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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Week Seven Diversion

I'm kind of preoccupied with the World Series right now, which makes this weekend one of the great sports-overload weekends of the year, but I'll throw out some NFL picks for kicks here.

Last week I was an en fuego 11-3 both straight up and against the spread. Of course, I did pick in the late first quarter of the early games. My favorite spread of last week: St. Louis by 6.5 over Tampa. The Rams won by 7 on MNF.

On to the selections, which are not an endorsement of real sports wagering, mind you.

Miami (+6) over St. Louis to cover but lose

The Dolphins have been sticking in games despite being 0-6. At home, I think they'll manage to give the Rams a scare. I figure the Rams are good for a few turnovers here that can lead to Miami points and make things interesting.

Minnesota (-6) over Tennessee

Moss is probably going to be limited by the hamstring injury, but no matter, with Daunte Culpepper playing one of the great fantasy football seasons of all time. The Titans are hard to figure out, having blown out Green Bay yet following that up with the home loss to Houston last week. We may finally be seeing this team hit the downside.

NY Giants (-7) over Detroit

We may have seen the onset of reality hit the Lions last week. They've got injuries on offense and they face a fresh Giants team coming off the bye.

Tampa Bay (-7) over Chicago

Griese actually moved the ball some on Monday Night, which was rather impressive. The rookie receiver Clayton is helping to revive the Tampa offense. I had the misfortune of seeing the Bears play last week too as they lost to the Redskins. Jonathan Quinn is atrocious.

San Diego (+3) over Carolina to cover and win

Chargers were impressive in defeat to Atlanta last week, my first chance to see the Bolts this year. The addition of Keenan McCardell should make their surprising offense even better. Carolina, meanwhile, rolled over in Philly in a game they should've been up for.

Baltimore (-5) over Buffalo

Thanks to the NFL TV rules, I get this game early instead of the Pats-Jets at 4:00 (Fox gets this week's doubleheader). I'm guessing we might hear, "Down goes Bledsoe!" a few times.

Philadelphia (-7) over Cleveland

Much is being made of the Browns being undefeated at home. The Ravens win was somewhat impressive, but beating Washington and Cincy wasn't really. None of those teams are the Eagles either. I like the Antonio Bryant pick-up by the Brownies this week, but again, he's not Terrell Owens either.

Indianapolis (-9) over Jacksonville

Dammit, someone else beat the Colts. The Patriots were fortunate to beat them on opening night, and we need a little breathing room for that top AFC seed.

Atlanta (+3.5) over Kansas City to cover and win

The Falcons seemed to figure out last week that, West Coast offense aside, they need to let Vick have some room to improvize too. KC is imploding, after another tough loss to the Jaguars last week. Jay Glazer gave a crazy report on the Fox pregame on the ongoing feud between Dick Vermeil and Larry Johnson.

New England (-6) over NY Jets

Statement game for New England, as the streak marches on during the Boston-area's greatest sports weekend ever (I'm including BC's excellent win over Notre Dame yesterday in that). I'm a little more concerned about the upcoming road games at Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

Seattle (-6.5) over Arizona

I nearly picked the Cards to cover here. They're tough and punchy, though I think the Seahawks will come out strong after the statement the front office made with the Jerry Rice deal this week. For some reason, the debates among TV analysts over whether Rice should get to wear Steve Largent's retired number really annoy me. Just wear a different number, Jeez.

Green Bay (-3.5) over Dallas

This is a tough one to figure. Packers have struggled at home, but I'm guessing they snapped out of their funk definitively last week. The Cowboys, as I've said several times now, are overrated in my estimation. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them lose to the Steelers last week.

Oakland (-3) over New orleans

I'll give the Raiders a mulligan on that game last week against Denver.

Denver (-6.5) over Cincinnati

The Bengals' nice year in 2003 earned them their first Monday Night Football appearance in eons. At 1-5 this year so far, they may not be on MNF again any time soon, so enjoy tomorrow night, Cincinnati fans.