SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Miles Austin #19 of the Dallas Cowboys catches the ball in front of Madieu Williams #20 of the San Francisco 49ers and carries the ball into the endzone for a 25 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on September 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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.
Houston (+3.5) at Cincinnati, Sunday, noon — Houston's prospects are way down from there they were a month ago. Matt Schaub is out for the season now; so is Matt Leinart. That leaves rookie interception machine T.J. Yates and veteran interception machine Jake Delhomme as the Texans' options at quarterback. Not a pretty sight. But, the Texans still have a pretty killer running game with Arian Foster and Ben Tate and they still have a great defense behind Wade Phillips. The Bengals are at home and have made tremendous strides this season behind rookie QB Andy Dalton and rookie WR A.J. Green, but give me the Texans' running game over the Bengals defense.
Oakland at Green Bay (-11.5), Sunday, noon — The Packers just continue to roll. Last week's final-minute display against the New York Giants, in the Meadowlands, was phenomenal to watch. The Raiders aren't nearly as good as the Giants, and the Packers are back in the friendly confines of Lambeau Field. Don't be surprised if that spread is covered by halftime as the Packers continue to chase perfection.
Philadelphia at Miami (-3.5), Sunday, noon — The Eagles continue to be pretty terrible, though they do get back the services of Michael Vick this week. That might help some, but the Dolphins are playing good football right now and they're at home. Miami QB Matt Moore is 3-1 as a starter in Miami and that number should improve to 4-1 as he and Brandon Marshall have built a nice rapport and the Eagles secondary has been all kinds of bad despite having the best players money can buy.
Chicago (+3.5) at Denver, Sunday, 3 p.m. — The Bears are but a shell of their former selves after being completely decimated by injury. Jay Cutler's out. Matt Forte's out. That combination spells doom for the Bears offense. Pretty much the best offensive weapon the Bears have is Devin Hester on punt returns. The Broncos have Tim Tebow, who's proven once again that he's a winner despite how ugly the win may be. The Broncos will win this game, but it'll be by a field goal and don't be shocked if it's in overtime as both teams will have trouble putting points on the board.
New York Giants at Dallas (-3.5), Sunday, 7:20 p.m. — The Giants are desperate. A loss here would basically end things in the NFC East. The Cowboys are healthy with Miles Austin set to return along with fullback Tony Fiammetta, who seems to be the key to DeMarco Murray's being a great running back instead of a good running back. I see the Cowboys winning this one by 4-6 points. Book it.