Favre-ites rule

December 11, 2001 4:41 AM
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The favorites came marching in Sunday, just like the Saints in Atlanta. But the Falcons weren’t the only dog done in.

Just when it was starting to feel comfortable betting the dogs across the board, nine favorites covered the point spread. That’s after a combined 20 wins by underdogs the previous two Sundays.

Keep a close eye on those home teams as the winter games approach. As the Christmas lights start to shine brighter, so do the home team’s chances of hanging a star on the game and, better yet, the money.

Here are three teams itching to light up your Christmas tree.

GIANTS —4 over Cards: G-Men are losers of three straight. Bye week didn’t seem to help. NY fans waited for a playoff guarantee that never arrived. Cards won three straight and then looked dead against the Skins. Offensive line injuries shuffle any idea of betting the Cards.

Steelers +3½
Bucs +3
Pats —4

CHARGERS +5 over Raiders: The Raiders defense not scaring anyone. In fact, they’re really not tackling anyone and stopping the run has become a chore. The AFC West leaders have lost the moolah two weeks in a row. Bolts have dropped six consecutive games, while their confidence in Doug Flutie fades. It’s not real windy in San Diego, but it may be time for a Drew Brees to blow across the field.

CHIEFS +3 over Broncos: Sunday is generally a day of rest for men of the cloth. But there’s a Priest named Holmes in KC that works like a madman as a running back. Especially the last three weeks. Trent Green finally stepped up to the plate versus Oakland but his home run attempt fell just short of the fence. May hit one out of the park on his home turf.

COLTS —3 over Falcons: Maybe Peyton Manning’s jaw has had enough time to heal. Should have used bye week for wiring Mora’s jaw shut to prevent asinine post game tirades.

JETS —7 over Bengals: The Jets have only scored seven TDs in their last six games. Jets need to stay in the race. They have the better team on both sides of the ball. Should be able to pick up the offensive production against a Bengals team that is guaranteed a losing record for 11 straight years.

BROWNS —2 over Jaguars: Browns injury list is longer than the X-Box line at Target. I’m committed this week to giving any games on the edge to the home team. Brunell is beat up and bloodied.

LIONS +3 over Vikings: The Lions win column may be empty but the bankroll of anyone backing them is full! Detroit has won the money three straight weeks. The record is 0-12, but I still think they’re going to break the goose egg by Jan. 6. Todd Bouman threw four TDs and over 300 yards in his first NFL start against a banged up Titans secondary. Might see right here if it was beginner’s luck?

Patriots —4 over BILLS: As committed as I am to the home teams, I’m too impressed with New England to back the Bills. Tom Brady completes nearly 70 percent of his passes. He’s unflappable under pressure and 8-3 as a starter.

Eagles —2½ over SKINS: The Skins upset Eagles just a couple of weeks ago. McNabb had a horrible game. It came out of nowhere. Eagles have been pummeling teams like Arizona, Minnesota, Dallas and KC in four of the last five weeks. Only malfunction was against Washington. Philly will secure sweet revenge.

Bucs +3 over BEARS: The Bucs couldn’t hang on against Bears at home a month ago. Now they get the chance to trap Bears on the road. Those are very tough hunting conditions. Bucs have been winning ugly the last three weeks, but hanging tough has been their specialty. Bears can’t seem to score over 13 points.

49ERS —3 over Dolphins: Fish haven’t been road tested in some time. Niners smarting over whipping taken in St. Louis. Looking for big day from Garcia on heels of his worst performance of the season.

Packers —2½ over TITANS: Ahman Green rushed for over 120 yards against a Bears club that hadn’t given up a 100-yard rush in 20 consecutive games. Favre looks like he’s in playoff form at the right time. Titans secondary is not 100 percent healthy.

Cowboys +6 over SEAHAWKS: Quincy Carter looks like a different QB since he adjusted his grip. Hasselbeck looks like he lost control of the ball and the team. If you bet only Dallas the last three weeks you haven’t lost a dime.

Steelers +3½ over RAVENS: Baltimore won last meeting in Pittsburgh by three. But Steelers haven’t lost since and have only lost two games the entire season. Cowher even traded in his Bettis Bus and received decent mileage on the Maafala mini-van.

SAINTS +6 over Rams: The Rams have 33 turnovers this season. But Rams have won four of their last five games and have cut their turnovers down to two in the last two games. Saints get a sack every nine passing attempts, second in the league. They were able to pressure Kurt Warner in the first game and should be able to put some heat on him again.