’ backers out of jail with 16 points! If not, I hope they lock Cable up and throw away the key! RAIDERS.
Jags PK at Titans: Looks like a another great spot for an o-fer to be erased. Jags were shut out in Seattle 41-zip and then struggled to beat the Rams in OT. If the Titans don’t get their first win here they might give Jeff Fisher a permanent Peyton Manning jersey. TITANS.
Panthers +8 at Cards: Cards look like they’re playoff bound after 3 straight wins, the latest being an impressive romp over the G-men in New York. But I have a hunch the Panthers will go on the road and try to win back some respect. And the way to do that would be to not turn the ball over 4 times like they did against Buffalo. This week they hang onto the ball. PANTHERS.
Giants +3 at Eagles: After a hot start with 5 straight wins, the Giants have lost 2 consecutive games to the Saints and Cards. The Eagles won two in a row but they were gimmies at home versus Kansas City and Tampa Bay. Then they went on the road to Oakland and were embarrassed in a 13-9 loss to one of the lowest ranked teams in the league, if not the lowest. Philly now coming off Monday night game at Washington so the G-men will have a little more time to prepare. This should be a great game but looks like a taker all the way with the G-men going all out to stop a two game losing streak. GIANTS.
Falcons +8 at Saints: The Saints haven’t lost a game or the money yet this season. Drew Brees and company were down 24-3 to the Fish before reeling them in with a huge 46-34 comeback win that involved 22 unanswered points. How do you NOT fear the Saints. I’m not afraid to tell you I am scared of taking the other side in this game. But all those points make me a little more courageous. FALCONS.
BEST BETS: DOLPHINS, GIANTS, TEXANS.Watch every Tuesday for a brand new Denny the Dog article.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Dennis Ball