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Against the Odds: Week 13

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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.

    Kansas City at Chicago (-7.5), Sunday, noon — The Bears aren't the Bears of a few weeks ago when they were playing some of the best football in the NFC. Now, without Jay Cutler for the foreseeable future they're a different team. But that's OK. They still have arguably the best all-purpose back in football in Matt Forte and backup Caleb Hanie, a Forney native, played well in his first start last week. On the other hand, Tyler Palko is not playing well in Matt Cassel's absence. The Chiefs claimed Kyle Orton off waivers two weeks ago but there's been no word on whether he's ready to go. Bears at home, give me the Bears.

    Oakland at Miami (-3.5), Sunday, noon — Give Tony Sparano tons of credit. He took a football team that was 0-7 and totally turned the ship around when the Dolphins could have easily tanked it and tried to win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. The Cowboys were lucky to beat them on Thanksgiving Day, Reggie Bush has had a career rejuvenation, Brandon Marshall is ballin' out of control and Matt Moore is turning into a nice little starting quarterback. Oakland has floundered in recent weeks with a myriad of injuries to their wide receiver corps and with the injury to Darren McFadden.

    Cincinnati (+6.5) at Pittsburgh, Sunday, noon — In their previous meeting just a few short weeks ago, the Steelers won the game by a touchdown. These two teams are pretty evenly matched, so I'd expect this one to either be closer or a Bengals win. Andy Dalton got his favorite target and fellow rookie A.J. Green back last week, and he went off. Not to mention the fact that Troy Polamalu has to be considered questionable after sustaining a head injury last week against the Chiefs, so that'll help Dalton as well if he can't play.

    Denver (PK) at Minnesota, Sunday, noon — This one seems like a gift. I know the Vikings are at home, and the Broncos are by no means world-beaters but this one's too easy. Adrian Peterson is a game-time decision with his high-ankle sprain that's already forced him to miss one game. And then there's Tim Tebow. Say what you want, but the guy's winning football games, and the Broncos defense has been playing phenomenally, not to mention running back Willis McGahee.

    Dallas (-4.5) at Arizona, Sunday, 3 p.m. — I'm probably a victim of blind confidence in the Cowboys right now, but this one just seems pretty easy. Even with Kevin Kolb returning, the Cardinals aren't a good football team. Beanie Wells is a threat on the ground, and obviously Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in football, but the Cardinals run defense is bad and should be primed for shredding by DeMarco Murray. Tony Romo is playing great right now, minus his two early interceptions on Thanksgiving Day. Look for a punt return TD in this game by one of the teams too. Just sayin'.