10 visiting teams find success away from home last week

November 20, 2001 5:49 AM
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There’s no place like home?

Ten of 14 home teams failed to cover the spread. The upstart visitors acted nothing like Dorothy’s Wizards of Oz and more like Harry Potter’s wizards.

Five significant underdogs (over 4 points) won the games straight up! Dog lovers have to give thanks (even if it was a few days before Thanksgiving) when magic like that happens. Here are three more bones to throw on the Thanksgiving Day plate.

49ers +2½
BILLS +5
Skins +9

LIONS +6½ over Packers: First time in history the Lions go into Thanksgiving winless. You might say as 0-9 turkeys! New GM Matt Millen is not too happy about that fact. Lions may not win, but they will play hard. Packers not blowing anyone away lately.

Broncos —8 over COWBOYS: The once proud Cowboy franchise is searching for any type of pride they can find. What in the name of Ryan Leaf has happened to this club? Bring back Jimmy Johnson and send Jerry Jones packing!

Ravens —6 over JAGS: I wonder if Ravens fans are still buying into Billick’s statement that the team immediately upgraded upon arrival of Elvis Grbac? If they bought it, right now they’re looking for a refund. Jags only lost by one four weeks ago, but that was when they had Brunell healthy. The mighty Quinn will not be enough.

BILLS +5 over Dolphins: The Dolphins record puts them in the hunt, but you get the feeling the hunting trip is wearing them down. Good record on the road, but last two away wins have been by three and four points. I’m not a big drinker but I’ll take a shot at the fifth! Van Pelt did not look as rusty as he should have after not starting a game since 1997.

Steelers PK over TITANS: Pittsburgh first in seven different defensive categories. Overlooked is the fact that their offense is ranked fifth and seems to be getting better every week. Not sure why the Steelers aren’t a favorite in this spot.

49ers +2½ over COLTS: The Colts have lost their EDGE! Edgerrin James is out indefinitely. But the bigger problem might be on defense with LB Mike Peterson out. Difficult to bet against the Niners, who have won three of four overtime games.

CHIEFS +2 over Seahawks: As badly as the Chiefs have looked this season, they have given big efforts at home. KC upset the Colts and gave the mighty Steelers a good game as well. Look for Chiefs to be fired up for this game. Need the win desperately because they will have much tougher time with Philly the following week.

Skins +9 over EAGLES: The Eagles are flying high with the emergence of Duce Staley as a solid running back. But Skins have won four straight and continue to be underrated by everyone. The concussion suffered by Tony Banks could end up being a plus to Skins fans. Kent Graham came off the bench to lead Washington’s upset in Denver.

PANTHERS +4 over Falcons: I continue to underestimate the Falcons but I guess I’ll keep on going. Panthers have lost nine in a row. If they don’t go all out here, the next time it gets easier will be after Christmas versus Arizona.

BROWNS —6 over Bengals: It looks like the curtain has closed on the Corey Dillon show. He had big game when Cincy beat Browns earlier in the season. But lately the Bengals look more like wussy cats. Have to tip your cap to Brownies, who upset Ravens in Baltimore after back-to-back overtime losses.

PATS —1 over Saints: Ricky Williams made amends for his dropped TD pass in San Francisco. Pats smarting after near upset of Rams. Tom Brady deserves to start. Hope Belichick will stick with him.

Cards +7 over CHARGERS: The Chargers losing some of their early mystique. If Cards continue to shuffle points like last week against the Lions, this one will be easy.

GIANTS +5 over Raiders: The Raiders look like the best team the AFC has to offer right now. G-Men should be getting plenty of points. Raiders were fortunate to cover the spread against San Diego.

Bears PK over VIKINGS: Punters who play heavy on historical trends were burned Sunday when the Bears upset the Bucs. Vikings are coming off physical and emotional loss .

Bucs +10 over RAMS: The Rams offense can be unstoppable. But the fact remains that the Rams have registered 15 turnovers in the last three games. Looking for all out effort by Bucs who are faced with little possiblity of playoffs with loss here.