Favorites pay heavy toll against ‘dawgs’

Sep 17, 2002 11:03 AM

   Heeey, hot dogs!

   That's the song concession hawkers are singing in ballparks all over the country. But vendors aren't the only hot "dawg" barkers right now. Underdog players are howling the same tune.

   Remember when you used to laugh at your wife or secretary for picking football games on the basis of the teams' jersey colors? Here's a variation you might try. Just pick every underdog on the board! In the first two weeks in the NFL, the dogs are 21-8 or 72% winners!

   Home dogs were 7-2 or 77% winners. Get your red-hot daaaawgs right here!

   DOLPHINS -6 over Jets: NY owns Miami, having won eight straight games over the last four years! Fish have not won since '97 season. Miami will take out four years of frustration over aging Jets. Fiedler is on fire and Ricky Williams has been a threat running as well as receiving.

   Panthers +6 over VIKINGS: John Fox gave Rodney Peete a chance on opening day and he rewarded the new head coach with an upset over Baltimore. Peete came back in Week 2 and threw for over 300 yards, whipping the Lions. Fox has established a formidable defense and is

looking for a few more games out of the old man.

   PATS -8 over Chiefs: If Dwayne Rudd hadn't lost his helmet and what's inside it, KC would be winless. Patriots were an underdog in their first two games. Dissed by the bookies and the public. Suddenly, they have gained respect. Belichick will find a way to shut down Priest Holmes.

   EAGLES -4 over Cowboys: Which Cowboys team will make the plane trip to Philly? The one that was humiliated by the Texans or the one that bounced back nicely against Titans?

   Browns +3 over TITANS: Kelly Holcomb making a pitch to keep the QB job until Couch is 100%. Browns won by 3 last year at Tennessee. Take Browns with Holmcomb or Couch.

   Saints +3½ over BEARS: New Orleans has taken on two quality opponents in Tampa Bay on the road followed by Green Bay at home. Saints were dogs in both and ended up being hotdogs "with the works" as they won both games straight up.  Deuce McAllister has made the Saints ultimate dogs!

   TEXANS +13 over Colts: Indy D seems to lack the aggressiveness Bucs D used to have under Tony Dungy. I don't see any Warren Sapp clones out there. And on offense, the line looks soft. Carr came back to earth in San Diego. Should be more relaxed back home.

   BRONCOS -8 over Bills: Drew Bledsoe adding a new dimension to Bills' offense. Buffalo D is doing whatever it can to get Drew back on the field. Go with the underrated Broncos.

   CARDS +1½ over Chargers: Arizona fans have been waiting a long time for Thomas Jones to emerge as a premier runner. He's not there yet, but rushing for over 170 yards last week versus Seattle was a start. Bolts had a pretty easy start with Bengals and Texans. It might be a little tougher this week.

   49ERS -8 over Skins: Niners looking for a different outcome than preseason disaster in Japan.  After underachieving in first two, Niners need to wake up !

   GIANTS -6½ over Seahawks: Can't get too excited about Seattle. Seattle was whipped like a dog in Oakland and fell to the Cards in the new stadium opener. Giants QB Kerry Collins was impressive two weeks in a row.

   LIONS +8 over Packers: Lions look like they could be really bad. But Pack doesn't look like they've got what they've had in the past either. Brett Favre being asked to carry too much of the load.

   FALCONS -7 over Bengals: Vick appears super slick! But Falcons have still lost first two by a total of five points. But Atlanta is playing with heart and that's more than you can say about the Bungles.

   BUCS +3 over Rams: The Rams appear dazed after dropping close games to Broncos and G-men. Kurt Warner doesn't appear to be completely healthy. Tampa Bay beat St. Louis by seven and three points the past two seasons.

   Last week: 9-6

   Season: 14-14-2