October 30, 2000
Fearless Rick's Football Picks
posted by Rick Gagliano
This Week's Picks - Sat., Nov. 4 - Mon., Nov. 6, 2000
All times Eastern.
Sunday, Nov 5, 2000
Tampa Bay (-7) at Atlanta, 1:00 PM - Here we go again! Road favorites! Of the six road favorites from last week, three did not cover and I personally went 5-1 on the games, correctly picking Seattle, San Diego, New Orleans, Cincy and Atlanta, while missing the boat narrowly with San Fran (cost me a four-teamer). Now that Atlanta has proven their master of Carolina, they stay home for the 2nd week in a row, and are underdogs again, undoubtably due to the Bucs' 41-13 humiliation of Minnesota last week. While the wizards of odds say to avoid this game, I'll take a flyer on Tampa Bay to win and cover handily. Note that the line may be 8 or 8 1/2 by game time.
Indianapolis (-7) at Chicago, 1:00 PM - The Colts narrowly beat the spread last week against Detroit, doing so courtesy of a Edgerrin James 24 yard touchdown run off right tackle with 1:48 remaining after the Lions failed on downs deep in their own territory. The Indy defense has some holes, and even though Da Bears are only a holographic image of a football team, they should be able to keep the Colts in check. I don't see them winning, but the right combination of weather and Bears defense ought to ensure a dog cover here.
Baltimore (-6) at Cincinnati, 1:00 PM - OK, when will the Ravens score another touchdown? They are at five games without one and counting. Their inability to crash the goal line is going to cost them as it did in last week's loss to the Steelers, and this week it will cause a close game and maybe a loss. Over/under bettors take note that the o/u line here is a measly 32.5. The Cincy defense is not bad, and now they've actually won two in a row but will have trouble running against the best run defense in the league. Still, I have to take the points as I have zero faith in Trent Dilfer's ability to lead the Ravens' offense.
New York Giants (-10) at Cleveland, 1:00 PM - This one looks like a no-brianer and it is. Giants should cover this one handily as the Browns may not be able to crack the 50-yard line. Sorry, Browns fans, but without Tim Couch, this season is pretty much lost.
Miami at Detroit (-2 1/2), 1:00 PM - Miami had to come from behind to defeat the Packers in last week's best bet, while the Lions nearly came back from a 23-point deficit only to lose to Indy 30-18. For years, Detroit has been a great home bet in the Silverdome and this week is no exception. Miami's defense has been prone to give up large chucks of yards in the air, and they are a bit undersized. Look for Charlie Batch to light it up early and often. Lions roll to a much-needed win.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee (-4 1/2), 1:00 PM - The line here is my own, being that I'm writing this before the Monday night game, but it should be about right. The Steelers, after an 0-3 start have now won five in a row (including last week's 9-6 win over Baltimore) and are thinking playoffs, so this game is going to be tight. If the Titans get Eddie George back healthy for this one, I will side with them. If not, Air McNair will not be able to pass through the Pittsburgh secondary. I smell upset.
Buffalo at New England (-2), 1:00 PM - The Bills are a better team with Doug Flutie at QB, and the return of Jay Reimersma at tight end was a big lift in their OT win last week against the Jets. While the Pats have played farily well of late, they still depend too much on the arm of Drew Bledsoe, who, with an offensive line and a real deep threat could be leading the league in QB ratings. Alas, he has neither, and the Bills defense should be all over him all day long. Bills will win this easily in this week's BEST BET
San Francisco at New Orleans (-5), 1:00 PM - The Saints have to be the nicest surprise of the season, sporting a 5-3 record after winning their fourth straight last week, pounding on Atlanta, 21-10. San Fran was unable to keep up with the mighty Rams - after leading 24-17, they caved, and lost 34-24. Without much of a defense, the 'Niners are really up against it here. The Saints will control the clock, the offensive line and eventually the scoreboard with a safe win.
Dallas at Philadelphia (-3), 1:00 PM - The bookmakers apparently did not watch Sunday's contest between these Eagles and the Giants, in which Donovan McNabb looked horrible going 10-of-31 for 129 yards with an interception in a 24-7 loss. While the weather and the G-Men's defense played a large role in that outcome, McNabb's receiving corps took a beating and were completely outplayed. Dallas, with Randall Cunningham at the helm, showed they could move the ball effectively and should come away with a win here.
Washington (-10) at Arizona, 4:05 PM - Huge line for the road-favorite Redskins and deservedly so. Like they say in N