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News » NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Cowboys close it out with bang

NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Cowboys close it out with bang

NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Cowboys close it out with bang
Marquee matchups

Ravens (9-5) at Cowboys (9-5)

Line: Cowboys by 4 Over/Under: 39 1/2 TV: NFL Network, tomorrow, 8:15 p.m.

Kevin the Cowboy Hater visualizes T.O. leaping for a pass as Ray Lewis targets him with murderous intent. The NFL: That's how he sees it. Kevin also dreams of pushing the button that brings down Texas Stadium in 2010. It's Dallas' regular-season finale there, so there will be lots of emotion. Both teams need a win, but the Ravens might be drained after a controversial, last-minute loss to Pittsburgh. The pick: Cowboys

Steelers (11-3) at Titans (12-2)

Line: Steelers by 2 Over/Under: 34 1/2

Will it be 2005 again for the surging Steelers? "One for the Other Hand" is the battle cry, and a brutally efficient defense gives them a shot at a sixth ring. They'll collapse Tennessee's offense and be a win away from clinching No.1 seed. Without Albert Haynesworth (knee) and Kyle Vanden Bosch (groin surgery), the Titans' defense isn't the same. The pick: Steelers

Cardinals (8-6) at Patriots (9-5)

Line: Patriots by 7 1/2 Over/Under: 45 TV: Ch. 5, 1 p.m.

After clinching its first division title in 33 years, Arizona surrendered at home to the Vikings. The Cardinals are 0-4 (no covers) on the East Coast, losing by an average margin of 15 points. The Pats have big edges in location and motivation. The pick: Patriots

Falcons (9-5) at Vikings (9-5)

Line: Vikings by 3 1/2 Over/Under: 43 4:15 p.m.

Home teams are 27 under .500 ATS, but neither of these playoff hopefuls travels very well. Minnesota has won five straight at the Metrodome. The Falcons (3-4 ATS away) do their best work at the Georgia Dome (6-1). The pick: Vikings

Eagles (8-5-1) at Redskins (7-7)

Line: Eagles by 5 Over/Under: 38 1/2 TV: Ch. 5, 4:15 p.m.

Washington's 1-5 skid prompted Jim Zorn to call himself "the worst coach in America." Not unless Herm Edwards and Norv Turner get deported. The Eagles are hot, but even if they win out, they'll need help to be a wild card. The pick: Eagles

Around the league

Saints (7-7) at Lions (0-14)

Line: Saints by 7 Over/Under: 50 1/2 1 p.m.

I fear the Lions will kill their shot at immortality, and the goofy Saints might offer a bailout. To be a wild card, New Orleans (1-6 road, 2-4-1 ATS) needs more help than Detroit's carmakers. The Lions don't want to end up eternal icons of failure. The pick: Lions

Dolphins (9-5) at Chiefs (2-12)

Line: Dolphins by 4 Over/Under: 40 1 p.m.

Why did the NFL let Bill Parcells make up his Fish's amazingly soft schedule? Stiff of the Week is Team Herm, in a 2-21 free fall. Miami is on a 9-3 roll, but seven of its victims have losing records. They all count, and here comes number eight. The pick: Dolphins

49ers (5-9) at Rams (2-12)

Line: 49ers by 5? Over/Under: 43 1/2 1 p.m.

The 49ers covered five of the last six for Mike Singletary, whose permanent hiring should be a no-brainer. How fitting that the worthless Rams play in a stadium named for a brokerage. The pick: 49ers

Chargers (6-8) at BUCS (9-5)

Line: Bucs by 3? Over/Under: 42? 1 p.m.

If you took six joke teams (Lions, Chiefs, Bengals, 49ers, Jaguars, Bills), you probably won your pool. This is the NFL. The Bucs are 6-0 at home (5-1 ATS) but have struggled the past month (1-2-1 ATS). Their injury-depleted defense can't stop the run, and Jeff Garcia (calf) might sit again. The pick: Chargers

Bengals (2-11-1) at Browns (4-10)

Line: Browns by 2 1/2 Over/Under: 32 1 p.m.

Favorites (107-109-6 ATS, 2 pick 'ems) went 5-9-2. There are no easy weeks betting the NFL, but fools will wager on a farce in which the favorite's offense has no TDs in the past four games. The pick: Bengals

Texans (7-7) at Raiders (3-11)

Line: Texans by 7 Over/Under: 44 4:05 p.m.

Four straight wins give the young Texans something to build on. The Raiders are so bad they're entertaining. They benched tackle Kwame Harris (league-high 11 false starts) because one more flinch would activate his contract's Bizarro World bonus clause. The pick: Texans

Bills (6-8) at Broncos (8-6)

Line: Broncos by 6 1/2 Over/Under: 45 4:05 p.m.

If Dick Jauron coached soccer in Iraq, they'd throw shoes at him. At least J.P. Losman's fumble didn't cost the Bills a cover. That would really have been heartbreaking. It's hard to imagine Buffalo, in a 2-8 dive, has much juice left. A win or a Chargers loss makes Denver AFC West champ. The pick: Broncos

Packers (5-9) at Bears (8-6)

Line: Bears by 4 Over/Under: 41 TV-Radio: ESPN, WFAN (660), Monday, 8:30 p.m.

Why is the Heisman Trophy irrelevant? Because Rex Grossman almost won it. Since smashing Chicago, 37-3, Green Bay lost four in a row, blowing fourth-quarter leads in the last three. The Bears want payback and still could win the NFC North. The pick: Bears

Jets (9-5) at Seahawks (3-11)

Line: Jets by 4 1/2 Over/Under: 44 TV-Radio: Ch. 2, WEPN (1050), WRCN (103.9), 4:05 p.m.

Need a holiday gift for a stressed-out Jets fan? Nothing could say Merry Christmas like a personally inscribed J.P. Losman jersey. Was that another Miracle in the Meadowlands? The way the Jets are going, more like a stay of execution. As predictably as the sun, the Jets have gone down in the west (0-3 in San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco). The Seahawks will be psyched for Mike Holmgren's home farewell. The Jets might scrounge another ugly win, but Seattle should put up a fight for its Wounded Walrus. The pick: Seahawks

PANTHERS (11-3) at Giants (11-3)

Line: Giants by 3 Over/Under: 37? TV-Radio: Ch. 4, WFAN (660), 8:15 p.m.

Worry has replaced serene confidence among Giants fans. Have their heroes lost their mojo, and did they peak too early, like last year's Cowboys? Plaxico Burress was Eli's security blanket and a 12th man because he drew double coverage. The Giants didn't miss Plax against bad teams, but this is for the NFC's top seed. And will Brandon Jacobs be 100 percent? However, Carolina is only 3-3 ATS away (0-3 against playoff contenders). The Giants are edgy and have injury problems, but I don't see them losing three in a row. The pick: Giants

Our writers' picks for this week's NFL games

Ed McNamara 108-110-6 best bets: 10-5

Seahawks Steelers Eagles 49ers Texans

Giants Patriots Lions Chargers Broncos

Cowboys Vikings DolphinsBengals Bears

Bob Glauber 111-107-6 best bets: 4-11

Jets SteelersEagles 49ers Texans

Giants Patriots Saints Bucs Broncos

CowboysVikings ChiefsBrowns Bears

Tom Rock 116-102-6 best bets: 6-9

Jets Steelers Eagles 49ers Raiders

Giants Patriots Lions Bucs Broncos

Ravens Falcons Dolphins Bengals Packers

Erik Boland 113-105-6 best bets: 4-10-1

Jets Titans Redskins 49ers Raiders

Giants Patriots Lions Bucs Broncos

Ravens Vikings Dolphins Browns Bears


Best bet


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 19, 2008

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