COWBOYS (+3) over Eagles: What do you look at first? The remarkable 180-degree turn that Jason Garrett has pulled off in his first four games as the Dallas head coach, or the phenomenal play of Michael Vick and the Eagles offense? Tough call, which makes for a tough handicap. Garrett came into the big chair after the Cowboys had stumbled to a 1-7 record and had just been blown out by the Packers (45-7). Starting with a 33-20 win over the Lions, the 'Boys have won three of four and are working on a 4-0 spread run. And, they did beat the Birds three times last season. But now there's a new sheriff in town, and he shoots with both guns - run and pass. Vick will be tough to stop, as always, but this will boil down, as always, to the running game. When the Eagles rush for 100 yards or more against Dallas, they are 3-0. When held under 100 yards, they are 0-5. Look for the Green to squeeze out the victory.
JETS (-5) over Dolphins: All aboard! Don't know if you heard this, but the New Yorkers are desperate for help in the secondary and called Keith Fitzhugh to see whether he wanted to come back to join the practice squad. The Jets cut Fitzhugh in September, and he hooked up with the Norfolk Southern Railroad as a conductor. Fitzhugh told the Jets to fuhggedaboudit. He's gonna keep his job on the rails. Then Rex Ryan goes and buries the game ball from Monday night's 45-3 humiliation against the Patriots, thinking it will motivate his troops. Only in New York. Now the Jets get a Miami team that really has no idea where the end zone is. The Fish have scored a grand total of 215 points (17.9 per game), worst in the AFC. And Miami has a guy named Chad Henne at quarterback, not Tom Brady. And, the Fish are coached by Tony Soprano, I mean Sparano, not Bill Belichick. All those things makes this the Best Bet.
Bengals (+9) over STEELERS: Cincinnati keeps losing, but not by a ton. In eight of their last nine games, the Bengals have not lost by more than eight points. In the Nov. 8 game against Pittsburgh, Cincy lost by only six (27-21). Now you have Pitt coming off a monumental struggle with Baltimore, bumped, bruised and broken (Big Ben Roethlisberger's nose), with the Jets on deck next week. Look for the Steelmen to take their foot off the gas pedal, and limp into the winner's circle by less than TD.
Broncos (-5) over CARDINALS: Gotta go with the only technical trend that has been perfect this season - the "replace a coach and cover the spread" trend. It's 2-0 so far, with Dallas winning in Jason Garrett's first game, and Minny winning in Leslie Frazier's first effort. Now Eric Studsville (seriously, that's his name, I ain't making it up), gets his shot to extend the trend to 3-0. And since Denver is on a 6-0 roll against Arizona, it should be a piece of cake.
CHARGERS (-7) over Chiefs: This line could jump as high as 10 if Matt Cassel doesn't get the miracle start after having an appendectomy on Wednesday. If Cassel is a no-go, Kansas City will turn to Brodie Croyle. If Croyle does get the nod, we don't care how high the line jumps 'cause he is a big, fat 0-9 as a starter in his limited NFL career. And even with Sunday's loss, San Diego is still a very healthy 18-1 in its previous 19 December games.
Packers (-6) over LIONS: Domination by Green Bay with its current 9-0 run against Detroit and futility by the Lions with an 0-19 streak against the NFC North should equal an easy win for the Cheeseheads.
Rams (+9) over SAINTS: Love what St. Louis is doing this season, especially against the spread (covering an NFL best nine of 12), while New Orleans has covered only three of its previous 11 at home.
Raiders (+4) over JAGUARS: Jax has covered only seven of the last 21 at home, so we'll lean lightly on Oakland.
BEARS (+3) over Patriots: Chicago brings a tough D (No. 3 in the NFL) and a 6-1 record as an underdog into this matchup.
Browns (+1) over BILLS: Hate to rely on Jake Delhomme, but the Buffs can't stop the run, so chalk this one up for the Brownies.
VIKINGS (+3) over Giants: Brett Favre or Tavaris Jackson? Doesn't really matter. Minny will win this with defense.
Falcons (-7) over PANTHERS: If Atlanta is interested, the final margin is at least a dozen.
Buccaneers (-2) over REDSKINS: Tampa is rocking an 8-0 spread streak on the road, and, let's face it, Washington stinks.
Seahawks (+5) over 49ERS: San Francisco might win one for Mike Singletary, but by a field goal at most.
TEXANS (+3) over Ravens: How about Houston's 9-0 run straight up and against the spread in December.