Patriots will beat Eagles; only question is how badly
Patriots' line is low, but that doesn't mean the margin will be close.
PATRIOTS (-9.5) over Eagles
Really loved the Daily News back-page headline "DICTATORCHIP." Whoever came up with it needs a raise, and I'll donate my winnings when New England crushes our hometown heroes, or, should we say, hometown zeros. The only reason we're not going totally crazy is that the line looks suspiciously low. In my top-secret power ratings, the Patriots are 12.5 points better than the Birds. Add the traditional three points for home field, and the line should be 15.5. So, we're getting a bargain at 9.5. This game is not a matter of "if" the Pats win, it's just by how much. We could probably get a few TV cameramen - with the sneaky-fast Michael Barkann at WR - and beat the Eagles by a dozen. With Tom Brady coming off a loss, we can see a big beatdown, even without Gronk. After all, the Birds have allowed 90 points over the last two games. And Brady after a loss is 10-0 the last three years. Bad guys roll.
REDSKINS (-4) over Cowboys
Don't look now, but these kids from D.C. are tied for first place in the NFC Least. Yeah, it's only 5-6, but first place is first place. And QB Kirk Cousins is looking like Joe Theismann, at least in front of the home folks. Cousins has thrown for 10 touchdowns with no interceptions and posted a 76.0 completion percentage, with a 121.2 passer rating, in his last five home games - all wins. The last time these two met in Washington, it was Dallas in a romp, 44-17. Of course, that was with Tony Romo under center. Without Romo, the 'Boys are pathetic this season (0-7). Brandon Weeden was 0-3, and Matt Cassel, Sunday's starter, is 0-4. And in the most important handicapping stat of all, the Cowboys are last in the NFL in turnover margin (minus-12) and turnovers forced (7). So, yes, all that makes this my Best Bet.
BEARS (-7) over 49ers
Chicago has won three of its previous four and has a few days' extra rest after playing and beating the Packers on Turkey Day. But that's only part of the story. The other part is Vic Fangio, the Bears' current defensive coordinator, who had the same job in San Francisco under Jim Harbaugh, but was passed over for the head-coaching job. Ouch! And since the Niners have been outscored by 176-71 on the road (0-5), gotta get me some of Da Bears.
Texans (+3) over BILLS
Not quite sure what's going on in Houston, but it's a 4-0 run (straight up and against the spread) that has the Texans tied at the top of the AFC South with the Colts at 6-5. OK, I am sure what's going on, and it's the "D." Houston has allowed only 35 points during the streak, an average of only 8.75 points per game. And with Buffalo getting real thin because of a rash of injuries, look for the visitors from Texas to steal a "W."
STEELERS (-7) over Colts
How much does Ben Roethlisberger love playing against Indy? If last year's results were any indication, it's a bunch. Pittsburgh rocked the Horseshoes at Heinz Field (51-34), and Big Ben went nutz (yeah, with a "z"). Double B hit on 40 of 49 attempts for 522 yards and six - yes, that would be six! - touchdowns! Respect Matt Hasselbeck's 4-0 mark as a starter, but, at 40 years old, he might not wake up from his halftime nap when Pitt is up by two dozen.
Jaguars (+2.5) over TITANS
Tennessee as a favorite? Don't think so. However, just to be on the safe side, if your guy lets you, I would buy a half-point and bump this line up to +3 for a Jacksonville team that has covered four of its last five.
BROWNS (+9.5) over Bengals
Cincy could not care less about this game, with the Steelers on deck next week. Take the 9.5-point bundle and run.
Ravens (+4) over DOLPHINS
What has Miami done to deserve being a four-point favorite? Cover only four of the last 16? Yes, that's dripping with sarcasm.
GIANTS (+2) over Jets
Two New York teams battling for supremacy in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. OK, that sounds odd, but with first place on the line for the NFC New Yorkers, we gotta lay the points and roll with the Big Blue, not the visiting Green.
Panthers (-7) over SAINTS
Carolina is still perfect. New Orleans is still horrible. Leaning to the Panthers at the Dome. But light, real light.
VIKINGS (Pick) over Seahawks
Still an incredible money machine, Minny has covered an amazing nine of the last 10 and 17 of the last 21. Buy Purple.
Cardinals (-5.5) over RAMS
After losing at home to the Rams in October (24-22), Arizona's gonna be primed for revenge. Buy revenge.
BUCCANEERS (-1) over Falcons
Atlanta limps in on an 0-7 spread run, while Tampa has covered five of the last seven. Jameis is my man . . . This week.
Broncos (-4) over CHARGERS
Having trouble spelling Brock Osweiler, but no issues dropping a few bucks on the kid from Arizona State.
RAIDERS (+3) over Chiefs
Silver & Black have covered five of the last six as an underdog, so we grab a field goal and run to the bank.