Halloween scares underdogs away

Nov 2, 2004 6:20 AM

Halloween brought more tricks than treats to Denny The Dog’s house.

Two spooky streaks came to an end. The scariest one being The Dog’s run of seven consecutive winning weeks. It was seven, come eleven, and a big crap out after a 4-9 performance from The Dog on Sunday. The Patriots were 21 and done with their lesser-known run, after being thrashed by Big Ben.

There will be one more streak broken by the time you read this paper. Sixteen straight times the Redskins final score on Sunday prior to election has determined the presidential winner. Each time the Redskins won the incumbent remained in office. If Washington lost, the incumbent was ousted.

The Skins lost Sunday to Green Bay. If the streak is to continue, John Kerry will be your new commander-in-chief. But it says here, there will be one more Bostonian-type curse to be reversed.

Before we hit the picks, congratulations to three clubs who have already chalked up more wins that all last season. The Chargers and Giants have five, one more than they managed in 16 tries. Atlanta recorded its sixth in Denver after winning just five in 2003.

Sunday, Nov. 7

Jets (+1) at Bills: Buffalo is finding it easier to circle the wagons at home, especially now that Willis McGahee is the starting RB. Four weeks ago, the Bills fell 16-14 to the Jets in New York. Buffalo has won two straight at home and the defense has been outstanding. BILLS.

Eagles (-1½) at Steelers: When is the last time a team took down two undefeated teams in consecutive weeks this late in the season? Might happen this week. Big Ben is beyond the ability of any rookie ever after five straight wins! Eagles managed to eek out a victory over Ravens without Brian Westbrook. It will be more difficult here. STEELERS.

Redskins (+3½) at Lions: Joe Gibbs is realizing that racing cars don’t fumble or throw interceptions. He might jump in his racing car and drive away fast after this one. Linebacker Arrington is the oil this Redskins car needs fast, but he’s still hurting. LIONS.

Cowboys (-1½) at Bengals: Both lousy money teams this season. But Cincy has had extra time to prepare and come down off the big high from upsetting Denver on national TV. BENGALS.

Raiders (+6½) at Panthers: Two teams going in the wrong direction. Many bettors making a living betting against Oakland. Raiders have lost five straight against the spread. Panthers on the prowl for first home win. This number is too big for a team with no home wins to cover. RAIDERS.

Cards (+3½) at Dolphins: Cards blown out for first time this season at Buffalo. Don’t jump off the bandwagon just because of one bad game. Chalk it up to the bad weather in Buffalo last Sunday. Don’t shuffle the Cards. CARDS.

Chiefs (2½) at Bucs: Chiefs offensive line tearing open big holes for Priest Holmes. Bucs have won two of their last three, but wins over Saints and Bears not real impressive. Trent Green head and shoulders above Brian Griese! CHIEFS.

Bears (+7) at Giants: Craig Krenzel undefeated as NFL QB! But that win could be labeled tainted versus 49ers team with only one victory. G-men have been solid money team all season. GIANTS.

Seahawks (-6) at 49ers: Seahawks ended three game skid. If Tim Rattay can’t answer the bell the fight is over. Ken Dorsey not ready for the heavyweights. 49ers can’t match Shaun Alexander, who ran for 195 yards versus Carolina. SEAHAWKS.

Saints (+6) at Chargers: Have to go with the best team in AFC against the spread at 6-1-1 versus the NFC’s worst at 2-6. Saints won’t be able to cool Brees down! CHARGERS.

Patriots (—2½) at Rams: The Rams have won two of last three, are actually inconsistent all season. Pats now on a one game losing streak after running off 21 straight wins. Pats have Rams number going back to Super Bowl a few years ago. PATS.

Texans (+6) at Broncos: Denver still on top in AFC West, but they share top spot now with Chargers. Lynch left game and Droughns only ran for 49 yards against Falcons. When Denver does manage to win, the margin of victory isn’t what it used to be. Texans gaining momentum and confidence. TEXANS.

Browns (+6) at Ravens: Browns were too much for Baltimore on opening day. Cleveland has improved with Garcia learning the offense. Browns will be able to run on Ravens, while Boller will continue to struggle. Ravens have two starters limping. BROWNS.

Vikings (+ 5) at Colts: If either defense was in charge of homeland security, people would be afraid to leave their houses. I can’t see Indy losing three straight games. I’m on the home team side here, especially with Randy Moss hobbled. COLTS.

Last week: 4-9

Season: 68-43-4