Lambeau will treat Pack well in first round

Dec 31, 2002 4:03 AM

NFL WILD CARDS

Saturday, Jan. 4

JETS (—6) vs. Colts: These two teams didn’t meet in regular season, but must favor Jets at home. New York is playing as well as anyone in the league. Confident Jets get the win and the cover.

PACKERS (—6) vs. Falcons: The Packers needed OT to beat Atlanta in their home opener, 37-34. Green Bay has never lost a playoff game at home and things won’t change here. Brett Favre is at his best at Lambeau in front of the soldout faithful. Look for BF to light it up and move a step closer to the Big Game.

Sunday, Jan. 5

BROWNS (+8) at Steelers: The Steelers own two regular season wins over Browns — 16-13 in overtime and 23-20. So now you get the inflated +8, with the adjustment made because of QB Couch’s injury. Cleveland will be starting the very capable Kelly Holcomb who the Browns wanted to be their starter at the beginning of the season. The Cleveland "D" will keep the game close and give the Browns a good shot at the win. The points look like a gift.

GIANTS (+3) at 49ers: The Giants were defeated at the Meadowlands in the opening game of the season, 16-13. This game looks to be the same scenario. Giants are playing tough and are set for top effort.

Last week: 9-3-3

Season: 56-51-7

 

COLLEGE BOWLS

Wednesday. Jan. 1

COTTON BOWL

LSU (+11) vs Texas: The Tigers at one time had the top defense in the country and will rise to the occasion. Longhorns offense has been contained several times this season (17-15 vs Oklahoma St., 17-14 vs Kansas St., 21-10 vs Iowa St). Look for the same here. Take the points.

MICHIGAN (+1) vs Florida: The Gators have been overrated all season. Michigan brings its usual solid offense and defense. The Wolverines are one of the better coached teams in the country and will get the win.

NC STATE (+1) vs. Notre Dame: State just has the better offense here and top QB Rivers won’t make the mistakes needed for the Irish to win. NC State triumphs in low scoring game.

PENN ST. (—6) vs Auburn: Joe P. the best with time and will get his troops ready for battle. Auburn has played some big games and will hang around to the very end. See Penn State getting the cover late.

ROSE BOWL

WASH ST. (+6.5) vs Oklahoma: This looks so nice, we’ll recommend the Cougars on the money line. One of my favorite games. Washington State is on super high and gets somewhat of a homefield advantage. Even though head coach Price is leaving for Bama still love the fact top QB Gesser is not bothered. The Cowboys took advantage of Oklahoma secondary and much of the same will happen here.

SUGAR BOWL

FLORIDA ST. (+8.5) vs Georgia: Look for Seminoles defense to show up and play for pride. Take the points.

ORANGE BOWL

USC (-6) vs Iowa: Tough call here. Both squads playing lights out. Will side with the Trojans as Iowa may be a little rusty after 47 days off. Tread lightly.

FIESTA BOWL

Friday, Jan. 3

OHIO ST (+13) vs Miami, FL: Well how do you figure this? All these points, a strong Buckeyes defense, their never-give-in attitude. These factors lead us to take those digits. In Ohio State’s last six games, the defense has yielded nine points per game. The two times Miami has been held to under 30 (28-27 vs FSU and 28-21 vs Pitt) the Hurricanes were pushed to the limit. It could happen again.

Last week: 5-4

Season: 77-66-2