Denny the Dog
Dog bites

Jan 6, 2004 7:25 AM

Money on the wood makes the bettin’ good!

You really can’t argue with Downtown Timmy’s favorite line. The wood, or as most people refer to it, the betting favorite, is difficult to go against this time of year.

Home team success over the last eight weeks has been no secret. We’ve been touting it here for months. Underdog tickets have been tough to cash since before Thanksgiving. Money on the wood has, indeed, made the bettin’ good.

But it also says here that money on the hounds makes the bettin’ sound!

This weekend, there’s not one dog I can see on the board that doesn’t have a red-hot QB, a big-time running back and a swarming defense. No ifs ands or buts, I’m stickin’ with the mutts!

Panthers (+ 7 ½) at Rams: I think the Panthers are underrated. Carolina was able to rest Stephen Davis the last couple weeks of the regular season and it began to pay dividends when Dallas came to town last Saturday. The Rams are going to find out that Carolina can run the football very effectively.

If the waters get murky pounding the rock, Jake Delhomme has shown he can take that rock and skip it over those waters to receivers like Smith and Muhammad. Can’t really take anything away from the Rams. They won seven consecutive weeks and then lost their focus in Detroit in the regular season finale.

You might be able to throw that last game out, but it has to be somewhere in the Rams’ heads that Carolina is a much better team than Detroit. There has to be a little doubt somewhere. Even though John Fox had never coached and Jake Delhomme had never played in a playoff game until last week, they both have their confidence now.

Speaking of no doubt , there’s none whatsoever that the Panthers keep games close. Nine of their games were won by seven points or less. Three games were lost by the same slim margin. That’s 12, or 75 percent of Carolina’s games are decided by less than a touchdown. I believe I’m on the right side taking the 7-plus the hook! PANTHERS.

Titans (+ 6) at Patriots: This isn’t Tennessee’s first trip to New England this season. The Pats put together a second half comeback in Week 5 to beat the Titans 38-30. These two clubs have depth on both sides of the ball. Both are quality teams. Of course, you don’t arrive at this point in the season without having great talent and coaching.

Make no mistake about it, Steve McNair is banged up and so is Eddie George. McNair is one mountain of a man, who has hung tough in the past and is doing so again this year. And he isn’t the only Titans player in pain. George played after dislocating his shoulder against Baltimore. No disputing the fact that Belichick is a genius and that the Pats are on a 12-game winning streak.

These two teams are pretty even. Titans opened as a one-point favorite in Week 5. I’m taking the dawg. I don’t think the Pats would be more than 3- or 4-point favorite if this game went off in the regular season. TITANS.

Colts (+ 4) at Chiefs: Peyton Manning can’t win the money games. Tony Dungy can barely find his way to paydirt once the playoffs start. Well, I think the monkeys are off their backs now. I’m keeping this one simple. Chiefs were 4-3 since losing their first game of the season in Week 11. I completely understand the Chiefs being the slight favorite in this game. KC has won 13 straight at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Colts are one very large and dangerous road dawg. As great a season as Trent Green had, Peyton Manning is flat out better. Five consecutive 4,000 yard passing seasons! As good as the Chiefs receivers are, Harrison and company are better. I’ll give Priest Holmes a slight edge over the "Edge." But Edgerrin James is running well and that slight advantage isn’t enough to overcome Peyton Manning’s magic. COLTS.

Packers (+ 6) at Eagles: Since his dad passed on, you have to pass on betting against Brett Favre. He seems to be playing in the clouds with his dad on a much higher level. Even higher than earlier in the season if that’s possible. Packers also have the running game in high gear with Ahman Green breaking more tackles than ever. Philly went to Green Bay in Week 10 and won by a slim 3-point margin, 17-14. It wasn’t easy, as the score indicated.

The Eagles were fortunate to a get a couple of turnovers or they probably wouldn’t have come out on top. Take the Pack plus the points. I can’t believe Philly would be more than 3- or 4-point favorite if this wasn’t a playoff game. PACKERS.

Last week: 2-2

Postseason: 2-2

Season: 131-121-6