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News » NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Steelers figure to cool off 'Boys

NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Steelers figure to cool off 'Boys

NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Steelers figure to cool off 'Boys

All picks against the spread

Marquee matchups

Cowboys (8-4) at Steelers (9-3)

Line: Steelers by 3 Over/Under: 39 1/2 TV: Ch. 5, 4:15 p.m.

Millions live and die with these national teams, whose logos inspire more passion than many countries' flags. "My Cowboys, 'tis of thee . . . " Here's how returnee Adam Jones can show solidarity with fellow clubber Plax: If the Pacman makes a big play, he should mime shooting himself in the thigh. Dallas, a front-running bully, won't handle the No. 1 defense in the cold. The pick: Steelers

Falcons (8-4) at Saints (6-6)

Line: Saints by 3 Over/Under: 51

1 p.m.

Trend: Atlanta is on a 19-4-1 ATS roll at New Orleans. Counter-trend: NFC South teams are 8-0 at home (7-1 ATS) in divisional games. Should you zig or zag? The Falcons are one of the season's feel-good stories, but I can't see them being 9-4. The pick: Saints

Redskins (7-5) at Ravens (8-4)

Line: Ravens by 5 Over/Under: 35 1/2 TV-Radio: Ch. 4, WFAN (660), 8:15 p.m.

This Beltway Battle replaces Patriots-Seahawks in prime time, so flex scheduling spares us from episode 13 of Mike Holmgren's "Wounded Walrus" farewell tour. The Ravens' only loss in the last seven games was to the Giants. Even when Clinton Portis (questionable, knee/neck) is healthy, the 'Skins rarely score much, and Baltimore's defense loves to punish. The pick: Ravens

BUCS (9-3) at Panthers (9-3)

Line: Panthers by 3 Over/Under: 38 TV-Radio: ESPN, WFAN (660), Monday, 8:30 p.m.

Both teams are 6-0 home, 3-3 away, so logic says to take Carolina in the fight for first in the NFC South. But NFL (No Football Logic) makes you stop and say, "Maybe that means the trend is due to reverse." As the Dalai Lama once told me: "Don't think, concentrate." The pick: Panthers

Around the league

Vikings (7-5) at Lions (0-12)

Line: OFF Over/Under: OFF 1 p.m.

Will the four-game drug suspensions of Vikings DTs Pat Williams and Kevin Williams be delayed? I hope so, because the quest for negative perfection must go on. The Lions (0-6 ATS home) lost by only 2 on Oct. 12 at the Metrodome, so I'm worried. Make 168 the over/under on Adrian Peterson's rushing yards. The pick: Vikings

Browns (4-8) at Titans (11-1)

Line: Titans by 13? Over/Under: 37? 1 p.m.

Double-digit favorites are 5-14 ATS, but the last four covered, so maybe the stiffs have lost the will to fight. Albert Haynesworth and Co. will pummel Ken Dorsey, the Browns' QB with Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson out for the season. The pick: Titans

Texans (5-7) at Packers (5-7)

Line: Packers by 6 Over/Under: 47 1 p.m.

Favorites (93-93-4 ATS, 2 pick 'ems) were 7-9, with the Saints, Browns and Rams the only losers that covered. Green Bay (3-3 ATS home) has keeled over, but the Texans (1-5 away, three covers) won't like frigid weather. The pick: Packers

Jaguars (4-8) at Bears (6-6)

Line: Bears by 6? Over/Under: 40 1 p.m.

Home teams went 6-10 ATS, making them a wallet-thinning 31 under .500. Why do people say Jag-wires? They're a league-worst 3-9 ATS, so they've been called lots of other things. After that prime-time no-show at Houston, it's quitting time. The pick: Bears

BENGALS (1-10-1) at Colts (8-4)

Line: Colts by 13? Over/Under: 41? 1 p.m.

Indy's offense couldn't produce a TD against the Brownies, so Peyton Manning should donate his game check to charity. This season his commercials still are better than Eli's, but not his record or stats. Indy wins its sixth straight as Peyton redeems himself to fantasy owners by torching Cincy. The pick: Colts

Dolphins (7-5) at Bills (6-6)

Line: Bills by 1 Over/Under: 42

1 p.m.

When a Jets fan mocked his 1991 AFC champions sweatshirt, saying he was living in the past, Bob the Bills fan said, "That's all we've got." Buffalo even lost its allies of wind and cold against hated Miami, because the game is indoors in Toronto. The pick: Dolphins

Patriots (7-5) at Seahawks (2-10)

Line: Patriots by 4? Over/Under: 43 4:05 p.m.

Losses to the Jets and Steelers have the Patriots in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Trend alert: Since 2003, the Pats are 17-1 after a defeat. Seattle's defense is dainty, and Matt Hasselbeck is throwing as if he's colorblind. The pick: Patriots

Chiefs (2-10) at Broncos (7-5)

Line: Broncos by 9 Over/Under: 48 1/2 4:05 p.m.

Time to give a Mile High salute to Mike Shanahan. Even with his defense and running backs shredded by injuries, he'll still win the AFC West. The Broncos pay back K.C. (1-6 ATS slump at Denver) for a Week 4 upset. The pick: Broncos

Rams (2-10) at Cardinals (7-5)

Line: Cardinals by 14 Over/Under: 48? 4:15 p.m.

The sacrificial Rams will play their usual role of victim. The Cardinals (4-1 home, three covers) are psyched up to rebound after being devoured on Thanksgiving night in Philly. They'll lock up the NFC West and party like it's 1975. The pick: Cardinals

Eagles (6-5-1) at Giants (11-1)

Line: Giants by 7 Over/Under: 43 TV-Radio: Ch. 5, WFAN (660), 1 p.m.

I won't be a hypocrite and pile on Plaxico Burress, because the Gridiron Guide never leaves home without my vintage Winchester rifle. I also have machine guns mounted above my Hummer's headlights in case of a road-rage situation. The Giants have been the NFL's best bet (10-2 ATS), but nobody covers forever. They're supposed to be immune to injuries and distractions, but sooner or later they catch up to you.

Taking the Eagles on the money line would be daring, but maybe they'll keep it close. The pick: Eagles

Jets (8-4) at 49ERS (4-8)

Line: Jets by 4 Over/Under: 44? TV-Radio: Ch. 2, WABC (770), WEPN (1050), WRCN (103.9), 4:05 p.m.

Well, maybe all that Subway Super Bowl talk was a bit premature.

Jersey Joe the Jets fan on the Denver debacle: "GangGreenous." Why power run at a lousy rushing defense when you can try an end around in the rain? Fumble, touchdown, Jets never recover. Coaches game plan for 90 hours a week and come up with something a 12-year-old wouldn't risk.

Hearing Same Old Jets laments should tighten the focus, so expect a bounce-back against a struggling team with no identity. The pick: Jets

Our writers' picks for this week's NFL games | Best bet picks are in bold.

Ed McNamara 91-97-4 best bets: 10-3

Eagles Saints Vikings Bears Patriots

Jets Ravens Titans Colts Broncos

Steelers Panthers PackersDolphinsCardinals

Bob Glauber 95-93-4 best bets: 3-10

Giants SaintsVikings Jaguars Patriots

Jets Ravens Titans Colts Broncos

SteelersPanthers Packers Bills Cardinals

Tom Rock 103-85-4 best bets: 5-8

Giants Falcons Vikings Bears Patriots

Jets Ravens Titans Colts Broncos

Cowboys Bucs Packers Dolphins Cardinals

Erik Boland 98-90-4 best bets: 2-10-1

Eagles Saints Vikings Bears Patriots

Jets Redskins Titans Colts Chiefs

Steelers Panthers Packers Dolphins Rams

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 5, 2008

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