Eagles (+3) over GIANTS: Michael Vick had a solid game against the Giants in November at the Linc (winning, 27-17), but failing to throw for a touchdown. He did pass for 238 yards, ran for 34, and managed the NFL's best offense (402.8 yards per game) just beautifully. The Birds obviously have New York's number, beating the Giants five straight and covering every spread. My only problem with this selection, and why it's not a best bet, is the questionable status of Mr. Game Changer, DeSean Jackson. He sprained his left foot in the middle of a historic day (four catches for 210 yards), and even though he is listed as probable, 100 percent, he ain't.
Bears (-6) over VIKINGS: Joe Webb? Wasn't he the guy who starred in that old-school police show "Dragnet"? Oh, never mind. A Web search tells me that was Jack Webb. Joe Webb played quarterback in college at Alabama-Birmingham, where he also put in time at wide receiver, and was the 199th pick in the draft. Need you know more? Aside from the Webb factor - and it is huge, making this the Best Bet - is the venue. The Metrodome roof tore from heavy snow and will not be ready, so, pending the NFL's approval, the game will be moved outside, to the TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Golden Gophers. There's a reason Minnesota has not played a home game outside since 1981. It's called winter! The Vikings are horrible out of the dome, working on an 0-8 streak. Chicago, a team built for cold weather, despite Sunday's loss to the Pats, has put together a fabulous 10-0 run in December and January against dome or warm-weather teams.
Jaguars (+5) over COLTS: Gotta like the matchup of Jacksonville's running game against Indy's run defense. The Jaguars have averaged 193 yards the last five times out, while the Colts are allowing 141 ypg, fourth worst in the league. The Jaguars are working on a moneymaking 6-0 spread run, and five of the previous six games in this AFC South rivalry have been decided by four points or fewer. Peyton will keep it close, but in Vegas, the Jags will have their backers smiling.
BUCCANEERS (-5) over Lions: You can look over tons of stats during the course of the week, trying to figure out how to handicap a game, but, in this particular spot, there are no ifs, ands or buts. Tampa is your golden ticket. Why? Detroit comes into this contest on an 0-26 roll on the road. So, obviously, the Lions ain't gonna win. Cover? Doubtful. My suggestion here is to play the money line. No spread. The Bucs will be about -$250, and the advice is, send it in!
RAIDERS (-6) over Broncos: In the first game, it was Oakland, 59-14 at Denver. Normally, when a team humiliates another team, we tend to take the humiliated, not the humiliator. This week, we're going against the revenge factor, mainly because Oakland has been perfect in the AFC West with a 4-0 record. The Broncos are 1-9 in their last 10 road games, and if Sunday against Arizona was any indication, a 43-13 beatdown, they couldn't care less about saving coach Eric Studesville's job.
COWBOYS (-6) over Redskins: In the last home game in what has been a disappointing season, we like Dallas because? Because, well, Jason Garrett is 5-0 against the spread since taking over as head coach, and Washington has the NFL's worst defense.
PATRIOTS (-10) over Packers: Of course, this double-digit line is predicated on the fact that Aaron Rodgers is out. If so, then New England should win by at least 20. If Rodgers makes a miracle start, the line would drop four or five points, but we're still on the Pats.
RAMS (+1) over Chiefs: If Chiefs QB Matt Cassel (appendectomy) is a no-go, bump this up to a medium play. If Cassel starts, it's a no-touchy for me.
TITANS (-1) over Texans: With Tennesse losing Houston, 20-0, in November, this is a spot where we will back the Titans and the revenge factor.
Cardinals (+3) over PANTHERS: At 1-12 straight up and 3-10 against the spread, how could anyone possibly back Carolina?
Browns (+1) over BENGALS: Cincinnati is rolling, rolling, rolling . . . right into the toilet with a 10-game losing streak.
Bills (+5) over DOLPHINS: Since Miami has averaged five ppg the last two times out at home, we'll tickle the visiting Buffs.
Saints (+2) over RAVENS: How about New Orleans winning 14 of its last 16 on the road? That's enough ammo for a light shot at the Saints.
Falcons (-6) over SEAHAWKS: Atlanta appears to be the class of the NFC, winning 11 of 13 this season and covering five in a row.