St. Louis looks like only dependable NFL team to bet

Oct 23, 2001 7:53 AM

The Bears, Steelers and Patriots were impressive, although New England’s mastery is only over Indianapolis. Chicago’s win set up an early showdown against the Forty Niners in the Windy City.

The only team with any consistency is the St. Louis Rams, who look like the best in the NFL at this time.

Sunday, October 28

Ravens 17, Jags 6: The Jaguars can’t score. The Ravens don’t know where the end zone is. Tough team to lay points with. Baltimore D has to come to the front to cover eight-point spread. Take Ravens.

Vikes 23, Bucs 17: The Bucs offense, begging for some TD’s, can score here. Vikings figure to outscore Tampa Bay in any kind of shootout. Take Vikes +3½.

Lions 24, Bengals 17: The Lions are knocking on the victory door, but are having a hard time breaking it down. This week they grab the brass ring. Bengals are coming off terrible performance. Cincy should improve this week, however Lions will improve more. Take Lions —2.

Colts 27, Chiefs 20: It’s hard to back the Colts, who are having a great deal of trouble beating New England on the road or at home. KC is having troubles of its own and looks like the right opponent for the Colts. Take Colts —3½.

Rams 31, Saints 16: The Saints don’t look like playoff contenders, especially when they can’t handle the Falcons at home. What happened to their vaunted defense? Out the window with the trash. Hate giving all those points, but Rams are on top of their game. Take Rams —12.

Niners 27, Bears 24: High scoring game should the weather turn mild. The elements can play an important part. Bad weather favors Chicago. On the premise that its playable”¦Take Niners +1½.

Panthers 24, Jets 19: The Jets look horrible in the Meadowlands. Panthers didn’t look so hot blowing a 14-point lead versus Washington. Carolina should fare better in familiar surroundings. Take Panthers +3.

Cards 20, Cowboys 17: The Cowboys won their first game against Washington. This is a tougher foe. Arizona is tough against its own kind and will handle Dallas with little trouble. Take Cards +2½.

Raiders 27, Eagles 23: The Raiders are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The Eagles have shown signs of being a decent team, however they lack consistency. Oakland may be old, but does all the right things with a high- powered offense to carry a sometimes faltering defense. Take Raiders +1½.

Pats 27, Broncos 26: The Patriots have come up with a QB (Tom Brady) who has the “guts” of a second-story man. Pats on a roll, while Denver has been stumbling. Going with the hot hand. Take New England +8.

Chargers 26, Bills 13: San Diego meeting Bills for the first time in years. Buffalo coming off win versus Jaguars and looking for second win in succession. Chargers can be double tough at home. Give Bills 8 with comfort.

Fins 20, Seahawks 13: The Dolphins, like Seattle, are coming off a bye week and should have plenty of energy for this affair. Miami is dangerous versus all opponents except the Jets, who seem to have the Indian sign on the Fish. Take Dolphins —3.

Giants 27, Skins 16: The Giants are coming into their own as a defensive power. Giant D puts points on the board. Washington has problem overcoming 27 points. G-men —7½ gets the money.

Titans 23, Steelers 16: Tennessee squeaking out victories in the last minute. This week the Titans grab early lead and win going away. Steelers are on top of their game and will be tough to beat at home. Going with Titans +2½.