CARDINALS (+11⁄2) over Giants: Big Blue backed up their pregame snarling by TKOing Michael Vick, leaving Mike Kafka overwhelmed. Disconcerted by effects of bizarre Seattle wind patterns, Cards have lost two close ones, and seek to rebound behind Kevin Kolb (blessed with knowledge of the NFC East), in tandem with all-world receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
RAVENS (-31⁄2) over Jets: Off loss to Silver and Black, and with Patriots up next in Foxborough, Gang Green needs this badly. But Joe Flacco’s confidence is sky-high, and this looms no garden party for The Sanchize, given center Nick Mangold’s nagging high right-ankle sprain.
HEAD’S UP! Kevin Kolb (4) and the Cardinals have lost two close games in a row, including last week in Seattle, but look to rebound today at home vs. the Giants.
COWBOYS (-11⁄2) over Lions: Track meet looms, and matchup of Detroit front against bizarro-world Cowpoke offensive line translates into hours of sweat, but home-chalk price looks cheap.
JAGUARS (+7) over Saints: N’Awlins has rewarded the loyal with wins in last pair, but are now being asked to vault tall import on natural grass against unfamiliar AFC foe. Blaine Gabbert looked anything but slick against Panthers, but that game was a rain-soaked atrocity.
EAGLES (-81⁄2) over Niners: We would be shocked if Michael Vick didn’t start. Niners D presents Philly with matchup issues,
Redskins (-11⁄2) over RAMS: St. Loo yielding almost 51⁄2 yards per carry, easing the task considerably for Redskins QB Rex Grossman.
Titans (+11⁄2) over BROWNS: Even with RB Peyton Hillis back, reluctant to rush to Cleveland off two straight wins, up against foe boasting multiple fundamental strengths. Even without WR Kenny Britt, QB Matt Hasselbeck enjoys variety of targets, and should find his way versus average host. Win one for Mike Heimerdinger!
BENGALS (+3) over Bills: Niners coach Jim Harbaugh made Cincy QB Andy Dalton look bad with Stanford student-athlete defenders, three seasons back when Dalton was at TCU. Expect better from Dalton, as Buffalo would rather outscore you than hunker down to defend. Bengals D familiar with ex-teammate Ryan Fitzpatrick.
CHIEFS (+11⁄2) over Vikings: This isn’t bulked-up Vikings D of recent memory, and given their second-half woes and red-zone issues, even sluggish Kansas City can see daylight.
Panthers (+61⁄2) over BEARS: Along with Mr. Gabbert, Cam the Icon was hindered by moist field conditions last week. Soldier Field turf could hamper Newton’s
best moves, but Jay Cutler is notorious for covering -3 or higher within friendly confines in just 15 percent of his league starts.
TEXAS (-4) over Steelers: Hate how this number has been played up — and Houston’s frequently disappointed when trying to close deal when favored. But this thing projects fast-and-loose, stylistically, which aids Texans coach Gary Kubiak’s cause.
Falcons (-41⁄2) over SEAHAWKS: Seattle survived under difficult wind conditions last week, and even with the return of WR Sidney Rice, QB Tarvaris Jackson largely looks lost in the pocket.
Dolphins (+7) over CHARGERS: Bolts didn’t allow Chiefs a first down in opening half, but were life-and-death to prevail! Miami continues to hang tough when dissed on the road, and Reggie Bush has points to prove in today’s locale.
PACKERS (-121⁄2) over Broncos: Ex-Bear Kyle Orton’s familiar with this nicked-up foe, but Broncos have difficult history in Lambeau, and Pack’s clearly in peak offensive form.
Patriots (-41⁄2) over RAIDERS: Speaking of guys who spit fire after losses: 1. Bill Belichck, and 2. Tom Brady. Close call at the number, because you hate to lay more than four on the road with a defense this wormy, and Oakland ran over coach Rex Ryan’s Jets like no one has ground them up during Ryan’s reign.
BUCS (-10) over Colts: This will be coach Raheem Morris’ first try laying double digits with the Buccaneers. With Kerry Collins apparently concussed, Curtis Painter may face another trial by fire, and his NFL resume is a study in misery.
LAST WEEK: 11-5
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