OK, we all know betting on sports is illegal in 46 states, so don't do it unless you're in Vegas, Oregon, Montana or Delaware, but if you're going, you can make these bets for me.
1. Pittsburgh (-3.5) at Cincinnati, Sunday, noon — Aside from the last-minute meltdown by the Pittsburgh defense last weekend against Baltimore that led to a season sweep for the Ravens in the best rivalry going in the NFL right now, the Steelers seem to have things figured out. Ben Roethlisberger does his thing, holding on to the ball for far too long but still seemingly finding ways to make big plays. And with James Harrison back from injury, the defense should be closer to the Steelers defense of old that forces a lot of turnovers and gets a lot of sacks. That doesn't bode well for Andy Dalton, the Bengals rookie quarterback who's had a great year but has yet to face the Steelers or the Ravens yet. This will be his first try, and don't expect it to go too well.
2. Houston (-3.5) at Tampa Bay, Sunday, noon — Two 3.5-point road favorites. Two slam dunks. The Texans have been playing really well lately, and they're doing it the old fashioned way — pounding the ball and playing tough defense. The Texans have the No. 1-ranked overall defense in the NFL, a huge testament to the work of Wade Phillips. Then, they can hand the ball off to Arian Foster and Ben Tate and watch them go. If Andre Johnson returns from his injury this week, that's an even bigger key in Houston's favor.
3. St. Louis (+2.5) at Cleveland, Sunday, noon — The Rams have proven to be a good underdog as of late. Last week, a freak overtime punt return for a touchdown doomed people that picked the Rams as a road dog in Arizona. The Browns absolutely cannot move the football, not that the Rams are too great at it either. Expect a low-scoring game that the Rams should eventually be able to pull out.
4. Arizona (+14.5) at Philadelphia, Sunday, noon — The Cardinals are by no means a good football team. And they'll likely be missing their starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb, for the second straight week. But they have a better than average running back in Beanie Wells, who fell flat on his face last week after a huge performance in Week 8. He'll be looking to rebound against a defense that will give up some chunks of yardage on the ground. The Eagles will win, but not by three scores.
5. Buffalo at Dallas (-5.5), Sunday, noon — I'm going back and forth on this game. On one hand, the Cowboys run defense has struggled and the Bills bring Fred Jackson to town, who is arguably one of the best running backs going in the league this year. On the other hand, the Cowboys seem to have found a good one of their own in DeMarco Murray, and the Bills defense gives up a ton of yardage. They also create a lot of turnovers, but if the Cowboys can limit their mistakes on Sunday, they should be able to win fairly easily. Look for Rob Ryan's glare to get a better performance from his run defense against Jackson.