ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 02: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions catches a pass for a touchdown for the win over Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Lions defeated the Cowboys 34-30. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
OK, we all know betting on sports is illegal in 49 states, so don't do it unless you're in Sin City, but if you're going, you can make these bets for me.
1. New Orleans (-6.5) at Carolina, Sunday, noon — Cam Newton has been a pleasant surprise for Panthers fans this year, and the Panthers are actually showing signs of life post-Jimmy Claussen. But the Saints are on another level right now, and that will show Sunday when Drew Brees hits the field with a healthy Marques Colston returning.
2. Cincinnati (+2) at Jacksonville, Sunday, noon — I can't believe the Jacksonville Jaguars are favored in a football game. The Cincinnati Bengals probably can't either. And even though the Bengals are no world beaters, you can bet they are a little miffed about being underdogs in this game. Look for TCU-ex Andy Dalton to have a good game and the Bengals to win this game.
3. Seattle at New York Giants (-9.5), Sunday, noon — There's one rule in picking football games. Teams that are from the West Coast, going to the East Coast for a noon kickoff never do well. It just doesn't happen. The Giants are on a bit of a hot streak, and Eli Manning is playing well. Seattle is just not very good with Tavaris Jackson under center.
4. Green Bay at Atlanta (+6), Sunday, 7:30 p.m. — Matt Ryan has been quietly good this year. The Georgia Dome will be rocking for a primetime game and Julio Jones finally came to life last week for the Falcons, giving Ryan another dynamic threat out wide to go with Roddy White. The Packers might win the game, but it won't be by much.
5. Chicago at Detroit (-5), Monday, 7:35 p.m. — We all saw what the Detroit Lions are capable of on Sunday. And while it was Tony Romo's flubs mixed with big plays by the Lions defense, that scary Lions offense got going too behind Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. That's two straight huge fourth-quarter comebacks from large deficits for the undefeated Lions. Teams like that get an air of invincibility about them, and that can be dangerous.