MAYER'S NFL PICKS
BILLS over Rams —1: Take Martz and St. Louis out of the
dome and they’re a different team. Buffalo circles the wagons again
and wins with more McGahee, less Bledsoe and help from old man winter.
Take the point. BUFFALO.
—2Â½ over Cards: Hard
to believe that Arizona reaches .500 this late in the year with a win.
Much love to Jake Delhomme with great comeback win last week against
Frisco despite all the injuries. Again, Jake wills a win. CAROLINA.
over Broncos —4: We
see lots of value with New Orleans getting points in the Superdome,
especially after beating Kansas City. Hopefully, another big game for
the Deuce and a no-turnover effort. Broncos up and down. NEW
—9Â½ over Dolphins: Mount St. Helens erupts in the form of Shaun
Alexander. This will get ugly fast. Pity A.J. Feeley, Miami’s new and
unimproved starting QB. Besides, this is a frustrated group of birds. SEATTLE
over Colts —7Â½: With
all the talk about Big Ben, another QB is unbeaten as a starter. Krenzel
gets the job done with smarts and guile. “Da Bears” have bought into
Lovie’s program. Colts stumble outside Dome in nonconference game. CHICAGO.
Last week: 2-4
GA TECH over Virginia -6: Can't see Virginia ready to play after the big buildup against Miami. Tech is 6-3 and dangerous as a home dog. Also, GT 4-0 ATS at Atlanta in the last four matchups with Cavs. JACKETS.
OVER in Miami, O-Akron 57Â½: The posted total is favorable, considering the last four meetings finished 57, 57, 79, 75. Both teams should exceed 30. OVER.
AUBURN over Alabama +10: The public is siding with host Tide, but Auburn is on a mission and simply the better team in all phases. Expect another big game from Cadillac and Tuberville will pile on points for the BCS. TIGERS.
TENNESSEE over Vandy +13: Rocky Top will be blaring repeatedly in Nashville, which is Volunteer country as well. Vols have outscored Vandy 110-0 the past three years. If Vandy scores, it will be a moral win. VOLS.
OLE MISS over LSU -21: Rebels should be able to hang within the number against an LSU offense that has trouble exceeding 24 points. Troy State nearly beat LSU in Baton Rouge. Could be an "under" game. REBELS.
UNLV over S. Diego St -10: Farewell game for John Robinson should pump up the Rebels. If Robo justs runs the football, that should be enough to cover for sentimental reasons. REBELS
KANSAS over Missouri -11: Rotund coach Mangino probably gained a few pounds looking at film of bad call that cost him the game with Texas. The Jayhawks are no longer pushovers, while Missouri has not met expectations. Line too large. JAYHAWKS.Â
Last week: 6-2. Season: 38-25-1
SABER'S NFL PICKS
Steelers at Bengals +4 1/2 : No one playing better then the Steelers since Big Ben has taken over at QB and their defense has improved greatly with Dick LeBeau in charged of coaching the "D". Steelers won the first meeting this year in Pittsburg 28-17 in a game that was much closer then the score. Cincy also playing good ball and will be as high as you can get for this game.Â
BENGALS +4Â½ $$$$$
Michigan State at Penn State +3 1/2: Michigan State still could be celebrating big win over Wisconsin last week. Now the must travel into a very hostile atmosphere and face the Lions who have nothing to lose, but get some revenge form last years 41-10 thumping. Take the points and the outgoing Jo Pa gets his troops up for the last game. PENN STATE +3 $$$$$
Boston College at Temple +14: BC is off three big wins since loss at Pittsbugh. Last week they went into West Virginia as a 7 point dog and just beat up all over WVU. Just don't see them able to play at that tempo here especially with rival Syracuse on the horizon next week. This is the last game of the Temple season and they have covered five straight coming into this game including a big win over Syracuse last week 34-24. Temple has been crushed four straight by BC and will be all out in this game. TEMPLE +14
Auburn at Alabama +10: Auburn sitting on a 11-0 season and a shot at the national championship with only the Crimson Tide in their way. Bowl eligible Alabama was just robbed last week at LSU with one bad call after the other. Look for all out effort here as the Tide stays close and gets the cover and possible win with a break here or there. ALABAMA +10
New Mexico State at Utah State +4 1/2: New Mexico State is 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games and their defense is playing just great. Utah State is just the other side of the coin as they have only covered two games year to date and lost last week to Arkansas State 16-7. NEW MEXICO STATE -4 1/2
UL-LAFAYETTE at UL-Monroe -5: This rivalry has been controlled by the underdog as the dog is 6-0 ATS. LAFAYETTE +5
Dallas at Baltimore -8: Tough spot for the Cowboys, coming off a Monday night game against a division rival (Eagles). The Ravens' defense dominated (27-0) four years ago, but aren't as strong today. Nonetheless, Baltimore figures to run the ball relentlessly and Dallas won't do much of anything on offense. BALTIMORE.
Colts -7Â½ at Chicago: No question Indianapolis is the better team, but if Peyton Manning can be "had" it's outside, on the road, in freezing weather. Enter the Bears, which also has a trustworthy pass defense. CHICAGO.
Detroit at Minnesota -7Â½: Conventional thinking would give the Vikings a huge edge here, but history doesn't bear that out. The Vikes are a pitiful 6-19-1 ATS as a home favorite against division foes, plus they're only 2-5 ATS hosting the Lions. Their troubles continue. DETROIT.
Atlanta -3 at NY Giants: This has been a strange series over the past seven years. They've met four times with the road team winning and covering all four. Vick has been erratic, but the Giants will start Eli Manning. You hate to lay on the road, but the Giants might be in trouble. ATLANTA.
Washington at Philadelphia -11: Perhaps some of the luster has fallen off the Redskins and their new coach, Joe Gibbs. The Eagles are off a Monday night win, but they've fared well in division games (26-11) under Reid. Give them the nod here. PHILLY.
Pittsburgh -4Â½ at Cincinnati: Everyone in town is calling this a trap game for the Steelers, which was picked to stumble last week in Cleveland. But let's not cut the win streak short so quickly. Ben Roethlisberger is clearly superior to the Bengals' Carson Palmer, but Pittsburgh could probably win this without ever throwing downfield. PITTSBURGH.
South Carolina at Clemson -3: This should be a war in which the Gamecocks should be competitive. A farewell game, apparently, for Lou Holtz gives South Carolina a shot. SOUTH CAROLINA.
South Florida at Cincinnati -11Â½: Cincy should be ready as they've had two weeks to prepare for their home finale. Weather could be a (chill) factor with the Bearcats holding an edge over the boys from sunny Florida. CINCINNATI.
Memphis -15Â½ at East Carolina: It's a big number to lay on the road, but the Tigers should be up to the task. Last year, Memphis had a huge (509-243) edge in yardage, but was "back door'd" when the Pirates got a 4th and 9 TD pass with a minute left (41-24). Memphis won't be so charitable this time. MEMPHIS.
Indiana at Purdue -20: The battle for the state's Old Oaken Bucket has the home team covering the last six meetings. The Boilers won but failed to cover on the road last year, though they avenged Joe Tiller's only loss in the series from the previous year. Purdue should romp and have the number by half time. PURDUE.
BYU at Utah -22: The Utes will be looking to run up the score to keep Utah's BCS hopes alive. But the "Holy War" has always been an intense rivalry, even though BYU's fortunes have slumped since Lavelle Edwards left. Nevertheless, seven of the last eight meeting have been decided by 7 points or less. BYU.
Kansas at Missouri -11: The "Border War" is the longest running rivalry west of the Mississippi. Kansas broke through last year with a convincing 35-14 victory, but the home team is 6-2 ATS (only once since 1988 has the winner failed to cover). Don't like the escalating line (opened at 9Â½) but have to side with the Tigers. MISSOURI.
Virginia -6 at Georgia Tech: The home team has won nine straight and covered eight of those games. Georgia Tech has a good enough run defense to keep this one close. GEORGIA TECH.
Wyoming at New Mexico -8Â½: This is a big game for the Lobos, which can lock up a bowl bid with a win here. The home team in the series is 6-2 ATS and New Mexico is 11-5 ATS in home finales. Wyoming might be hobbling on offense and they have a horrible record outside of Laramie. NEW MEXICO.