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Favorites deliver wake up call to spoiled underdogs

Nov 19, 2002 8:26 AM

   The faves were the rave Sunday for only the second time this season. That’s right, for just the second weekend in 11 weeks, or nearly 3 months, the favorites outnumbered the dogs 9-6 at the end of play.

   The homies carried the day as well, for only the third time this season. Home teams were 10-5. A little toast to all dawg lovers out there. Here’s hoping the dogs will retrieve their 10th winning weekend right here, as the NFL rolls out Week 12.

   Vikings (+6) over PATS: Randy Moss has been behaving himself of late. The Vikings were dead men walking, but that was before what happened in the dome against Green Bay. Vikes may get out of NFC North jail if they keep running the ball effectively with Bennett and Williams.

   Titans (-1) over RAVENS: Don’t overlook the current five-game winning streak of Tennessee. Baltimore has dropped three of their last four as early season predictions of a nightmarish year possibly beginning to unfold. I don’t think Jamal Lewis is healthy enough or Jeff Blake is the right QB to keep the Ravens alive.

   Falcons (-4½): A whole lot of shakin’ and bakin’ goin’ on in Hotlanta with Michael Vick’s gourmet show. And man, is he cookin’! Falcons skunked Panthers 30-zip in Week 7. That shutout was pitched against Fasani and Weinke. This time around it’s Rodney Peete who’s better than both when healthy. But Peete’s pinkies are hurting!

   Lions (+3½) over BEARS: Bears had lost seven games in a row before traveling to St. Louis on Monday night. The last five losses were decided by eight points or less. Da Bears have a great chance of losing by just a couple of points!

   Jags (-2½) over COWBOYS: Dallas has lost four straight to creampuff teams. Cowboys send a pretty stingy D out on the field but they can’t be expected to stay on the field all game. Stick with Chad Hutchinson? Switch back to Quincy Carter? My suggestion would be to go with Quincy Jones. In which case the offense would be better orchestrated!

   Chargers (+4) over Dolphins: San Diego playing better on the road. Super-chargers lost to Oakland at home and should have been kicked by Niners. But on the road they’ve been deadly. Just ask the Raiders and Rams.

   Browns (+7) over SAINTS: New Orleans still has an explosive offense but the D is giving it up easier than a loose girl friend from the old neighborhood.

   Bills (+3½) over JETS: Bledsoe is having a great year and has maybe the best bevy of receivers in the league. Travis Henry is the bonus you get with the Bills. He’s overachieved all season and gives the Bills a double transportation threat — ground and air. Henry is the difference in this game.

   STEELERS (-10) over Bengals: Enough already with the guaranteed wins. If you’re going to guarantee a win, limit it to one per year and make it a meaningful game, like your first win of the season over a lowly expansion team. That will really fire up the team. Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with Tommy Maddox and his family. Have a hunch Steelers will suck it up and rally around Kordell. Stewart did a great job filling in for Maddox at Tennessee.

   Packers (+2½) over BUCS: Everyone knows the Packers and Favre struggle inside domes. Nothin’ but sky above the playing field at Tampa Bay. Can’t get down on the Pack after losing first game in over 2 months!

   Chiefs (-4) over SEAHAWKS: Seattle has very little to offer on offense. Chiefs give up points like local slot clubs give up double points. But they score triple points with Trent Green and Priest Holmes. Mike, are you sorry you left Green Bay yet?

   Raiders (-8) over CARDS: Cards have been weakened on both sides of the ball. No rushing attack to take pressure off Plummer. Even if he does find time to throw there’s no one left to throw the ball to and all the wideouts are banged up.

   SKINS (+4) over Rams: First day back on the job for Kurt Warner. I’m sure he’ll be ready to play but the pressure will be great because of the outstanding performance of Bulger. Skins nearly pulled the upset last week, maybe this week they’ll skin the Rams.

   TEXANS (+5½) over Giants: If the Texans could run the ball they’d be dangerous. Even without a rushing attack, Carr is good enough that they really are dangerous. Just ask anyone who bet the Jags last week and thought they had a lock! Texans defense is solid.

   Colts (+9) over BRONCOS: Shanahan wouldn’t dare lose three prime time games in a row would he? Colts are gaining some momentum after two consecutive victories.

   Eagles (+8) over 49ERS: Should be an overinflated line after McNabb’s broken fibula. Eagles will rally around their new QB and the defense will play their hearts out. I’m not a psychic, but have a strong hunch Jose Cortez will not be Niners’ kicker by the time you read this.

   LAST WEEK: 8-7

   SEASON: 81-70-8

   BEST BETS: 17-13-3